The ’80s were a decade of big hair and big personalities. One iconic athlete of the ’80s was a man named Hulk Hogan. One of the most popular wrestlers of all time, Hogan is also remembered for some major scandals in and out of the ring. Here are some facts and scandals associated with “The Hulkster.”
Hogan Was Inspired By the American Dream
In honesty, most wrestlers were inspired by someone they saw on television. Hogan has gone on record saying that when he was a teenager, he looked to Dusty Rhodes, aka “The American Dream” has a source of inspiration. Now Hogan is known as one of the most inspiring wrestlers of all time, telling young up-and-comers to realize their dreams.
Hogan is a College Drop-Out
Hulk Hogan majored in Business Management back in the 70’s while attending the University of South Florida. Hogan found that music was more suitable for him and so he dropped out of college and joined a band. The name of the band that he was a part of was called Ruckus, and they were actually a pretty well-known band in the Tampa Area in the 70s.
Hulk Hogan and the Make-A-Wish Foundation
When it comes to the Make-A-Wish foundation, Hulk Hogan is one of the most requested stars available. The foundation is known for working with children with terminal illnesses to make one of their dreams a reality. Hogan has worked with them on nine different occasions since the foundation kept a record, believing that number would be doubled if they kept records before 1986. Go Hogan!
Hulk Hogan Lived Right by the Big Boss Vince McMahon for Years
Would you like to live near your boss? Hulk Hogan did for many years. Hogan was the next door neighbor of Vince McMahon, the CEO of the WWE in Stamford, Connecticut. McMahon and Hogan hung out together riding motorcycles and even working out together. Although it may sound weird to be neighbors with your boss, it looks like it worked out just fine for Hulk Hogan.
Randy Savage Tells Hogan to “Be A Man”
Wrestler Randy Poffo, known as “Randy Savage”, or “Macho Man” appeared in the WWF (now known as the WWE) in the ’80s and ’90s, where he was revered as one of the greatest performers to ever step into the ring. Hogan and Savage were friends but had somewhat of a rocky relationship. Savage suspected Hogan of cheating on his then-wife Miss Elizabeth, and their friendship went downhill from there. In 2003, Savage performed a diss track called “Be a Man” after Hogan refused to have a charity wrestling match with Savage in which the money from the match was going to be given to a children’s hospital.
Hulk Hogan Was a “Super Destroyer”
Hulk Hogan had several names before he became “Hulk Hogan”. Some wrestlers change their names in order to try to win over the fans or to keep up with the times and trends. Other times, It’s because they haven’t found their wrestling identity yet. Hogan’s first ring name that he used was “The Super Destroyer,” which seems fitting because of his size. The Hulk went through several other names including “Terry the Boulder” and “Sterling Golden.” We’re happy he stopped at Hulk Hohan.
Thunderlips Started Hogan’s Hollywood Appeal
The first movie that Hulk Hogan ever appeared in was Rocky III. Hogan appeared as the supporting character named Thunderlips. However, Vince James McMahon did not want Hogan to appear in the movie and thought Hollywood should have nothing to do with wrestling. Yet, in the end, saw this as an opportunity to introduce a wrestler to the cinema world and he was right.
Richard Belzer Asked for It and Passed Out
In 1985, talk show host Richard Belzer had Hulk Hogan on his show Hot Properties. Hogan was on the show with another ’80s icon Mr. T in order to promote the first Wrestlemania. Belzer asked Hogan to perform a wrestling move on him (big mistake). Still new to fame, Hogan obliged and put the talk show host in a front chin lock. Hogan held him in the move and Belzer fainted. Belzer later sued Hogan for $5 million and ended up receiving $400,000 in a settlement.
Hogan Wears Red Underwear for Good Luck
Many people have trinkets that give them a feeling of protection and luck. While a lucky rabbit’s foot or necklace is more common, Hulk Hogan’s luck comes from wearing red underwear. Hogan survived two plane crashes wearing red underwear and trusts that they will keep him safe and bring him good luck. If I survived two plane crashes not even wearing any clothes, I’d probably never wear clothes again. Smart thinking Hogan.
Hulk Hogan Gets Removed from All Things WWE
Due to the Heather Clem tape and its aftermath, which featured Hogan saying some racially insensitive comments to her, Hogan was removed from everything related to the WWE. He was released from his WWE contract in 2015 and the organization made it a point to remove him entirely from their history. However, there have been talks of Hulk Hogan appearing at next year’s Wrestlemania, which might be another chance for the icon to work with the WWE.
Hogan Almost Ended Up Playing Mr. Freeze
In the movie classic 1997 film, Batman and Robin, Hulk Hogan was one of the people who was sought out to play the role of the villain Mr. Freeze. The Mr. Freeze suit weighed 75 pounds, requiring a big strong guy to play the role. Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up getting the part. If there was a decision between those two to play the part, it’s any man’s game.
The Hulkster Could Have Probably Been a Baseball Player
Back when he was known as Terry Bollea, Hogan was believed to be the best amateur pitcher in the entirety of the state of Florida when he was playing baseball as a teenager. He was even scouted by the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees which isn’t an everyday thing. Unfortunately, Terry suffered an injury in baseball and decided not to pursue it any further. I think he would have been a little too big to play anyway.
Hogan Was Big Even When He Was Young
Hogan experienced a huge growth spurt at a young age, but no one could foresee the towering height he would reach as an adult. In the 70s Hogan was 6’7″ and weighed 295 pounds. His biceps alone spanned 24 inches. Surprisingly, he’s still around the same size today. That’s a lot of weight to keep on for that many years without really doing anything with it.
Hogan Tried The 9 to 5 Life
At one point, Hulk Hogan was hired as a full-time bank teller before entering the ring. With a stature as big as his personality, this was not the ideal job for him. Hogan said he quit this job after two days. Can you blame him? His energy and personality do not match up with those of a bank teller. I’d be intimidated to go to the bank with him behind the counter!
Hogan Is the Only Wrestler to Appear on the Cover of Sports Illustrator
Professional wrestling has its share of magazines. However those are mostly strictly wrestling magazines, so it’s extremely rare to see a wrestler featured on the cover of a mainstream sports magazine, let alone Sports Illustrated. As it turns out, Hulk Hogan was the only wrestler ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Of course in 1985 when he was, he wore his “Hulkster” headband.
Hogan Saved His Boss Vince McMahon in 1994
In the early 90s, the WWE had its share of hard times. The federal government came after Vince McMahon after a steroid scandal in the WWE surfaced. In 1994, Hulk Hogan was immune from prosecution because he cooperated with the government, backed up Vince Mahone. He said that the WWE CEO Vince McMahon never told him to take performance enhancing drugs, which saved McMahon from serving prison time.
The Hulk Hogan Grill That Almost Happened
You may recall the George Forman Grill, with all of those infomercials featuring George Forman talking about his new and improved grill. Well, Hulk Hogan was originally approached to be the pitchman for the grill. Unfortunately, he missed a call from his agent when he was picking up his kids. Although it would have cool to have a Hulk Hogan grill, George Foreman did just fine.
The Hulkster Found Out His Wife Filed for Divorce from a Reporter
Hulk Hogan and Linda Bollea had some hard times during their marriage together. In 2007, Linda Bollea filed for divorce. Hogan was approached by a reporter with the St. Petersburg Times and was asked about the divorce. Having been the first time he heard about it, Hogan replied, “Thanks for the great information.” Hogan also told the reporter, “I’m kind of shocked. You caught me off-guard. My wife has been in California for about three weeks. … Holy smokes.”
Bob Backlund Refused to Drop the Strap to Hogan
Bob Backlund is a former WWE champion. During his first run for the title, he was told by Vince McMahon (Vince Kennedy McMahon’s father) to “drop the strap” (give the belt) to Hulk Hogan. Backlund refused because he said Hogan did not have a “legitimate wrestling background.” Backlund was a star athlete in high school and in college. He lost his belt to the Iron Sheik, and in turn, the Iron Sheik lost the strap to Hulk Hogan. This marked the official beginning of Hogan’s reign as WWF champion in 1984 and thus Hulkamania!
Hogan Sues Laser Spine Institute for a Whopping $50 Million
Suffering from injuries is unfortunately, a major part of life in professional wrestling. These injuries stack up over the years, and many wrestlers end up using wheelchairs and having problems later on in life. Hogan too has had his fair share of injuries from the sport, and in 2013, Hulk Hogan sued the Laser Spine Institute for $50 million after going down in height, from 6’8” to 6’4” because of so many procedures on his spine.
Hogan’s First Time Training Was Almost His Last
There are many famous trainers in the wrestling world: Eddie Sharkey, Shawn Michaels, Verne Gagne, Stu Hart, the list goes on and on. One of these trainers was a man by the name of Hiro Matsuda (July 22, 1937 – November 27, 1999). On Hogan’s first day of training, Matsuda purposefully broke Hogan’s leg. This did not deter Hogan as he returned to the gym months later and again had Matsuda as his trainer. The master trainer reasoned that rough training was to “protect the business” so that someone who quit would not say that wrestling is “fake.” Wow.
Hogan Has Certainly Slimed Down Over the Years
The sport of professional wrestling is one of the hardest sports for any athlete. Wrestlers incur major injuries and most end up disabled later in life. Due to numerous injuries suffered throughout the years, including a spinal cord injury, torn knee cap, injured back and an injured hip, Hogan has lost an enormous amount of weight and muscle mass. Although fans could tell he’s slimmed down, announcers still introduced Hogan at 300+ pounds. As mentioned, the wrestler also decreased in height by 4 inches after multiple spinal surgeries.
Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan: Former Friends, Bitter Enemies
There has been speculation amongst wrestlers and fans alike about the relationship between Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan. Some people, such as managing legend Bobby Heenan, claimed that Ventura had always wanted to wrestle Hulk Hogan. The truth of this matter is that Hogan and Ventura were friends at one time. Ventura wanted to form a union for wrestlers, and once hearing about it, Hogan took this information to McMahon. Ventura has been bitter about it ever since.
Hogan’s Son Charged with Reckless Driving
Hulk Hogan’s son Nick Bollea was arrested back in the summer of 2007 for reckless driving. Bollea and his friend John Graziano got drunk and decided to race Bollea’s car. Graziano did not fasten his seatbelt, and after losing control on the wet road Bollea’s car crashed into a tree. Graziano ended up with serious injuries, resulting in brain damage and two years of hospitalization.
Why Is He Called “The Immortal Hulk Hogan”?
For many years, Hulk Hogan was known as “The Immortal Hulk Hogan.” So why was he immortal? Hulk Hogan was known for what was called “no selling” in wrestling. No selling means that a wrestler does not respond to a wrestler’s offense, thus not being affected by it. When a wrestler would use their finishing maneuver on Hulk Hogan, Hogan would lie in the ring as if he were hurt. He would then rise as if he were ”immortal” and make a comeback on his opponent and win the match.
Hogan Had Legal Issues with Marvel Comics
What does Hulk Hogan have to do with Marvel Comics? Unknown to many, there has been a long ongoing fight with Marvel Comics and Hulk Hogan. For starters, “The Hulk” is an iconic comic book character created by Marvel Comics sometime in the 60s. Hogan started using the Hulk name in the 70s. Marvel says that Hogan using the name “Hulk” infringes on their rights. The WWE licensed the name “Hulk” in 1985 but it expired in 2004.
Hulk Hogan and the Metallica Connection
Before Terry Bolleta became Hulk Hogan, he was a musician. He was a part of a Tampa-based band called Ruckus, shredding on the guitar. Hogan claimed that Lars Ulrich, drummer of the band Metallica, asked him to play bass for Metallica. Ulrich said that he does not know Hulk Hogan and does not remember ever meeting him. So, maybe it was a joke, or maybe Hogan really thought he was that good.
Laila Ali Saved Hulk Hogan’s Life
After the divorce between Linda Bollea and Hulk Hogan, the Hulkster went into depression. His wife got most of the assets and she started dating a 19-year-old. While sitting in his empty house on a drug binge, sadly Hogan contemplated suicide. Out of the blue, Laila Ali, professional boxer and daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali called and Hogan opened up to her. Laila intervened just in time and stopped Hogan from doing the unthinkable.
The Most Recognizable Wrestler of All Time
The WWE has been around since the early 50s. There have been several name changes along the way and it eventually became the WWF. Thanks to Vince McMahon making wrestling a commercial success, Hulk Hogan is the most recognizable name and figure in the history of wrestling. There probably isn’t anyone born before 2010 that doesn’t know who he is.
Parental Leave, WWE Style
Although it was not actually an earthquake, and Hogan didn’t actually get injured, this stunt helped Hogan take a break from wrestling. This is referred to as a “kayfabe” injury in which a wrestler is fake injured so they can no longer compete. The wrestler Earthquake put down Hogan from shows and story lines because his wife was nine months pregnant with his son Nick, so he needed time off.
Hulk Hogan was the First Most-Liked and Most-Hated Wrestler
Hulk Hogan became very well known as a “good guy” in wrestling and was named the most popular for many years, especially during the ’80s. He was the Most Popular Wrestler according to PWI in 1985, 1989, and 1991. In the mid-’90s he turned heel (became a bad guy) and became the Most Hated Wrestler in 1996 and 1998. Apparently, the wrestling community isn’t very loyal to their wrestlers.
How Did Hulk Become the Hulk?
Hogan appeared on a talk show with legendary bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. Hogan was taller and had more muscle than Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on the popular television series The Incredible Hulk. Hogan then adopted the name Terry “The Hulk” Boulder. A few years later, Vince McMahon wanted him to have an Irish last name, and so the name Hogan was born.
Hulk Hogan Takes the WCW to New Heights
World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was a wrestling promotion that was based in Georgia, was a competitor to the WWE in the ’80s and ’90s. Hogan was with the WWE in the ’80s, which was viewed by many as the better association. When Hogan jumped ship to WCW in 1994, he was instrumental in giving the wrestling promotion company the boost that it needed to beat the WWE in ratings.
The Fingerpoke of Doom
Have you ever gone to a show and expected one thing but got something entirely different? Hulk Hogan was part of a faction called the NWO in WCW and had a feud with a wrestler named Kevin Nash. People expected to see a match, but before the match started, Hogan pokes Nash, he falls, and Hogan wins the title. A lot of people were upset because they expecting to see a match. Many believed that this was the start of the fall of the WCW.
The Five Demandments of Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan had mainstream power, inspiring many children, teens, and adults back in the ’80s. He even went as far as to have five “demandments,” as opposed to ten commandments, I guess. These “demandments” were 1. Train 2. Say your prayers. 3. Eat your vitamins. 4. Believe in yourself and 5. Believe in Hulk Hogan. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to live like Hulk.
Brad Garrett Became the Hulkster in 1985
You may or may not recall that Hulk Hogan appeared in a cartoon called Hulk Hogan’s Rock N’ Wrestling back in 1985. With Hogan as one of the top stars of the WWE at the time, it seemed like a good idea to do. Actor Brad Garrett as the voice of the Hulkster in the cartoon series, and if you look closely, you’ll notice Hogan has a full head of hair in the cartoon. Not so much in real life.
The Slam Heard Around the World
Wrestlemania is like the Superbowl of professional wrestling in the WWE. The tradition began in 1985 and it has grown ever. Perhaps the most successful Wrestlemania of all was Wrestlemania III, which included the main event of Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. In reality, this was Andre the Giant’s last go around because his health was failing. Hogan slammed the 530 pound Andre the Giant in the Pontiac Silverdome which boosted this popularity.
The Rock and Wrestling Connection Started it All
Vince McMahon brought wrestling into mainstream society with the Rock and Wrestling connection. McMahon drew in some major names of the ’80s such as Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T into the world of professional world of the sport. Hulk Hogan played a very big part of bringing wrestling to the forefront with Wrestlemania I, and continued to do so throughout his career.
Hulk Hogan and the Gawker Trial
In April 2012, Gawker media leaked video footage of a questionable tape of Hulk Hogan in bed with Heather Clem, the estranged wife of his friend Bubba the Love Sponge. In October of 2012, Hulk Hogan filed a lawsuit Gawker media, publisher of the Gawker website, and Gawker-affiliates. He claimed that the leaked footage was an invasion of privacy among other things.
Hulk Goes to Court
The case was taken to court, where Heather Clem cried, explaining that her husband encouraged her to have sex with Hogan, but she didn’t know he had filmed it. When they divorced in 2012, she asked that the tape be destroyed. Obviously it didn’t, and was leaked. On November 2, 2016 Gawker and Hogan settled for $31 million.