Hulk Hogan Paige was the guest on the latest WWE Exclusive Stone Cold Podcast, and here’s what was discussed…
Paige is clearly nervous about doing this podcast, as she keeps fiddling with her hair and knocking the mic without noticing. It’s pretty obvious that this was supposed to be Hulk Hogan, but Paige is holding herself well.
They talk about her growing up in Norwich with a wrestling family and how she was a 10-year veteran, despite only being 23. Talked about how her mother was once blinded for six months from a missile dropkick and she had to look after her at the age of 9 because her Dad was always off wrestling. Talked about her first time in the ring and how she knocked herself out on her first bump and decided this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Slightly alarming moment when she revealed that her mother took a bump while she was pregnant with Paige, and she thinks that might be the reason she has scoliosis. Paige says that she didn’t know she had it until she came to WWE and they pointed out that her spine is like a question mark. She says that she’s meant to see physiotherapist and do yoga to help, but she doesn’t do it. Word of advice Paige, start doing it now. Or else your career is going to be short lived, and the rest of your days will be agony.
Austin asks her about her upbringing, and Paige says that she used to work in a bar and be a bouncer at the age of 15. These are crazy stories. Paige tells a story about how two girls were fighting in the bar and she broke up the fight with headlock takeovers and how she once rugby tackled a guy into a wall because he was going to glass her friend. That story was funny for her to tell, because there was clearly a lot more to it, but she was holding back because it was a PG show. It’s funny because Austin opened the show by saying that she swears like a trooper, and she told him that she often gets in trouble for swearing in the ring. She should be getting in trouble for shouting her spots so loudly.
She also talked about growing up in a house which used to get a lot of American wrestlers coming to stay. She told a story about Jake The Snake Robert staying over and signing a bit of his boot for her and how she met Yokozuna and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. This was all pretty cool, though I fear there is more to that Jake story given the timeframe.
He then asks her about her influences, and she answers with Bull Nakano, Lita and Austin. She embarrasses herself a little bit by saying that she was in love with Austin as a teenager.
They move on to her first try out in NXT. She says that they told her to be a Diva, so she got a spray tan and wore clothes that she didn’t feel comfortable in. Six months later, Johnny Ace gets her a second try out and she showed up with her pale skin, black hair and black clothes. Said that she was helped a great deal by Jamie Noble, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes. I’m amazed that she didn’t break down into tears while talking about Dusty. She also mentioned that girls didn’t like her because she intimidated her, and how Summer Rae thought she was too hard in the ring.
She talked a lot about Dusty and said that he used to call her, ‘his little princess’ and that his biggest advice to her was to save money. She told a story about how Dusty would call her in for promo class but would ask her to not speak, so she had to come up with 30 second promos where she only said one thing. But when she was done, Dusty shouted at her and said, ‘I asked for chicken dinner and you gave me chicken shit.’ She self-censored that line. She said that Dusty was hard on her during promo class in the first few weeks. She said that he once took her into the ring and told her to cut a promo about how she was in love with Roman Reigns and he wanted her toaster back. She called him a “mother f’er”, as she put it, and she stormed off. She said that Dusty chased after her and shouted at her for bailing. They then sat on the steps in the Performance Centre and he told her that he just wanted the best for her and that she could be a big star, but today she failed. He also said that she was the only person to call him a “mother f’er” and get away with it, which made Austin laugh a lot.
She talks about her Dad, and how she was once hit by a car and was made to work the following night. She finds all this funny, but really it’s a damning indictment on their parenting and the wrestling business. Said she broke her wrist once on a Samoan drop she wasn’t ready for, and he gave her a make-shift cast and told her that she didn’t have to take the ring down, but she was going to have to put it up the next morning. They bring up Cena getting injured last week and Paige says that she would also want to continue a match if she broke her nose, because that’s how she was brought up. She even says she would continue a match if she was “knocked out” – just another example of this business being totally messed up. Paige talks about the way she was trained, and if her mother thought she was going to fast she would hit her hard to tell her to slow down – which is something she brought to training in FCW. I’m sure that down well.
I’ve heard a lot of stories about Paige’s family through friends of mine on the UK scene, and I can guarantee you all this is true. I won’t repeat any of them here, but let’s just say that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this family.
They then talk about her low self-esteem, and how she questions people who want her autograph when they can get autographs from “beautiful divas” or “big stars”. She says that The Rock gave her some good advice, and Austin tries to do the same. She talks about the people who have come up to her and have told that she has helped them get over eating disorders and anxiety issues, which she thinks is pretty crazy.
Paige talks about how much impact Triple H has had on her life. She talks about how he helped her get to the point where she became the first ever NXT Women’s Champion and she puts over Emma as a worker. It’s funny how Austin put over Paige at the start of the interview for being a 10-year vet at 23, and then Paige tells him that Emma has also been doing this since she was 13. Maybe you should get her on the show, Steve?
The topic of the Diva’s Revolution came up. Austin asks her if she started it, and Paige puts over Triple H by saying it was all his idea. She says that all the divas wanted a chance, and Triple H gave it to them. They put over the rest of the NXT divas like Charlotte and Sasha Banks, which leads to Paige talking about much Sara Del Ray has helped them. She talks about how she helped them work, not just in a divas style, but also a “man’s style”, which she then corrects herself to say “superstar style”.
Austin tells a story about a friend of William Regal’s who told him to “enjoy life”, and Paige talks about how much she enjoys working for WWE.
Paige then talks about how, despite wrestling for 10 years, she is still learning. And now that she’s in WWE, she’s almost starting from scratch. Austin talks about the 10-year mark and what sort of level you should be at, but Paige doesn’t think she’s at that point yet. They then talk about the transition between wrestling in front of 10 people to 20,000. Paige talks about how the WWE office often think that 1800 people at a live event is disappointing, where Paige thinks it’s great because she’s had nights in front of 2 people.
They transition to talking about Tough Enough and how nobody is watching it and how it’s not going to be renewed by USA. Kidding. Austin says that he’s really enjoyed the show so far, but he says that people aren’t getting it because it’s different to previous seasons and that’s why it’s not clicking. Austin says he likes the show, but it feels like “they’re putting 15 pounds of stuff into a 10-pound bag”. They talk about how Paige is the heel of the show and she says that she’s had death threats from the show. She says that it frustrates her because this is how she was brought up in the business, and being tough on people is a good way to train. Louis Theroux would disagree. They talk about being tough on the contestants and then bring up the Patrick situation. Paige said that he was 19, but already had an ego about him. She says the whole point of that episode was to humiliate him and tell him to not to believe his own bullshit. She said that put him in the bottom three to shock him, and didn’t expect him to go. She then says she got a lot of backlash of Twitter for it, but it was their fault that he was voted off. It seems as though she doesn’t like Amanda. Paige also notes that there’s a story in Daniel Bryan’s book about a show he did in England for a family he doesn’t name, which she notes was her family.
Moving back to her family once again, Paige talks about how her brothers are very protective of her. She tells a story about how a friend of her brother tried to flirt with her in a bar and her brother knocked him out with a pool cue. She talks openly about how much she misses her siblings and their kids and even mentions that one of her brothers is in a mental institution.
To close things off, she talks about her goals in the business – which includes being Divas champion again and getting into the Hall of Fame. She then jokes that she wants to turn the Divas Championship back into the Women’s Championship and pulls a face when she sees a picture of the belt. She tells a pretty weird story about Big Show that was probably funny if you were there and plugs tomorrow night’s Tough Enough which now has 100% less Hulk Hogan.
This was a good podcast, but probably the weakest of the series so far. But with guests like Triple H, Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, that’s to be expected. Paige held her own, but her nervousness was off-putting and her constant fiddling was very distracting. But she told some good stories, and she was having fun by the end of it. But, you know, Paige isn’t Hogan. What surprised me the most was how little they talked about the Diva’s Revolution – they glossed over it completely. Still, this was a pretty decent little podcast, and it probably created a few new fans of Paige who saw a different side to her here than they do on Raw.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.