Ever since he was fired from WWE last year for some controversial comments he made last year in a sex tape, Hulk Hogan has kept his appearances pretty low-key. It seems strange to put “low-key” and “Hulk Hogan” in the same sentence seeing how during the peak of his superstardom, his presence in the entertainment world was anything but low-key.
While at the height of his fame, the man was everywhere. Wrestling, movies, cartoons, television shows, you name it. Hulk Hogan was all over the place and quickly established himself as a recognizable figure in popular culture. The success he enjoyed in his earliest days is almost unparalleled to that of any other professional wrestler who got their start in the industry. Without a shadow of a doubt, Hulk Hogan is one of the greatest WWE exports to successfully transition into mainstream media and has been a pop culture icon for decades; long after he first hung up his boots. However, most success comes at a price. Controversy has followed Hulk Hogan for the entirety of his career. Many of the consequences of fame that Hogan has been subjected to were due to Hogan’s own rash decisions. Whether those decisions were related to his career in wrestling, movies, or business in general, many of Hogan’s misfortunes could’ve been avoided if he simply made better decisions. With that kind of baggage, there’s probably a lot of things that Hulk Hogan has done that he regrets. The following entries are just some of those things.
15. His “Silverdome” Flub
WrestleMania 30 was a historic WrestleMania littered with some of the most memorable moments to ever take place in the event’s history. Everyone will remember WrestleMania 30 as the night that the Undertaker‘s streak ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan had his miracle on Bourbon Street in the main event, and most importantly, Hulk Hogan forgot what building he was in. The show opened with Hogan coming to the ring and addressing an electric crowd on their feet. Everything was going well until he mistook the Silverdome he was in for the Superdome arena he wrestled in way back at WrestleMania 3. Not once, but twice did Hogan make the mistake. He apologized the second time, but by then, he was already receiving boos and “Silverdome” chants from the crowd. It didn’t help matters when Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock joined in to poke fun at Hogan. He would hear grief about his flub for the rest of the night.
14. Not Jobbing to HBK at SummerSlam
Two wrestlers who have always been infamous for having two of the biggest egos in the business are Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. As much as Michaels has been notorious for his backstage politics, no one could beat Hogan in that department. Those old politicking skills would come in handy in 2005 when these two legends were set to wrestle each other for the first time. It wasn’t supposed to be the last time. According to Michaels himself, the two were supposed to have a trilogy of matches. Hogan would win the first, Michaels would get his win back later, and then they’d have one last rubber match. Alas, at the last minute, Hogan backed out and told WWE officials his SummerSlam match would be his last one for a long time. Not liking the idea of Hogan beating him and leaving, Michaels dedicated the match to making a mockery of Hogan. He succeeded by overselling Hogan’s offense and flopping around like a fish. If Hogan put his ego aside for a few matches, maybe Michaels wouldn’t have been so dead-set on embarrassing the guy that night.
13. Jobbing to Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6
Hulk Hogan has caught a lot of grief over the years for not laying down and putting many wrestlers over during his career. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to blame Hogan for being so selective about who he’s putting over. Afterall, the first time he put over a wrestler in a big way was when he gave the late Ultimate Warrior a clean victory in the main event of WrestleMania 6. Sure, it’s as clean as a victory could be considering Hogan kicked out immediately after the 3 count, but the moment still solidified a major passing of the torch. Warrior was expected to become the new face of the company. Unfortunately, Hogan’s generosity would prove to be in vain. Warrior was a disappointing flop as WWF Champion. Attendance started to drop with him as champion, he wasn’t good enough of a talker to carry a company, and some of his final moments with the company included holding Vince McMahon up for money backstage at a Summerslam show. If Hogan knew what Warrior’s successful Mania moment would lead to, he would’ve had no problem politicking his way into another win as he usually does.
12. Fighting Macho Man Before WrestleMania 9
WrestleMania 9 has been much maligned as being one of the worst WrestleManias in the history of the spectacle; arguably the worst ever. One of the more appalling moments of the night came at the very end when Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, only for Hogan to steal everyone’s thunder by beating Yoko for the title just a couple minutes later. Apart from the scenario itself, what made the moment so bizarre was that fans were paying more attention to Hogan’s black eye. Hogan had been sporting the black eye all night, before he even stepped in the ring. Hogan claimed in the past that it was due to a jet ski accident days before, but a popular rumor that has been making rounds the past few years is that Macho Man Randy Savage accused Hogan backstage of sleeping with his wife, Elizabeth, and in a blind rage, blinded Hogan’s eye. If the latter is true, then Hogan probably wishes Savage picked a better time than right before the biggest show of the year to scuffle with him. That shiner overshadowed not only the main event of this WrestleMania, but also the entire presence of Hulk Hogan during this WrestleMania.
Hulk Hogan has never been the best investor there is. Of course, he’s made a lot of great investments in the past and has made profits from plenty of business endeavors. However, sometimes, an investment looks like it’s bound to lead to disaster from a mile away. If Hogan was a better investor, he would’ve seen in 1995 that opening a restaurant at the Mall of America called Pastamania was doomed to fail. Everyone loves pasta, just not Hulk Hogan’s pasta. It’s just like how everyone loves Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody until they watch their drunk dad sing it on karaoke night. As soon as people saw cheesy dish names like “Hulkaroni & Cheese” on the menu, they were immediately turned off of pasta. Hulk Hogan’s restaurant lasted a year before closing shop. Given that Hogan funded the restaurant himself, Hogan lost a lot of money that he wishes was still in his pockets.
10. Going to WCW
Hogan’s shocking heel turn and subsequent run as the leader of the nWo helped give WCW the ratings boost that the show needed to become the number one wrestling company in the world. However, all great things must come to an end and the end of WCW was a sloppy one. Some of the worst segments in the company’s final years were ones that had Hogan’s name attached to them. Some of Hogan’s WCW “highlights” included his Monster Truck match with The Giant, his disappointing Starrcade main event with Sting, and his final WCW show where head writer, Vince Russo, fired Hulk Hogan live on the air during WCW Bash at the Beach 2000. In the thick of it all, WCW became a shell of its former glory. WCW became the butt of a joke and Hogan was smack dab in the middle of it. Oh, how the mighty fell.
9. Going to TNA
At least Hulk Hogan was able to add something to the WCW product. It seems that in his 3 years working with TNA, he only derailed the company further into the ground. He called for the 6-sided ring–one of the few things that helped TNA stand out from their competition–to be removed. When Bobby Roode was being primed to become the face of TNA, Hogan insulted him on live radio just days before Bound For Glory (TNA’s WrestleMania) by saying he wasn’t a “top guy” and even recommended TNA change their plans, which likely played a part in TNA booking Roode to lose at the pay-per-view. These are just a small handful of blunders that Hogan committed in TNA. Kurt Angle claims that Hogan did everything in his power to make TNA better, but TNA didn’t have the money for most of Hogan’s demands. It didn’t help that Hogan’s paycheck was far from a cheap one. Hogan has been credited with the fall of TNA in the same way he was credited with the fall of WCW. All things considered, TNA would’ve been better off if Hogan never stepped through their doors.
8. His Wrecking Ball Skit for Hostamania
In 2013, Hulk Hogan started his own domain service for aspiring website creators called Hostamania. The service offered users the chance to buy themselves a domain name and a template for their website for a reasonable price. Taking into account the ever expanding digital world that we live in right now, this was one of Hogan’s smarter business endeavors. There’s no reason to criticize Hogan’s decision to try and capitalize on today’s internet phenomenon. There is every reason to criticize him for the ad that accompanied it. To promote Hostamania, Hogan filmed a commercial that featured him spoofing Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” music video. Hogan dropkicked a man while on the ball and then proceeded to gyrate and smack his own exposed backside. That’s not the only strange part about this ad. It starts with a Hogan look-a-like drawing artwork for the site only to turn around to see a man on a ceiling eating one of his crayons. It’s just a bizarre state of affairs that we all would like to forget almost as badly as Hogan probably does.
7. His Movie Career
When Hulk Hogan first entered the world of movies with his role as Thunderlips in Rocky 3, it was the beginning of Hulk Hogan’s growing crossover appeal and the beginning of pro wrestling crossing over into popular entertainment. It was also the beginning of Hulk Hogan’s awful string of movies. It’s safe to say that Hulk Hogan has never been in a good movie. He might’ve snuck his way into good movies with cameos in films like Gremlins 2 and Muppets in Space, but unless anyone considers his starring roles in films like Mr. Nanny and Suburban Commando to be cinematic masterpieces, then he hasn’t had a good movie. Hogan’s clunky acting does him no favors either as his performances seemed to get worse with every film. It’s hard to take Hogan in a movie seriously, but if nothing else, his films provided some guilty pleasures like No Holds Barred. Still, Hogan probably wishes he had a better resume to his acting credits.
6. The Steroid Scandal
One of the worst things to happen to Hulk Hogan’s career and professional wrestling as a whole was when it got out in 1993 that Vince McMahon was allegedly providing steroids to the wrestlers who worked for him. He was charged on the matter in federal court and Hogan had to testify as a star witness. During the trial, Hogan admitted to using steroids, but failed to implicate McMahon as a supplier. Instead, Hogan testified he would get his own steroids and McMahon never sold, told, or forced Hogan to take them. Hogan’s testimony kept McMahon out of prison, but Hogan’s credibility was never the same. After Hogan admitted to using steroids, he took a brief hiatus from WWF and when he returned, he looked noticeably smaller and thinner. The 24 inch pythons that Hogan became famous for were gone. Considering all of the drama and damage that Hogan’s image suffered due to the trial, he probably realizes today he would’ve been better off just pumping iron to get some natural muscles.
5. Not Running for President
Remember when Hulk Hogan announced in 1998 that he had plans to throw his hat (or bandana) into the Presidential race? On the Thanksgiving edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hogan was a guest and announced that he was retiring from professional wrestling in order to focus on running for President of the United States. This announcement sent shockwaves throughout the media, but it seemed that this was only for some publicity stunt as he returned to wrestling about a month later to reform the nWo with the infamous Finger Poke of Doom (don’t worry, we’ll get to it). Except, that wasn’t the end of it. Later in 1999 on an episode of Larry King Live, Hogan came on and reiterated that he was still considering running for President. It never amounted to anything serious so it’s safe to assume Hogan came to his senses and figured that running for president wouldn’t turn out well for him. However, judging by how our current election is turning out and how our next President could very well be Donald Trump of all people, maybe Hogan thinks he had a good chance at running after all.
4. The Finger Poke of Doom
We already covered above how Hogan probably regrets many of the segments he did in WCW, but this one has been so critically panned that it deserves it’s own entry. The January 4th, 1999 edition of Monday Nitro was hyped up for it’s big World Heavyweight Championship main event meeting between Hulk Hogan (billed then as campaigning for President of the United States) and Kevin Nash; the leader of nWo Hollywood vs the leader of nWo Wolfpac. Fans were amped up to see the former nWo buddies finally duke it out. Unfortunately, the paying audience were robbed, disappointed, and livid to shortly learn the contest they paid for was replaced by a finger poke heard around the world. Hogan poked Nash’s chest, Nash would pratfall, Hogan would cover him and become the new champion, and the two nWo factions would reunite. Out of all of the segments in WCW that drove the company to its downfall, this is often cited as the definitive nail in WCW’s coffin. This was the final night that WCW beat WWF in the ratings war and WCW’s ratings would decline every week from there.
3. Choking Out Richard Beltzer
Look at those arms. There’s a reason why Hogan’s nicknames for his arms are “pythons.” Why would anyone want a man with pythons for arms to demonstrate what a wrestling hold feels like on them? Ask Law & Order: Special Victims Unit alumni, Richard Belzer. Before he was cracking cases as Detective John Munch, he was a talk show host who had his head cracked by special guest, Hulk Hogan. In the weeks leading up to the very first WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T were invited on Belzer’s show and Belzer asked Hogan to show him some wrestling moves. Hogan would lock Beltzer in a headlock guillotine hold and as soon as he let go, Belzer lost consciousness and hit the ground hard. The back of his head was split open because of the fall, requiring 9 stitches, and Beltzer would sue Hogan for the incident. They settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Watching the footage, it’s clear that Hogan really didn’t know the limits to his own strength and must’ve immediately regretted hurting Belzer so badly.
2. Not Endorsing the George Foreman Grill
We’ve already covered how much of a bad businessman that Hulk Hogan can be sometimes. The absolute worst business decision that Hogan ever made was passing up on endorsing what would be later known as The George Foreman Grill. Originally, during an episode of his reality show, Hogan Knows Best, Hogan claimed that he missed his agent’s call about the grill because he was busy picking up his kids and instead of giving Hogan a call back, his agent offered the deal to the next client on his list, George Foreman. However, in a 2011 interview, actor Sam Worthington revealed that Hogan told him that he passed on the grill in favor of endorsing what would be known as The Hulkamania Meatball Maker. No matter which story is true, the fact remains that Hogan regrets his decision to this day. George Foreman made millions of dollars off his grill endorsement. Meanwhile, most people never even knew that a Hulkamania Meatball Maker existed.
1. The Whole Gawker Situation
It’s hard to think of anything that Hogan could regret more than everything that led to this messy Gawker situation. He probably regrets agreeing to sleep with Bubba The Love Sponge’s wife, Heather Clem. He most definitely regrets confiding to her his racist opinions on the black man that his daughter, Brooke, was dating at the time. These decisions would bite Hogan in his tan backside when Bubba and his wife secretly recorded the liaison and sold the footage to Gawker. Gawker released a scene from the sexual act a few years ago and then released Hogan’s rant last year to the public. As soon as Hogan’s racist tirade was uncovered, he was fired by the WWE. Hogan was compensated a hefty sum of money after suing Gawker and putting them out of business, but it probably wasn’t worth losing his job with the biggest wrestling company on the planet. The idea of a Hogan return to WWE TV is still up in the air, but Hogan’s reputation in the public eye may never recover.