Hogan interviews Stallone

In WWE.com's new feature Superstar to Superstar, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan takes a few minutes to interview old friend and former Rocky III co-star, Sylvester Stallone. Sly's new movie, Rocky Balboa, is in theaters now. Below is a transcription of their insightful, and sometimes downright comical, conversation.

Hulk Hogan: The greatest of all time, Sylvester Stallone is here. He's my boy, he's my friend. He helped me in the beginning of my career. I have a couple questions for Sly. Are you ready?

Sylvester Stallone: I'm ready.

Hogan: Okay. WWE Superstars like me are always getting injured in the ring. As an action star -- the greatest action star of all time -- what is the worst injury you've ever suffered in front of the camera?

Sly: Off-camera was when I got into a bench-pressing contest with Franco Columbu in 1979-1980, who happened to be pound-for-pound the strongest bodybuilder at the time, which is really stupid. I ended up getting like 160 stitches tearing the pec of the bone there. That was really traumatic. Truthfully, the hardest I was ever hit was actually by you, Hulk Hogan. We didn't put it in the movie (Rocky III) because I was so traumatized. It was where you threw me into a corner and you leapt up, and you were really, really light on your feet that day, for 310 pounds. You went up and caught me with your shin, believe it or not, on my collarbone. I collapsed to the ground. I'll never forget, I was laying there and I was thinking, "I don't want to look. I don't want to look because that bone is sticking through my flesh and it's over. Here's the end of the movie." So that was the worst actual impact I ever had that was instantaneous, spontaneous, eruptive, absolutely mind-boggling pain at that time. When people tell me, "Oh, wrestling isn't traumatic," I say, "Trust me. He was going easy on me and I couldn't see straight for three days."

Hogan: You know what? I remember that day. It was supposed to be a high knee.

Sly: It was a high knee. But literally, you went so high, I said, "Guys, he's so agile. He hit me with his shin on my collarbone. Does that kind of give you an idea of the altitude of his jump?"

Hogan: There you go. (Laughs.) Question: How come you didn't write Thunderlips into Rocky Balboa?

Sly: (Laughs.) Because Thunderlips actually has moved on, became kind of a producer of adult films.

Hogan: (Laughs.) Oh my gosh. Well, there's the answer to my next question, which is "Where is this character now?"

Sly: He became Thunderhips, is what happened.

Hogan: Thunderhips. Man, that sounds like a good idea. Just as long as Thunderhips isn't hanging out with Mickey (Goldmill) and Apollo Creed I think I'm okay.

Sly: For sure.

Hogan: Word is that you're talking about another Rambo movie.

Sly: Right. Well, what I wanted to do, Hulk, is this… Just like with this film, which I'm really happy about, we look at the side of the athlete and we see the downside and we also see the fire that burns in his gut, that need to be representative in life and not just watch the parade go by. Rambo is a different situation. Now after Vietnam, like many thousands of vets, they're still traumatized. They feel as though they've been betrayed by America. They walk around alone, and they walk around not disoriented, but feeling disenfranchised from the country they lost their friends and a lot of their blood for. So, somehow even though this is going to be filled with a great deal of action, it has to really work on the psyche, too. And I'm going to figure, how do I get Rambo back into a belief "it's going to be okay," that he comes full circle and he comes back and accepts America and after a great action film that comes before that.

Hogan: That sounds great, man. Maybe you can give the Hulkster another exclusive when you get ready to rock 'n' roll with this one.

Sly: You better believe it. Anytime!

Hogan: All right, brother. When it comes to headlocks and legdrops, Hogan knows best. But when it comes to Hollywood studios, tell us what Stallone knows best.

Sly: Well, every time I go off the formula that's worked for me, it's been a disaster. What I think I know best is what beats in the heart of the everyday man, because that's where I come from. Sticking to that formula, that realizing that we're all underdogs, and life is always going to deal you a heavy body blow. It's how you roll with that punch determines how your life goes -- up or down. That's pretty much what I know, but not pretty much what is in fashion with Hollywood right now.

Hogan: Sounds great. This is the last question. I hate this question probably more than any other question because I'm asked it all the time. So they have asked me to ask you this question.

Sly: You got it.

Hogan: Some of the losers -- you know, the guys we've beaten -- say I'm definitely too old to be in the ring. So what do you tell people who say you're too old to be making another Rocky or another Rambo movie?

Sly: Well, I think everyday consensus, the theory is I probably am too old in common sense. But what they don't realize is that athletes, such as ourselves, and many other people, have uncommon sense. They have this ability to say, yes, what I don't have in skill right now, I make up in will, and I make up in knowledge, I make up in professionalism, and I get it. I know how to take my weaknesses and deemphasize them and kind of emphasize my attributes. The most important thing is you know in your heart what you're capable of doing and no one can tell you when to lie down. You'll know when to pull the plug, and until then, I don't think anyone has the right to tell you to go away. I think what's happening here, Hulkster, is this: There's a new athlete. Our generation, the baby-boomer generation, and the ones just after the baby-boomer generation, are different than the generations that came before. I believe that there's going to be incredible new games made, records set by athletes, older athletes than ever before. There's a different mindset. The therapies are different. The supplements are different. It's just a different world, so we're just a little ahead of the curve right now. We're kind of like showing to other people that, "You know what? What the body can achieve and the mind can conceive, and what the mind can conceive the body can achieve." It's a give and take, and we're not about ready to go away until we're ready to say goodbye.

Hogan: I tell you, I saw you at the stunt man awards show, and I saw the trailer for Rocky Balboa. You definitely look awesome. You look ten times better than any of the young guys I wrestle in the ring.

Sly: (Laughs.)

Hogan: Keep doing it, brother. Thank you so much for your time. I wish you all the best with your movie and everything else. Keep it going, brother. You're the man.

Sly: Thank you very much. You set an example. People ask me who is the best fighter I've ever worked with. Without a doubt, "Hulk Hogan was the most professional, the strongest, and by far, the most gifted fighter I've ever worked with, and he is considered a wrestler. So don't ever undermine the abilities of wrestlers. They're some of the finest athletes on the planet."

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