Hulk Hogan has a polarizing reputation in wrestling for the way he treated other wrestlers. Many felt they were used poorly whenever entering a feud with Hogan, due to his influence on the booking. The general star power of Hogan allowed him to call his own shots, being the biggest star in wrestling for most of his career. WWE and WCW each had to agree to finishes with him, as Hulkster often had a different point of view.
We will look at some wrestlers that benefited from working with Hogan, along with some whose reputations took a hit for it. Hogan made some opponents look like a million bucks when putting them over, while others were made fools of by the superstar. Let's take a look at some of these cases!
10 Looked Legit: Ultimate Warrior
The wrestler that Hulk Hogan put over the strongest in his career was Ultimate Warrior in 1990. Warrior became the second-most-popular star in WWE, rising to the level of Hogan as Hulk was deep into his run as the face of WWE.
The company booked a dream match at WrestleMania VI: the two faces squaring off. Warrior pulled off the shocking victory as the first man to beat Hogan clean in many years. It instantly made him a credible WWE Champion. Warrior did struggle afterwards, but Hogan put him in a position to succeed.
9 Looked A Joke: The Giant
Hulk Hogan helped Big Show (aka The Giant) to get started in WCW, but their work together always disappointed. Giant received a huge honor: defeating Hogan to win the WCW Championship in his first match. The problem was that Hogan lost via DQ, which made the win less important.
Giant and Hogan worked together a few more times through the years, with Hogan often dominating the matches. The rise of the New World Order saw Giant join and be kicked out of the group multiple times. This was one of many reasons Giant left WCW for a run in WWE.
8 Looked Legit: The Rock
The return of Hulk Hogan to WWE in 2002 saw him leading Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in the New World Order. Hogan entered a feud with The Rock, setting up a WrestleMania X8 dream match that stole the show. It was arguably the best performance of Hogan’s career.
Rock was put over in a big way, with Hogan doing everything to make the new face look like a top star. Hogan even took the loss cleanly and it helped them both out. Fans cheered Hogan out of nostalgia and turned him face after the magnificent match, which ended in a victory for The Rock. We all know what a huge star Johnson would go on to become!
7 Looked A Joke: Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page started to gain another level of star power in 1998, when feuding directly with Hulk Hogan in the New World Order. Back-to-back PPVs in the summer featured Page and Hogan teaming with celebrities like Jay Leno, Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone.
DDP and Leno did win one of the matches, but Hogan often came out on top against Page. The segments of Nitro mostly featured Hogan and crew destroying Page every week. DDP never got his revenge against Hogan, as his wins saw him defeating other members of the nWo.
6 Looked Legit: Kurt Angle
Hulk Hogan surprised everyone when he agreed to put over quite a few young stars in WWE during his 2002 return. Following the end of his New World Order run and a face turn reverting back to Hulkamania, Kurt Angle became one of Hogan’s first singles feuds.
The incredible in-ring work of Angle allowed him to lead the older Hogan through matches. Hogan didn’t have any hesitation putting over the Olympic gold medalist, as seen when Angle defeated Hogan via submission at King of the Ring 2002.
5 Looked A Joke: Randy Orton
The return of Hulk Hogan in 2006 saw him getting involved in a feud with Randy Orton. This storyline started with Hulk’s daughter Brooke Hogan having a crush on Orton, which Orton then used to disrespect the entire Hogan family.
The pair faced off at SummerSlam 2006 in a mid-card match. Hogan pulled off the win cleanly, defeating one of WWE’s biggest stars. The belief was that Hogan refused to take the loss and only appeared under the agreement he’d get the win, even if it was a one-off appearance.
4 Looked Legit: Goldberg
The Nitro match between Hulk Hogan and Goldberg was the biggest attraction for WCW in 1998. Goldberg was at the peak of his popularity, with an undefeated steak making him a beloved face. Hogan was in the midst of another WCW Championship reign as a heel.
The match not taking place on PPV was a huge surprise and had fans expecting yet another lackluster Nitro DQ finish. Hogan, however, did his job and put over Goldberg in the middle of the ring. Goldberg became a credible WCW Champion right away by beating the biggest name around.
3 Looked A Joke: Sting
Many WCW fans would argue that the storyline between Sting and the New World Order from 1996 to 1997 was the best angle in company history. Sting finally challenged Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship at Starrrcade 1997, hoping to get revenge for all the torment issued by the New World Order.
It seemed like an obvious storyline ending, given how well it was set up. Sting should have won cleanly, but Hogan ruined that. A weird addition to the angle would see referee Nick Patrick deliver a “fast count” (which was not even fast) to make Hogan the winner. WCW restarted the match with Bret Hart as the referee for Sting’s win. The moment was tainted by this foolish move.
2 Looked Legit: Brock Lesnar
Hulk Hogan proved that he could do an amazing job when he wanted to sell another wrestler and make them look strong. Brock Lesnar was chosen by WWE in 2002 to become the next top star for the company.
The match between the two took place on SmackDown, with Lesnar destroying the legend. Some of the brutal highlights from the match include Brock delivering an intense bearhug that caused Hogan to pass out, along with Lesnar smearing Hulk’s blood on his chest. Hogan helped his opponent get over and Lesnar went on to win the WWE Championship shortly after.
1 Looked A Joke: Bret Hart
The issues between Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart have existed for almost three decades now. WrestleMania IX was where it all started, after Yokozuna defeated Hart for the WWE Championship in the main event. Hogan came out to avenge Bret by defeating Yokozuna in the impromptu match.
Hart claims that plans were for Hogan to drop the title back to him at SummerSlam 1993. Hogan, however, left the company months earlier and lost it to Yokozuna instead. The tension continued in WCW, when Hart was booked to be Hulk’s lackey in the New World Order. Both runs showed that Hogan tried to make Hart look like a joke.