I've been a wrestling fan my entire life. Well, almost as far back as I can remember anyway. I was 6 years old when I saw my first match - it was Hulk Hogan defending the World Wrestling Federation Championship against The Ultimate Warrior in front of almost 70,000 screaming fans in Toronto's SkyDome. From that moment on, I was hooked. Fast forward 20 years and I recently finished an autobiography of sorts completed by one of the two competitors, the immortal Hulk Hogan.
In "My Life Outside The Ring", Hogan takes you on a very broad journey through his life from his early years to the recent events of his son's jail time and the divorce from his wife, Linda. While there's a lot of information to be found here, Hogan seems to paint his personal life in a way that does not make you envy him, despite the amount of fame and fortune the man has garnered in his 30+ year career. His marriage with Linda is told as if it was a journey through Hell. Hogan admits that he still loves his wife Linda - that there were still some good times to be found if you dug deep enough in their relationship, however, it just doesn't seem to be there.
While I did enjoy some of this book - I just was not prepared for the amount of time he spent on his marriage. With a book titled "My Life Outside The Ring", I should've seen that coming (his WCW career spans a total of 3 pages). I guess I should go back and read his WWE produced book from a few years earlier if that's what I'm looking for (although reviews of that particular edition are far from favorable).
Hogan does end the book in a positive light; as if he turned his life around. How could he not? The events that hit this man in a span of 2 years are just awful. While it comes across as inspiring, sometimes it's hard to take seriously. Hogan has so much mud slung his way over the course of his professional wrestling career; you often wonder which Hogan you're seeing in this book. Is it a fabricated version - or the real man himself? The wrestling industry is one that is notorious for lies, backstabbing and the philosophy of "putting yourself before others" - and you need to do that to stay at the top sometimes. It would not surprise me if some of this book is embellished.
That being said, I think that Hogan is mostly truthful here. What does he have to loose? The divorce is settled, he's no longer a "top dog" in any company and his active wrestling career is pretty much dead. The one thing I did not get an answer to - that I really wanted - is the story of the hatred between the man himself and Randy Savage. Apparently these two dislike each other on a massive scale although nothing has really been said other than the odd internet rumor.
Although I did like it - I'd be hesitant to recommend it to anyone just because of the lack of time spent on his career. By all means, read this if you're interested in his problematic marriage and family life, you'll get a decent story there - but if you're expecting anything substantial regarding is time spent as a professional wrestling, you're out of luck.