Vince McMahon was responsible for the upbringing of numerous industry-changing stars during his WWE tenure. Modern fans know two of those top guys as Roman Reigns and John Cena, while Attitude Era viewers point to The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Before any of those aforementioned names became the face of the company, McMahon put the World Wrestling Federation in one man's hands: Hulk Hogan.
After stints in New Japan Pro Wrestling and the American Wrestling Association, Hogan joined the WWF full-time in 1983 following McMahon's purchase of the company from his father. Hogan was pencilled in as the WWF's main attraction and was subsequently pushed to the moon. The Hulkster collected five world titles, won consecutive Royal Rumbles, and main-evented multiple WrestleManias before departing for World Championship Wrestling.
While Hogan enjoyed monumental success in the WWF, it was not always sunshine and rainbows between him and his boss. Executive Director of Raw and SmackDown Bruce Prichard, who worked closely with McMahon for decades, described his relationship with Hogan as "love-hate."
"It was a love-hate relationship. It was a father-son; it was a brother relationship. I do think they were close as a family," Prichard said on Something To Wrestle (h/t Sportskeeda). "So that probably added to the tension between Hulk and Vince. But Vince was always the boss, and Hulk was always the favorite son. So, it was, you know, people argue, would Vince have been as successful without Hulk? Would Hulk have been as successful without Vince?"
Whatever tensions might have existed backstage between the two were aired out inside the squared circle at WWE WrestleMania XIX in 2003, when Hogan and McMahon squared off in a street fight. Despite the boss vs. disgruntled employee storyline already being played out in McMahon's long-running feud with Austin, Prichard noted that Hogan was big on executing the storyline in that format.
"I think it was everyone's idea. I know Hulk really wanted to do that. I know the team really wanted to do it," Prichard revealed. "That was just, that's one of those, laying on the floor waiting for someone to pick it up. Yes, Vince didn't think it would be the same with Hogan. To me, I thought it would be even more with Hogan because there was much material to work with. Who made who?"
McMahon has since retired from his corporate positions in WWE in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations, while Hogan has not appeared on WWE TV since WWE WrestleMania 37 when he co-hosted that event with Titus O'Neil.