“Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on YOU?” That phrase is synonymous with one of the most well-known athletes in not only the wrestling world, but also in the sports world, the Immortal Hulk Hogan. For over three decades, Hogan has dazzled and entertained the sports entertainment world and has become an icon and legend in the industry. From his earth-shaking body-slam of the late, great Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III to his epic encounter with The Rock at Wrestlemania X8, Hogan captured the hearts of millions of WWE fans. But it didn’t stop there. Who could forget his days as a part of WCW, as the leader of the NWO, and the new “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan persona? Hogan has undoubtedly done it all in professional wrestling, leaving a trail of ripped t-shirts behind.
Hogan had three Demandments that he believed everyone should live by; train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins. Those three rules had a fourth, which was probably the most important of the Demandments, “believe in yourself.” It was those values that Hogan chose to live by, coupled with his infectious and energetic personality that caused many to look up to him as a true American Hero.
Hogan’s list of accomplishments include being an 8-time WCW Heavyweight Champion, a 5-time WWE Champion, WWE Undisputed Champion (WWF and WCW Titles), and also holding the Heavyweight Championships in the NWA, AWA, and IWGP. Hogan was also a 2-time winner of the WWE Royal Rumble (1990 and 1991). Hulk Hogan was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
While his professional career has been well documented, there are some facts and events that have occurred that you may not have known about the Hulkster. Here is a list of 10 interesting and strange facts about the life and career of The Immortal Hulk Hogan, aka The Hulkster, aka Hulkamania, aka Hollywood Hulk Hogan, aka..well you get it. Here goes!
10. His Rap War with the Macho Man
It is clear to everyone that the Macho Man Randy Savage was awesome, or crazy depending on how you look at things. He was known for his eccentric interviews and wild attires, but the most insane thing he ever did was release a rap album. No, you’re reading this incorrectly. It is so rare, that you can buy it on eBay for $60, which is astronomical for a CD of this quality. There isn’t much more to say, other than to listen to the track that’s been linked. It’s a diss track on Hulk Hogan that is incredible. Enjoy.
9. Hogan’s 1st Big Break (Literally)
Early on, it was imminent that Terry Bollea had immense talent and the physical prowess that would make him a future superstar in sports entertainment. He was discovered by Jack and Jerry Brisco and often worked out in the brothers’ gym instead of focusing on his education. Once they recognized his talent, they called upon the legendary Hiro Matsuda to train the aspiring wrestler.
On his first day of training, Bollea was apparently asked by his trainer Matsuda, “So do you want to be a wrestler?” He obviously said yes and for his first lesson, his leg was purposely broken by Matsuda. OUCH! This was a test of the young Bollea’s toughness and commitment to the industry. It’s worth speculating on what would have been of Hogan if he had not received this lesson or even trained with Hiro Matsuda at all.
8. The Super Destroyer
Who was this you say? Well this was Hulk Hogan, before Hulk Hogan. Bollea didn’t just burst onto the professional wrestling scene as the Hulkamaniac that millions have come to know and love. He made his professional debut using the gimmick of a masked character “The Super Destroyer” on August 10, 1977 at an event in Florida.
Bollea wasn’t the first wrestler to wrestle under this character but I think it’s safe to say that he went on to be the most successful of all who used the gimmick. He also wrestled under the names of “Terry Boulder” and “Sterling Golden” early in his professional career. Hey, I mean we all have to start somewhere, right?
7. The Discovery and Birth of “Hulk Hogan”
After wrestling in small circuits on the East Coast for a couple of months, Bollea was discovered by then promoter and owner of the WWE, the legendary Vince McMahon Sr., in 1979. Looking at the physically impressive Bollea (6’7, 300+lbs), McMahon Sr. had a vision for Bollea’s character in the WWE that had to do with a massive, hot-headed green comic book character. What also aided the naming of Bollea for his WWE gimmick was the fact that he had appeared on a talk show with Lou Ferringno, who coincidentally was starring as “The Incredible Hulk” in a television series at the time. The actor acknowledged that Bollea was bigger than The Hulk himself. With that, McMahon suggested that Bollea’s WWE name be “Hulk Hogan.”
Hulk Hogan made his debut against what would undoubtedly be one of his fiercest rivals in Andre the Giant, in 1980.
6. Honey I Shrunk the…Hulk?
As I mentioned before, early in his career, many were impressed by the size of Hulk Hogan. He certainly towered over most, standing at 6 feet, 7 inches. That isn’t the case these days, however. Hogan is now listed at a modest 6 feet, 4 inches (modest especially when you consider his former 6’7 frame). Surely this has to be the case of the “Incredible Shrinking Hulk” right?
Hogan claims that the various surgeries and medical procedures he has gone through over the years is the cause of his now shorter frame. Hogan has had almost every part of his body worked on during his professional wrestling career. That’s a hell of a lot of procedures to take inches off of a man’s height. But it helped the longevity of Hogan’s career, and I’d take a shorter Hulk Hogan over no Hulk any day.
5. Lucky Underwear
For the majority of his wrestling career, the colors red and yellow were synonymous with the “Hulkamania” character. Red would prove to be a lifesaver to Hulk Hogan on more than one occasion. Hogan, who obviously has done a lot of traveling, has been involved in two plane crashes and ironically was wearing the same pair of red underwear during both crashes. To this day, Hogan will not board a plane without his lucky red underwear.
4. “I Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth…”
Like baseball of the modern day, the WWE faced steroid allegations in what would be known as “The Steroid Scandal.” In 1991, the WWE was investigated by the federal government involving alleged widespread steroid use by WWE superstars such as Hulk Hogan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Vince McMahon Jr. was alleged to have distributed them to his superstars. This scandal rose on the heels of the 1991 trial of Dr. George Zahorian who testified that he’d sold steroids to the above mentioned superstars and McMahon.
Hulk Hogan quite possibly was Vince McMahon’s savior during this scandal. Hogan would testify in court that he had in fact used steroids over a 12-year period to “get big,” but that he did so of his own volition. He went on to testify that Vince McMahon in no way supplied him with steroids or encouraged the use of steroids by his superstars. It is widely believed that the testimony of Hulk Hogan is what kept Vince McMahon out of jail with McMahon later being found not guilty.
3. Move Over Mr. Hendrix
Hogan has had many accolades over his professional career, and being a top-seller on a music chart is just another accomplishment under his belt. Hogan and a band called “The Wrestling Boot Band” released an album called “Hulk Rules” in 1995. The album was good enough (depending on who you ask and how old they were at the time) to make the top 10 on the Children’s Charts. Hulk played guitar on the album and has also been known to do a little singing.
I’m sure I can speak for many when I say I’m glad he stuck to the squared circle. (Side note: Hogan used the late, great Jimi Hendrix‘s “Voodoo Child” as an entrance theme for many years.)
2. Only The Hulk Can Lay Claim to…
Hulk Hogan was the first professional wrestler to grace the cover of the popular Sports Illustrated magazine. He appeared on the cover on April 29th, 1985. To this day, no other professional wrestler has ever been featured on the cover of the magazine. Like The Undertaker‘s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, this is something that only the Hulkster can lay claim to.
1. Hulkamania and….WrestleMania XXX?!?!
Where is the Hulkster now? Hulk Hogan has been off of the professional wrestling scene since October 3rd, 2013 when he quit TNA and was subsequently written out of TNA programming. There has been widespread speculation that Hogan could be one of the biggest names scheduled to appear at WWE’s biggest and most historic event, WrestleMania. The rumors of Hogan’s return have been confirmed and for those who can’t wait until April 6, he is scheduled make his return on the next episode of RAW on Monday February 24.