The world of professional wrestling is known for its larger-than-life characters and exciting, high-flying action, but behind the glitz and glamour, there are also stories of hardship and struggle. One such story is that of Hiro Matsuda, a legendary wrestling trainer who is perhaps best known for his role in breaking hulk hoganthe leg of
The story between Hiro Matsuda and Hogan
Hulk Hogan decided to pursue a career in wrestling despite being involved in a gang and attending college. To achieve this, he enrolled in Hiro Matsuda’s gym called “The Snake Pit” to train. According to Hogan’s book, hollywood hulk hogan, Matsuda had a strict six-day training schedule and was not pleasant on his one day off. However, in Matsuda’s book, The Hiro Matsuda Stories: Samurai Spirit, written after his death by his daughter, Stephanie Kojima, Matsuda had a different perspective. He claimed that he had only been wrestling part-time at the time and trained Hogan, Paul Orndorff and Brian Blair five mornings a week.
Matsuda believed that only a few students, roughly one in twenty, would persist with his rigorous training regimen. Despite this, he did not charge money to his students because he did not see his gym as a commercial enterprise. Matsuda vigorously trained his students because he believed that the demanding training regimen could potentially transform them into exceptional fighters. In his writing, Matsuda talked about Hogan’s group of fighters and provided more information about his training. “To make the determination, you have to go through the mill to develop stamina. Also, your mind has to be very strong. I gave those guys a great opportunity, not only the physical training but also the mental training. After four months intensive training, they passed my test. I started showing them wrestling moves in the ring.” And right at the start of his actual training, Hogan’s leg broke.
How and why Hiro Matsuda broke Hulk Hogan’s leg
Matsuda’s workout routine was so intense that it left Hogan feeling like his legs were made of rubber and he was about to pass out. It was common knowledge that Matsuda’s training involved thousands of push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. After the grueling workout, it was Hulk Hogan’s turn to start fighting. In his biography, the WWE Hall of Famer stated: “Before I knew it, Matsuda was sitting between my legs and putting his elbow in the middle of my shin. He then grabbed the tip of my toe and twisted my foot until crack! – my shin snapped at the bottom. half. The whole thing took about two seconds. I was hurt and confused. I didn’t know why Matsuda had done that to me. I had a lot to learn.”
According to Hogan, he felt that Matsuda’s rigorous training was necessary at a time when few had the opportunity to enter the sport of wrestling. Matsuda, like other trainers, acted as a gatekeeper to wrestling and selectively eliminated those he believed did not deserve to be in the industry. Hogan believed that, as someone without wrestling credentials, he needed to demonstrate his dedication to the sport by enduring grueling training. He felt that if he had been a former amateur wrestler, he would have been beaten up and exhausted. It is interesting to note that Matsuda did not address the incident for which he is now best known in his own autobiography. After his leg was in a cast for approximately ten weeks, Hogan did not give up his aspirations to become a wrestler, instead returning to Matsuda’s gym with a new look and attitude. He endured months of rigorous training, which he believed was necessary to succeed in the wrestling business.
What did Matsuda think of his student, Hulk Hogan?
While Matsuda did not mention the incident for which he is most famous, he did write about Hogan in his autobiography. He said, “His name was Terry Bollea when I met him. He played in a band in Tampa. He was a big, good-looking guy. He came to the wrestling office. He said he wanted to become a professional wrestler. I said, ‘I’ll give you the chance if you can keep up with me.’ He agreed: ‘Yes, I’ll keep up with you, Mr. Matsuda.’ He was one of my protégés and became America’s most famous wrestler.”
It seems Matsuda was proud of his student, and why wouldn’t he be? Wrestling became synonymous with his student, Hulk Hogan.