|Birth name||Terry Gene Bollea|
|Ring name(s)||The Super Destroyer
Hollywood Hulk Hogan
|Billed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Billed weight||302 lb (137 kg)|
August 11, 1953 |
Augusta, Georgia, USA
|Billed from||Venice Beach, California
Washington, D.C. (as Mr. America)
Hollywood, California (as Hollywood Hogan)
|Trained by||Hiro Matsuda|
Terry Gene Bollea (born August 11, 1953), better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, actor, television personality, entrepreneur, and musician. Hogan enjoyed mainstream popularity in the 1980s and 90s as the all-American character Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), and as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, the villainous nWo leader, in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). A regular pay-per-view headliner in both organizations, Hogan closed the respective premier annual events of the WWF and WCW, WrestleMania and Starrcade, on multiple occasions. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. He was signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2010 until 2013, where he was the on-screen General Manager.
Hulk Hogan is a 12-time world champion being a six-time WWF/E Champion and six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He is the second longest combined reigning WWF Champion of all time (after Bruno Sammartino, and before Bob Backlund) the longest-reigning champion of the 1980s, and holds two of the ten longest title runs in WWF/E history, having held the title for 1,474 days from 1984-1988 (the fourth longest reign of all time) and 364 days from 1989 to 1990 (the 9th longest reign of all time). He is also the longest-reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion of all time, with a 469-day reign from 1994-1995. Hogan won the Royal Rumble in 1990 and 1991, making him the first man to win two consecutive Royal Rumbles.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Early years (1977–1979)
- 2.2 World Wrestling Federation (1979–1980)
- 2.3 New Japan Pro Wrestling (1980–1983, 1984–1985)
- 2.4 American Wrestling Association (1981–1983)
- 2.5 Return to World Wrestling Federation (1983-1993)
- 2.6 Return to New Japan (1993–1994)
- 2.7 World Championship Wrestling (1994-2000)
- 2.8 Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
- 2.9 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)
- 2.10 Return to WWE (2005–2007)
- 2.11 Memphis Wrestling and PMG Clash of Legends (2007)
- 2.12 Return to TNA Wrestling (2009-2013)
- 3 Endorsements and business ventures
- 4 Other media
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Honors
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Other media
- 9 In wrestling
- 10 Championships and accomplishments
- 11 References
- 12 Notes
- 13 External links
Hogan was born Terry Eugene Bollea in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Ruth V. (née Moody), a homemaker and dance teacher, and Peter Bollea, a construction foreman. He has Italian, French, and Panamanian heritage.
As a boy, he was a pitcher in Little League Baseball. He began watching professional wrestling at 16 years old. While in high school, he revered Dusty Rhodes, and he regularly attended cards at the Tampa Sportatorium. It was at one of those wrestling cards where he first turned his attention towards "Superstar" Billy Graham and looked to him for inspiration; since he first saw Graham on TV, Hogan wanted to match his "inhuman" look. Hogan was also a skilled musician, spending ten years playing electric bass guitar in several Florida-based rock bands.
He went on to study at Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida. After music gigs began to get in the way of his time in college, Hogan decided to drop out of the University of South Florida before receiving any degree. Eventually, Hogan and two local musicians formed a band called Ruckus in 1976. The band soon became a local sensation in the Tampa Bay region.
During his spare time, Hogan worked out at Hector's Gym in the Tampa Bay area and eventually became strong enough to do big lifting. Many of the wrestlers who were competing in the Florida region visited the bars where Ruckus was performing. Among those attending his performances were Jack and Gerald Brisco, two brothers who wrestled together as a tag team in the Florida region. Impressed by Hogan's physical stature, the Brisco brothers asked Hiro Matsuda—the man who trained wrestlers working for Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF)—to make him a potential trainee. In 1976, the two brothers asked Hogan to try wrestling. Having been a wrestling fan since childhood, Hogan eventually agreed. At first, however, Mike Graham, the son of CWF promoter Eddie Graham, refused to put Hogan in the ring; according to Hogan, he met Graham while in high school and the two didn't get along. However, after Hogan quit Ruckus and started telling people in town that he was going to be a wrestler, Mike Graham finally agreed to accept the Brisco Brothers' request.
Professional wrestling career
Early years (1977–1979)
In the mid-1977, after training for more than a year with Matsuda, the Brisco brothers dropped by Matsuda's gym to see Hogan. During this visit, Jack Brisco handed Hogan a pair of wrestling boots and informed him that he was scheduled to wrestle his first match the following week. In his professional wrestling debut, Eddie Graham booked him against Brian Blair in Fort Myers, Florida on August 10, 1977, in Championship Wrestling from Florida. A short time later, Bollea donned a mask and assumed the persona of "The Super Destroyer," a hooded character first played by Don Jardine and subsequently used by other wrestlers. Hogan, however, eventually could no longer work with Hiro Matsuda, whom he felt was an overbearing trainer, and left Championship Wrestling From Florida. After declining an offer to wrestle for the Kansas City circuit, Hogan took a hiatus from wrestling and managed a private club in Cocoa Beach, Florida-known as the Anchor Club-. for a man named Whitey Bridges. Eventually, Whitey and Hogan became close friends, and decided to open a gym together; the gym became known as Whitey and Terry's Olympic gym. Soon after, Hogan's friend Ed Leslie (later known as Brutus Beefcake) came down to Cocoa Beach to help Hogan and Bridges manage both the Anchor Club and the Whitey and Terry's Olympic Gym. On his spare time, he and Leslie worked out in the gym together, and eventually, Beefcake developed a muscular physique; Hogan was impressed by Beefcake's physical stature and became convinced that the two of them should wrestle together as tag team partners. Depressed and yearning to return to wrestling, Hogan called Superstar Billy Graham in 1978 with hopes that Graham could find him a job wrestling outside of Florida; Graham agreed and Hogan soon joined Louie Tillet's Alabama territory. Hogan also convinced Leslie, who had yet to become a wrestler, to come with him and promised to teach him everything he knew about the sport.
In Alabama, he and Leslie wrestled as Terry and Ed Boulder, known as the Boulder Brothers. These early matches as a tag team with the surname Boulder being used by both men prompted a rumor among wrestling fans unaware of the inner workings of the sport that Hogan and Leslie were brothers, as few people actually knew their real names outside of immediate friends, family, and of course the various promoters the two worked for. After wrestling a show for Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in Memphis, Jerry Jarrett, the promoter for the (CWA), approached Hogan and Leslie and offered them a job in his promotion for $800.00 a week; this was far more than the $175.00 a week they would make working for Tillet. Hogan and Leslie accepted this offer and left Tillet's territory.
During his time in Memphis, Hogan appeared on a local talk show, where he sat beside Lou Ferrigno, star of the television series The Incredible Hulk. The host commented on how Terry, who stood 6 ft 7 in (201 cm) and weighed 295 pounds with 24 inch biceps, actually dwarfed "The Hulk." Watching the show backstage, Mary Jarrett noticed that Hogan was actually bigger than Ferrigno, who was well known at the time for having large muscles. As a result, Bollea began performing as Terry "The Hulk" Boulder and sometimes wrestled as Sterling Golden.
In May 1979, Bollea had an early shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which at the time was generally recognized as the highest honor in wrestling. On December 1, 1979, Bollea won his first wrestling championship, the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Northern Division), recognized in Alabama and Tennessee, when he defeated Bob Roop in Knoxville, TN. Bollea would drop the belt in January 1980 to Bob Armstrong.
World Wrestling Federation (1979–1980)
Later that year, former NWA World Champion Terry Funk introduced Bollea to the company head Vincent J. McMahon, who was impressed with his charisma and physical stature. McMahon, who wanted to use an Irish name, gave Bollea the last name Hogan, and also wanted him to dye his hair red. Hogan who said his hair was already beginning to fall out, refused to dye it and simply said, "I'll be a blond Irish." Hogan wrestled his first match in the WWF on November 17 defeating Harry Valdez on WWF Championship Wrestling. He made his first appearance at Madison Square Garden, defeating Ted DiBiase after a bearhug. McMahon gave Hogan former tag team champion Tony Altomare as chaperone and guide. At this time, Hogan wrestled Bob Backlund for the World Championship, and he started his first big feud with André the Giant, which culminated in a match with André at Shea Stadium in August 1980. Hulk Hogan claims in his autobiography that he and André the Giant were the reason for the Shea gate. However, Bruno Sammartino/Larry Zbyszko sold out everywhere they wrestled leading up the show. Hogan and Andre wrestled in White Plains, New York, drawing 1,200 in a building that held 3,500 as the main event before they wrestled at Shea. During his initial heel run in the WWF, Hogan was paired with "Classy" Freddie Blassie, a wrestler-turned-manager.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1980–1983, 1984–1985)
A great deal of Hogan's early success was achieved in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Japanese wrestling fans were in awe of the gargantuan blond American and nicknamed him "Ichiban" (which translates to "Number One"). Hogan first appeared in Japan on May 13, 1980, while he was still with the WWF. He occasionally toured the country over the next few years, facing a wide variety of opponents ranging from Tatsumi Fujinami to Abdullah the Butcher. When competing in Japan, Hogan used a vastly different repertoire of wrestling moves, relying on more technical, traditional wrestling holds and maneuvers as opposed to the power-based, brawling style American fans became accustomed to seeing from him. Another difference is that Hogan used the Axe Bomber, a crooked arm lariat, as his finisher in Japan instead of the running leg drop that has been his standard finisher in America. Hogan still made appearances for the WWF, even unsuccessfully challenging Pedro Morales for the Intercontinental Championship on March 26, 1981. On June 2, 1983, Hogan became the first International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) tournament winner (although he held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, this was not the beginning of the actual championship), defeating Japanese wrestling icon Antonio Inoki by knockout in the finals of a 10-man tournament featuring top talent from throughout the world. Hogan and Inoki also worked as partners in Japan, winning the prestigious MSG Tag League tournament two years in a row: in 1982 and 1983. Hogan's popularity in Japan was so great, he even recorded an album there—a forerunner to the World Wrestling Federation's "Rock 'n' Wrestling" of the mid-1980s.
In 1984, Hogan returned to New Japan, to wrestle Antonio Inoki in the finals of the IWGP League, in which he lost the belt by countout, thanks to interference from Riki Chōshū. Hogan also defended his WWF World title against various stars in New Japan including Inoki, Seiji Sakaguchi, and Tatsumi Fujinami among others, until the WWF ended their relationship with New Japan in October 1985.
American Wrestling Association (1981–1983)
After filming his scene for Rocky III against the elder McMahon's wishes, Hogan made his debut in the American Wrestling Association, owned by Verne Gagne. Hogan started his AWA run as a heel, taking on "Luscious" Johnny Valiant as his manager. This didn't last for long as the AWA fans fell in love with Hogan's presence and Hogan became the top face of the AWA, battling the Heenan Family and Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA championship to many "Dusty Finishes" teasing the fans for an obviously deserved and fan demanded title run as the peoples champion. But behind the scenes Gagne placed demands on Bollea before handing the AWA title over to him. Hogan, unwilling to give up his life as a bachelor and marry Gagne's daughter for the world title of the AWA, continued to turn down the belt. Hulk's AWA popularity and HULKAMANIA pushed him to the top of the USA wrestling scene, and even, the worldwide scene of wrestling, and Hogan was an obvious star. Soon, attempts to woo Hogan into giving Gagne more of a share of his profits and booking in Japan along with attempts to bring him into the Gagne family pushed Hogan to leave the AWA and Hogan accepted an offer to return to the Northeast by Vincent K. McMahon Jr., who had just recently purchased the WWF from his ailing father.
Return to World Wrestling Federation (1983-1993)
The Crowning of Hulkamania (1983–1984)
After purchasing the company from his father in 1982, Vincent K. McMahon had plans to expand the territory into a nationwide promotion, and he handpicked Hulk Hogan to be the company's showpiece attraction due to his charisma and name recognition. Hogan made his return at a television taping in St. Louis, Missouri on December 27, 1983 defeating Bill Dixon.
On the January 7, 1984 edition of Championship Wrestling, Hogan confirmed his face status for the WWF fans by saving Bob Backlund from a three-way assault. Hogan's turn was explained simply by Backlund: "He's changed his ways. He's a great man. He's told me he's not gonna have Blassie around." The storyline shortcut was necessary because less than three weeks later on January 23, Hogan won his first WWF Championship, pinning The Iron Sheik (who had Blassie in his corner) in Madison Square Garden. The storyline accompanying the victory was that Hogan was a "last minute" replacement for the Sheik's original opponent Bob Backlund, and became the champion by way of being the first man to escape the camel clutch (the Iron Sheik's finishing move). The backstage story was that the WWF Champion Bob Backlund had refused to let Hogan win the title from him, demanding that any wrestler to whom he lost the belt have a legitimate wrestling background. As a consequence, The Iron Sheik won the title from Backlund first and then dropped it to Hogan.
Immediately after the title win, commentator Gorilla Monsoon proclaimed "Hulkamania is here!" Hogan frequently referred to his fans as "Hulkamaniacs" in his interviews and introduced his three "demandments": training, saying prayers, and eating vitamins. Eventually, a fourth demandment (believing in oneself) was added during his feud with Earthquake in 1990. Hogan's ring gear developed a characteristic yellow-and-red color scheme; his ring entrances involved him ritualistically ripping his shirt off his body, flexing, and listening for audience cheers in an exaggerated manner. The majority of Hogan's matches during this time involved him wrestling heels who had been booked as unstoppable monsters, using a format which became near-routine: Hogan would deliver steady offense, but eventually lose momentum, seemingly nearing defeat. He would then experience a sudden second wind, fighting back while "feeding" off the energy of the audience, becoming impervious to attack—a process described as "Hulking up". His signature maneuvers—pointing at the opponent (which would later be accompanied by a loud "YOU!" from the audience), shaking his finger to scold him, three punches, an Irish Whip, the big boot and running leg drop—would follow and ensure him a victory. That finishing sequence would occasionally change depending on the storyline and opponent; for instance, with "Giant" wrestlers, the sequence might involve a body slam.
Over the next year, Hulk Hogan became the face of pro wrestling as McMahon pushed the WWF into a pop culture enterprise with The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection on MTV, drawing record houses, pay-per-view buyrates, and television ratings in the process. The centerpiece attraction for the first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985, Hogan teamed with legit friend, TV and movie star Mr. T, to defeat his archrival "Rowdy"Roddy Piper and "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. On the first edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Hogan successfully defended the WWF title against Cowboy Bob Orton in a match which Hogan won by a disqualification (Orton had been in the corner of Piper and Orndorff at Wrestlemania and had accidentally caused his team's defeat by knocking out Orndorff after he jumped from the top turnbuckle and hit him in the back of the head with his arm cast in a shot meant for Hogan).
Hogan was named the most requested celebrity of the 1980s for the Make-a-Wish Foundation children's charity. He was featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated (the first and as of 2013, only professional wrestler to do so), TV Guide, and People magazines, while also appearing on The Tonight Show and having his own CBS Saturday morning cartoon titled Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling. Hogan, as the premier WWF icon, headlined eight of the first nine WrestleMania events. He also co-hosted Saturday Night Live on March 30, 1985 during this lucrative run. AT&T reported that his 900 number information line was the single biggest 900 number from 1991 to 1993. Hogan operated the 900 number through his stint in WWF and then recreated it when he joined World Championship Wrestling.
WWF Champion (1984–1988)
On the October 5, 1985 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he successfully defended the title against Nikolai Volkoff in a flag match. He met long-time rival Roddy Piper in a WWF title match at the Wrestling Classic pay-per-view (PPV) event. Hogan retained the title by disqualification after Bob Orton interfered and hit Hogan with his cast. Hogan had many challengers in the way as the new year began. Throughout 1986, Hogan made successful title defenses against challengers such as Terry Funk, Don Muraco, King Kong Bundy (in a steel cage match at WrestleMania 2), Paul Orndorff, and Hercules Hernandez.
In the fall of 1986, Hogan occasionally wrestled in tag matches with The Machines as Hulk Machine under a mask copied from New Japan Pro Wrestling gimmick "Super Strong Machine." At WrestleMania III in 1987, Hogan was booked to defend the title against André the Giant, who had been the sport's premier star and was pushed as undefeated for the previous two decades. A new storyline was introduced in early 1987; Hogan was presented a trophy for being the WWF Champion for three consecutive years. André the Giant, a good friend came out to congratulate him. Shortly afterward, André was presented a slightly smaller trophy for being "undefeated in the WWF for 15 years." Hogan came out to congratulate André, who walked out in the midst of Hogan's speech. Then, on an edition of Piper's Pit, Hogan was confronted by Bobby Heenan, who announced that André was his new protégé, and Andre challenged Hogan to a title match at WrestleMania III. At WrestleMania III, Hogan successfully defended the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against André the Giant. During the match, Hogan bodyslammed the 520-pound Frenchman (which was dubbed "the bodyslam heard around the world") and won the match after a leg drop.
The Mega Powers (1988–1989)
Hogan remained WWF Champion for four years (1,474 days). In front of 33 million viewers, however, Hogan finally lost the belt to André on the February 5 edition of The Main Event after a convoluted scam involving "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Earl Hebner (who assumed the place of his twin brother Dave Hebner, the match's appointed referee). After André delivered a belly to belly suplex on Hogan, Hebner counted the pin while Hogan's left shoulder was clearly off the mat. After the match, André handed the title over to DiBiase to complete their business deal. As a result, the WWF Championship was vacated for the first time in its 25-year history because WWF President Jack Tunney decreed the championship could not be sold from one wrestler to another. At WrestleMania IV, Hogan participated in a tournament for the vacant WWF title to regain it; he and André were given a bye into quarter-finals but their match resulted in a double disqualification. Later that night in the main event, Hogan came to ringside to stop André interfering which helped "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeat Ted DiBiase to win the title.
Together, Hogan, Savage, and manager Miss Elizabeth formed a partnership known as The Mega Powers. After Savage became WWF Champion at WrestleMania IV, they feuded with The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and André the Giant) and defeated them at the main event of the first SummerSlam. They then went on to feud with Slick's Twin Towers: Akeem and Big Boss Man.
In mid-1988, Hogan wrestled at house shows in singles competition with his "War Bonnet", a red and yellow gladiator helmet with a fist-shaped crest. This was notably used to give Bad News Brown his first WWF loss at a Madison Square Garden house show before it was discarded altogether. The War Bonnet gimmick was revisited in the WWE's online comedy series Are You Serious? in 2012.
The Mega Powers began to implode due to Savage's burgeoning jealousy of Hogan and his paranoid suspicions that Hogan and Elizabeth were more than friends. At the Royal Rumble in 1989, Hogan eliminated Savage from the Royal Rumble match while eliminating Bad News Brown, which caused tension, only to be eliminated by the Twin Towers himself. The duo broke up while wrestling The Twin Towers on the February 3, 1989 edition of The Main Event. During the match, Savage accidentally collided with Miss Elizabeth. Hogan took her backstage to receive medical attention, temporarily abandoning Savage. When he returned to the ring, Savage slapped Hogan and left the ring, where Hogan eventually won the match by himself. After the match, Savage attacked Hogan backstage, which started a feud between the two. Their feud culminated in Hogan beating Savage for his second WWF Championship at WrestleMania V.
WWF Championship reigns (1989–1992)
Hogan's second run lasted a year, during which time he starred in the movie No Holds Barred. The film was the inspiration of a feud with Hogan's co-star Tom Lister, Jr., who appeared at wrestling events as his movie character, Zeus. Zeus was a monster heel who was "jealous" over Hogan's higher billing and wanted revenge. Hogan, however, was easily able to defeat Zeus in a series of matches across the country during late 1989, beginning with a tag team match at SummerSlam, in which Hogan and Brutus Beefcake topped Zeus and Savage. Hogan and Beefcake defeated Zeus and Savage in a rematch at the No Holds Barred pay-per-view to end the feud.
During his second run, Hogan won the 1990 Royal Rumble match. He dropped the title to Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior in a title versus title match at WrestleMania VI on April 1, 1990.
Hogan soon became embroiled in a heated feud with the 470-pound Earthquake, who had crushed Hogan's ribs in a sneak attack on The Brother Love Show in May 1990. On television, announcers explained that Hogan's injuries and his WrestleMania VI loss to Warrior both took such a huge toll on his fighting spirit that he wanted to retire. Viewers were asked to write letters to Hogan and send postcards asking for his return (they got a postcard-sized picture in return, autographed by Hogan, as a "thank-you"). Hogan returned by SummerSlam 1990 and for several months, dominated Earthquake in a series of matches across the country. His defeat of this overwhelmingly large foe caused Hogan to add a fourth demandment: believing in yourself. He also became known as "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan. Hogan then became the first wrestler to win two Royal Rumble matches in a row, as he won the 1991 Royal Rumble match.
At WrestleMania VII, Hogan stood up for the USA against Sgt. Slaughter, defeating him for his third WWF Championship. In the fall of 1991, Hogan was challenged by Ric Flair, the former NWA champion who recently arrived in the WWF. The feud remained unresolved, as Hogan lost the WWF title to The Undertaker at Survivor Series, and he won it back at This Tuesday in Texas six days later. Flair had interfered in both matches and due to the resulting controversy, the title was again declared vacant.
The WWF Championship was decided at the 1992 Royal Rumble in the Royal Rumble match. Hogan failed to regain the championship as he was eliminated by friend Sid Justice and in turn caused Sid to be eliminated, leaving Ric Flair the winner and new champion. Hogan and Sid patched things up and teamed together on the February 8, 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event against Flair and Undertaker but during the match Sid abandoned Hogan, starting their feud. At WrestleMania VIII, Hogan defeated Sid via disqualification due to interference by Sid's manager Harvey Wippleman. Hogan was then attacked by Papa Shango and was saved by the returning Ultimate Warrior.
At this time, news sources began to allege that Dr. George, a doctor for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, had been selling steroids illegally to wrestlers in general and Hogan in particular. Hogan appeared on an episode of The Arsenio Hall Show to deny the allegations. Due to intense public scrutiny, Hogan took a leave of absence from the company.
Return and departure (1993–1994)
Hogan returned to the WWF in February 1993, helping out his friend Brutus Beefcake in his feud with Money Inc. ("The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster), and officially renaming themselves The Mega-Maniacs, taking on Money Inc.'s former manager "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart (a long time friend of Hogan's outside of wrestling) as their manager in what was the first time WWF audiences had seen Hart as a face. At WrestleMania IX, Hogan and Beefcake took on Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship. However, Hogan thought he was too big of a star to be a tag champion and instead wanted the World title. So Hogan and Vince McMahon came up with the plan that Hogan and Brutus would be disqualified in their match. Hogan went into the match sporting a cut above a black eye rumored to be caused by a Randy Savage punch after an argument between the two the day before the event. The WWF used Hogan's injury in a storyline that had DiBiase allegedly paying a group of thugs to take Hogan out before WrestleMania. Later that night, Hogan won his fifth WWF Championship by pinning Yokozuna only moments after Yokozuna had defeated Bret Hart. McMahon then planned that Hogan and Bret Hart would eventually fight in a big match at Summerslam 1993 in which Hogan would drop the title to Hart. Hogan did not want to drop the title in a clean loss to Hart, due to Hart's size and doubts over whether he could draw. He opted to lose the title to the heel Yokozuna instead. At the first annual King of the Ring pay-per-view on June 13, 1993, Hogan defended the championship against the former champion, Yokozuna, in his first title defense since defeating Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX. Yokozuna kicked out of Hogan's signature leg drop and scored the pinfall after Hogan was blinded by a fireball shot by a "Japanese photographer" (actually a disguised Harvey Wippleman). This was Hogan's idea as he did not want Yokozuna to gain a clean victory over him. The victorious Yokozuna proceeded to give Hogan a Banzai Drop. This was Hogan's last WWF pay-per-view appearance until 2002, as both he and Jimmy Hart were preparing to leave the promotion. Hogan continued his feud on the international house show circuit with Yokozuna until August 1993. After that, Hogan sat out the rest of his contract which expired later that year.
In 1994, Hogan, having received immunity from prosecution, testified in the trial of Vince McMahon relating to shipments of steroids received from Dr. Zahorian by both parties. Under oath, Hogan admitted that he had used anabolic steroids since 1976 to gain size and weight, but that Vince McMahon had neither sold him the drugs, nor ordered him to take them. The evidence given by Hogan proved extremely costly to the government's case against McMahon. Due to this and jurisdictional issues, McMahon was found not guilty.
Return to New Japan (1993–1994)
On May 3, 1993, Hulk Hogan returned to NJPW as WWF Champion, defeating IWGP Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta in a dream match at Wrestling Dontaku 1993. Hogan wrestled against Muta again, under his real name, Keiji Mutoh on September 26, 1993. Hogan also wrestled The Hell Raisers with Muta and Masahiro Chono as his partners. His last match in Japan was on January 4, 1994 at Battlefield, when he defeated Tatsumi Fujinami.
World Championship Wrestling (1994-2000)
Early run (1994–1996)
After Hogan left the WWF in the summer of 1993, he split his time working on movies, television, wrestling in Japan, and spending time with his family. In June 1994, Hogan signed with Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and began appearing on television the next month. Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in his debut match, defeating Ric Flair in a 'dream' match at Bash at the Beach. After overcoming the likes of Flair, The Butcher (former partner Brutus Beefcake), Vader, and the Dungeon of Doom for the next fifteen months (the longest reign of all time for this championship), Hogan dropped the belt to The Giant at Halloween Havoc 1995 via DQ. Following the controversial loss (which was due to a "contract clause"), the WCW title became vacant.
In early 1996, Hogan continued his feud with The Giant, before teaming with Randy Savage in a feud with the Alliance to End Hulkamania. After coming out victorious from his feuds, Hogan began to only appear occasionally on WCW programming.
New World Order (1996–1998)
At Bash at the Beach in 1996, during a six man tag team match pitting The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) against WCW loyalists, Hogan interfered on behalf of Nash and Hall, attacking Randy Savage, thereby turning heel for the first time in nearly fifteen years. After the match, Hogan delivered a promo, accosting the fans and WCW for underappreciating his talent and drawing power, and announcing the formation of the New World Order (nWo). The new stable gained prominence in the following weeks and months. Hogan grew a beard alongside his famous mustache and dyed it black, traded his red and yellow garb in for black and white clothing, often detailed with lightning bolts, and renamed himself Hollywood Hulk Hogan (often shortened to Hollywood Hogan). Hogan returned to WCW programming eight days after his heel turn.
Hogan won his second WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Hog Wild, defeating The Giant for the title. He spray painted "nWo" across the title belt, scribbled across the nameplate, and referred to the title as the "nWo title" during this and any other time he held the title while in the nWo. Hogan then started a feud with Lex Luger after Luger and The Giant defeated Hogan and Dennis Rodman in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach.
On the August 4, 1997, episode of Nitro, Hogan lost the WCW title to Luger by submission. Five days later, at Road Wild, Hogan defeated Luger to regain the WCW title and begin his third WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan then lost the belt to Sting in a match at Starrcade. In the match, WCW's newly contracted Bret Hart accused referee Nick Patrick of fast-counting a victory for Hogan and had the match restarted—with himself as referee. Sting later won by submission. After a rematch the following night, where Sting controversially retained the title, the WCW Championship became vacant. Sting then went on to win the vacant title against Hogan at SuperBrawl VIII.
Hogan then developed a rivalry with former friend (and recent nWo recruit) Randy Savage, who had just cost Hogan the title match at SuperBrawl by hitting him with a spray can. The heat culminated in a steel cage match at Uncensored, which ended in a no contest. Savage took the World Championship from Sting at Spring Stampede, while Hogan teamed with Kevin Nash to take on Roddy Piper and The Giant in the first-ever Bat match. Hogan betrayed Nash by hitting him with the bat and then challenged Savage the following night for his championship. In the no disqualification match for Savage's newly won title, Nash entered the ring and powerbombed Hogan as retribution for the attack the previous night. Bret Hart interfered moments later and turned heel by jumping in to attack Savage and preserve the victory for Hogan, who won his fourth WCW World Heavyweight Championship. However, Nash's attack on him signified a split of the nWo into two separate factions—Hogan's became nWo Hollywood and Nash's became nWo Wolfpac—that feuded with each other for the remainder of the year.
Hogan defended the title until July of that year, when WCW booked him in a match against newcomer and then WCW United States Champion Goldberg, who had yet to lose a match in the company. Late in the match, Hogan was distracted by Karl Malone, and Goldberg pinned Hogan to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Hogan spent the rest of 1998 wrestling celebrity matches. His second tag team match with Dennis Rodman pitted them against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone at Bash at the Beach and at Road Wild, he and Eric Bischoff lost to Page and Jay Leno thanks to interference from Kevin Eubanks, who leveled Bischoff with a Diamond Cutter. Hogan also had a rematch with the Ultimate Warrior at Halloween Havoc, where his nephew Horace aided his victory.
Return to WCW (1998-1999)
On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hogan officially announced his retirement from professional wrestling, as well as his candidacy for President of the United States. Campaign footage aired on Nitro of Hogan and Bischoff holding a press conference, making it appear legitimate. In the long run, however, both announcements were false and merely done as a publicity stunt attempting to draw some of the hype of Jesse Ventura's Minnesota gubernatorial win back to him.
After some time off from WCW, Hogan returned on the January 4, 1999 edition of Nitro to challenge Kevin Nash for the WCW title. Hogan won the match for his fifth WCW World Heavyweight Championship, but many people found the change to be "scandalous". As a result, the warring factions of the nWo reunited into one group, which began feuding with Bill Goldberg and The Four Horsemen.
Conflicts with Vince Russo (1999–2000)
He then lost the title to Ric Flair at Uncensored in a Steel Cage First Blood match. A heavily bleeding Flair won via pinfall in a match refereed by Charles Robinson. During that match, however, Hogan began to show some signs that a face turn was imminent, showing off some old tactics like his "Hulking up" no-sell. The turn would have to wait, however, as Hogan was severely injured in a Texas Tornado match for the world championship featuring him, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, and Flair at Spring Stampede
On the July 12 edition of Nitro, Hogan made his grand return as a full-fledged face and accepted an open challenge from Savage, who had gained the world title at Bash at the Beach the night before in a tag team match by pinning Kevin Nash. Thanks to interference from Nash, Hogan defeated Savage to win his sixth and final WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Nash turned on him the next week, however, and the two began a feud that lasted until the next pay-per-view.
On August 9, 1999, he started the night dressed in the typical black and white, but after a backstage scene with his son, Hogan came out dressed in the traditional red and yellow for his main-event 6-man tag team match. He then defeated Nash in a retirement match at Road Wild to retain his title. Injuries and frustrations were mounting up however, and he was absent from television from October 1999 to February 2000. In his book Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Bollea said that he was asked to take time off by newly hired head of creative booking Vince Russo and was not told when he would be brought back at the time. Despite some reservations, he agreed to do so. On October 24 at Halloween Havoc, Hogan was to face Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (which he had lost to Sting at Fall Brawl the previous month, when Sting beat Hogan by cheating and had turned heel in the process). Hogan, however, came to the ring in street clothes, laid down for the pin, and left the ring.
Soon after his return in February 2000, at Bash at the Beach on July 9, Hogan was involved in a controversial work with Vince Russo. Hogan was scheduled to challenge Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Before the match, there was a backstage dispute between Hogan and Russo. Hogan wanted to take the title, but Russo was going to have Jarrett win, and lose it to Booker T. Russo told Hogan that he was going to have Jarrett lay down for him, simulating a conflict, although Jarrett wasn't told it was a work. When the bell rang, Jarrett laid down in the middle of the ring while Russo threw the WCW World Title belt in the ring and yelled at Hogan from ringside to pin Jarrett. A visibly confused Hogan complied with a foot on Jarrett's chest after getting on the microphone and telling Russo, "Is this your idea, Russo? That's why this company is in the damn shape it's in, because of bullshit like this!" After winning and being announced as the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Hogan immediately took the WCW World Title. Moments later, Russo returned to the ring, angrily proclaiming, "I can guarantee you that this is the last time you will ever see that piece of shit in a WCW stadium!" This is also when the public discovered, through Russo, the "creative control" clause that Hogan had, which meant that Hogan was able to control what would happen with his own character and be able to do so without anyone else being able to tell him no. In his Bash at the Beach shoot promo, Russo said that he was arguing with Hogan all day prior to the event in the back because he wanted to use the clause in the Jarrett match, saying, "That means that, in the middle of this ring, when [Hogan] knew it was bullshit, he beats Jeff Jarrett!"
Since Hogan refused to job to Jarrett, a new WCW World Heavyweight Championship was created, setting the stage for a title match between Booker T and Jeff Jarrett later that night. Whether or not the whole incident was a shoot or a work was hotly debated. As a result, Hogan filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Russo soon after, which was eventually dismissed in 2002. Russo claims the whole thing was a work, and Hogan claims that Russo made it a shoot. Eric Bischoff agreed with Hogan's side of the story when he wrote that Hogan winning and leaving with the title was a work, and that he and Hogan celebrated after the event over the success of the angle, but that Russo coming out to fire Hogan was an unplanned shoot which led to the lawsuit filed by Hogan.
In the months following the eventual demise of WCW in March 2001, Hogan underwent surgery on his knees in order for him to wrestle again. As a test, Hogan worked a match in Orlando, Florida for the Xcitement Wrestling Federation promotion run by his longtime handler Jimmy Hart. Hogan defeated Curt Hennig in this match and felt healthy enough to accept an offer to return to the WWF in February 2002.
Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
Hollywood Hogan and Undisputed WWF/E Champion (2002)
At No Way Out in 2002, Hogan returned to the company that had made him a pop culture icon. Returning as leader of the original nWo with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, the three got into a confrontation with The Rock and cost Steve Austin a chance at becoming the Undisputed WWF Champion against Chris Jericho in the main event. The nWo feuded with both Austin and The Rock, and Hogan accepted The Rock's challenge to a match at WrestleMania X8. At the event, Hogan asked Hall and Nash not to interfere, wanting to defeat The Rock by himself. Despite the fact that Hogan was supposed to be the heel in the match, the crowd cheered for him heavily. The Rock cleanly won the contest, but befriended Hogan at the end of the bout and helped him fight off Hall and Nash, who were upset by Hogan's conciliatory attitude. After the match, Hogan was a definite face again, siding with The Rock, though he continued wearing black and white tights for a few weeks after WrestleMania X8 until he resumed wearing his signature red and yellow tights. During this period, the "Hulk Rules" logo of the 1980s was redone with the text "Hulk Still Rules." Hogan wore the original "Hulk Rules" attire 12 years earlier, when he headlined WrestleMania VI at the same arena, in the SkyDome. For a time, he was still known as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, notably keeping the Hollywood Hogan style blond mustache with black beard while wearing Hulkamania-like red and yellow tights and using the "Voodoo Child" theme music he used in WCW. On April 4, Hogan feuded with Triple H and defeated him for the Undisputed WWF Championship and sixth and final WWF Championship at Backlash, thus becoming the last ever WWF champion before the initials dispute against the World Wildlife Fund For Nature. On May 19 at Judgment Day, he lost the belt to The Undertaker. After losing a Number One Contenders match for the Undisputed Championship to Triple H on June 6, Hogan began feuding with Kurt Angle resulting in a match between the two at the King of the Ring, which Angle won by submission.
On the July 4, 2002 edition of SmackDown!, Hogan teamed with Edge to defeat Billy and Chuck and capture the WWE World Tag Team Championship for the first time. They celebrated by waving the American flag as the overjoyed audience sang along to Hogan's theme song "Real American." They later dropped the titles to The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian), at Vengeance. In August 2002, Hogan was used in an angle with Brock Lesnar, culminating in a main event singles match. Lesnar won by submission (the match was called after Hogan became unconscious from a bear hug hold). Lesnar became only the second WWE Superstar to defeat Hogan by submission (after Kurt Angle), and the first to defeat Hogan by having the match called. Following the match, Lesnar continued to beat on Hogan, leaving him bloody and unconscious in the ring. As a result of Lesnar's assault, Hogan went on hiatus and was not able to return until early 2003, shaving off his black beard and dropping "Hollywood" from his name in his return. He battled The Rock (who had turned heel) once again at No Way Out and defeated Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XIX in a match billed as "20 years in the making."
Mr. America and departure (2003)
Later, he had a run as the masked Mr. America. The persona was supposed to be Hulk Hogan in disguise, wearing a mask. He used Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme music and used all of Hogan's signature gestures, moves, and phrases. He was the subject of a storyline that took place after Hulk Hogan was forced by Vince McMahon to sit out the rest of his contract. After Hogan won at WrestleMania XIX, McMahon was frustrated with him and wanted Hulkamania to die. A WWE pre-debut push took place with mysterious Mr. America promos airing for weeks during SmackDown!. There was also on-screen discussion on SmackDown! between then General Manager Stephanie McMahon and other players concerning her hiring Mr. America "sight unseen." On May 1, Mr. America debuted on SmackDown! on a Piper's Pit segment. McMahon appeared and claimed that Mr. America was Hulk Hogan in disguise; Mr. America shot back by saying, "I am not Hulk Hogan, brother!" (lampooning Hogan's use of "brother" in his promos). The feud continued through the month of May, with a singles match between Mr. America and Hogan's old rival Roddy Piper at Judgment Day. McMahon tried desperately to prove that Mr. America was indeed Hulk Hogan but failed at all attempts. Mr. America even passed a lie detector test.
Mr. America's last WWE appearance was on the June 26 edition of SmackDown! when The Big Show and The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) defeated the team of Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, and Mr. America in a six-man tag team match when Show pinned Mr. America. After the show went off the air, Mr. America unmasked to show the fans that he was indeed Hulk Hogan, putting his finger to his lips telling the fans to keep quiet about his secret. The next week, Hogan quit WWE due to frustration with the creative team. On the July 3 edition of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon showed the footage of Mr. America unmasking as Hogan and "fired" him, although Hogan had already quit in real life. The Mr. America gimmick came under fire briefly from Marvel Comics, who anointed it a rip-off of Captain America, citing costume similarity; the single star on the mask was also a trademark on Captain America's chest piece. This was also adding fuel to the fire over the rights to use the Hulk Hogan name because of Marvel's ownership of the Incredible Hulk character. Because of these problems, WWE was forced to edit out all references to the "Hulk Hogan" name, including pictures which featured Hogan wearing memorabilia that said "Hulk" (a majority of them) and started to refer to Hogan under the "Hollywood Hogan" name he used in WCW. It was later revealed that Hogan was unhappy with the payoffs for his matches after his comeback under the Mr. America gimmick. McMahon decided to terminate Hogan's contract, and Hogan left WWE in 2003.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)
Shortly after Hogan left WWE, TNA Wrestling began making overtures to Hogan, culminating in Jeff Jarrett, co-founder of TNA and then NWA World Heavyweight champion, launching an on-air attack on Hogan in Japan in October 2003. The attack was supposed to be a precursor to Hogan battling Jarrett for the NWA title at TNA's first three-hour pay-per-view. However, due to recurring knee and hip problems, Hogan did not appear in TNA. Still, the incident has been shown several times on TNA broadcasts, and was included in the TNA DVD TNA's Fifty Greatest Moments.
Return to WWE (2005–2007)
In 2005, weeks before WrestleMania 21, it was announced on all WWE programming that Hogan would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. On April 2, Hogan was inducted by actor and friend Sylvester Stallone. Hogan was applauded for several minutes before he was able to make a speech. When he paused during his speech, the crowd chanted "One More Match! One More Match!" The fans also chanted "Austin, Hogan" (referring to a Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan match); Hogan responded "that may be a good match someday". At WrestleMania 21 on April 3, Hogan came out to rescue Eugene, who was being attacked by Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari. Some of the build-up to Hogan's induction into the Hall of Fame and preparation for this angle were shown on the first season of Hogan Knows Best.
The next night on Raw, Hassan and Daivari came out to confront and assault fan favorite Shawn Michaels. The following week, Michaels approached Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff demanding a handicap match with Hassan and Daivari. Bischoff refused but told Michaels if he found a partner he would be granted a tag team match. Michaels then made a plea for Hulk Hogan to come back and team with him. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Hassan again led an attack on Michaels until Hogan appeared, and saved Michaels and accepted his offer. At Backlash 2005, Hassan and Daivari lost to Hogan and Michaels.
Hogan then appeared on July 4 edition of Raw as the special guest of Carlito on his talk-show segment Carlito's Cabana. After being asked questions by Carlito concerning his daughter Brooke Hogan, Hogan proceeded to attack Carlito. This was then followed up by an appearance of Kurt Angle, who made comments about Brooke, which further upset Hogan. Hogan was eventually double teamed by Carlito and Angle but was saved by Shawn Michaels. Later that night, Michaels and Hogan defeated Carlito and Kurt Angle in a tag match. During the post match celebration, Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Hogan and walked off. The following week on Raw, Michaels appeared on Piper's Pit and challenged Hogan to face him one-on-one for the first time. Hogan appeared on Raw one week later and accepted the challenge. The match took place at SummerSlam. The "Legend vs. Icon" storyline was the main event for the Raw brand going into SummerSlam. The match went back and forth, with two referees getting knocked out and Michaels using a steel chair to try to gain an advantage. Even after Michaels hit his Sweet Chin Music, Hogan still kicked out and mounted some offense against Michaels, finally hitting him with the legdrop and scoring the victory. Michaels extended his hand to him, telling him that he "had to find out for himself," and Hogan and Michaels shook hands. Michaels left the ring to allow Hogan to celebrate with the crowd.
Prior to WrestleMania 22, Hogan inducted friend and former announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hogan returned on the July 15, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event with his daughter Brooke. During the show, Randy Orton flirted (kayfabe, as he was engaged to his former wife, Sam Speno, at the time) with Hogan's daughter, and later attacked Hogan in the parking lot and hit the RKO onto the trunk of Hogan's car. He later challenged Hulk to a match at SummerSlam, which Hogan won. In regards to the public reaction to Summerslam, and his treatment as an employee, he said:
|“||Last year at SummerSlam, I fought Randy Orton—and me and Vince had some problems with the money. Before SummerSlam, I was a little worried because instead of being a main event match I was on fourth against Randy Orton. When I heard about the first three matches at the Fleet Center in Boston, it sounded like a funeral. And when I listened to the crowd reactions to those matches, it did sound like a funeral. Then, when my music came on it was like the old days, people were stood up. It was electric. Randy is a great hard working wrestler and we fought an old school style match. That was the most exciting match I've ever had in the Fleet Centre. I wrestled Steve Borden in a cage, which was a great match in my opinion at least, but this one was better; as after second-guessing I was like 'Oh my god, it still works'. Then Vince went out with his son and wrestled Triple H and Shawn Michaels and it was dead again. Cena went on for the main event, and people started leaving.||”|
He also spoke extensively on his payment, and his concerns of not being a top priority to Vince McMahon, despite the fact that he felt he was the company's biggest draw:
|“||I felt bad when the night ended, as they should have put me on later, but it was the money that really got to me. I swore I would never talk about the money again with Vince because that's what we always argue about. But when I saw the amount I was like, 'That's like one of my driver's paychecks', so I had to say something. He replied, 'Well you're not the only big guy any more, there are now 12 big guys.' I said, 'Well if that's the case let me explain something to you, I heard the first three matches and (the crowd response was) nothing. I wrestled and I heard what happened. And then I heard your match, Vince, and nothing. And I saw Cena, and people were leaving. I had a hard time getting out the building because of all the people marching through. 'So who are the other 11 big guys you're splitting my money with?'||”|
Memphis Wrestling and PMG Clash of Legends (2007)
After a brief fall out with McMahon and WWE, Hogan was lured to Memphis Wrestling with the proposal of wrestling Jerry Lawler. The match had been promoted on Memphis Wrestling Prime Time for several months. On April 12, 2007, however, Lawler announced in a news conference that WWE had barred him from wrestling Hogan on the basis that NBC performers (including Lawler, on the basis of co-hosting the NBC-owned USA Network's WWE Raw and his appearances on the biannual WWE Saturday Night's Main Event) are contractually prohibited from appearing on VH1, the channel on which Hogan Knows Best airs. The situation resulted in a lawsuit being filed against WWE by event promoter Corey Maclin. Lawler was replaced with Paul Wight. Hulk Hogan defeated Wight at PMG Clash of Legends on April 27, 2007 when he picked up and bodyslammed Wight and pinned him following his signature Leg Drop.
Return to TNA Wrestling (2009-2013)
Dixie Carter's business partner (2009–2010)
On October 27, 2009 it was announced on TNAwrestling.com that Hulk Hogan had signed a contract to join TNA on a full-time basis where, partnered with Eric Bischoff, he would partner with TNA President, Dixie Carter. The footage of his signing and the press conference in the Madison Square Garden following it were featured on the October 29 episode of TNA Impact!. His role remained uncertain.
On November 21, 24, 26, and 28, Hogan performed with a group of wrestlers including Spartan-3000, Heidenreich, Eugene, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Orlando Jordan across Australia in a tour titled Hulkamania: Let the Battle Begin. The main event of each show was a rematch between Hogan and Ric Flair—the wrestler who defeated Hogan more times than any other. Hogan defeated Flair in all four matches, bringing his career record against Flair from 2–8 to 6–8. It was the first time Hogan had performed in Australia.
On December 5, 2009, Hogan announced on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter that he would be making his official TNA debut on January 4, 2010, in a special live three-hour Monday night edition of TNA Impact! to compete with WWE's WWE Raw (which featured the return of Bret Hart) Carter revealed Hogan's role in the company in an interview with The UK Sun stating when his job came to question, "he is involved with everything from looking at the talent to how we shoot the show".
On the January 4, 2010 Impact!, Hogan debuted after a motorcade arrival reuniting briefly with former nWo partners Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman, the latter two of whom made their returns to the company. He, however, refused to join them for a full-fledged reunion of their group claiming, "it's a different time", and stuck to his business relations with Bischoff, who made his appearance to declare that, the two of them would "flip the company upside down" and everyone would have to earn their spot. Hogan also encountered TNA Founder, Jeff Jarrett on the broadcast, appearing via video wall and interrupting Jarrett's company success speech, stating that Carter was instrumental to the company's survival, and that just like the rest, Jarrett would have to (kayfabe) earn his spot in TNA.
At TNA Genesis on January 17, Hogan and Bischoff revealed a newly renovated TNA Impact! Zone, and reintroduced the traditional four sided ring, opposing the six sided ring TNA had in use. On the February 18 edition of Impact! Hogan took Abyss under his wing, and during this sequence, gave him his Hall of Fame ring and claimed it would make him a "god of wrestling". The following week Hogan announced that he would be making his in-ring TNA debut on the March 8 live Monday night edition of Impact! teaming with Abyss to face A.J. Styles and Ric Flair. That night, Hogan and Abyss defeated Styles and Flair, when Abyss scored a pinfall over Styles. Afterwards, the returning Jeff Hardy saved Hogan and Abyss from a beat down at the hands of Styles, Flair and Desmond Wolfe. This proceeded in later weeks to become a Team Flair versus Team Hogan situation, whereas Jarrett and the debuting Rob Van Dam joined Team Hogan and Beer Money and Sting, who rekindled his feud with Hogan with an attack, joined Team Flair. At Lockdown Team Hogan (Hulk Hogan, Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam) defeated Team Flair (Ric Flair, Sting, Desmond Wolfe, Robert Roode and James Storm) in a Lethal Lockdown match.
On the June 17 edition of Impact! Hogan's alliance with Abyss came to an abrupt end, when Abyss turned heel. Abyss later claimed that he was controlled by some entity, that was coming to TNA. The next month Hogan worked with Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe against Sting and Kevin Nash, who claimed that they knew that Hogan and Bischoff were up to something. During this time Abyss went on a rampage, attacking Rob Van Dam to the point that he was forced to vacate the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and eventually put his hands on TNA president Dixie Carter, which led to her signing the paperwork, presented by Bischoff, that would have Abyss fired from TNA following his match with Van Dam at Bound for Glory. Hogan was set to wrestle with Jarrett and Joe against Sting, Nash and D'Angelo Dinero at Bound for Glory, but was forced to miss the event due to a back surgery. However, he would make a surprise appearance at the end of the event, turning heel, helping Jeff Hardy win the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship and aligning himself with Hardy, Bischoff, Abyss and Jarrett. This is also Hogan's first working as a heel since he reunited with the nWo in WWE. On the following edition of Impact! it was revealed that Bischoff had tricked Carter and the paperwork she had signed a week earlier, were not to release Abyss, but to turn the company over to him and Hogan. Meanwhile, Bischoff's and Hogan's new stable, now known as Immortal, formed an alliance with Ric Flair's Fortune. Dixie Carter returned on the November 25 edition of Reaction, informing Hogan and Bischoff that a judge had filed an injunction against the two on her behalf over not having signatory authority, indefinitely suspending Hogan from TNA. During his absence, Hogan underwent a potentially career–ending spinal fusion surgery on December 21, 2010.
Hogan returned to TNA on the March 3, 2011, episode of Impact!, declaring himself as the new owner of TNA, having won the court battle against Dixie Carter. In April, he began hinting at a possible return to the ring to face the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Sting. On the May 12 edition of the newly renamed Impact Wrestling, Hogan lost control of the program to Mick Foley, who revealed himself as the Network consultant who had been causing problems for Immortal ever since Hogan and Bischoff took over the company; however, this angle was cut short just three weeks later, when Foley left the promotion. During the following months, Hogan continued to interfere in Sting's matches, costing him the TNA World Heavyweight Championship first at Hardcore Justice, recruiting Kurt Angle to Immortal in the process, on the September 1 Impact Wrestling and finally at No Surrender. On the September 15 Impact Wrestling, Sting defeated Immortal member Ric Flair to earn the right to face Hogan at Bound for Glory. On October 4, it was reported that Hogan had signed a contract extension with TNA. After feigning retirement from professional wrestling, Hogan accepted the match at Bound for Glory on the October 6 Impact Wrestling, while also agreeing to hand TNA back to Dixie Carter, should Sting win the match.
General Manager and departure (2011–2013)
Hogan was defeated by Sting at Bound For Glory, ending his run as the storyline president of TNA. After the match, Immortal attacked Sting. Hogan then "Hulked up", tore his shirt, and helped Sting chase the stable out of the ring, turning face once again in the process. The following Impact Wrestling, Hogan, wearing his trademark yellow and red again, admitted to his mistakes, and put over Sting for winning, who ended up helping Hogan this time chase Immortal from the ring. After that, Hogan took a hiatus from TNA. On January 26, 2012, Hogan returned to the ring at a house show in Nottingham, England, where he, James Storm and Sting defeated Bobby Roode, Bully Ray and Kurt Angle in a six man tag team main event. Hogan returned to Impact Wrestling on February 2, when he was revealed as Garett Bischoff's trainer. On the March 29 edition of Impact Wrestling, Hogan returned and accepted Sting's offer to replace him as the new General Manager.
In July, Hogan, alongside Sting, began feuding with a mysterious group of masked men, who had dubbed themselves the "Aces & Eights". The group's attack on Hogan on the July 12 episode of Impact Wrestling was used to write Hogan off television as he was set to undergo another back surgery. In November, Hogan moved into a storyline with Bully Ray after Austin Aries revealed a secret relationship between Ray and Hogan's daughter Brooke. After seeing them kissing in a parking garage on the December 20 Impact Wrestling, Hogan suspended Ray indefinitely on the January 3, 2013, episode. The following week, after Ray saved Brooke from a kidnapping by the Aces & Eights, Brooke accepted his marriage proposal much to Hogan's dismay. Despite Hogan's disapproval, he still walked Brooke down the aisle for her wedding on the next episode of Impact Wrestling. During the ceremony, Ray's groomsmen Taz interrupted and revealed himself as a member of the Aces & Eights, leading the group to attack Hogan, Ray, and the rest of the groomsmen. On the January 31 Impact Wrestling, Hogan reinstated Ray so he could take on the Aces & Eights. Hogan named Ray the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on February 21 . However, at Lockdown, Ray betrayed Hogan, after Aces & Eights helped him win the title and he revealed himself as the President of the Aces & Eights. Following Lockdown, Hogan blamed Sting for Ray winning the title as it was Sting who encouraged Hogan to give Ray the title shot, leading to Sting eventually walking out on Hogan. Sting returned and saved Hogan from an attack by Aces & Eights on the April 25 Impact Wrestling. The following week, Hogan and Sting managed to reconcile their differences. On the October 3rd Impact Wrestling, Hogan refused an offer from Dixie Carter to become her business partner and quit. Hogan was officially written off, as a result of his contract expiring with TNA.
Endorsements and business ventures
Hulk Hogan's Pastamania was a restaurant in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, created and financed by Hogan. It opened on the Labor Day weekend of 1995 and was heavily promoted on World Championship Wrestling's live show WCW Monday Nitro, which actually premiered that September at the mall. The restaurant, which remained in operation for less than a year, featured such dishes as "Hulk-U's" and "Hulk-A-Roos".
In an interview on the The Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Bollea claimed that the George Foreman Grill was originally offered to him, but he failed to respond in time, and George Foreman endorsed the grill instead. Bollea endorsed a blender, known as the Hulk Hogan Thunder Mixer. This claim was confirmed on an episode of Hogan Knows Best, in which his wife Linda and the family are worried about Hogan's wrestling career and plead with him to take up a career in marketing. Hogan explains about turning down the Foreman grill, and his choice to invest in the shake-mixer instead, saying that whenever he thinks about investing in something "big," he thinks about what happened with the grill and the shake-mixer. However, he has since endorsed an indoor grill known as "The Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill."
In 2006, Bollea unveiled his own energy drink Hogan Energy, distributed by Socko Energy. It was featured in an episode of Hogan Knows Best. His name and likeness are also applied to a line of microwavable hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and chicken sandwiches sold at Wal-Mart called "Hulkster Burgers". On November 1, 2011 Bollea launched a new website called Hogan Nutrition, which features many nutritional and dietary products. In September 2008, Bollea's net worth was revealed to be over $30 million. In September 2011, Bollea revealed that his lavish lifestyle, and divorce had cost him hundreds of millions of dollars and nearly bankrupted him.
During an interview with The Sun in 2007, Bollea claimed to be planning his own federation to compete against Vince McMahon. Bollea says he has raised $40 million of the $80–$100 million goal and his venture is something that will eventually revolutionize the sport of professional wrestling. In October 2007, Bollea transferred all trademarks referring to himself to his liability company named "Hogan Holdings Limited". The trademarks include Hulk Hogan, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Hulkster, Hogan Knows Grillin, Hulkamania.com, and Hulkapedia.com.
In April 2008, Bollea announced that he would lend his license to video game developer Gameloft to create "Hulkamania Wrestling" for mobile phones. Hogan stated in a press release that the game would be "true to [his] experiences in wrestling" and use his classic wrestling moves like the Doublehand Choke Lift and Strong Clothesline. As of 2010, Hogan stars alongside Troy Aikman in commercials for Rent-A-Center. On March 24, 2011, Hogan made a special appearance on American Idol, giving a big surprise to wrestling fans Paul McDonald and James Durbin. On October 15, 2010, Endemol Games UK (a subsidiary of media production group Endemol UK) announced a partnership with Bischoff Hervey Entertainment to produce "Hulk Hogan's Hulkamania", an online gambling game featuring video footage of Hogan.
In October 2013, Bollea partnered with Tech Assets, Inc. to open a web hosting service called "Hostamania". To promote the service, a commercial video was released, featuring Hogan parodying Jean-Claude Van Damme's GoDaddy.com commercials and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" music video.
Hulk Hogan's crossover popularity led to several television and movie roles. Early in his career Bollea played the part of Thunderlips in Rocky III (1982). He also appeared in No Holds Barred (1989), before starring in the family films Suburban Commando (1991), Mr. Nanny (1993), Santa with Muscles (1996), and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998). He starred in his own television series, Thunder in Paradise, in 1994. He is the star of The Ultimate Weapon (1997), in which Brutus Beefcake also appears in a cameo.
Bollea also starred in a pair of television movies, originally intended as a pilot for an ongoing series for TNT, produced by Eric Bischoff. The movies, Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil's Island and Shadow Warriors: Hunt for The Death Merchant, starred Hogan alongside Carl Weathers and Shannon Tweed as a freelance mercenary team. In 1995, he appeared on TBN's Kids Against Crime.
Bollea made cameo appearances in Muppets from Space, Gremlins 2: The New Batch (the theatrical cut) and Spy Hard as himself. Hogan was offered the role of Zeus in Little Hercules in 3D on an episode of Hogan Knows Best and was shown during the filming of the movie. Hogan also made two appearances on The A-Team (in 1985 and 1986), and along with Roddy Piper. Nick's favorite animated show, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, was another popular stop for Hogan's recognizable voice. He was the voice of BP, Sly Sludge's evil sidekick; his famous catchphrase was "You're gonna pay at the pump, brother!" He also had a vital role[which?] in the two-part episode of Suddenly Susan in 1999. In 2001, Hogan guest-starred on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, playing a reformed criminal now operating a Christian Community Center and helping Walker steer teenagers away from gangs. Hogan also appeared in 1992 commercials for Right Guard deodorant dressed in fine clothing and painting and his line "anything less would be uncivilized".
On July 10, 2005, VH1 premiered a new reality show titled Hogan Knows Best which centered around Hulk Hogan, his then-wife Linda, and their children Brooke and Nick. Set in their home in Clearwater, Florida, the show followed the family in their efforts to fulfill the dreams of their children while still maintaining their sense of closeness. At the show's onset, 16-year-old Brooke was trying to break into the music industry while younger brother Nick (age 14) went through a series of career aspirations including his failure to become a professional race car driver and following in his dad's footsteps as a pro wrestler.
As of July 2008, Hogan Knows Best transferred its focus into a new show called Brooke Knows Best which focuses on his daughter's move into a new apartment to continue her pursuit of a music career.
Bollea hosted the comeback series of American Gladiators on NBC in 2008. He also hosted and judged the short-lived reality show, Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. Hogan had a special titled Finding Hulk Hogan on A&E on November 17, 2010.
Music and radio
Bollea released a music CD, Hulk Rules, as Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band. Also, Green Jellÿ released a single, a duet with Hogan, performing Gary Glitter's classic song "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)". He has also made cameos in several music videos. From her self-named show, Dolly the music video for Dolly Parton's wrestling-themed love song "Headlock on my Heart" features Hogan as "Starlight Starbright". On the show, Parton mentioned that the tabloid Weekly World News had "reported" that she had written a song about her love for a wrestler, and said "if you read in the Weekly World News, it must be true!" In the music video "Pressure" by Belly ft. Ginuwine, Bollea and his daughter Brooke both made brief cameo appearances.
Bollea is a regular guest on Bubba the Love Sponge's radio show. He also served as the best man at Bubba's January 2007 wedding. On March 12, 2010, Bollea hosted his own radio show, titled Hogan Uncensored, on Sirius Satellite Radio's Howard 101.
Bollea did a video game voice acting on Saints Row: The Third as Angel De la Muerte a member of the Saints. In October 2011, Bollea released a video game called Hulk Hogan's Main Event. Hogan also was featured in games such as WCW/nWo Revenge, WWF Royal Rumble, WWE WrestleMania X8, WWE Day of Reckoning 2, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2007, WWE Legends of WrestleMania and WWE All Stars. There have been many internet rumors that Hogan will be a playable character in WWE 2K14 due to Wrestlemania VI arena and the Ultimate Warrior being in the game as these two faced each other at the event. On August 9, it was confirmed by 2K Sports that Hogan will be a playable character in his "Hulk Hogan" character and his "Hollywood Hulk Hogan" character for his match against The Rock at Wrestlemania X8.
On March 27, 1985, just days prior to the inaugural WrestleMania, Richard Belzer requested on his cable TV talk show Hot Properties that Hulk Hogan demonstrate one of his signature wrestling moves. After consistently refusing but being egged on by Belzer, Hogan put Belzer in a modified Guillotine choke, which caused Belzer to pass out. When Hogan released him, Belzer hit his head on the floor, sustaining a laceration to the scalp that required a brief hospitalization. Belzer sued Hogan for $5 million and later settled out of court; the settlement was rumored at $1.5 million. On October 20, 2006, on Bubba the Love Sponge, it was claimed (with Hogan in the studio) that the settlement totaled $5 million, half from Hogan and half from Vince McMahon. During his June 23, 2008 appearance on Sirius Satellite Radio's The Howard Stern Show, Belzer suggested that the real settlement amount was actually closer to $400,000.
On December 18, 1983, Bollea married Linda Claridge (born August 24, 1959). They have a daughter Brooke (born May 5, 1988) and a son Nick (born July 27, 1990). Bollea made his personal life the centerpiece of the television show Hogan Knows Best, which includes his wife and two children. Bollea's 17 year old son Nick was indicted as an adult on November 7, 2007, with four criminal charges. The charges stemmed from an August car accident that seriously injured the passenger in Nick's car, John Graziano. Nick pleaded no contest and was sentenced to eight months in prison on May 9, 2008.
According to an interview in The National Enquirer, Christiane Plante claimed that Bollea had an affair with her in 2007 while the Hogan family was shooting Hogan Knows Best. Plante was 33 years old at the time and had worked with Brooke Hogan on her 2006 album. On November 20, 2007, Linda filed for divorce in Pinellas County, Florida. Hulk told St. Petersburg Times that he was unaware of the filing when the paper called for a comment. The Graziano family's lawyer believed the divorce might have been an attempt to divide the family's assets from a planned civil suit against the Bolleas regarding their son, Nick. After filing for divorce, Linda (48 at the time) began dating Charlie Hill (19 at the time). Hill had been a student at Brooke and Nick's high school, one grade above Nick and one grade below Brooke. In November 2008, Linda claimed to the public that she made the decision to end her marriage after finding out about Hulk Hogan's affair. Hogan said that he had considered committing suicide; however, he moved on and married his current wife Jennifer McDaniel. In his 2009 autobiography, however, Hogan acknowledged that Linda on numerous occasions suspected he was having infidelities whenever he developed friendships with other women, but denied allegations that he ever cheated on Linda.
Bollea lived with his daughter, Brooke, who starred in the now-cancelled VH1 reality series, Brooke Knows Best. Bollea has suffered numerous health problems, particularly with his back since retiring as a wrestler following the years of heavyweight training and jolting as a wrestler. On October 27, 2009, St. Martin's Press released Bollea's autobiography, My Life Outside the Ring. Hogan credits Laila Ali, co-star on American Gladiators, with preventing him from committing suicide. Bollea has been in a relationship with Jennifer McDaniel since early 2008. The two were engaged in November 2009 and married on December 14, 2010, in Clearwater, Florida. Hogan became a distributor for multi-level marketing company ViSalus Sciences after looking for business opportunities outside of wrestling. Hogan supports the American Diabetes Association.
In April 2012, a sex tape between Hogan and Heather Clem, the estranged wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge emerged online. On October 4, 2012, Gawker released a short clip of the video. In this video, Bubba can be heard saying that the couple can "do their thing" and he will be in his office. Furthermore, at the end of the video, he can also be heard telling Heather, "If we ever need to retire, here is our ticket". Hogan later told Howard Stern on his satellite radio show that, "it was a bad choice and a very low point" and "I was with some friends and made a wrong choice. It has devastated me, I have never been this hurt." He also claimed the video was from six years ago to relieve the resentment from his new wife (it's worthy to note that six years prior, Hogan was married to Linda Hogan). On October 15, 2012, Hogan filed a lawsuit against Bubba the Love Sponge and Heather Clem for invading his privacy. Hogan later settled the lawsuit on October 29, 2012. Following the settlement, Clem also publicly apologised to Hogan.
On January 2013, Bollea filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Laser Spine Institute for $50 million, citing that the medical firm persuaded him to undergo a half-dozen "unnecessary and ineffective" spinal operations that worsened his back problems. He claimed that the six procedures he underwent over a period of 19 months only gave him short-term relief. After the procedures failed to cure his back problems, Bollea underwent a traditional spinal fusion surgery on December 2010, which enabled him to return to his professional activities. In addition, the Laser Spine Institute used his name on their advertisements without his permission.
Bollea was honored as the 2008 King of the Krewe of Bacchus, a New Orleans carnival organization. Hogan visited the Children's Hospital of New Orleans and rode in the parade where he threw doubloons with his likeness. Hogan received the honor in part because meeting Hogan is one of the most requested "wishes" of the terminally ill children benefited by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
|1983||Bimini Code||Rick, Blond Henchman (uncredited)|
|1984||Goldie and the Bears||Mac McKenna|
|1989||No Holds Barred||Rip|
|1990||Gremlins 2: The New Batch||Himself|
|1991||Suburban Commando||Shep Ramsey|
|1993||Mr. Nanny||Sean Armstrong|
|1993||Thunder in Paradise||Randolph J. Hurricane Spencer|
|1994||Thunder in Paradise II|
|1995||Thunder in Paradise III|
|1996||The Secret Agent Club||Ray Chase|
|Spy Hard||Steele's other Tag-Team Member||(cameo)|
|Santa with Muscles||Blake|
|1997||The Ultimate Weapon||Cutter|
|Assault on Devil's Island||Mike McBride|
|1998||McCinsey's Island||Joe McGrai|
|3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain||Dave Dragon|
|1999||Assault on Death Mountain||Mike McBride|
|Muppets from Space||Himself|
|2001||Walker, Texas Ranger||Boomer Knight||TV episode: Division Street|
|2011||Gnomeo & Juliet||Terrafirminator V.O.||Voice|
|Black River||Marcus Demchak||Pre-production|
|China, IL||The Dean|
|1985||The A-Team (TV Series)||Himself||Season 4 Episode 7 "Body Slam"|
|2011||Saints Row: The Third (video game)||Angel|
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor (AWA / WWF / TNA; Used at TNA house shows)
- "Battlestar Galactica Theme" by Maynard Ferguson (NJPW)
- "Real American" performed by Rick Derringer and composed by Jim Johnston (WWF/E)
- "Ravishing (Instrumental)" by Bonnie Tyler (WWF)
- "American Made" by The Wrestling Boot Band (WCW)
- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (WCW / WWF/E / NJPW)
- "Rockhouse" by Frank Shelley (WCW / WWF; Used while a part of the New World Order)
- "Kevin Nash / Wolfpac Theme" performed by C-Murder and composed by Jimmy Hart and H. Helm (WCW; Used while a part of the nWo Elite)
- "Immortal Theme" by Dale Oliver (TNA; Used while a part of Immortal)
Championships and accomplishments
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Comeback of the Year (1994, 2002)
- PWI Feud of the Year (1986) vs. Paul Orndorff
- PWI Match of the Year (1985) with Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff at WrestleMania
- PWI Match of the Year (1988) vs. André the Giant at The Main Event
- PWI Match of the Year (1990) vs. The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI
- PWI Match of the Year (2002) vs. The Rock at WrestleMania X8
- PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1996, 1998)
- PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (1983, 1999)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (1985, 1989, 1990)
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (1987, 1991, 1994)
- PWI ranked him #1 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1991
- PWI ranked him #1 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- PWI ranked him #44 of the Top 100 Tag Teams of the "PWI Years" with Antonio Inoki in 2003
- PWI ranked him #57 of the Top 100 Tag Teams of the "PWI Years" with Randy Savage in 2003
- Southeastern Championship Wrestling
- Tokyo Sports
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Feud of the Year (1986) vs. Paul Orndorff
- Most Charismatic (1985–1987, 1989–1991)
- Most Overrated (1985–1987, 1994–1998)
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (1987) vs. André the Giant at WrestleMania III
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (1996) with Randy Savage vs. Arn Anderson, Meng, The Barbarian, Ric Flair, Kevin Sullivan, Z-Gangsta, and The Ultimate Solution in a Towers of Doom match at Uncensored
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (1997) vs. Roddy Piper at SuperBrawl VII
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (1998) vs. The Warrior at Halloween Havoc
- Worst Feud of the Year (1991) vs. Sgt. Slaughter
- Worst Feud of the Year (1995) vs. The Dungeon of Doom
- Worst Feud of the Year (1998) vs. The Warrior
- Worst Feud of the Year (2000) vs. Billy Kidman
- Best Babyface (1982–1991)
- Least Favorite Wrestler (1985, 1986, 1991, 1994–1999)
- Worst Wrestler (1997)
- Most Embarrassing Wrestler (1995, 1996, 1998–2000)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
1 ^ Hogan's last reign was as Undisputed WWF Champion. The title was renamed the WWE Undisputed Championship on May 6, 2002 after World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. settled a lawsuit with the World Wide Fund for Nature, and became simply World Wrestling Entertainment.
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