Induction: Hulk Hogan on Arsenio – Liar, Liar, Trunks on Fire

29 Submitted by on Thu, 06 August 2015, 20:00

WWF, 1991

Today’s induction involves Hulk Hogan, some leaked documents, a big scandal, and a black man. No, I don’t mean the Hulkster’s racist rant that recently came to light. I mean Hogan’s appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show amid rumors of steroid abuse.

It just goes to prove that old saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”


Unless the thing that changes is Hulk Hogan’s steroid intake, in which case, things change pretty drastically.

Among even his steroid-abusing peers, who typically cycled on and off steroids, Hogan was notorious for never taking a break from his chemical regimen. In other words Hulk, with his total refusal to “cycle,” would never be confused with Lance Armstrong (except, of course, for their performance-enhancement).


When Hogan’s name turned up on documents of Dr. George Zahorian, the Pennsylvania physician convicted of steroid distribution, there was great cause for concern. Sure, for the better part of a decade, fans and the media had played along with the idea that Hogan’s massive physique was the result of training, prayers, and vitamins, but right there in black and white was a claim that the emperor was naked.


So to speak.

When Hogan appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show, everyone including the host expected him to come clean about using steroids. But the Hulkster had something bigger in mind. Well, not bigger, but stupider anyhow: He would just lie his ass off and hope he’d get away with it.arsenio05
arsenio06You’ve got to admire Hogan’s chutzpah, at least, for opening his interview about steroid abuse by flexing his chemically-enhanced biceps.
When it came down to it, even a master-manipulator of crowds like Hogan couldn’t fool anyone. Instead, he hemmed, and he hawed, and occasionally did both at the same time. So basically, Hogan was clearly uncomfortable, and he basically tried to weasel out of doing the right thing and admitting that he used anabolic steroids, but basically he gave himself away by his constant verbal tics, like the word, “basically.”arsenio99 arsenio07
arsenio08 To prove that his size had nothing to do with steroids, Hulk showed a picture of himself, supposedly at age 10, with his Little League baseball team. I don’t mean to cast doubt on Hogan’s claim, but does anyone else find it unusual that there are two other “ten-year-olds” on the team who are as tall as the coach? If this picture was legit, though, it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Hulkster didn’t get tall from using steroids. Take that, media!
Hogan flat-out denied taking steroids… at that period in 1991, at least. And if we are to believe his 1994 testimony in Vince McMahon’s federal trial, this is true, as he would claim to have stopped taking steroids in 1990. That in itself is pretty hard to believe when you compare Hogan’s physique from around the time of this interview to that of just a year later.arsenio09aarsenio09b
arsenio10Then again, at least 1991 Hogan resembled a human, which can’t be said about 1990 Hulk Hogan.
“But,” Hogan said, “there’s a situation where steroids, Hulk Hogan, and my private physicians have something in common.” Wary of providing any sound bite that could be construed as an admission of steroid use, Hogan instead phrased his story as the set-up to a Carnac the Magnificent gag.arsenio11
arsenio12Now, as any media-savvy celebrity knows, the network news will take the sound bites they want and run whatever story they want to tell. Just look at John Cena’s 2007 interview with CNN, where his response got chopped up to say, essentially, “I use steroids, but you’ll never prove it. Suckers!”
So it’s understandable that Hogan would be very delicate about how he phrased his answers. It’s even more understandable when you consider that he was lying about damn near everything.arsenio13
arsenio14 Hogan could have summed up his defense against steroid allegations in one sentence (“I only took steroids three times, and only for injuries”), he instead rambled on for an entire minute about sports therapy and the importance of recovering from injury. I suppose he felt he could soften the blow and make his story sound more believable if he included all the literary elements of plot.
Here, for instance, is how he described what his therapy consisted of: “Hours of the ultrasound to get the blood going again, the electric stim to get the nerves going, the deep muscle massage, and prescription drugs by physician that I trusted, legal prescription drugs, and those involved basic anti-inflammatories and a synthetic male hormone, which is a form of a steroid.” By the time his meandering piece of prose got to the part about steroids, viewers had already forgotten what the hell he was even talking about in the first place.arsenio15
arsenio016 For all the great detail he went into about his character traits and motivations and the finer points of sports therapy, Hogan was surprisingly reluctant to go into specifics about the trusted physician who played so big a role in his novella. Was that trusted physician Dr. George Zahorian? “Well, basically I’d rather not comment on that.” Meaning yes.
But look closely at what he said. He doesn’t use steroids. That could be true. He had three muscle tears in 1983 that required the use of steroids. That could be true, too. Nowhere does he actually rule out the fact that he had done steroids all throughout the eighties.arsenio17
arsenio18Until he concluded by saying, “That is the extent of Hulk Hogan’s steroid use.” Hey, maybe that just means that all the other times he injected decagabril from the mid-1970s onward, it was Terry Bollea’s butt. (Or maybe Rip Thomas’s)
Hogan showed his creative side, saying that suspecting him of using steroids is like suspecting all the Supreme Court justices of being on drugs. Although that would certainly explain that recent SCOTUS ruling, the one you disagreed with. arsenio18
arsenio19 As for how much of the WWF roster was on steroids, Hogan gave an estimate of between 0 and 100%. He would have been more specific, but he had never seen anyone “taking the pills or taking the shots.” And maybe he hadn’t. Whatever those wrestlers did after bartering with Hogan for vials and pill bottles was no one’s business but their own.
I mean, come on. You’ve got to figure that pretty much everyone was on the juice when even Bret Hart’s head was so puffed up in the late 80s that he resembled the Pillsbury Doughboy with sunglasses.arsenio20
arsenio21 Hulk said that once the steroid tests were implemented, the WWF was pretty much going to be the envy of the sports world. And it was. I mean, the Federation saved a fortune on crowd control alone when attendance plummeted.
Hogan pleaded ignorance when asked about the new human growth hormone, which couldn’t be detected by drug testing. And who were we to doubt Hogan’s word? HGH wasn’t very well-known or widely available at the time. It was the kind of expensive drug only main-eventer-type guys with big salaries like Hulk Hogan could afford.arsenio22
arsenio23 You can actually hear Arsenio get progressively more dejected as he realized he wasn’t going to get a confession out of the Hulkster. He made one last salvo to give Hogan the chance to admit to his Hulkamaniacs that he had used steroids more than three times before looking down at his hands as if to say, “Oh, don’t mind me.”
So was an honest answer finally forthcoming? Nope! Instead, Hogan told kids that if they trained hard and didn’t do drugs, they could be like the Hulkster.arsenio24
arsenio24Oh, and the government should cut off the steroid supply at the source by prosecuting doctors. No need to go after the harmless people who merely used the stuff. Not that Hogan would know who any of those people were.
Hogan then inexplicably freaked out and, clearly forgetting about Richard Belzer, put Arsenio in a headlock to lighten the mood. End segment.arsenio25

Hogan’s credibility never recovered from this fiasco. If there were still any believers left after the scandal broke, and after the news magazines followed up on the Hogan-steroid connection, there weren’t any left after he was forced to testify in Vince Mcmahon’s 1994 steroid trial and contradict all of his previous public statements about not being on the juice. For Hogan, it came crashing down like the lyrics of a popular wrestling theme.

Even his old buddy Vince McMahon mocked his steroid use in the Billionaire Ted skits a few years later.

Appearing on Arsenio and lying to the public was, as Hogan would write in his autobiography,* the biggest mistake of his life.

*This autobiography was written before Hogan borrowed his friend’s wife while cameras secretly filmed him having sex and using racial slurs while complaining about his daughter dating a black guy.

Written by

Art has been writing inductions for WrestleCrap since 2012. He also writes reviews of old Monday Night Raws, posted here every other Sunday. You can find his old reviews at the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at:
29 Responses to "Induction: Hulk Hogan on Arsenio – Liar, Liar, Trunks on Fire"
  1. PlasticDiverGuy says:

    That gif…it’s back! My eyes, my eyes!

  2. Adam Stern says:

    Well, like his good buddy Savage said a few years later about Lex Luger selling out, “either he’s telling the truth or he’s lying.”

  3. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Holy crap! Puffy-Headed Bred Hart really freaks me out.

  4. John C says:

    Well that’s clearly the worst thing on tape I’ve ever seen involving The Hulkster and I have No Holds Barred on VHS. The best/worst part is when Hulk is pretending he has no idea who Superstar Billy Graham was. Yup no idea who a balding, muscle head with very limited technical skills and was the WWF Champion, no way would Hogan ever heard of him. When a crappy interviewer like Arsenio knows you’re lying you really are a awful liar, brother.

  5. Brian E says:

    A Wrestlecrap induction that references current events instead of focusing solely on the past?
    For polo’s sake, that’s unheard of!

    In other words, this was a great induction. Didn’t even need to tie it into Hogan’s recent controversies, but you did, and I can’t really complain.

  6. C Boz says:

    On the minus side, not sure this is WrestleCrap as much as it is real world crap. It is not a bad angle or a bad character. Rather, it is a person showing a lack of honesty, responsibility and thus a bad fall for a (former) hero figure whose message was as false the nature of his muscle growth. He clearly believed in his doctor and those vitamins more than he believed in himself.

    On the plus side: Mantaur!!

  7. Mister Forth says:

    Now why did he think his was a good idea. His statements were the stuff reporters dream of.

    P.S. I like how the network tried backpedaling after the Cena stuff.

  8. NightmareNear says:

    You had to put in that Rip Thomas GIF again didn’t you RD?
    Well this isn’t as bad as Gawker Media is. They deserve what’s coming to them with all the stuff they’ve done with all their clickbait stories and lies with another fiasco that’s been happening over a year now.

    • TheKing says:

      Can we please for the love of whatever god/gods may or may not exist not pollute this site with Gamergate crap? This was literally one of the few refuges from the stink of Gamergate, pro or con, and now you’re bring its rotten corpse over here. Let it go, man, let it go and let’s stick to wrestling’s worst instead of the internet’s most annoying.

      • Longtimereader says:

        This is my first time commenting on here but I have been frequenting the site since 03 and i agree with TheKing please don’t bring Gamergate crap on here. It’s bad enough that fedora wearing neckbeards have ruined pretty much every comment section on youtube gaming videos don’t ruin this site also

        • Anonymous says:

          You two are the only ones politicizing anything. NightmareNear posted a link detailing actual CRIMES committed by the corporation and you two corporate brownnosers just HAD to leap to the defense of the poor persecuted corporation.

          You’re both welcome to take your rants to /pol/, tumblr, or whatever other cesspool you frequent, but keep it off of

      • NightmareNear says:

        Sorry, I wasn’t thinking when I put that up. I should of just put up the Gawker link. I’m neutral myself on it. Just really didn’t like what Gawker was doing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shouldn’t you be whining on tumblr or something?

  9. Down With OPC says:

    Geeze, the stuff that comes from the fallout of wrestlers appearing on the Arsenio Hall Show. Why, it was Arsenio himself on the show who suggested to Macho Man that Savage should make a rap album!

  10. JSWH says:

    “Although that would certainly explain that recent SCOTUS ruling, the one you disagreed with.”

    Very clever, well done.

  11. Mav says:

    Brooke Hogan agrees that her father is being misunderstood. “My dad’s best friends with Mr. T, he’s best friends with Dennis Rodman, he’s not racist,” she told “ET.”

    And according to Terry, he was also best friends with Piper.

    That’s a lot of best friends. Not even mentioning his bosom buddy, Randy.

    The sad realization about Hogan’s racist tirade and then Roddy’s death is that you come to find out that the guy who played the bad guy was actually super down to earth and a friend to all.

    And the guy who wore the white hat…just nothing like the character he was playing.

  12. Dadanthestalker says:

    Who is this hulk hogan guy? Never heard of him.

  13. Alexandru says:

    Yeah this is one of the 1st times people got to find out how much of a scumbag and pathological Liar Hogan is. He made a complete ass out of himself with this nonsense. Talk about breaking kayfabe. Having said all this why the government felt like going after Vince for steroid use considering wrestling isn’t an actual competitive sport like say Baseball is just odd. While it’s good there’s a wellness program and all, HGH/steroids will always be around in wrestling and while terrible for one’s health it’s there decision and being on something is how one can get over since a big part of wrestling is looks.

  14. Forest George says:

    As a childhood fan of Hogan’s, I knew he was always a liar. Seriously, we are all fallen human beings and without grace from God through Jesus Christ – we would all be condemned.

  15. Preparation Triple H says:

    So is this why Hulk Hogan hates black people?

    • plutoniumboss says:

      “Every time I close my eyes, dude! I see Brooke, jack! Getting spit roasted by Arsenio and Booker T, brother!”

  16. ThatsGottaBeKane says:

    Hogan just succumbed to what all humans do in that situation……..he got legal advice to deny, deny, deny until it went to court and perjury charges started applying and then the truth came out. somehow, Dr. Zaharius (or whatever) took the fall despite Vince being the mastermind and the wrestlers being the abusers.

    but at this point it’s like “who cares?” because wrestling technically isn’t a sport and everyone pretty much figures they’re all on something to look the way the way they do. I think the main culprit is society’s need to build up heroes that will eventually be proven unworthy of adulation so that they can be torn down. we see it time and time again. Hogan can be put right up there with Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby and what they’re trying to do with Tom Brady. Fallen idols who were never perfect to begin with.

    • Guest says:

      I we really comparing cheating on your spouse and being suspected on child molestation… you know actual cheating and suspected rape?

  17. The Dragonfly says:

    This is a serious question though it may not seem like it. Since Hogan was on so much steroids in the 80’s, I wonder if Linda would have tested positive after swallowing his man juice?

  18. J says:

    I don’t really believe he was a raciest because a bunch of black wrestlers who worked with him stood up for him

  19. "The Immortal" Mr. Bagofdonuts says:

    “I am a French Can-a-di-an, fight for the rights of Can-a-da…..”

  20. Felicity says:

    At the risk of making it political—recent history has taught us that, if you’re shameless enough, you can just lie. Even if you get caught lying, so what? Just keep lying. It’s the Shaggy defense: “It wasn’t me.”

    Of course, if you were a Hogan fan, this was depressing.

    I have mixed feelings about “The Arsenio Hall Show.” I have a lot of nostalgia for it and I like Arsenio Hall. He was cool and talented. OTOH he wasn’t a great interviewer. He tended to let the energy drop in the interviews, instead of keeping the ball in the air.

    I still enjoy “No Holds Barred” and “Suburban Commando.” Hogan is one of those cases where you have to decide if you are able to separate the person from the product. There’s no wrong answer. If you find you can’t separate them, and knowing what a bad person he is ruins the entertainment, your feelings are not wrong. I still haven’t figured out why one entertainer’s true personality ruins the enjoyment of the art for me and another’s doesn’t.

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