AS I SEE IT 6/2: Lowlives of wrestling

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

This week brings us the stories of two lowlives who happen to be associated with wrestling.

You know them both.

One was an announcer and online columnist...and was a legit sports commentator. The "was" is what qualifies him as a low-life.

The other is likely the best known wrestler in the United States, and I place an emphasis on "best-known", rather than "best".

Let's start with the first lowlife. His name is Mark Madden.

Wrestling fans know him as an opinionated announcer on WCW, and previously as an writer for the Pro Wrestling Torch newsletetr and website. He's a good one, too.

In recent years, he's been a noted sports commentator and radio host for Pittsburgh's ESPN 1250. He's been described "to Pittsburgh sports radio what the Black Plague was to Europe in the late 1340s. But not as funny." Controversial though he might have been, though, he did his job and drew listeners and ratings.

Until May 20.

On May 20, he made a statement to open his PM drive time ESPN 1250 program that is far beyond anything as insensitive as Rush Limbaugh would have dared to say (out loud anyway):

"I'm very disappointed to hear that Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor...I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated. I wonder if he got a card from the Kopechnes."

On May 26, he was finally fired after being only initially suspended by the station, after this story made national headlines.

It's amazing that someone who is as smart as Madden could have been so stupid, insensitive, and partisan to wish someone dead.

Then there's Hulk Hogan.

The Hulkster warrants a column all to himself. If it's not his family self-destructing on reality TV, it's playing Svengali for his daughter's entertainment career, or a creepy picture recently showing him rubbing suntan lotion on the same daughter, or going through a divorce with longtime wife Linda, which has been spread all over too many wrestling websites.

Hogan's lowlife moment came when he and his son (soon to be inmate) Nick Bollea were caught trash talking car crash victim John Graziano, who is in a permanent vegetative state in a hospital as a result of an accident caused by Nick's habitual high-speed driving, and the accident that resulted in Bollea serving eight months in Pinellas County Jail. Hulk was caught saying that "God laid some heavy s%#t" on him because of 'things that he was into.'" Nick agrees, saying John was a "negative person."

The actual audio can be heard at this link.

Then, while in prison, Hogan and his son were also busy setting up a reality TV deal for the son after he gets out of jail....and suggesting it be done with Jason Hervey and Eric Bischoff. "We can call it 'the new Nick,'" Hulk responds, advising his son to use his jail time to come up with a name for a new money-making entertainment vehicle. Hogan even suggested to son "not to freak out" while in jail, assuting his son "I'll make you an owner [of the show] So let me get to working on that with Eric tonight. He's here, too. We can get that pulled off, too."

Can you believe this complete and utter crap? Is there any way at all that such a comment is defensible? For any reason at all?

Meanwhile, Hogan himself hosts American Gladiators and has another project on the CMT cable channel called "Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling". The bloom may be off the rose, as NBC already announced that Ameican Gladiators was being cut back to a one hour show.

If there's any justice, CMT realizes what a piece of crap Hogan is, and pull the plug on yet one more self-indulgent piece of Hogan pseudo-reality trash. Either that, or they risk being tagged as endorsing what is apparently his very real-life cruel attitude toward an Iraq war veteran who will require rehabilitative care for the remainder of his young life.

Until next time...

If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at


If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at