Hulk Hogan is the most beloved or the most hated wrestler among his peers of all-time, depending on who you ask. It kind of works the same with the fans: Millions love him for how he turned the company into a global powerhouse, but many also hate him and feel left down for his racial comments that were leaked over a year ago.
Well, Hogan is like any great athlete, politician, actor or entertainer. If you have lovers and haters, you're doing something right. You may think all of these wrestlers hated Hogan out of pure jealousy, but there really is more to the story than you may think. Hogan did his job in both WWE and WCW, but he also made plenty of enemies along the way. Oh, but he also formed many friendships that he has maintained to this day.
So which wrestlers really love and hate Hogan? Here are the eight who love him and the seven who are his real life enemies.
15 Love: Triple H
Triple H and Hulk Hogan certainly have a different relationship than what the latter has with Vince McMahon. It's clear the main boss and "The Hulkster" have tried to coexist, but it's been hard between a battle of two large egos.
However, Triple H has had nothing but the utmost respect for Hogan. He's already discussed about how he "hopes," Hogan will get to return to WWE some day so that he can re-establish his brand. Hogan called Triple H before his termination once the racist audio leaks came out, and "The Game" appeared to show sympathy. He seemed to be heartbroken by having to break the news of Hogan's termination of employment with the company.
If Hogan does return to the WWE, you can bet that it'll be because of Triple H, who has already shown his love for one of the greatest stars.
14 Hate: Shawn Michaels
There are countless dream matches that fans never got to see. (Un)luckily, Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam 2005 wasn't one of them. The Icon vs. Legend match featured the greatest star of the past vs. one of the greatest stars of the present.
Well, let's just say Michaels and Hogan won't fight again. The story goes that they were supposed to engage in a best-of-three format, and Michaels was to beat Hogan at some point. However, "The Hulkster" had just recently returned to WWE and refused to lose to Michaels. So the WWE team told Michaels he had to let Hogan win.
Michaels, being all furious about this, oversold every move by Hogan in the match and made a hilarious but embarrassing joke of wrestling. Hogan would win the match, but given how all of this played out backstage, it's safe to say HBK doesn't stand for Hogan, brother.
13 Love: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
The number one dream match that never happened that fans always talk about is Hulk Hogan vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. But that never happened because of the mad respect The Texas Rattlesnake had for him.
On Jim' Ross podcast, Austin had this to say about why their match never took place:
“No I don’t have any regrets (about not wrestling Hulk Hogan). Obviously on paper it’s ‘Stone Cold’ vs. Hulk Hogan, so that would draw money. But as far as the execution of the match, I just don’t think it would have been what I would have wanted it to be, or what people would have wanted it to be. So I don’t have any regrets about it whatsoever.”
So basically Austin decided to protect both mens' legacies and integrity by not putting on a match that could have drawn huge money. The two cut an excellent promo to open WrestleMania XXX two years ago as well. No doubt the friendship and respect is strong between both.
12 6: Hate: Scott Steiner
Let's be honest, Scott Steiner has made a lot of enemies in the WWE. In fact, I'm terrified of the guy and hope he doesn't beat me up if I every meet him. He's one strong man.
Any who, he and Hogan never got along. Steiner has tried to take shots at Hogan any time he could. He called Hogan a P.O.S. after the leaked audio racism tapes came out and compared him to former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for racist comments of his own.
Steiner was also banned from attending the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony for making death threats towards Hogan and his wife at an airport run-in. So it's safe to say, "Big Poppa Pump" and Hogan won't be handing out birthday party invitations to each other ever again.
11 Love: Edge
You may not know this, and I actually just found out myself recently...but it turns out that Hogan and Edge were once WWE Tag Team Champions. Nothing like "The Rated R Superstar" getting a little bit of "Hulkamania," brother. They defeated Billy and Chuck, and the title reign lasted only a short amount of time. However, this was a moment that helped push Edge into a more main card level.
Edge and Hogan have been rather quiet about each other since the former retired from WWE in 2011. However, there's no denying the short amount of fun they had together as champions. "The Hulkster" helped put a future legend over and you could see how much it meant to Edge who was living a dream come true. He is sure to remain grateful to this day.
10 Hate: Bob Backlund
It's easy to understand Bob Backlund's point of view. Before there was Hulk Hogan in WWE, there was Bob Backlund. The latter took time off WWE in the late '70s and it helped begin the rise of "Hulkamania," who rose to the top in the absence of Backlund himself.
Backlund obviously didn't have respect for Hogan. "The Hulkster" refused to fight Backlund and his ego clearly showed no respect towards the WWE legend. And with Hogan being fired from his racism scandal, Backlund wasted no time taking a shot at his old foe:
"He (Hulk) didn't meet the standards outside the ring to be able to represent the WWF. Did the WWE fire him recently? Because, I would have fired him thirty years ago. He was saying one thing and doing another."
Alright, so Hogan doesn't have a friend there.
9 Love: The Big Show
Hogan and Big Show have a history going back to WCW, when the latter competed as "The Giant." Early on, he was a rival of the nWo, but would later join the group and become one of their main enforcers. But nearly two decades after their respective times ended in WCW, the two remain close to this day.
It may be hard to believe it, because there is a funny story here. During their time in WCW, Big Show was a rookie and dared to mock Hogan and Randy Savage on a plane. He started mocking "The Hulkster," but ended up embarrassing himself instead of pleasing the two.
However, their relationship got bigger later on. In WCW, Big Show got a match against Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan promised to help "put Big Show on the map," and also convinced him to wear the title through the airport to make him look rather silly.
Seems like those two had fun.
8 Hate: The Ultimate Warrior
In case you didn't know, if you took two huge wrestling stars during the '80s and '90s in either WWE or WCW, they often didn't get along. The Ultimate Warrior claimed that Hogan offered his wife to the former for "sexual services." That's either a real bold secret to reveal or just a disgusting and gross lie to tell. Either way, it drew a lot of heat.
A one-hour Youtube video of Warrior ranting about Hogan was posted for the public to see how he really felt about "The Hulkster." And 1991 came, where Warrior claimed that Hogan threatened to attack him backstage to Vince McMahon. So as you can see, two legends really had problems getting along. Warrior had zero problem revealing all of his hatred towards Hogan, and it's as simple as that.
7 Love: The Rock
There isn't much detail needed to discuss when it comes to how much The Rock respected Hogan. The two made the bold decision to face off at WrestleMania 1X8, since Steve Austin wasn't exactly up for it. The two simply had no problem putting on a once-in-a-lifetime match with Rock being the winner.
Though Rock was portrayed as the face and Hogan as the heel in their match, the Toronto crowd cheered for the latter. The two then changed up the planning of the match, and Rock even went as far after his victory to present Hogan as a face to get the crowd to cheer for him. It worked to perfection. Many years later, Hogan has discussed that match; showing plenty of praise for The Rock in one of the most memorable matches ever. No doubt Rock loves him to this day.
6 Hate: Vince Russo
Hogan and WCW were going in the right direction. There are plenty of reasons why WCW ultimately failed: The nWo was getting boring, guys like Hogan and Kevin Nash had creative control in their contracts, and "The Fingerpoke of Doom" did absolutely nothing good.
But Bash at the Beach 2000 was the final straw. Hulk Hogan was to lose the WCW title to Jeff Jarrett, but Hogan used his creative control to make sure he won the match. Russo told Jarrett to simply lie down in the middle of the ring and have Hogan pin him. Hogan picked up a microphone and called out Russo and the "Bull S**t," that was taking place.
Russo came out and said it was the last time fans would see the P.O.S. in WCW again. And he was right. So it's not hard to see why they were never friends.
5 Love: Scott Hall
When you form the nWo with someone and it goes on for several years and eventually reunites in WWE, you have to have a strong friendship. Hogan and Scott Hall worked side-by-side from 1996-1999 extensively in WCW as they led the nWo and transformed the professional wrestling industry.
While many took shots at Hogan after the racism scandal, Hall was one of the first to reach out and offer support for him and defended him for making one mistake. In a recent interview, Hall talked about his current friendship with Hogan. All the comments suggest they're as tight as they were two decades ago:
"I call Hulk a friend. You couldn’t really be a pro wrestler in the ’80s and not be a fan of Hulk Hogan."
Considering the tough times both have been through since leaving the WWE, it's great to see them holding it together.
4 Hate: Bret Hart
As much as I love Bret Hart, you can't deny that this man has simply had plenty of backstage rivalries. With Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and of course Hogan himself.
Hart revealed a plan that was completely unfair to him: He'd lose his title to Yokozuna in a 1993 match, only to have Hogan come out and save him from an after match beatdown and take the title there himself. "The Hulkster" promised to return the favour, but Hogan would go on to tell Hart that he wasn't in his league. Hart talked about how crushed he was, working so hard to get to the top.
And then of course, Hogan referred to Hart as a two-faced person who was a "cheap WWF Champion." No doubt these guys were never going to be friends.
3 Love: John Cena
These two definitely have a close relationship of some sort. Hogan was the WWE's top guy in the '80s. The kids loved him and his merchandise sales were off the charts. John Cena is the 2000s version of Hogan. All the young kids love him and he too always headlines merchandise sales for the WWE.
Hogan has shown plenty of praise for Cena, calling him his "favorite wrestler," on Twitter and showing his disgust with Rusev becoming the United States Champion last year (while Cena was absent).
We haven't seen these two wrestle each other, and it's unlikely an epic match will ever take place between the two. But they know each other's story and they know how the other person's life works. This understanding has made Hogan and Cena good friends.
2 1. Hate: Randy Savage
Hogan and Randy Savage may have competed as The Mega Powers, but these two were simply far more than friends in real life. Savage had reportedly gotten jealous of Hogan getting close to his real-life wife, Miss Elizabeth. There was also natural tension, given how they were both trying to out-do each other to become the biggest star of the WWE during the '80s and '90s.
There was also an incident a few years before Savage's untimely death where Hogan tried to make piece but Savage challenged him to a fight instead. There was just no love there. It was reported that the two planned for a get-together before Savage passed, but Bret Hart said last time he heard Savage talk about Hogan, it was clear he had not cared for "Hulkamania" at all.
A real-life rivalry just never got its peaceful resolution.
1 Love: Kevin Nash
Though Hall rounded out the big three of the nWo, it was really Hogan and Nash that were the main draws for the faction. There is absolutely no doubt they were close friends during the time spent in WCW. All of these years later, and the friendship is still strong.
Nash was one of the many Superstars to defend Hogan with the audio tapes, saying he never heard Hogan use a slur in 23 years of knowing him. Nash also said the situation (with the tapes) set up Hogan for the incident as well. Though both men had creative control clauses in their WCW contracts, they never seemed to have beef during their time together. They always stuck as a pair and did what was best for the company and themselves.
Nash even went as far to talk about how awesome it was that he got to stand in the ring with his favourite wrestler to form the nWo.
That's friendship, baby.
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