It is not an overstatement to claim that the professional wrestling industry will never see another personality quite like Hulk Hogan. Hogan helped the WWE go from being a regional territory into one that took over the national and then international wrestling industry. The name Hulk Hogan became one synonymous with the wrestling business, and the man went from being known as just a pro wrestler to an individual who was featured in television shows and movies. One could even go so far as to claim that Hogan became even bigger than World Wrestling Entertainment.
Hogan has been in the news throughout 2016 for reasons that have nothing to do with his career in or out of the ring. A strange case involving Hogan and the media group Gawker has resulted in the performer being awarded over $100 million in damages all because of a tape that probably never should have been released to the public in the first place. Exactly how much money, if any, Hogan will receive because of the matter is not known as of the posting of this piece. What is known, though, is that the contents of that video are not the only crazy real life stories of Hulk Hogan that have been made public.
The crazy thing about the supposed life of Hulk Hogan is that we who do not personally know the wrestler cannot say for sure what is true and what has been fabricated by Hogan. Hogan has, in the past, been caught telling what we will generously refer to as “tall tales” on numerous occasions. One would find himself busy reading multiple posts if he was to search “Hulk Hogan lies” via his favorite Internet search service. Regardless of all that has happened, Hogan still has a massive fan base that will continue to love the Hulkster no matter what.
14 Hogan is Discovered
The story goes that a young Hulk Hogan was a fan of working out in a gym located in Florida when two athletes first spotted him. Those two athletes were, per the official WWE website, none other than Gerald and Jack Brisco. It was the Brisco brothers who would serve as Hogan's official introduction to the pro wrestling business. While Hogan had been a fan of wrestling as a youth, it is possible that we never would have seen him in a WWE ring had the Briscos chosen to work out at a different facility. Timing, the saying teaches us, is everything in certain instances.
13 Hogan Breaks His Leg
This story comes from a book that Hogan and the WWE released after Hogan returned to the company following the death of World Championship Wrestling. After agreeing to give pro wrestling a try, Hogan stepped into the ring with Hiro Matsuda for Hogan's first ever wrestling lesson. What a lesson it was, apparently, as Hogan claims that Matsuda left him with a broken leg by the time the session was finished. Hogan, the American hero that he is, would not be deterred and he refused to give up on his wrestling dreams. The Hulkster eventually earned the respect of veterans in the industry
12 Hogan Knocked Richard Belzer Out
There is no need to question the authenticity about this Hulk Hogan story. We have the video evidence that shows what happened. Hogan was a guest on Richard Belzer's cable program back in 1985 when Belzer asked the Hulkster to demonstrate some wrestling moves. Hogan, ever the gentleman, obliged and he placed Belzer in a modified headlock. Perhaps forgetting for a moment that wrestling is a work, Hogan locked things in a bit too much, and Belzer was left out cold and on the floor. Belzer sued Hogan over the matter, and the lawsuit was settled out of court.
11 Hogan as Mr. Freeze
Here is a movie trivia tidbit for you Hulk Hogan fans. Hogan was one of several actors wanted to play the role of Mr. Freeze for the Batman & Robin movie. That gig was eventually won by Arnold Schwarzeneggar, although one could say that nobody actually “won” regarding that movie. Fans were given what is widely seen as the worst Batman movie made, and Hogan survived without having to worry about his name associated with this train wreck of a movie. We do have to admit, though, that we would like to see Hogan play Mr. Freeze or any similar comic bad guy.
10 The Hogan Grill
This story is not insane as much as it is kind of sad. Hulk Hogan was apparently first offered the opportunity to have his name associated with what became the George Foreman Grill, but Hogan, per a story that he told during an edition of the reality television program Hogan Knows Best, missed out on that chance. Foreman instead landed the contract, and that deal proved to be worth a fortune for the Heavyweight Champion boxer. One has to wonder if Hogan would have cared about winning over $100 million from Gawker had he and not Foreman had his name attached to the grill.
9 Hogan's Surgeries
Let this portion of the piece serve as a reminder that pro wrestling may include scripted outcomes of matches and storylines, but the punishment that these athletes suffer is real. Hogan has, per his own words, gone through at least nine different back operations. Those operations were required, in part, because Hogan did his famous leg drop move literally thousands of times. A note to any and all would-be pro wrestlers reading this piece: Pick a finishing move that does not include your body smashing onto the mat. Your future self and your body will thank you.
8 Hogan Shrank?
Hogan appeared on the radio program Rover's Morning Glory in August 2013. During that segment, Hogan talked about his health issues and about the previously mentioned back surgeries. Those surgeries, according to Hogan, played a part in the wrestler actually shrinking. Hogan claimed that he was 6'7'' in his prime and that his wrestling career coupled with the operations that he had on his back and his knees cost him nearly three full inches in height. We don't have Rhe Hulkster available to measure as of the posting of this piece, and so we will take his word for it on this one.
7 Hogan the Rock Star
One of the stories that has made its way around the Internet is that Hulk Hogan was once offered a gig to play in Metallica; yes, that Metallica. While you would not be blamed if you did not fully believe that tale, Hogan is legitimately a musician who has done more than dabble in bass guitar. During his younger days, Hogan was involved in a band named Ruckus. According to an interview that Hogan once did for the website Vice, wrestlers saw Hogan play in Ruckus before he became the biggest name in the industry. Ww want to hear Hogan play on stage with Metallica at a Super Bowl. Maybe one day.
6 Hogan the Pitcher
This is one that Hogan has talked about in interviews in the past. Hogan was, per his claims, a talented baseball pitcher during his teenage years. Hogan was so good, in fact, that he was apparently scouted by Major League Baseball clubs the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. An injury has been said to have been the cause for Hogan never making it as a pro baseball player. While Hogan may sometimes wonder how his life would have been different had he been able to call the Bronx his home, wrestling fans everywhere are thrilled that Hogan had to choose a different career path.
5 Hogan's Insane WCW Contract
Hulk Hogan surprised some in the wrestling world when the WWE star completed the journey to World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s. Thanks to a Scribd.com user, we know why Hogan was so keen on joining WCW. Per a contract linked with Hogan that was uploaded to Scribd, Hogan received a $2 million bonus just for signing the contract. Hogan received 25 percent of the ticket revenues for shows such as Nitro and Thunder, and he was also promised at least 15 percent of sales for pay-per-view events. Those details do not even speak about the creative control that Hogan supposedly had while working for WCW.
4 Hogan the Bank Teller
Hulk Hogan appeared on an edition of Late Night With Conan O'Brien in 2008. During that interview, Hogan talked about different aspects of his life. We learned via that discussion that Hogan worked as a bank teller before the world knew him as the pro wrestling personality. It turned out that working at a bank was not for Hogan, though, as Hogan stated that he only lasted two days at the job. The jokes of Hogan asking if you wants 10s or 20s, brother, write themselves, but they are nevertheless comical. Cheers to you if you managed to go through this portion of the piece without imagining Hogan as a bank teller.
4. The Hogan Sex Tape
You probably know (too much) about this one, but it still has to make any list of insane real life Hulk Hogan stories. Hogan, perhaps unknown to him at the time, made a sex tape with Heather Clem, who was the wife of well-known radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge. Hogan and Bubba were allegedly friends at the time that the tape was recorded, but that tape somehow eventually made its way to Gawker Media. Whatever your feelings about Gawker and about Hogan's right to privacy, one would probably have multiple questions to ask about the night of that encounter between Hogan and Clem.
3 Hogan Learned About His Divorce From a Reporter
There is no good way to learn that your wife is leaving you. Hearing the news from a reporter would, however, pour some salt into the open wound that would be caused by your marriage coming to an end. According to a story posted by The Sun, Hogan learned about his divorce when he was asked about the subject by a reporter. “Thanks for the great information,” Hogan responded when the subject of divorce was mentioned by a reporter. We now know, after the fact, that Hogan was not the most faithful of husbands over the years, and it seems likely that he probably knew that things at home were not perfect.
2 Hogan Had His Life Saved by Laila Ali
Hulk Hogan is an international superstar who has made plenty of famous friends over the years. One of those people is Laila Ali, the professional boxer and daughter of boxing icon Muhammad Ali. Per Hogan's own words that he spoke during an interview that aired on the Today show, it was Ali who talked Hogan out of committing suicide during what was a dark part of Hogan's life. Hogan's wife had left him, his son Nick had been involved in a serious accident that left Nick's friend seriously injured and suffering from brain damage, and The Hulkster was in the middle of a drug and alcohol binge when Ali made the call that saved Hogan.
1 Harley Race Pulled a Gun on Hogan
It is one of the most famous urban legends about Hogan that is supposedly accurate. National Wrestling Alliance legend Harley Race was so angry about the WWE invading NWA territory in the 1980s that Race actually pulled a gun on Hogan backstage during a WWE event. While Race threatened to harm Hogan, nothing too terrible actually occurred on that fateful night. Those who have told the story about this altercation are, of course, workers, so you will have to choose what you do and do not believe. We are all just glad that Race didn't pull the trigger, as Hogan went on to mean quite a bit to many of us following that evening.