There are countless instances throughout professional wrestling history of Superstars being beaten when they shouldn't have lost. Equally, there are plenty of times where massive stars helped a rising talent generate incredible momentum. Most would assume that Vince McMahon, being the chairman of WWE, has the final say on how those situations arise and more importantly how they culminate and eventually go down. That is of course somewhat true, but there are Superstars with so much sway that they can have a big say in who gets pushed and who gets buried. One of those big stars is Hulk Hogan.
Despite what The Hulkster has done to sully his good name recently, he's still the biggest name the wrestling business has ever created. He did a lot of work in order to have a say over who beats him and who doesn't. From the original WrestleMania all the way up to his run in WCW and then his final run in WWE. Hogan may not admit it but there are times where it was plain to see that The Hulkster dictated how a match turned out. Times when The Hulkster refused to lose to talent that really deserved to be given that landmark win.
It's not all bad though. As many times as Hogan put himself over, he also put over his opponent. Here are 8 examples of the former and 7 of the latter.
15 Buried: Randy Savage
Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had a rivalry that went on for years and was about as epic as it gets. Anybody who watched pro wrestling during the 1980s, and let's be honest anybody who's watched pro wrestling ever, will cite these men as two of the greatest of all time. What you may find hard to believe though, despite the countless times that these two Hall of Famers stepped between the ropes together, The Macho Man never picked up a clean win over The Hulkster.
Throughout their time in WWE and WCW. Throughout all of their ups and downs. Not once did Randy Savage pin Hulk Hogan for the one, two, three. Many times Macho Man managed to defeated Hulk by disqualification or count out, but anytime a pin fall was involved, it was Hogan's hand being raised.
14 Put Over: The Rock
To this day, you'll struggle to find a match that provoked quite as epic a reaction as when Hulk Hogan and The Rock faced off at WrestleMania X8. The crowd were raucous and very much split as the leading stars of two different generations were set to find out who was the better man. All Hogan and Rocky did for two minutes was stare each other down and soak in the atmosphere.
I remember watching as a 12 year old, a die hard Rock fan, already being resigned to the fact that Hogan would defeat my hero. How pleasantly surprised I was when the match came to an end. Despite it being The Hulkster's first WrestleMania since returning to WWE, it was The Rock who won and was even further propelled into the stratosphere.
13 Buried: Curt Hennig
There are a few names on this list that never became WWE champion. Wrestlers who are renowned as some of the best performers of all time and people are left scratching their heads that they never had a run on top. Names that were perhaps held back as they shared an era and a locker room with Hulk Hogan. The first of those names is Mr Perfect, Curt Hennig.
In early 1990, Hennig was on a tear through WWE, seemingly on a beeline to the WWE Championship. That was until he came up against Hogan. In April of that year, Curt had his chance and lost to the then champ. For some reason, despite a career that spanned the rest of that decade, that was the only time Mr Perfect really had a shot at winning the ultimate gold.
12 Put Over: Brock Lesnar
Yes, you read that right. Hulk Hogan once went toe to toe with The Beast, Brock Lesnar. Less than six months after Hogan battled with The Rock, he faced off against someone in Brock who was arguably two generations removed from himself. Oddly enough, the match, which took place on an edition of SmackDown, was for an opportunity to face the then WWE Champion The Rock at the upcoming SummerSlam.
Brock won of course but not only that, during the match he kicked out of The Immortal One's Atomic Leg Drop. Shortly after, Lesnar delivered an F5 then synched in a bear hug on Hogan until he passed out to pick up the win. The Beast Incarnate would go on to defeat The Rock at SummerSlam and win his first WWE Championship.
11 Buried: Bret Hart
WrestleMania IX will go down as having one of the strangest and seemingly unexplained endings in WWE history. The main event of the ninth installment of The Showcase of the Immortals pitted Yokozuna against Bret Hart for the WWE championship. So what does this have to do with Hulk Hogan I hear you ask? Well, it was actually Hulk Hogan that left the event with the WWE Championship. It's no secret that to this day, there's not much love lost between Hogan and Hart.
This night back in 1993 may very well be where the animosity between the two began. Bret revealed in an interview years later that he hated the whole idea behind the match, and why wouldn't he? Vince McMahon informed him that he'd be losing the belt to Yokozuna then Hogan would inexplicably come to the ring and win it. Very strange indeed.
10 Put Over: The Undertaker
Considering that he'll be going one on one with Roman Reigns this Sunday at WrestleMania 33, it's hard to believe that The Undertaker made his WWE debut over 26 years ago. Well, just one year into The Deadman's illustrious career, he had the opportunity to go one on one with Hulk Hogan. The pair squared off at Survivor Series 1991 for Hulk's WWE Championship.
Despite only being with the company for 12 months, Taker managed to slay Hogan and win his first ever WWE title. Clearly, Hogan knew how special The Phenom was from very early on. Taker did have some help though. While Paul Bearer distracted the referee, Ric Flair slid in a steel chair that Undertaker tombstone'd Hogan to win the title.
9 Buried: Randy Orton
During the mid 2000s, Randy Orton made himself into a very big deal. He became the youngest ever WWE champion, an accolade he still holds, and earned the moniker of The Legend Killer. He defeated stars like Mick Foley, The Undertaker and Triple H on his ascent to the top. However, at SummerSlam 2006, Orton came up against Hulk Hogan.
The Hulkster was obviously coming towards the end of his career, in fact, this match against The Viper wound up being his last with WWE. You'd think having a young rising star like Randy Orton win would be a no brainier. Apparently not. Hogan hit the Legend Killer with his patented leg drop and left SummerSlam victorious. Thankfully, over ten years later, it doesn't seem to have affected Randy too badly.
8 Put Over: Big Show
Before he was known as Big Show, he went by The Giant. Show may have had one of the most unique beginnings to his career in pro wrestling history. Not only the seven footer barely had any wrestling training whatsoever, his first match ever was on pay-per-view, against Hulk Hogan, for the WCW Heavyweight championship! And he won! Big Show's first professional wrestling match ever and he became a world champion in front of an audience of millions defeating the biggest name in the business.
Not bad for your first night on the job. The match did end in a very strange way. Despite the match ending via DQ, Big Show still managed to become champion after it was later revealed that the match had a special stipulation that neutralized the champion's advantage. Nevertheless, it was a championship win over Hogan.
7 Buried: Vader
Another name on the list that was enjoying time on top until Hulk Hogan showed up. During the early 90s, Vader was a pretty big deal in WCW. He won the WCW Heavyweight Championship an impressive three times during that period. Then in 1994, Hogan arrived in WCW. The Hulkster won the championship and despite Vader's best efforts, not only he couldn't take the title from Hogan, but would never be a world champion again.
The former three-time champ slipped down the card in WCW and eventually made the jump to WWE in an attempt to breathe new life into his career. He had some success, feuding with The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, but clearly his time sharing a locker room with Hogan had damaged his stock too much for him to return to the top of the business.
6 Put Over: Billy Kidman
Hulk Hogan famously didn't put over many people during his long and storied career, but perhaps the most shocking of the few that he did was Billy Kidman. Back in WCW, Hogan continually ridiculed Kidman on Nitro each week and eventually Billy had heard enough. Kidman called out Hogan and unsurprisingly received a beating for his bravery, or stupidity depending on how you look at it.
Hogan's long time friend Eric Bischoff came to lend a helping hand and brought a steel chair along with him. However, it was Kidman who got the helping hand as Bischoff helped turn the tide on the beatdown. Billy covered Hogan following the unexpected turn of events and Eric counted the pinfall.
5 Buried: Roddy Piper
Another entry on the list of a man who unquestionably should have been WWE champion at some point during his career. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Shockingly, the late Hall of Famer never held the ultimate gold in WWE. The pair's long rivalry dates all the way back to 1985 in the main event of the first ever WrestleMania. Hogan teamed up with Mr. T to take on Piper and Paul Orndorff.
Piper and Hogan's paths continued to cross throughout their careers in both WWE and WCW. Even though Roddy did record the odd win over the leader of Hulkamania, it dwarfs in comparison to how many times Hogan was the one who left victorious. Plus as mentioned above, none of those wins were ever for the biggest prize in the business.
4 Put Over: Ultimate Warrior
One of the most iconic images in WrestleMania history is the closing shot of the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI. Warrior standing tall with both the WWE Championship and the Intercontinental Championship. To this day, he's still the only man to ever hold both belts at the same time. On that fateful night in 1990, he defeated Hulk Hogan to become that unique double champion.
At this time, Ultimate Warrior was beloved by young WWE fans across the globe, and was a shoe in to be Hogan's replacement as the leader of the locker room and the face of WWE. What better way to get that train rolling than by having Warrior defeat The Hulkster at WrestleMania? Of course, Warrior and WWE's relationship later soured, but on this night Warrior could not have had it any better.
3 Buried: Jake 'The Snake' Roberts
Another example of a Superstar that really should have been a multiple time world champion but instead never held the title at all (I told you there would be a few). This might be the most famous example. Back at the height of Jake Roberts' popularity, he was quite rightfully considered for a feud with Hulk Hogan.
During a match that was supposed to test the waters and more than likely begin the build to a bigger feud between the two, all of that changed. Roberts hit Hulk with his signature DDT and the noise from the crowd almost ripped the roof off the building. Jake being the bad guy at the time meant that was not a good thing. Neither Hogan nor Vince liked the reaction and the planned rivalry between the two was scrapped.
2 Put Over: Goldberg
During the late 1990s, Goldberg famously went on the greatest streak in sports entertainment history. His first 173 matches in WCW were all wins for the former NFL star. Undoubtedly the biggest win of those 173 came inside the Georgia Dome, right in Goldberg's hometown. He tore through the WCW roster and inevitably ended up knocking on the door of the WCW champion Hulk Hogan.
The two squared off in a huge match on Nitro for the title and Goldberg defeated the champ, extending his streak and taking the title. The reaction from the crowd was unbelievable, and rightly so. It was Goldberg's first WCW championship and a win that really cemented the fact that perhaps he actually was unstoppable. As long as there were no tasers involved, of course.
1 Buried: Yokozuna
During the earlier Bret Hart entry, I purposefully didn't go into too much detail. That's because I was saving the intricacies for the man who really got buried at WrestleMania IX, Yokozuna. The mammoth of a man won the Royal Rumble earlier that year to earn a title shot against Bret Hart, then subsequently defeated The Hitman in the main event of WrestleMania IX. Yes, his manager Mr Fuji helped out via a handful of salt to Hart's eyes, but Yoko won nonetheless.
However, as I previously touched upon, that was not the whole story. As the bell rang, Hulk Hogan felt the need to come to the ring and avenge Bret's loss, instead of Bret getting another shot himself after being cheated out of the title. Hogan finagled his way into a title match and took the belt from Yoko after he had only just won it.