Published on June 23rd, 2015 | by Pro Wrestling Stories0
The Story Behind HULK HOGAN’s Shocking Heel Turn at Bash at the Beach ’96
Plus the Fate of the Fan Who Tried to Take Matters into His Own Hands by Stepping into the Ring with the nWo
“Thank You. It Was Fun Stomping on Your Face!”
“We had no idea who [the third man] was going to be.
The whole ‘third guy’ thing came up by accident. I remember Kev’ and I called Bret [Hart] and we spoke to him and we told him it was really fun working at WCW. It was really laid back, guaranteed money, it was easy.
We were so used to being in a shark tank in [the WWF]. Coming to Atlanta was like being in a country club. It was really tame in the locker room in WCW compared to New York. We told Bret he should come down. Bischoff was interested, he was offering him a pretty sweet deal…but Bret wasn’t interested.
We wanted [the third man] to be Hulk, but Hulk had creative control in his contract so he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do.
I met Hulk briefly at WrestleMania 9 but I didn’t know him.
We actually went to the ring in Daytona and Hogan wasn’t even there yet. He was on a jet, flying cross country from shooting a movie. Bischoff wanted it to be Hulk, but before we went out he told us, ‘If Hulk doesn’t show, I’m gonna send out Sting!’
When Hulk did come out and turned heel at Bash At The Beach in Daytona, he gave his interview, you know: ‘Hey, screw all you kids…’
And people are buying it as a full-on shoot.
So people started throwing stuff in the ring…and if you watch the tape, you can see a fan hit the ring.
Me and Hulk are on one side; this dude gets over the railing – past security – inside the ring…and there’s big Kev’ waiting… (laughs)
Dude, you’re out of luck now…
I can’t imagine what this mark was thinking…[yokel voice] ‘Wehl, I’m gunna git’ dose guys…’
He probably thinks security’s going to stop him, so he can tell all his buddies, ‘Well I tried to, man…’
No, man…security didn’t get you – you’re in the ring; NOW what cha gonna do?
Kev’ knocked this cat OUT…
And now the dude’s down – me being the prick I am – I hear this commotion behind me, I look over and and go, ‘Kev’ – is that a mark-?’
I start putting the boots to this guy, full shoot (laughs)
In my opinion, [the fans are] allowed to yell and cheer and boo all you want – you’re not allowed to touch the wrestlers, you’re not allowed to throw stuff at the wrestlers, and you’re CERTAINLY not allowed to go over the barricade into the ring.
Because once you come into the ring, we don’t know if you got a gun, a knife or whatever. And guess what – that’s what I do for a living, man. Yeah, it might be ‘fake’, but all I gotta do is turn the volume up a little bit and it starts becoming REAL.
So, that dude in Daytona, wherever you are – thank you. It was fun stomping on your face. I hope you learned your lesson.”
SOURCE: Inside The Ropes radio, In Your Head online
Originally compiled by Matt Pender and shared here with thanks to our friends over at ‘Wrestling’s Glory Days’ Facebook page