There are those great feuds in professional wrestling that are truly epic. As spectators we are fascinated as we watch the events unfold, and years later, we reminisce about the great moments and matches we witnessed as a part of that feud. Fans still talk about the Fabulous Freebirds and the Von Erichs, Steamboat-Flair, the NWO, and so many others. The common denominator between all these feuds is that they took place in a wrestling ring. What about the conflicts that take place outside of the ring? We have seen stars trade jabs before, but the current conflict between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior has become very intense. A recent teaser video released by Warrior claims that Hogan offered up his wife for Warrior’s taking, and that Warrior has a nearly sixty minute video coming out soon that goes into great detail about Hogan’s flaws, as well as Warrior’s return to television. How did we get here? How did two of the greatest wrestling heroes ever come to this? In a perfect world, Superman and Batman would get along, but realistically they are very different in their approach. They would not like each other. But they are fictional characters that can be written to agree. Hogan and Warrior honestly believe they are in the real world. That delusion has made their war all the more complex. Still, there has to be a resolution, right? Why can’t we all just get along?
Luckily I am a mediator. I went through training last year and tried to resolve personal issues between Greg Helms and Shawn Michaels. While that whole scenario didn’t play out as I had hoped, I felt I had to do something to help Warrior and Hogan come so some kind of peace. I worked with my assistant to get Warrior and Hogan to meet me in an undisclosed location where we could all sit down and resolve this conflict. Getting these two men to agree to meet was a challenge in itself. The point is I got them to agree to meet and that right there shows that resolution is possible.
As happy as I was to have Warrior and Hogan agree to meet, I was a bit fearful. Last summer I conducted a phone interview with Hogan in which he threatened to kill me. Warrior was a different animal. I knew nothing about him but he seemed unstable. In this case, I felt it would be best to go with the devil you know. I asked Hogan beforehand to help watch my back if anything should happen. He seemed just fine with the idea, but asked that I arrange to have confetti suspended above the meeting room.
We met in a small banquet room on neutral ground. There was a nice coffee bar setup by the hotel staff for us to enjoy. Hogan and Warrior at the appropriate time, but Hogan insisted on arriving in a limo and having it taped. Forget that fact that he was at the hotel already. He left and came back in a limo for the meeting. Warrior was much more down to earth, but not really open to small talk. We took our seats and began. To document the progress, I recorded the entire meeting. I felt it was important to give wrestling fans an ear to the resolution. What you will read over the next couple of weeks is the transcript of what was said in that meeting room.
Mediator: Thank you both for coming today. I understand that you are both very busy individuals and that the animosity between the two of you has grown very intense, so it speaks volumes about the character of you both that you would come here today and try to work this out.
Both men nodded, appreciating the compliment and patting themselves on the back.
Mediator: I want to start with you Mr. Warrior. What in your opinion started this whole conflict?
One word was all he gave, never taking his eyes of Hogan.
Mediator: Excuse me?
Warrior: I want coffee. We aren’t going any further until I get some coffee.
I motioned to my assistant in the room who quickly poured Warrior a fresh cup of coffee into a Styrofoam cup and brought it to Warrior.
Mediator: Okay so we have some fresh coffee. Let us now proceed to…
Mediator: Excuse me?
Warrior: I take Splenda in my coffee.
Mediator. Of course. My apologies.
My assistant quickly grabbed a packet of Splenda from the coffee bar and brought it to Warrior. He even opened the pack and stirred it in. All the time, Warrior never took his eyes off Hogan.
Mediator: Anything else you need, sir?
Warrior: There’s only one Splenda. I take one and a half packets of Splenda in my coffee.
My assistant quickly dumped in another half pack and stirred it in.
Mediator: Anything else?
Warrior: No. Thank you.
Mediator: You are very welcome. Okay so let’s get started. There has been a war of words between you two. I want to…
Mediator: What’s that, Hulk?
Hogan: Double espresso with a dollop of foam…in a real cup. I don’t drink out a Styrofoam. I didn’t slam Andre and sever all the nerves in my back in front of a trillion people to drink out of Styrofoam.
Hogan’s demeanor was different. Whereas Warrior would not take his eyes off Hogan, Hulk would not look up.
Mediator: I am sorry but we don’t have an espresso bar here.
I took some money out of my wallet and asked my assistant to make a quick run. It was nearly forty minutes later when he came back. Somehow he managed to keep to keep it warm in a paper cup, and then transfer it to a real cup when he got back to the building. He sat the cup in front of Hogan. Finally, we were ready to begin.
Hogan: I need sprinkles, brother.
For Pete’s sake. What the heck?
Mediator: Okay. Can we maybe just work with what we have?
Warrior: That would be asking a lot from you wouldn’t it, Hulk? To work with what you have instead of making all kinds of unnecessary demands.
Hogan: Brother, you know nothing.
Warrior: I know plenty, Hulk. I know you off Linda to his assistant in exchange for sprinkles.
Hogan: We’re not married anymore, brother. Duh. I can’ make that offer anymore.
Mediator: Guys, please stop. We are here for resolution, not escalation. Mr. Hogan, we can get you some sprinkles. I will have my assistant go over and get you some.
Hogan grumbled something as my assistant rolled his eyes. he was smart enough to think ahead and get a new beverage so it would be hot. He came back over with a fresh espresso drink with cinnamon sprinkles. Hogan gave a nice thank you before getting up and leaving. We were puzzled by his sudden departure, but we soon learned that he was redoing his limo entrance with his coffee. He made his way to the room and sat down, then looked into his cup with what I can only describe as a broken-hearted look.
Hogan: I wanted chocolate sprinkles, brother.
Mediator: What is wrong with the sprinkles you have?
Hogan: I don’t like cinnamon. I like chocolate.
Warrior: It has nothing to do what is and what is not. Cinnamon appears to be so on the surface, but look deeper and you will find things are what we make of them. In order to have chocolate sprinkles in your coffee you needn’t the chocolate. You need the will! Will is the power within us all to rise up and turn cinnamon into chocolate!
At this point Warrior rises from the table and begins to shake. He dumps over the table with the coffee bar, scalding himself in hot coffee. He continues to shake and dance, but soon passes out. Hogan quickly rushes over and covers Warrior and slaps the floor three times. He then celebrates as if he has just won a championship.
Hogan: Did you see that? I beat Warrior, brother! No longer 1-1. 2-1 now!
I did not pay attention to Hogan. My concern was for Warrior. I dialed 911 and an ambulance quickly arrived to assist. Hogan continued his celebration as Warrior was stretchered out of the hotel. Confetti began to fall on Hogan. I couldn’t believe that he had me get confetti to celebrate some sort of win. I didn’t care. What appeared to be a great opportunity to resolve the conflict between two great icons of professional wrestling now seemed lost.
Luckily Warrior was in and out of the hospital. He was very anxious to once again meet and hammer things out. Now that Hogan had another “victory” over Warrior, he too was willing to meet again. However, I cannot say the same thing for my assistant. I kept him anonymous by his wishes. He quit right away. In order to continue to the mediation, I wanted to get a new assistant. I also needed to schedule another meeting with Hogan and Warrior, which I was able to do. Please check back next week with part two.
Note: Before anyone sends emails or leaves comments, this is a parody column people.