Hulk Hogan told The Sun in the U.K. that he and former WCW boss Eric Bischoff are just days away from launching a wrestling company and signing a deal "with one of the TV networks here in America."

"Once we've wrapped the TV up we'll make the official announcement," Hogan told the newspaper. "The network want to make a really big deal of it."

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Hogan certainly sounds confident that the deal will get done, and there is evidence to suggest that he isn't bluffing. Still, you have to take much of what Hogan says with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to this subject.

Hogan has talked several times in the past decade about starting his own wrestling company, but nothing ever came of it, and wrestling pundits speculated that he only made the claims to get Vince McMahon to bring him back to WWE.

I asked Hogan anout the possibility of him owning a wrestling company in an interview I did with him for WCW Magazine in 2000. "That's been thought of," he said at the time. "But I don't think I would take all the money I've made and put it into this business, as competitive as it is right now." He indicated that he would be more willing at some point to join a start-up company with someone else providing the funding. In 2001-2002, Hogan was affiliated with the short-lived XWF before making his return to WWE.

While it would be easy to write off Hogan's pronouncement as just another ploy designed to cut a deal with McMahon for a spot at WrestleMania, there does seem to be more to it than that.

As part of the ongoing coverage of Hogan's divorce, it was reported last month that Linda Hogan had accused Hulk of taking a large sum of money and placing it in a Limited Liability Company that only Bischoff had access to. And The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer said on his Web site today that Linda Hogan had told him before the divorce that Hogan and Bischoff would be starting a wrestling company that would do overseas tours with Hogan as the star. According to Meltzer, Hogan and Bischoff have talked for more than a year about starting a company, and have contacted many former WWE and WCW stars.

The problem is that almost all of the top stars are under contract to WWE, TNA or Ring of Honor. "There are a lot of unhappy campers in the WWE and there are also a new breed of wrestlers that Vince McMahon hasn't explored yet, that we have," Hogan told The Sun (U.K.). "And I'm in better shape than I have been for about 10 years."

An event last April at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., that Hogan headlined with Paul Wight (The Big Show), included wrestlers such as Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine, Buff Bagwell, The Barbarian, Mr. Hughes, Brian Christopher and Kid Kash, and reportedly drew an estimated crowd of 6,000 in an arena that has a 20,000-seat capacity.

Whether another American wrestling company besides WWE can be profitable remains to be seen, but if Hogan and Bischoff have network backing, they could make a go of it. One thing that is certain is that Hogan is a good businessman, and he wouldn't enter into any deal that wasn't a good one for him.

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