Mangler's Memoirs - The Pygmailionization of Terry Bollea
**Be advised the timing of this column is somewhat dated since Hulk Hogan is not activly competiting. Now all I ask is that you attempt to recall. Thank you.**
This week's edition of the memoirs goes out to anyone that can appreciate that was ever is old can be new again. This column spawned from the lovely and talented Audrey Hepburn a.k.a Eliza Doolittle. Alright, maybe not if I was to call her hot it would seem sick and relatively twisted but not when you compare her to a movie that made her recognized in the industry. My Fair Lady. The book titled Pygmalion was for those of you that are not as familiar is the story of a bag lady that is found and made into a sophisticated women.
Alright so where exactly is the title coming from? In my ever son narrow-minded view she appears to be just like Hulk Hogan. Through Hogan's career reemergence through the birth of the "Hollywood" character becomes apparent. As Hogan's career and character just was not of the speed of what today's fans are comfortable with he was cast off. He was left to toil in the bitter depths of what was once more than a catch phrase or cliché for most wrestling fans; it was a way of life. His eating of vitamins, saying of prayers and training was what people of all walks of life in the 80's lived by. Then something changed. As he addressed the fans on his first appearance on Raw, way back when since returning to the company, there was some truth to it. "You people turned on me!". He was right, well sort of.
Fans did not appreciate him for what he was anymore. That was the past they said. And when we come to think of it, really in today's world we are of the "what have you done for me lately?" frame of mind. Hogan was living on more than just being a legend, from all indications from a fans perspective he was not taking a bow and gently saying goodbye. The idea of giving the next generation their time to shine never crossed his mind. So as fans began to take this into consideration they all realized this cat calls and boos began. The fans that made him a legend, in fact "Immortal" in some respects was now the man that could never respected by the fans again.....or could he?
Cue the Rebirth of Terry Bollea
Terry Bollea, to some he is a father, to some a showman, to some he is simply Thunder lips from Rocky III needed to find a new look, style to appeal to the new generation of fans. The hybrid cutting edge wrestling fans that wanted to see topless women wrestle in whipping crème and cherries also wanted to see wrestling appeal to the much greater mass of audience. So as this was to take place what is the first thing he does to change his look, he changes his colors. The customary red and yellow which he was synonymous for was now replaced with the ever popular shade of black.
As Hulk mania reigned supreme in the 80's it died a bitter death in the 90's. Bollea lived by the sword that he now very well died by. He believed he was so untouchable in the eyes of the fans that he could not come to grips with the fact that he was no longer a major draw. In comparison Ric Flair can captivate a viewer’s attention for how long it is that he is in the ring, where Hogan could not.
As we look at the new character which has risen from the depths of the man known as the Hulkster we find, what he was always marketed to be. The Hollywood character as we all know is not a stretch of the imagination really. He offers all the charisma of Gorgeous George, Superstar Billy Graham and Jesse Ventura all rolled into one. Now after I say this I ask has he really been re-born or has he finally found himself and what he was always meant to be.
He will always be etched in our minds as the man in red and yellow. Although the colors may change he will forever be the man, whose character was intended to transcend the business like no one else ever had. As the Rock has been elevated to such mainstream popularity and success that has him walking side by side with the immortal one, he has reached a height no one could ever imagine. Bollea, 53 I believe may simply be finding a second wind. Or has he? What has remained essentially from what we loved the most about this man was what he contributed to the fans the most, was what he couldn't do. That being his ability to entertain and yet he can not do this.
He is not a wrestler, and I am sure he would even admit to that. He is an entertainer, and in this business where the cycle takes place and characters change he will have stood the test of time. As a face he did what he needed to do to captivate that audience's attention like no one else could. As his role changed and the demographic of fans changed he simply stayed true to himself and be the man that has created the best wrestling formula of anyone before him.
He took all his charisma, his ability to play with the crowds emotions as a heel in the 70's and has now come full circle. He has simply taken the heel Hulk Hogan of the past and brought him up to date. What we are left with is essentially "Thunder Lip's" meets Audrey Hepburn. This may appear as a bit of a stretch but when we look closer at how he has rode his current wave of success by reaching back to what made him what he is, really may not be as reinvented as even I may have thought when I initially formulated this column. What has begun from this is all the attitude of "Hall-e--wood" with the genital Hulkster that still rules today.
As for the comparisons, to Pygmalion they were not as clear as when I initially began to formulate this column. The Audrey Hepburn character was reinvented by???. In Hogan's case he reinvented himself. Despite what others may have believed. McMahon and Bischoff provided him the opportunity; he essentially did all the work. He breathed life into these characters and only he made them work. He took brought Hulkamania to the height of its popularity and not Vince. Eric Bishcoff's work also was nothing more than capitalizing on what Hogan did for himself and not actually creating something that shined on its own.
Shall we call him Cinder-fella now?
He has now emerged with Adam "Edge" Copeland as co-holders of the WWE tag team championships. Does this mean he is moving in the wrong direction now? No offense to Edge and his emerging light but Hogan was all about the main event. Hogan was the fans came to see but now it appears as though reality has set in. Finally, does this make him human? Has Hogan come down to earth the rest of the city dwellers? It apparently is so. He had held the tag team title for the first time in his career and where did that leave him? No where. Bollea has come 90 degrees from where he first began and Eliza Doolittle would be proud to see. If he has learned anything he has learned one thing that is for sure. "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" Thank you Bollea you made Ms. Hepburn proud.
Thanks Gopal, you know Torrie is what I love, and at times lust over. To some it's a feedback, to others it’s a mailbag to yours truly to yours truly is literally what some readers loved, loathed and lusted over.
I liked your article, agreed with most of it, but when you spoke of Shawn Michaels back, you made a mistake. He did not injure it in his Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker. He messed up some vertebrate in his Casket match at royal rumble 98'. Undertaker back body dropped Shawn over the top rope and HBK was supposed to fly over the casket, but his back clipped the edge of the casket, and it injured him, which is why he was taken off all wrestling matches until WM 14. Just thought I would let you know.
Thanks for pointing that out Jesse. I have a real bad tendency to oversee some of the finer points.
you suck and are the worst columnist on here
Thank you for your left handed compliment, Big Empty. It seems ironic your name is Big Empty and well...never mind. Next time allow that stem cell you have in the back of your head that you call a brain put together some constructive criticism. Telling me I suck isn't constructive but hey you’re entitled to your opinion, as am I. As always.
Thanks and keep reading,
I just wanted to talk about your Owen Hart comments in the column mentioned in the topic.
"If we think about it a 'good wrestler' is one who gives of themselves. They strive for greatness. They sacrifice their bodies for what they love. Isn't that in some respects what Owen did?"
Technically that is what Owen did. But he wasn't exactly given a choice. If the day before he'd been asked "Do you want to die and earn some more respect, or do you want to remain alive, continue your successful career and probably earn at least as much respect, maybe more?" It doesn't take a genius.
"If Owen never encountered this 'bad thing' would it still make him a 'good wrestler'?"
Yes. Owen had already been proving himself to be a good wrestler ten years before the incident. "Bad things happened to good wrestlers because they are advantageous"
Okay, basically there you've said that Owen brought his death upon himself. I'm just not even gonna comment on that, but you can see why I'm angry. Other than this last one good columns,
Thanks again for the feedback James. I appreciate everything you said. I had no intention of having my comments about Owen interpreted that way in fact that was initially my concern. He in no way brought it on himself; believe me I am fully aware of that my statement was posed in the form of a question. Remember I make my Owen Hart statement in form of a question. Did I not? To encourage thought and provoke conversation is strongly encouraged. You always have a choice, if he didn't want to take that chance he and he alone is the one that should be able to make that decision, no writer can.
Take care, and hope that helped a little. Hope to hear from you soon.
In the mouth of...
Please send any and all constructive and destructive feedback to the confussed man who has an odd way of having readers address him. Enlighten me with what you loved, loathed or lusted over along with plenty of money with no return address. Thank you cards are over rated really. To be able to do these things please click on the seductive yet, sensual linky thing over here to my right ---> I am the ultra-modern version of the American man, Marcus
Marcus Madison.....Whattcha going to do when Rogaine runs wild on you...through the madness?
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Moondog Manson says "The key to success in the wrestling business is by being humble, respectful, and paying your dues. With out these you will fail.".