Name drop one wrestler who makes you think of the WWF or WWE. Who is it? While some will say Stone Cold or The Rock, the majority I'm guessing will say Hulk Hogan. Nobody in my opinion carried such a ravenous fanbase as Hogan. His "Hulkamaniacs," were and still are maniacal. "Let me tell you something brother," he'd say, flashing tanned biceps from a classically bright colored tank top. And sweet Lord, that handlebar mustache and those bleached bangs loping over a corny headband, were something to behold. By all measurements, the Hulk was a top tier goon with the personality to carry his vocally clownish behavior.
What comes with Hulk Hogan is also the history. Growing up, he had some of the most memorable battles with Andre the Giant, Macho Man Randy Savage, Ric Flair and those battles with the Ultimate Warrior. I remember standing around in circles on the blacktop, mimicking Hulk, while my friends laughed frantically over the impersonation.
Hulk was the All-American hero. He was the guy the parents trusted with their kids. Nearly every boy had a Hulk toy they carried around pretending to battle foe. Because of this All-American persona, some fans, found more pleasure in rooting against him. As time has gone on though, a lot of current wrestling fans have soured on Hogan, due to his numerous scandals, and the perception that's emerged of him being a backstage politician.
His gimmick also hasn't aged that well, with many newer fans wondering what made Hulk so special back in the day. With that, the internet has had quite a bit of fun with him.
15 Taco Bell, Taco Smell
In college, and maybe a bit drunk, my friends and I had a habit of walking to the local Taco Bell, to "soak up" the liquor. We moaned with pleasure, as each crunchy taco cracked perfectly in our mouths, satisfying our cravings for salt. The joke became "Taco Bell, Taco Smell," because each morning after our Taco Bell binge, the four of us took turns in the rest room, exorcising the demonic aftermath of bean burritos. It's fair to say our faces and poses looked a bit like this.
Well, minus the fake tan, 30-inch biceps and handlebar scowl. But still...Hulk had an amazing way of tapping into our bathroom sorrows. Like I've already said, he was the ultimate goon, his antics flamboyant. Every thing he said or did had to stand out. So, he mastered "the runs," both arms flexed and a face clearly in pain.
14 Keep an Eye on the Hulkster
That dirty rat is smooth. Like Ric Flair, the Hulkster was commonly known as a philandering fellow with a game as smooth as silk. He's also a pompous, ignorant fool who has the audacity to sleep with his friend's wife and blame his wife of 25-years, for his misgivings.
If there's one thing Hogan has always been, it's rowdy and not shy. But that's sure as hell followed him negatively throughout his personal life. When wife Linda Hogan divorced Hulk after 25-years of marriage, she cited his long past of wrestling with other women in secret. She also made the point that Hulk was not and has never been good about covering his tracks.
The man slept with his friend's wife and BLAMED his ex-wife for the affair. I mean think about that.
13 Du- Rag Priest
Hulk is such a bad ass, he enters a court proceeding in a du-rag AND WINS. What is he? A priest with a bunch of hidden ills? And who could possibly take that guy serious? The oversize silver cross hung over black upon black upon black. As if it isn't already ridiculous looking enough, what's with the turtle neck? Notice how much the black outfit casts his fake tan like the glow of an alien saucer. Did he walk in the courtroom and blind the onlookers? My bigger concern, is he how did the attorneys and judge understand Hulk when he testified? The man sounds like a steroidal black bear. I will admit though: the priestly outfit makes me want to confess. And not to sound shallow, but I'd go to to church more if Hulk were my priest, and tell him all my secrets.
12 Vince Burying Hogan
If you're a fan of wrestling and a fan of the movie Step Brothers then you'll appreciate this meme all the more. Following the 2015 scandal of Hogan's racist remarks being caught on tape, the WWE proceeded to sever all ties with Hogan, releasing him from his contract and removing Hulk Hogan merchandise and images from their site. His name is rarely even mentioned on WWE television anymore. Essentially Vince McMahon was burying Hogan's legacy in the eyes of many.
Granted, the WWE has started to mention him a little more and the company has always shown they will inevitably forgive Hogan when he screws up. He and Vince have a love-hate relationship and it's only a matter of time before Vince digs up that grave again and pulls Hogan out.
11 That Was A Lie
The Maury Povich 'that was a lie' memes are all over the internet so when Hogan's 2015 racism scandal broke out, you knew that someone was going to pull this one out of the hat. Hogan had never shown any signs of racist behavior before. In fact, he had many coworkers and close friends that are black and he came into the business at a different time. Hogan came out after the scandal and explained that he wasn't a racist but just made a very poor choice of words at a time in his life when he was very down on himself.
In any event, the Maury Povich meme probably sums up what a lot of skeptics and Hogan critics were thinking when they heard that tape.
10 A Practice in Implication
Well Mr. Hogan has never been afraid to express himself. The over-confident kingpin of entertainment wrestling, was rarely one who liked the art of implication. He'd rather hit you over the head with the things he was thinking. But as his character developed and age set in, the Hulk took on less of a champion's role, and more of a fading legend acting as a face for the business. Here you can see the older Hulk practicing that ability to imply something.
If there's one thing men commonly do, it's compare, and or exaggerate, the wand beneath the belt. They stand around jockeying through humor, the bat looking to bunt. When remembering Hogan used steroids through much of his prime and the side effects we know can come with PEDs... well, you get the picture.
9 Explaining Himself
Hulk Hogan's 2015 scandal where he was caught on his old sex tape making derogatory comments towards African Americans was probably the lowest point of his career, seeing as how the WWE cut ties with him after the audio was released by Gawker. Now, Hogan's been in a business where he's worked with many black men before and many former colleagues have come to the defense of Hogan, saying he is not racist and they forgive him for the comments he made. That didn't stop the internet from having a little fun with the situation. Here we have a toy Hogan looking like he's trying to defend what was said on that tape. This is pure savage and we salute whoever made this meme.
Side note: this guy must have an awesome toy collection!
8 Iconic Moment
This goes back to the point that WWE started essentially removing anything Hulk Hogan related from their website. When WrestleMania rolled around, very little was said about the iconic moments Hogan provided at the event. Many saw it as WWE downplaying what Hogan accomplished in order to distance themselves from him. It got so ridiculous that people started to joke about just how far WWE would take it.
Well, if it ever gets to the point where WWE tries to remove Hogan from the WrestleMania III slam altogether, I think that's when we can say they've gone too far. Nonetheless, the thought of WWE actually going this far is quite hilarious and we're not sure if this meme is savage towards WWE or Hogan, but we love it anyway.
7 Hulk Finds Ways
Hulk's competitive nature comes out in everything. That everything includes his abilities in the sack. Yup, you're seeing this correctly. Hulk Hogan is not only one of the most sought after, mega-made entertainment wrestlers ever, but damn good at wrestling behind closed doors.
So the story goes like this: In 2006, Hulk Hogan made a film with friend and his friend's wife. He blamed his then-wife, Linda Hogan, for the atrocity of his behavior. That behavior cost him 25 years of marriage, when the two split officially in 2009. But...along with divorce came quite a hefty pay out. It's clearly true, just how talented and how true of a showman, Hulk is.
Angry over the release of the sex tape, Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media, the outlet who sold a part of it to consumers, for $115-million. Yes, 115 big ones for having sex. Hulk's even the champion of porn.
6 A Has-Been
It's true that Hulk Hogan better suited the WWE. He was the kingpin of the entertainment wrestling world during those years. It was when the business transitioned to the WWE, that Hulk's character lost some traction, and others like The Rock, Brock Lesner and John Cena, came in and took over as the new faces. I've had many conversations with young people today, kids who love the WWE, and some of them have never even seen one of Hogan's matches. When I tell them how outlandishly large he was, comparable to someone like Michael Jordan, it blows their minds. To them, Hulk is just an old novelty. He's the toy character they find smudged in a quarter bin at a garage sale. He's vintage.
Hulk also lost many fans over some of his horrendous actions. The biggest of them was using a choice word to describe people of color. That word crushed his persona in many fans minds, and they dropped the legend pretending he never existed.
5 Full Circle
During my day, Hulk was the sign of something good, he was the All-American Patriot with an ability to wrestle and win matches on the biggest of stages. I never could think of Hulk Hogan as a bad guy.
Many of his counterparts like Macho Man or Roddy Piper, died too young. The result was their characters getting canonized as true heroes. For Hulk, fortunately, he's lived a long, healthy life, something that's difficult to do as a wrestler. All the steroids cause issues with the heart, which is why multiple wrestlers die young of heart failure.
This longevity for Hulk caused an interesting thing to happen. More and more scandals about him came out and fans' opinions began to sour on him. Hence the meme.
4 WWE Does the Dirty
The WWE released Hulk Hogan and it felt like World War 3 was started. Who releases Hulk Hogan? It's like the Bible producers telling Jesus: "Yea, you know what, we think this story is better without you." I mean who has the audacity to do that? The WWE, that's who. They got up one day and released Hulk Hogan due to his 2015 scandal.
Hulk wasn't happy about this tarnish. He's said nothing bad about the WWE but he has taken his beef with Gawker and won over $100 million from them in court. Still, part of his lawsuit was that the leaked tape cost him his job at WWE and he was able to win big in the end.
Hogan's ex-wife Linda said he was quite the carouser. That, of course, during his more younger years. But when Hulk cheated on his wife with a friend's wife, the straw that eventually broke the back of their marriage, he was well into his 60s, a shell of the past legend I grew up idolizing.
Carousing + geriatric = viagra. Without viagra an old man like Hogan might as well forget his imagination's interplay. But with it, he's back to believing he's the champion of his youth with the stamina of a horse. Hulk never likes to lose. He rarely does. He'll do anything to make that not happen. So, why not take a pill that turns him from geezer to pleaser? In any event, this is funny.
2 Error Message
Remember playing Sega Genesis and the game you were playing was too dusty. So you took it out of the game console and blew on the bottom of the game, to try and clean it without invading the materials too much. What caused this initial action was a common error message. It was heartbreaking when the game froze and repeated one of these messages when in the middle of an intense game.
Same goes for when Hulk was pushed out of WWE. Watching the industry became more and more difficult. Yes he wasn't the big dog anymore, nor the ongoing champion. But he was still a fit villain with a role, I imagine, he embraced.
But then, poof, gone. No more Hulkamania. No more of the wily antics and corny props used in the ring. The man who helped carry the industry over a 20-plus year period was DELETED at the end, a move his fans will never fully understand.
1 The Best Body Slammer EVER
The common denominator when it comes to body slamming successfully is not only an ability to leap fluidly off the rope, but commit enough to gather hang time and slam the foe down with a thunderous thwack. Nobody, and I repeat nobody (some might argue the Ultimate Warrior...he'd rank 2nd) had the skill of body slamming down better than the Hulk did.
It was a real thing of beauty when watching Hulk Hogan climb the rope, do a few funny or corny things when climbing it, and then leap like the athlete he was from the top. He had an uncanny ability to make those moments seem and feel real to the viewer.
His greatest body slam moment is hands down his trumping of Gawker Media who leaked his sex tape. He came into court wearing a du-rag and black church-like getup, and in Hogan fashion: cocky and overly confident, committed to his cause. The result was over $100-million in reparation from Gawker.
Hulk always gets the last laugh.