Hulk Hogan: Verne Gagne Said He Would Pay The Iron Sheik $100,000 To Break My Leg At MSG

Hulk Hogan talks WWF Title win.

Hulkamania was born on January 23, 1984, when Hulk Hogan pinned The Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden to become the WWF Champion. Hogan had just left Verne Gagne and the American Wrestling Association on a promise by Vince McMahon Jr. that he would win the title as MSG. But, according to Hogan, the plan almost didn't happen.

"The night at Madison Square Garden, Bob Backlund thought he was going to win the belt back from The Iron Sheik, but plans had changed when I made that deal with Vince," Hogan told Steve Austin on the Steve Austin Show. "[Vince Sr., Vince Jr., Backlund, and I] are talking and Backlund says, 'I don't think anybody should win the title that's not a real athlete.' I've been training with Backlund in Japan and am the only one doing the crazy workout he does with him. Vince Sr. was like, 'You know what Terry, we should think this thing through and six months from now might be a good time to put the belt on you.' I said, 'Vince Sr., all due respect, that's not the deal I made with your son. I just burnt down a huge bridge in Minnesota. So I'll go put the Sheik over tonight, but then I'm gonna rebuild that bridge and I'm out of here.' Vince Jr. went to his dad and fixed it. I went out and Sheik did the job for me. Little did I know, Verne [Gagne] went out and said he'd give Sheik $100,000 if he broke my leg."

Fortunately for Hogan, Sheik did not break his leg and Hulkamania was off the races.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Hogan detailed why he left Gagne and AWA and joined Vince Jr. in New York. You can read his comments by clicking here.

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