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  March 12, 1999

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Back to Hogan's darker days
By CHRIS SCHRAMM -- For SLAM! Wrestling

It seemed like a glorious day for Hulk Hogan. July 17, 1994. It was his first match with the Atlanta-based World Championship Wrestling, and that day he won the WCW World title from Ric Flair in Orlando, FL. He was taking a break from his new television series, "Thunder in Paradise." He had brought back the magic that was "Hulkamania." It seemed like the best day of his life.

The week before was Hogan was not as glorious, though. He started the week off by promoting his new show, "Thunder in Paradise," and his match with Flair on "The Tonight Show" and "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." But on July 14, Hogan had to testify in a a Uniondale, NY, court against his former boss, Vince McMahon.

He stepped up to the bench for over two hours as questions were given concerning the prosecution of Vince McMahon, the head of the World Wrestling Federation. Hogan still claimed McMahon as a friend, but also knew that he had to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Former WWF employees had stepped in before Hogan to tell their story about the the charges of steroid distribution on McMahon. Ultimate Warrior, Tom Zenk, Nailz and Tully Blanchard were among those who came to tell their side of the story.

Hogan was the last wrestler called to the stand, and it was immediately asked, 'Had McMahon ever tell you to take steroids?'

Hogan had answered questions about the trial a few years earlier on an episode of "The Arsenio Hall Show." He had told Hall and the audience watching that he had taken steroids only a few times within his lifespan.

Testifying under immunity from prosecution, Hogan was asked whether McMahon had advised him or anyone to take steroids. Hogan answered with a no, but he also told the jury that he was a user of the drug from 1976 to 1989. Hogan also stated that he picked steroids up at the WWF headquarters with his cheque. He added that he paid for the steroids with his own money.

According to Hogan, he and McMahon had shared steroids in the past, including a number of times in 1988 when filming the movie, "No Holds Barred."

He also stated that some 80% of the employees of the WWF used steroids when Hogan did, and that he used steroids to get an "edge over other."

McMahon was later questioned about the testimony of Hogan at a press conference. He stated, "I don't feel bad when anyone tells the truth. However, it feels bad when someone you worked with takes the stand and does not tell the whole truth and all of the truth. That hurt me very badly."

McMahon was found not guilty on all charges, and the WWF sighed a collective sigh of relief. Hogan's testimony was not enough to sway the jury that McMahon had been guilty of steroid distribution. Hogan had his new WCW World title to worry about while McMahon went back to worrying about his organization.

More on Hulk Hogan

Chris Schramm is from Lawrence, Kansas. He's written other excellent historical columns for us, including:
  • Feb. 3: The legacy of Giant Baba
  • Nov. 19: The origins of today's WCW-WWF war
  • Oct. 5: Twenty-eight years was the reign

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