Can we all just close our eyes and pretend that Rocky V never happened? Because if ever there were a franchise-finisher to be remembered for staging the Italian Stallion's final bout, Rocky Balboa, due out Dec. 20, portends to be it. Having grown up with this film series, I cheered and I cried at a press screening last week, as the famed palooka-turned-pugilist entered the ring just one more, most memorable time.The Oscar-winning Rocky and its first follow-up were seminal films, even coining the term "a Rocky story" to sum up the tale of an underdog (in this case, a loan shark's sad-sack collection man) who overcomes the odds to achieve greatness a bid for both true love and the title. Rocky III, with the arrival of Mr. T's Clubber Lang, found Rocko facing his fiercest opponent yet as Burgess Meredith's Mickey reveals (in his raspy growl) that previous comers "wuz hand-picked!" and then dealing with the loss of the trainer he for so long held dear. Rocky IV, an ...
He has bested a giant, traded blows with Rocky and, just a few nights ago, lugged his 51-year-old form into the wrestling ring. But can Hulk Hogan put reality TV in a headlock as head of the house on VH1's Hogan Knows Best? Before the show's debut tonight at 10 pm/ET, TVGuide.com goes toe-to-toe with the grappler.
TVGuide.com: In 1987, you became the first man to beat Andre the Giant. What do remember most about that bout?
Hulk Hogan: Just that he weighed almost 700 lbs., and I had no idea what was going to happen. Andre could either be the nicest man in the world or the mean giant, and it was one of those nights where he was feeling his oats. Halfway through the match, he goes, "Body slam me!" I said, "What?! I can't!" But he scared me to death, so I just picked him up and did it.
TVGuide.com: How much credit for your success do you give to Sylvester Stallone, who cast you as Thunderlips in Rocky III?