Hulk Hogan was known as the face of professional wrestling to a generation of fans thanks to his larger-than-life persona and embodying ‘the American spirit’. Legions of Hulkamaniacs idolized The Hulkster, who supposedly lived for all that was virtuous and good – even encouraging children to “take their vitamins and say their prayers.”
Many wrestling fans have known about the questionable character of Terry Bollea, the man behind the Hulk Hogan character, for some time with his backstage politics and famous fallouts with co-workers. While many fans weren’t fond of that notion, they were somewhat willing to look past it due to the contributions Hogan has made to the business. However this past week he shocked everyone when a racist tirade was leaked from his alleged sex tape.
The world is abuzz with shock, disgust and hurt as many see another one of their idols shamed. The WWE has distanced themselves from Hogan, despite him being one of their biggest names, firing him and erasing his existence – at least for the time being – from their website and merchandise. Not since the Chris Benoit tragedy has wrestling come under such mainstream criticism as it is right now thanks to the actions of Hogan.
Here we take a look back at 15 of the Hulkster’s most embarrassing moments. This list will not include his recent racist tirade, as we have yet to see the situation fully play out.
15. Admitting To Using Steroids
WWE may take a hard stance now to drug use with its Wellness Policy but in the past it was considerably looser. The partying of the superstars is famed now but one of the darker sides of this liberal attitude was the use of steroids.
In the early 90s, the majority of people still believed that wrestling was real and so learning that Hogan’s prided “24-inch pythons” came from illegitimate methods was a dishearteneing thing for his fans to hear.
During the legal proceedings against Vince McMahon and the WWE, Hogan was brought as a witness for the prosecution where he admitted that he had been using steroids regularly from 1981 through 1989. Whilst Hogan was not prosecuted as a pusher, as the prosecution initially wanted, he refused to name Vince as one either.
14. CM Punk Calls Him Out On Hockey Knowledge
Like I said the Blackhawks are in a whole lot of trouble,they should take their puck”punk” and go home,CM can show them the way brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) June 9, 2015
CM Punk may no longer be in wrestling after his public fallout with WWE but it hasn’t stopped him from interacting with some wrestling talent. One of the most entertaining ones came last month when the Second City Saint hit back at Hogan, who used hockey as an opportunity to take a cheap shot. Naturally, Punk didn’t take this pot shot lightly and as a big hockey fan he had more than enough ammunition to put him in his place. (WARNING: some NSFW language follows)
Unsurprisingly, Punk was proven correct by fans on Twitter as Hogan bumbled his way through talking about “his team” the Tampa Bay Lightning.
— Greg Rajan (@GregRajan) June 4, 2015
13. The “Silverdome” And The “WWE Universe”
When Hulk Hogan made his first appearance in a WWE ring for eight years it was a big moment. He was on hand to promote the upcoming WrestleMania XXX, to which he was in the role of ‘guest host’. However, he told fans that they could find the show on the WWE Universe, rather than WWE Network.
A month later and Hogan opened WrestleMania to a thunderous response from the fans in The Superdome. That reaction soon turned sour though as Hogan referred to the venue as The Silverdome not once but twice. Worse still, in an interview asking about his mistake Hogan referred to the venue as The Skydome.
12. Suing Cocoa Pebbles
John Cena may be the WWE superstar most associated with the Fruity Pebbles breakfast cereal but his predecessor Hogan has an interesting history with its sister cereal, Cocoa Pebbles.
In 2010, Post Cereals ran a commercial for Cocoa Pebbles that featured a character called Hulk Boulder that shared more than a passing similarity to Hogan. In it, Boulder defeats Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble in a ‘Cocoa Smashdown’ before Bam-Bam comes to finally put a stop to him.
Hogan decided to sue the company, but surprisingly the issue wasn’t over his likeness being used. Hogan claimed that depiction of his defeat “harmed” his image. Yes, Hogan refused to lose to a prehistoric cartoon child.
Hogan has often considered himself a business entrepreneur. In 1995, he opened up a pasta restaurant in a mall in Minnesota entitled ‘Pastamania’. Hogan was hoping that his image alone would turn the residents into regular diners of his substandard Italian fast-food. He even capitalized on the debut episode of WCW Nitro to promote it.
Needless to say, the self-funded project was a disaster and closed within a year of opening.
10. No Holds Barred
“What’s that smell?”
Long before Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Hulk Hogan attempted to conquer the bright lights of Hollywood. Unfortunately for Hogan, the highest moment of his film career came in Rocky III, before he even became a household name.
Instead, his attempt to become a movie star produced such gems as Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny and worst of all, No Holds Barred. The latter film saw Hogan play Rip, a loyal top wrestling star who refused to be tempted away by a rival network executive. The irony of hindsight aside, the film was almost as embarrassing for viewers as it must have been for those in it.
9. Weird Relationship With His Daughter
Brooke Hogan may have come out defending her father in the wake of his racist rants about her sexual exploits but they have always had a questionable relationship.
In 2010, Hogan advertised the Def Jam Rockstar game alongside long-time friend Jimmy Hart and Brooke. In it, he appears to get his junk out in front of his daughter, who responds with “Whoa, dad, whoa.”
This had followed a series of questionable moments between him and his daughter that had the internet feeling very uncomfortable about their relationship. He could frequently be found rubbing her legs and buttocks with various lotions, tweeting pervy pictures of her, and even ran a story on TNA Impact (that he was in charge of at the time) where he would have a problem with every boyfriend she had. Plus he married a woman who looks very much like her.
8. Thunder In Paradise
Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if you combined Hulk Hogan, Baywatch, and Knight Rider? Nope, neither has anyone else. Except, of course, Hulk Hogan and the creators of Baywatch.
The result was a TV show that made David Hasselhoff’s TV work look like Bryan Cranston. An eye-patched Hogan would crime fight in a boat fitted with a supercomputer. The show was inevitably cancelled after one season.
7. Hulk Rules
After seeing his stellar work at miming guitar during Vince McMahon’s infamous ‘Stand Back’ performance it seemed only natural that Hulk Hogan’s future was in the music industry. Or at least, that’s what he thought.
Attempting to capitalize on the WWE’s novelty wrestling CDs, including such classics as The Wrestling Album, Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 and WrestleMania: The Album, Hogan and manager Jimmy Hart decided to produce Hulk Rules.
The self-titled album saw Hulk take on all different genres of music, most worrying of which being rap. The only thing worse than Hogan, and his endless self-referencing, was Jimmy Hart producing sounds that would have made Jillian Hall cringe.
6. Hulk Gets Grilled
In the early ’90s, Hogan was approached to lend his name to a grilling machine. Despite being willing to cash in on his name with just about everything else, Hogan turned down the opportunity. He instead opted to lend his name to the Thunder Mixer, a protein shake blender. Needless to say, the Thunder Mixer didn’t take off but at least he didn’t lose anything on it, right?
Well the product he turned down just happened to go to former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman. The grills were so successful that at one point Foreman was earning $5 million a month. After realizing his mistake, Hogan tried to enter the market himself with the Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill but ended up looking like nothing more than a QVC sales assistant.
5. Hogan vs. Warrior II
Hulk Hogan versus The Ultimate Warrior in Toronto’s SkyDome – that’s SkyDome, Hulk – will go down as one of the most memorable main events in WrestleMania history. At least, when WWE is acknowledging Hogan anyway. However, its rematch eight years later at WCW’s Halloween Havoc in 1998 will be one that everyone wants to forget.
Everyone from viewers, critics, WCW head Eric Bischoff, and both competitors have spoken about how bad of a match it was – with some labeling it the worst of all time. The most embarrassing part of it all came when Hogan botched a spot he created, where instead of creating the illusion of throwing a fireball in Warrior’s face he actually set off the fire in his own face and burned his own mustache and eyebrows.
4. Retweeting Blunders
— Monkey D. Jiggy (@Jackel_Ramzilla) July 27, 2015
Hulk Hogan really doesn’t seem to understand Twitter. His tendency to retweet just about anything has caused a few blushes over time. He infamously retweeted a picture of missing Briton Madeleine McCann with the message “@HulkHogan any chance of an RT for my little niece? She just won the hide and seek competition and loves watching you”
He wasn’t done there though, as he was also duped into retweeting a photo of convicted pedophile and rapist Josef Fritzl, who had fathered seven children with his own daughter whom he had imprisoned in his basement for over 20 years. The image was even photoshopped with a shirt that read ‘World’s Greatest Dad’.
Since the racist audio leaked, has once more fallen into the trap, as several people have been tweeting photos of ‘themselves’ showing their support for him. However, these photos have actually been of black soccer players and Hulk has ended up with egg on his face again.
Another product that Hogan has lent his formerly marketable name to, Hostamania is a website hosting service for those who wish to avoid the bigger names in the market. Attaching his name to this isn’t so bad you may think, and you’d mostly be correct.
However, you clearly haven’t seen the advertisement for it. There is little to say that can truly sum up the horror that was used to try and sell this product. There are only two words for ya: wrecking ball.
2. Hogan Knows Best
Inspired by the success of celebrity family reality show The Osbournes, Hogan decided to sign his own family up for a show of their own – Hogan Knows Best. What transpired throughout its run showed that, if nothing else, the show was seriously off with its title.
Unlike how Ozzy and co. managed to capture the hearts of viewers with the tale of Ozzy’s recovery from alcoholism alongside his family, Hogan showed a dysfunctional home that was more in line with The Addams Family.
The show was cancelled after two years thanks to his son Nick crashing his car whilst drunk under the legal age, the result of which saw his friend in a permanent vegetative coma. But the best family drama was saved for last…
1. The Divorce & Fallout
Everything pales in comparison to the saga Hogan went through during and after his divorce from his ex-wife Linda.
Hulk cheated on Linda with a friend of Brooke’s, 21 years his junior. In retaliation, Linda slept with a 19-year-old schoolmate of Nick’s, with a 29 year age gap between the two.
Hogan’s other known sexual exploit behind Linda’s back is easily his biggest embarrassment, as he slept with Heather Clem, the wife of his then-friend Bubba the Love Sponge. The act was filmed and gossip site Gawker leaked part of the footage online, kicking off the long legal proceeding over the private tape that has since been revealed to contain the racist and homophobic slurs that have brought Hogan into disrepute.
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