As children, many professional wrestling fans who grew up during the 1980s and 1990s saw a man who could stand next to a mountain and chop it down with only the edge of his hand. They may have thrown in that he could make islands from those pieces. While Hogan didn’t really do any of the things in the “Voodoo Child” song he used as his theme about 10 years ago, there’s no exaggeration that he was unstoppable in his prime.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Hulk Hogan who would win the WWE Championship five times before winning another six world heavyweight titles during his time in World Championship Wrestling during the infamous Monday Night War. He would then win the WWE Undisputed Championship shortly after his return in 2002. His popularity surpassed professional wrestling and led to him being a star in pop culture. Hogan became an icon with his own cartoon shows, movie cameos and various products bought by fans.
But over the years, it was apparent that Hogan had a lot of power behind the scenes. He was rarely seen losing much during his prime years in the WWE and early in his WCW run. It turns out that he had a lot of say in what wrestlers would be able to go over against him, which were few and far between. In fact, one can say that his influence on story lines and plans prevented a number of talents from reaching their full potential.
The list of wrestlers who Hulk Hogan buried spans over the course of four decades, which might have built up enough karma to end his professional wrestling career. The following are the top 15 wrestlers that his decisions have negatively affected.
15 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels only finds himself at no.15 on this list because he did plenty to retaliate. Hulk Hogan was brought back in mid-2005 in somewhat of a retirement tour, having been inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier that year. His opponent was set to be Shawn Michaels, in a Legend vs. Icon encounter, that would see a series of matches with each claiming a victory over the other.
However, the way this feud was booked was entirely to benefit Hogan. Michaels wrote in his book Heartbreak & Triumph that Hogan requested the feud to be booked with Michaels as a heel, rather than the simple legend vs. legend card. “I was told, ‘Terry would prefer if it was classic heel vs. babyface…We want you like you were in ’98.’ You gotta be kidding me. That guy would eat him alive!” Apparently Hogan was concerned over getting a mixed crowd reaction and wanted to ensure HBK would be the one getting booed.
John Tenta was known by a lot of different names during his professional wrestling career. However, many fans may know him best as Earthquake during the early 1990s. The biggest peak of his career was when he feuded with Hulk Hogan in 1990 when Tenta’s character hit his signature splash multiple times to write Hogan off for a bit until SummerSlam 1990. Hogan would get a count out victory over Earthquake before the two would meet each other at the end of the 1991 Royal Rumble, which Hogan would win again.
13 Rick Rude
There is belief that Hulk Hogan was not interested in facing “Ravishing” Rick Rude for a lengthy run in WWE during the late 1980s because Hogan was more interested in facing guys like the earlier mentioned John Tenta or Macho Man Randy Savage. Because he was filming multiple movies at the time, Hogan was not available on a full-time schedule while holding the WWE Championship.
There was a time when Vader was a top man in WCW during the 1990s. He held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on three separate occasions and he was booked very strongly during that time. He was even named the Wrestler of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1993, but Vader was unable to defeat Hogan for the championship, which caused his status as a main event talent to take a hit.
11 Bobby Roode
There was a time when Hulk Hogan had some creative input when it came to how things went at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Back in 2011, Bobby Roode was booked to be in the main event against Kurt Angle for the company’s big event, Bound for Glory. Before the event, Hogan was doing a radio interview in which he didn’t have a lot of positive things to say about the younger Roode.
10 Randy Orton
Back in 2006, Randy Orton was developing into quite a big star in the WWE. He was attacking a number of past superstars and was calling himself the Legend Killer. This would lead to Orton actually going into a match with Hulk Hogan for a match at SummerSlam in 2006. One would have thought this would be a perfect time for Hogan to finally put over a young star who was poised to make a big run that year.
While he might not have truly hailed from the Land of the Rising Sun, Yokozuna was definitely one of the largest to ever compete in professional wrestling. In fact, he weighed a little more than 580 pounds during the height of his wrestling career. He quickly squashed, literally, the competition before he won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania IX over Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, only to drop the belt to Hogan minutes later.
8 Ultimate Warrior
Granted, Hulk Hogan actually stayed down for a three-count to allow The Ultimate Warrior to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania VI, but Hogan would get the last laugh because it turns out that Hogan was part of the creative planning to have Warrior drop the belt to Sgt. Slaughter – who had adopted an Iraqi-sympathizer gimmick. This would set up a championship match at WrestleMania VII wherein Hogan defeated Slaughter.
7 “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig
Curt Hennig was not always known as “Mr. Perfect” in the WWE. In fact, he had a brief stint early in the 1980s before making his return with the well-known moniker in 1988. Hennig was booked as an egotistical superstar who liked to brag about how athletic he was. It led to him having an undefeated streak that lasted for more than a year, which included him winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
6 Roddy Piper
Roddy Piper will likely be known as one of the greatest professional wrestlers who has never won a world heavyweight championship. During his time in the WWE during the 1980s, he was just as much a main event superstar as Hulk Hogan. In fact, they were part of the initial WrestleMania main event in a tag team match. However, Hogan was always getting the better of Piper and keeping “Hot Rod” from winning the top title.
5 Jake “The Snake” Roberts
When talking about some of the best speakers in wrestling history, Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ name belongs in the top-tier of the discussion. He was a great heel during the 1980s and was even considered for a feud against Hogan. The two did a segment that included Roberts hitting Hogan with the signature DDT to set up a pay-per-view match for Hogan’s WWE Championship. However, the match actually never happened.
4 Bret Hart
Bret “The Hitman” Hart once called himself “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.” While most professional wrestling fans would agree to that testament, there was a time when at least one person didn’t quite agree with that. Apparently, Hogan didn’t want to put Hart over in a championship match. This would eventually lead to a very weird way of Hogan getting the championship over the fan-favorite Hart, while still being booked as a face.
You've gotta hand it to Hogan. Even in putting a top babyface over, he found a way to bury him.
One of the big matches that fans were looking forward to in WCW was a match between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. However, the match didn’t have a clean ending with controversy over whether a pinfall on Hogan was counted too fast and led to Bret Hart restarting the match. Sting would get the submission win, but the championship was vacated later that week on WCW television.
2 “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Randy Savage was one of the best men who could talk during the 1980s and 1990s and was just as charismatic, if not more so, than Hulk Hogan was. The two formed a memorable tag team known as the Mega Powers, but Savage was never able to get a pinfall victory over Hogan during the rivalry that spanned from WWE to WCW. In fact, Savage’s last two reigns as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion were ended by Hogan, each about 24 hours after Savage won the title.
1 Hulk Hogan, Himself
There have been a lot of talented professional wrestlers who have been buried by Hulk Hogan, and many more with whom he refused to work in an effort to keep himself at the top of the industry’s mountain. However, Hogan’s decisions and opinion would actually cause him to fall from the top of that mountain. In 2015, audio of Hogan using racial slurs from 2007 began to surface in the news.
While he apologized for the comments and claimed that he resigned from WWE, the company terminated the Legends contract they had with him. Not only that, Hogan’s name was taken off the website and the company did as much as they could to distance themselves from Hogan. In a sense, Hogan led to his own career’s funeral. While he has been off wrestling television since then, he has won a lawsuit against Gawker Media for the release of the tape that had the racial comments he made.
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