by Christian Duque
Unless you live under a rock, you'll know about the fan confrontation between Hulk Hogan and a belligerent, drunken fan over the weekend. Hulk Hogan is a superstar superstar. We all grew up with Hulkamania – it was perhaps the last decisive cultural strike that hit the coffin in the Cold War. Everyone wanted to follow in Hogan's footsteps (no matter from which country or area of life), from slamming Andre The Giant to his atomic leg loss, defying the odds, tearing off the shirt and presenting a chiseled body ( a lot) like what bodybuilding shows won). When you heard the song from Real American, it was Hulk Hogan 24/7.
Fans are crazy about The Hulkster, but some act in a way that they surely regret. Unfortunately, alcohol has the potential to turn even the best of us into a jerk, and that seems to have happened to a group of 40 people who have decided to join in this past with two pro-wrestling legends in Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan interact weekend. From my point of view, this confrontation also speaks to a bigger problem. Fans do not give stars sufficient space, they do not realize that stars have life, and fans do not realize that stars (like all other humans) have a breaking point.
Hulk Hogan's fame reached its peak in the 1980s and '90s, with considerable fanfare in the 2000s and superstarom ever since. His main passion is undoubtedly wrestling, but he has gone through a lot more, including movies, music and literature. He has also been heavily involved in the fitness industry, from appearances at major festivals and exhibitions to the business world and interacting with bodybuilding press and media. His close friendship with Mel Chancey has undoubtedly aroused even more interest in physical conditioning. Mel is one of the closest and most passionate ambassadors for the bodybuilding sport there is. His work includes hosting programs, promoting events, and his roles at Core Medical and other respected companies over the years. Besides, I'm glad Mel was not there last weekend because, like anyone who's really interested in Hogan, things may have taken a different turn. Mel is very cool and collected, but even this confrontation could have escalated and thankfully it did not work out.
Here's the deal, Hulk is a legitimate powerhouse, but he was not looking for any trouble. He was drinking something with a friend who happened to be another superstar. From what I've read, and according to Hulk's own reports, they simply tried to stay out of the public, drink something, and then promote an upcoming game. With that said, these guys know all about how to be in the limelight – this was not their first rodeo – after all. Respectful fans keep their distance. Real fans, especially the Diehards, will have a hard time not taking their phones out or reacting in any way – that's almost to be expected. You may want to play it down, play it down and pretend that you're not impressed with stars, but unless you're in the media or see stars every day, it's just difficult to overcome the urge, the world you've seen not to resist one of your greatest heroes in person. I understand, but as I said, there is a respectful way of doing things, and everyone at this bar, with the exception of this one drunken man, seemed to have behaved accordingly.
Maybe the guy in question was not even a fan, but for the sake of argument, we say he was, and let's say that alcohol made the most of him. Fans must be aware that stars owe them nothing. There is a very real, very disturbing sense of the claim of a small group of fans who literally stalk celebrities like aggressive paparazzi. There comes a point where people stop being rational and their obsession borders on the criminal. Some of these fans might first realize that they have made themselves guilty when they see someone they look up to, and they just become insane. It's not cool, and frankly, it can easily freak out celebrities and their families – and with good reason. Other types of obsessive fans do not shout, clap and / or hyperventilate, but become angry, belligerent and downright hostile. Adding drugs or chemicals to the mix can make irrational fans a real problem.
The guy in question, along with his friends, approached a few celebrities who were obviously trying to enjoy some downtime away from the public. Ric Flair of Hogan's account did not have it and tried to get rid of it. When these guys did not understand the obvious, things escalated and flair made a funny comment. It could have been, but the angry fan sent Flair and Hogan a few Shirley temples. If the service employees did not notice the underlying symbolism, they should have ignored the request. Sending a virgin cocktail to someone means only one thing, especially for old school guys like Flair and Hogan. In any case, these guys are probably used to the tough guys back then and less likely to break than the average person.
By the way, that reminds me of my interview with IFBB Pro bodybuilder Mighty Mike Quinn. Earlier, when all the magazines called him "The Bad Boy of Bodybuilding," he traveled around America (and the world), whether it was a competition, for guest appearances or appearances, and there was always at least one who wanted to to see if the hard guy was real. Maybe they were fans or just idiots, but instead of meeting Quinn and being cool, they wanted to start shitting.
Although celebrities may be used to it, fans need to understand that celebrities are just human beings. All people, including the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa, have a break – rest assured. If someone tells you otherwise, he is full of it. Even Jesus lost it in the temple with the moneychangers (and for a good reason).
So here you have this loud, drunken, belligerent guy who opens his mouth and sends virgin drinks, and if that's not enough, he feels compelled to speak more with Hogan, who crunches and goes to himself while he does goes. Do not think for a second that the Hulkster could not put the crunch up against a wall and deal with that guy, but apart from a verbal exchange, that was it. Luckily that was all, but the guy clearly wanted to Hogans skin may go and maybe do it to some degree. The story was then picked up by mainstream news and boulevard news, and all went social media. I do not know if that was the intention of the man, but that was the result.
I wanted to use this opportunity to write this article for Iron Magazine, as I believe this is a great opportunity to talk to bodybuilding fans about etiquette and pros practices. For beginners, professional bodybuilders and other fitness celebrities have downtime, time with their friends and families, and frankly, fans should respect that. For those who feel absolutely compelled to make contact, there are opportunities. Believe me, celebrities see their fans much sooner than fans, and they often go to them when they go, provided they have time and are not attacked. If they do not, fans should NOT take this personally.
Getting bullying sounds may sound like a shout for ordinary people, but for celebrities it can be a nightmare. Have you ever noticed why celebrities at large fairs (like the Arnold and Olympia) tend to go for a walk and talk? Because if they stay in one place for more than a few seconds, the word spreads that they are there, like wildfire, fans are coming and before you know it, the star is completely more aggressive, excited and loud at least by several dozen shifts , It is not a good place and it is almost impossible to break out. So if a celebrity talks to you, go with them if they agree, but do not try to delay them.
Finally, the star dictates the conditions of each interaction. Fans are not sitting in the driver's seat – here the feeling of entitlement seems to be stirring. Just because there are a lot of fans, it's not a strength in numbers – they're all there because you want the time and attention of that celebrity – remember. Do not touch celebrities (whether it's laying your hand on your shoulder, hugging you or even insisting that they shake your hand). Be careful and respectful. If you want to have an autograph, do not be pushy, just like photos. Be sensible too. If Celebrity gives you a chance, do not take five or six to choose the best one, but invite your friends to follow-up shots, and in no way challenge the celebrity to pose in a certain way. Although you think the fans are the reason they are rich and successful, I promise you that taking pictures with you (or not) will not affect your starpower. Be grateful that they care, because many celebrities have so much fun interacting with fans and media that they just ignore everyone (and they're still megastars !!).
In summary, I am glad that this confrontation has not escalated into something serious, and Hulk Hogan deserves the honor for it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article here in Iron Magazine. I am looking forward to read your comments. Please do not forget to use the discount code IML15 to save 15% at IronMagLabs.com – iincluding the new CBD Gummies !!!