Press junkets tend to be boring affairs. But every once in a while, the mass interview mechanism does deliver funny and revealing tidbits about our biggest stars. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson sat down with the film critic Kevin McCarthy on the Jumanji set. McCarthy apparently loved the original film enough that he brought his Jumanji ticket stub from 1995. (Who knew there were real Jumanji heads out there?) Johnson was impressed that “his friend” McCarthy and it spurred Johnson to tell a story of his own fandom over Hulk Hogan.
This is an amazing story!
When I interviewed @TheRock for JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, I brought him my original JUMANJI ticket from when I saw it in January of 1996.
I asked Johnson if ever collected anything special as a kid and he told me this amazing @HulkHogan story. pic.twitter.com/o3sDERNfGn
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) November 30, 2017
Here’s the transcript via Uproxx:
“When Hulk Hogan came into the WWF in 1983 or ’84, I can’t remember … And this was when getting ready to blow up. Vince McMahon said, ‘You’re going to be my guy, I’m giving you the ball. I’m giving you the baton, and I want you to go.’ Hulkamania running wild, right?
“Right there, right when he came in … he was wrestling at Madison Square Garden, and he had a white headband that said ‘HULKSTER.’ Do you remember that? He came in the ring, and I was at Madison Square Garden. I was sitting there front row with my mom, I was watching the matches. And he came out. And I’ll never forget, he was wrestling Paul Orndorff, Mr. Wonderful. And he takes the thing off, and he throws it to the crowd. And I caught it. And it was a big nerd-out moment. … It was amazing.
“My dad was wrestling on the card that night … I was so happy that I caught this thing from Hulk Hogan. I go in the back of the dressing room when the matches were over. I go to my dad and I said, ‘Look. I caught Hulk Hogan’s headband.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool. That’s awesome,’ you know”
‘Take it home.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay.’
“But then Hulk Hogan was right over there taking off his wrestling boots, getting ready to shower. And I’m like damn, I want to go over and just say hello to him. So I went over to him, and I was like, ‘Mr. Hogan … I caught your headband.’ And he goes, ‘Oh man! That was my last one! I didn’t want to throw it out! Thank you so much! … Thanks man!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. You’re welcome, Hulk.’ …
“He did [take it back], but he didn’t know how bad I wanted it. But here’s how cool Hulk Hogan was. Two or three weeks later, he had thousands [of headbands] made. Went to my dad, he goes, ‘Hey, I signed this for your son. He gave me my only one back, and I needed that one, as one to make a thousand other copies. Give this back. Give this to him.’
“And I have one of those. Isn’t that the coolest thing. So Hogan, if you’re watching, I appreciate it, brother. I still have it.”
The moral of the story here kids: Keeping pieces of paper for more than 20 years does incur some value, even if that value is just inspiring wrestling stars/actors to tell wild stories about their idols.
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It’s also heartwarming to see The Rock reach out on social media to thank Hulk Hogan once again for the memory. Hogan even replied, saying he learned the gracious attitudes from Johnson’s fathers.
Check it out below.
Amazing vid below on two fronts.
#1. My good bud Kev here brings me his ORIGINAL movie ticket stub from #JUMANJI.
#2. Thank you to the “brother” @HulkHogan for being so cool to me when I was a 12yr old nerdy, awkward huge Hulkster fan backstage at Madison Square Garden. 🤙🏾 https://t.co/xkQ4mDXfAu
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 30, 2017
Yo Rock, your dad took care of me so that is just how I was taught to treat people, my brother. Only love HH https://t.co/vDdmrdlzSV
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) November 30, 2017