Hollywood “Hulk” Hogan has literally been through almost everything possible for a professional wrestler. He has gone from being the face of the sport at its peak, to being non-existent in the record books. Vince McMahon has a lot to thank Hulk Hogan for, because the business, as a whole, would not be where it is today without his accomplishments. Hogan has bailed Vince out of many a situation over the years, only to have their egos clash. Hogan recently made up with Vince within the past few years after trying to get his main rival competitor, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, back to a working state (which ultimately failed).
Hulk Hogan had a lot of talents growing up and caught some big breaks. Yes, he might have dropped out of college, but he would not have accomplished what he had otherwise. He went to school for business management, and that has certainly paid off for him later in life. Even his lucrative 1998 WCW contract was recently leaked online, proving his worth and drawing power. Going heel and helping form the nWo shows what type of diversity he has in his character. Hogan has arguably done more for professional wrestling than anyone else has in its history.
Today, our list will dive in to the little things about Hulk Hogan. Some things you might already know, while others might catch you off guard. While the man’s personal life in recent years has not had the best track record, we are not focusing on that. The man has a lot of credibility, and a lot of these things are trivial. This list has more to do with what he has done in the ring, and early accomplishments in his life.
15. His Real Name is Terry Bollea
No, Hulk Hogan was not born with that name. Terry Bollea is his legal name, and that name certainly is not an eye catcher in the world of entertainment. If anything, Terry Bollea is a business man, while Hulk Hogan is his on-screen persona. The egos most certainly do not differ. While Hogan has his gimmick on the screen, knowing of backstage events over the years, most likely his stubbornness for not allowing others to go over and to be in the spotlight carries over to his personal life. However, Terry Bollea has always cared for his kids and strived to provide the best life he could for them, giving out money for his daughter to have record contracts and also doing a reality television show.
14. Hogan Wears Lucky Red Underwear When Flying
Everybody has some sort of superstition. Even more people are afraid of flying. When you survive not one but two plane crashes, whatever carries over from both incidents, you might continue that going forward. Hogan wore lucky red underwear (the same pair) during both crashes. I am sure other people share the same type of ritual when flying. People will go an entire sports season without washing a jersey or shaving. This ritual is not that bad, as long as he has washed them since the incidents occurred. If he has not, there is quite certainly a problem with doing this.
13. Hogan Lived Next Door to Vince McMahon
Multiple Hogan stories with a lack of consistency state that Vince McMahon and he lived next door to each other for ten years. Other versions mention the same neighborhood in Connecticut. He also claimed to tell Vince everything he knows about the wrestling business while riding motorcycles and working out together. One way or another, I am sure being neighborly would help Vince out in the future when McMahon was taken to trial. If Hogan actually did do all of what he says, Vince owes him big time, on top of the trial incident. However, here we are today, and Hogan is nowhere to be seen in the WWE recordbooks.
12. Hogan Bowled as a Kid
Besides being a bigger kid, an excellent baseball player, and a bassist, Terry Bollea had a different skill as a kid. He was a championship junior bowler. He won the Tampa city junior doubles bowling title with future professional Vic Pettit in 1966. I am sure all those times curling a bowling ball at a young age would prove itself as an asset to eventually building those prized pythons. Hopefully the young Hulkster was taking his vitamins. Bowling is certainly not the most normal thing for kids to be competitive in. Usually baseball, football, or soccer are the norm for youth.
11. Only Wrestler Ever to Appear on the Cover of Sports Illustrated
Wrestling is fueled by strength and athleticism, even if the outcomes are predetermined (sorry to break that to some if you still believe it is real. Santa is also fake). However, there has only ever been one superstar to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. That person is Hulk Hogan. In 1985, with a hot pink background, the Hulkster got the first and only cover for any wrestler to this day. With the likes of The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, and Kurt Angle, still none ever got to be the top dog. However, some athletes don’t like being on the cover due to a superstitious curse.
10. First Ring Name was The Super Destroyer
It is typical for wrestlers to have many different names or personas over their careers and Hulk Hogan is no exception. His first gimmick was Super Destroyer. A hooded character that was actually played by many different wrestlers was Hogan’s first step into wrestling. He would end up going by Sterling Golden, and was also one of the Boulder Brothers alongside Brutus Beefcake. The name Hulk Hogan would not emerge until later on, and thankfully for him and his Hulkamaniacs, that is the one that stuck.
9. Borrowing a Name From a Super Hero
While Hogan went through a few names early on, it took a special appearance to eventually go with the name “Hulk.” While working in Memphis for the Continental Wrestling Association, he showed up on a local talk show with the original “Hulk” himself, Lou Ferrigno. If you remember in the 1970s, a musclebound man covered in green paint was a part of pop culture on television. Hogan stole the name and went by Terry “The Hulk” Boulder. Hogan was added when he met Vince McMahon. Vince was looking for an Irish name. Obviously, Hogan went on to be a “Real American”, and had nothing to do with any type of Irish gimmick.
8. Hulk Had a Cartoon in 1985 Voiced by Brad Garrett
At the peak of the Hulk Hogan movement in the 1980s, he had his own cartoon. It was called Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, and only lasted six episodes. What was worse was that Hogan did not even do his own voiceovers. I am guessing they could only afford the license. Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond did the voice of Hogan, while Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air did the voice of Junkyard Dog. I doubt an episode of this is even watchable, but there should be some episodes available online to cure your curiosity. It definitely seemed like the right thing at the time to cash in on.
7. He was Scouted by the Reds and Yankees
Terry Bollea had a lot of talents growing up. Besides being oversized for his age, he was a musician and an excellent baseball player. So excellent that the Yankees and Reds, two teams that were doing extremely well during the 1970s, scouted him. He was one of the more highly sought amateur pitchers in the state of Florida. However, an injury would kill Hogan’s baseball career, but did not affect his professional wrestling future. This was just proof that a young age he was multi-talented, and that being a big boy made you stand out even more.
6. Hogan Played Bass in a Band
After his baseball career came to an abrupt end, Hogan found his shtick in playing bass. He formed the band Ruckus, and it is actually how he got into wrestling. He played in an area were wrestlers could see him on stage. They drew really big crowds near the University of South Florida, where he was going to school for a Business Management degree. The Briscoe brothers noticed his physique and reached out to him about wrestling. The rest is history. Hogan would later do an album with “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart in the 1990s. It was terrible.
5. Was Supposed to Represent the George Foreman Grill
Do paid programs annoy you? Especially the ones about the George Foreman Grill? Sure, it is a wonderful appliance, but it almost was not the Foreman. It was almost the Hogan. A simple phone call is the difference between you waking up annoyed and angry at 4 A.M. with your television on hearing Hogan’s voice. Hogan would eventually get his own juicer called the Thunder Mixer. The real question is which one of these appliances have you actually heard of? Hogan certainly missed out on a $137 Million dollar opportunity. I wonder who he blames for that one missed call?
4. Hogan was the First Wrestler to Win the Royal Rumble Twice
Before Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, there was Hulk Hogan in the Royal Rumble. Not only did he hold the record for the most participants eliminated in a Royal Rumble, but he was the first to ever win two Rumbles. He set the record in 1989 for eliminating 9 wrestlers (a record now owned by Roman Reigns), but did not win the Rumble. The next two years, however, he claimed victory in the elimination match. It is not so strange in today’s WWE for there to be multi-time winners, but back when Hogan did it, it was unheard of. These things happen when you are a face of your sport.
3. Hogan’s First Day of Training Involved Breaking his Leg
While Hogan achieved a lot early in his life, he was brought back to reality on his first day of training to become a professional wrestler. Discovered by Jack and Jerry Brisco while playing bass at a Florida nightclub, they would summon Hiro Matsuda to train Hogan. He was apparently asked by Matsuda on his first day of training simply, “Do you want to be a wrestler?” Matsuda went on to purposely break Hogan’s leg. This was a test of toughness and commitment in Matsuda’s eyes. And you think you had a bad first day on your job? I wonder if anyone told Hogan that morning to “break a leg”?
2. Hogan was the Final WWF Champion
Back at the turn of the century, the World Wildlife Foundation was not happy sharing an acronym with the World Wrestling Federation. A lawsuit ensued, and WWE was born. The best thing to come out of this situation is the amazing meme of a panda bear with a steel chair. This means that there was one last WWF World Heavyweight Champion, and that man was Hulk Hogan. He defeated Triple H to become the Undisputed WWF Champion, and the last one under that name. This would be his sixth and final WWF championship Hogan held. Might as well have your biggest face of the sport of all-time to go out as its last.
1. Hogan was the Longest Reigning WCW Champion
While one may think that WCW had been around forever, this is not the case. Hogan was paid huge money to jump ship to WCW, and the company safely placed the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in his hands. He reigned as champion for 469 days from 1994-95, and that was the longest in the history of the company. To compare, however, Hogan held the WWF championship for 1,474 days from 1984-1988, and that is only the fourth longest reign in its history. It took that nasty heel turn to get him to drop that belt back in 1995, but there would be no nWo without doing so.
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