Hulk Hogan is one of the biggest names in professional wrestling history but all the fame and success wasn’t allowing “The Hulkster” to escape a low point in his life.
After a publicly scrutinized and financially draining divorce from ex-wife Linda, his son Nick Bollea being involved in a car wreck that paralyzed a close friend, and an uncertain future in pro wrestling, Hogan was admittedly in a bad place. However, former professional boxer and daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali, recently spoke to The Tomorrow Show with Keven Undergaro and recalled her life-saving conversation with Hogan.
“I was at home in my kitchen and I got a call from Shaun Robinson and she was like, ‘I just heard you saved Hulk Hogan!’ I didn’t know what she was talking about and she told me what happened and I said, ‘well he didn’t tell me,'” Ali said. “She said he publicly said that I called him at a time when he was getting ready to commit suicide.”
Hogan, 63, has spoken in-depth about his issues and just how close he came to ending it all. Hogan told TODAY in 2009 that he was using a volatile mixture of rum and Xanax and claimed he had put a gun to his head. While doing that, Hogan says he was “thinking about how little force it would take to pull the trigger and end it all.”
But then he received that call.
“All of a sudden the phone rang, and it was Laila, and she said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? You’re on the set. You’re all depressed. We’re worried about you. You going to be OK?'” Hogan said. “She called with no agenda, just to say hi and check on me. It snapped me out of it. At that moment I switched gears. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Her voice saved my life, it really did.”
Not only did it save his life, Hogan became a more religious person because of the experience. The estranged WWE legend — fired from the company in July 2015 after tapes of him making racist remarks were leaked — started going to church upon a recommendation from Ali.
“I did call him because we were hosting a show together and I did refer him to my church at the time, Agape, with Rev. Michael Beckwith, who was on The Secret,” she said. “He ended up going to the church and really taking a liking to it. But he didn’t tell me on the phone that he was about to do that, so I didn’t know.”
Despite the profound impact Ali is said to have had on Hogan’s life, she knew nothing about — mostly because Hogan never communicated it to her. Hogan talks about this time of his life in his book, My Life Outside the Ring, but Ali says she has not spoken to him since. However, a mutual love and respect remain between the two stemming from the entire experience.
“I haven’t talked to him since so I’m like, ‘wow, I saved your life and you don’t even call me!” Ali said. “I haven’t talked to him since that whole story broke. We didn’t have a big relationship, but I’m saying if you’re going to say it publicly you should’ve maybe said something to me because I had no idea he was about to say anything. But it’s not a big deal, what can I say? I can’t say much, I’m glad I saved his life. Love you Hulk!”
There have been rumblings that Hogan could be on his way back to WWE, but if it weren’t for Ali, the former six-time WWE champion would’ve never returned to WWE in 2014, to begin with.
[Image by WWE]