He is, to this day, an international superstar despite the fact that it has been well over a decade since he was last an active in-ring worker for any organization, a one-of-a-kind professional wrestling phenom that helped shape the industry all over the world. Hulk Hogan is the one man who is more so synonymous with the World Wrestling Entertainment than any other person on the planet, and that includes company chairman Vince McMahon. Hogan is, for casual observers of the art form, the face of the industry, and he is the most recognized figure in the business.
One cannot reach the heights that Hogan reached nor can a person achieve the levels of success achieved by Hogan during his career without stepping on some toes along the way. Hogan has unquestionably made his fair share of enemies since emerging on the scene as the top act in the wrestling industry back in the 1980s, and he has even publicly spoken about some of these real-life feuds during media appearances. In fairness, Hogan does have a history of, to put it nicely, stretching the truth when talking about his career, and thus any tale he tells needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
There is some irony in the fact that some of Hogan’s greatest in-ring rivals would, over time, turn into individuals who would become real-life enemies of the Hulkster for one reason or another. Two of those men are wrestlers who shared spotlights with Hogan during the 1990s in both the WWE and World Championship Wrestling. Hogan’s greatest adversary, however, is somebody who has only sparingly worked as a pro wrestler, but that man has also been responsible for Hogan remaining as relevant as he is in the wrestling world in 2015. The two are currently getting along; for now.
15. Ole Anderson
This should be a surprise to nobody who has even a little bit of knowledge of the type of individual that Ole Anderson has been over the years. Anderson has often considered himself to be the smartest man in the room, so much so that the former member of the Four Horsemen did not see that Hogan could develop into a main event player capable of working every night in the territory system. Wrestling fans should give Anderson credit for living the gimmick of the old man who dislikes just about everybody in the business. He does it just about as well as does anybody out there.
14. Smith Hart
While not as famous as others who share the well-known Hart name, Smith Hart was a trained professional wrestler who has hit out at Hulk Hogan over the years. The uncle of current World Wrestling Entertainment Natalya Neidhart respects all that Hogan accomplished, but Hart has also not been shy to point out that The Hulkster has some demons in the closet. Hogan, in Hart’s words in an article he wrote for PWMania.com, was a performer who was more often than not only out for himself, and Hart has also pointed out that Hogan’s actions behind the scenes did help sink World Championship Wrestling for good.
13. Vince Russo
The stories of what actually happened behind the scenes at the 2000 edition of World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view Bash at the Beach have changed over the years, but what is known is that the incident that saw Hogan pin Jeff Jarrett with one foot in the center of the ring led to the Hulkster leaving and then suing WCW. While Russo is seen as one of the most controversial figures in the history of North American pro wrestling, it is thought that the words that he had to say about Hogan at Bash of the Beach were way out of line and showed Russo’s real feeling about The Hulkster.
12. Steve Austin
This one may actually be a little unfair to all parties involved when you consider the state of the WWE at the time. Steve Austin had been unhappy with the WWE creative team in the months leading up to WrestleMania X8, and that included the company bringing in Hulk Hogan and the other two founding members of the new World order; Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Austin and Hogan would not meet at that WrestleMania because of whatever disagreements occurred behind the scenes, and The Rock instead taking Austin’s place. It now looks like we will never get that Austin vs. Hulk Hogan WrestleMania encounter.
11. Iron Sheik
*This video is NSFW.
Anybody who has access to the Internet can find those infamous videos where the Iron Sheik drops numerous profanities while speaking about Hulk Hogan. What you have to remember is that Sheik is from another era when wrestlers did not break “kayfabe,” and also that somebody is making money off of Sheik memorabilia and also on videos that feature the former world champion cutting promos on his former in-ring rivals. Sheik has even stated that he does not actually hate Hogan as much as some would think, considering the terrible things that he has had to say about the Hulkster.
Matt Borne was the performer who made the Doink the Clown character famous on WWE programming. He once claimed in an interview with WrestlingINC, that he was supposed to work with Hogan at WrestleMania IX, but that the feud never occurred due to Hogan axing the idea. Borne even went so far to say that Hogan was “a phony inside and out” and “arrogant as f—” during an appearance on Inside the Ropes in 2012. The extremely talented Borne was sadly found dead in his apartment in June of 2013, and it is believed that he passed away from an accidental overdose.
9. Jesse Ventura
The story as it comes from Jesse Ventura is that he and Hulk Hogan got along just fine, but that was before “The Body” attempted to form a union for pro wrestlers in the months leading up to WrestleMania II, according to Complex.com. WWE Vince McMahon would not be pleased to learn this because of the obvious implications such a shift would mean to his business, and Ventura has pointed at Hogan as being the person who told McMahon of his plans. Hogan has, for what it is worth, stated that Ventura’s story is untrue.
8. The Honky Tonk Man
Honky Tonk Man is one of several former wrestlers who have taken shots at Hulk Hogan via shoot interviews and also YouTube videos that have generated plenty of hits. When Honky Tonk Man is not reflecting on his relationship, or lack thereof, with Hogan, he is taking personal shots at The Hulkster for being physically broken down, which you can see on his personal website. There is one thing that Honky Tonk Man and so many others in this industry cannot deny: Hogan helped them make plenty of money when they all were working for the WWE.
7. Bret Hart
Hart has had plenty of unkind words to say about Hogan since the two worked for the WWE. “The Hitman” has hit out at the fact that he never got the rub from Hogan during their time in the WWE, and Hart has also listed Hogan and others as being responsible for why World Championship Wrestling failed as spectacularly as it did just years after it was the top promotion on the planet. Would Hogan have had the best match of his career working with “The Excellence of Execution” like Bret has suggested? Maybe, but we will never know now.
6. Shawn Michaels
The original plan, or so it is believed, was that Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan would take part in a series of matches in 2005. Hogan got the win at that year’s SummerSlam event, during which Michaels clearly oversold certain moves in apparent attempts to show his displeasure with the situation, according to Cagesideseats.com. Michaels went one step further the following night on Raw, sarcastically praising the match while at the same time turning back to babyface and ultimately ending his feud with Hogan. That would be the only time that Hogan and “The Heartbreak Kid” ever battle inside of a ring.
If you want to see Michaels thoughts on the feud, watch this video.
5. The Ultimate Warrior
It is a true shame for many reasons that The Ultimate Warrior passed away just days after he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. What is known for sure is that Warrior held a low opinion of Hogan for many years, and he made his feelings on that matter known during a “shoot” YouTube video that last nearly an hour. Hogan has said after Warrior’s death that the two ended their feud at the 2014 Hall of Fame ceremony, but Warrior’s wife has shot those stories down, instead claiming that she never heard from Hogan in the days following her husband’s tragic passing, according to the New York Post.
4. Ric Flair
The relationship between “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan has been a roller coaster of ups and downs over the years. Flair and Hogan could not come to agreements for a feud that would have resulted in a big-money WrestleMania match during Flair’s first run in the WWE, according to WrestleZone.com, and the two reportedly butted heads time and time again while working for World Championship Wrestling. Hogan and Flair have since met inside of the ring on multiple occasions, including on World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling television programming.
3. Scott Steiner
In defense of Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner has a long history of making enemies in the pro wrestling business. He was reportedly banned from attending the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, and Steiner approached Hogan’s wife at a San Jose airport during WrestleMania XXXI, during which Steiner had some unflattering things to say. One report suggests that Steiner threatened to kill Hogan, which you can see here, an allegation that Steiner has denied. Whatever was said during that meeting, Steiner appears to be the bad guy in this instance regardless of the history he has with Hogan.
2. Randy Savage
It is probably the most famous real-life wrestling feud in North America, only matched by the feud between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Their issues began in a well-known love triangle involving Miss Elizabeth and that would be the beginning of an on-again/off-again feud that lasted through World Championship Wrestling going under. Savage would go on to record the rap song “Be a Man,” a cult classic during which Savage challenges Hogan to a fight. Hogan has stated that he and Savage patched things up before “The Macho Man” passed away, but some believe that to be another instance of Hogan telling tall tales.
1. Vince McMahon
If the sun is up, then it is possible that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan are but a discussion away from once again being enemies. McMahon, who “won” multiple wrestling championships during brief runs as a wrestler, attempted to humiliate Hogan with those “The Huckster” videos that appeared on WWE television after Hogan left the company to join World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s. McMahon and Hogan had another nasty falling out that saw the Hulkster sign for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2003. The two once again have a working relationship, but history suggests that the friendship could fall apart at any minute.
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