"Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the largest arms in the world and HULKAMANIA run WILD on you?!?!?"
His given name is Terry Gene Bollea (August 11, 1953-). You know him better as Hulk Hogan. If the name doesn't ring any bells, you were either born in the past decade or you've been living under a rock for the past three. To put it simply: Hogan is the single most famous professional wrestler to ever lace up a pair of boots (as the second-most famous professional wrestler, Ric Flair, has reluctantly admitted).Hogan has also had a movie career, stemming from his memorable cameo in Rocky III. Under his belt are such films as No Holds Barred, Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny, Santa With Muscles, Thunder in Paradise and morenote Plus several cameos or guest roles in movies like Spy Hard, Muppets from Space and series such as The A-Team, Baywatch, Walker, Texas Ranger and Suddenly Susan. This opened the door for other WWE alumni to have lucrative film and TV careers, though only The Rock has achieved anything resembling Hogan's big-screen success.That Other Wiki has an extensive article on his life and career (both in and out of the ring), so you can go check that out if you really need a refresher.
Beware the Nice Ones: Although he is careful to remain cool and amiable during interviews, even the Hulk has his limits; such as when he was invited on Richard Belzer's cable talk show Hot Properties as part of an expose on pro wrestling. The program is now remembered solely for Hulk placing Belzer in a sleeper hold, causing the spry host to collapse like a lawn chair and hurt his head.
Bookends: To a degree in his relationship with the WWF. In the mid 80s, he became the perennial WWF champion for years while spearheading the promotion's nationwide expansion, being the first champion most fans remember to any meaningful degree as anything other than the answer to a trivia question. Certainly the first significantly important world champion in the promotion's history. During his later tour with the WWF in 2002 after WCW's shutdown, he became the final WWF world champion, as the company changed its name to WWE during his championship reign.
Boring Yet Practical: During his AWA run, he got into an argument with Verne Gagne in his office and Hulk put a side headlock on him, which reportedly led to this exchange.
VERNE: "Is that the only hold you know?"
HULK: "It's the only hold I NEED to know to take you down!"
Both his finishers. One's a simple leg drop and the Axe Bomber is a slightly altered lariat.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Actually, EATING the fourth wall would be a better description for Hogan's comments on the November 18, 2010 TNA ReAction.
Hogan: "Well, brother, we're lightening the load around here. We're trimming the fat. We're thinning the herd. I mean, you know, it's pathetic. It's pathetic, that Dixie would let this company get in the shape it's in. It's her train of thought! Raven? Who hasn't had a damn shower or bath? Y'know, with RVD, and that whole crew out there? They meant to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan, who sold out Shea Stadium? who put 94,000 people in the Pontiac Silverdome? Who slammed a 700-pound giant? They mean to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan means?
"No wonder this company was in the shape it's in. It's time to get rid o' the trash, the garbage, the worthless piece of crap out here, and we started with Dixie Carter. Yeah, we're gettin' very real around here. We are so, real, it's unbelievable. Because, if you don't get over like I said, you're fired. If you don't draw number, if you don't entertain, if you don't put asses in seats, if you don't put the coinage in the piggy bank, you're fired. No more games. No more, "Kayfabe." "It's a work." "I've won 34 tag team belts." Who gives a damn, how many... fake belts you won!? If you don't draw money, you get fired around here. If you don't put asses in seats, you’re gone."
Breakup Breakout: During their NWA and AWA days, Terry Bollea and Ed Leslie were a tag team of Unrelated Brothers, known alternately as Terry & Ed Boulder and Hulk & Dizzy Hogan. Hulk Hogan, of course, became Hulk Hogan. Ed Leslie became best known as either Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, or "that guy with no talent who only has a job because he's best friends with Hulk Hogan."
In Ed Leslie's defense, he gained quite a bit of popularity after his Heel-Face Turn in '87 and he became a decent wrestler in late '89, and, unlike HHH, his connection to Hogan wasn't apparent at the time. Unfortunately his para-sailing accident in 1990 put an end to all that and anything after really was riding Hogan's coat tails.
Calling Your Attacks: After the Big Boot, Hogan would often do the ear-cupping thing to the crowd before going for the legdrop.
Defeating the Undefeatable: One of the only people to ever defeat André the Giant by pinfall. Conversely, anyone who manages to beat Hogan cleanly is considered to have done this. In fact, the list of people who have beaten Hogan cleanly can be counted on your fingers, and still have room left over. It's worth checking, at least:
Was pinned clean by the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI, giving Warrior his only world title run.
The most triumphant example may be his WCW title match against Lex Luger. Not only did Luger get Hogan to tap out clean to the Torture Rack, but he survived a slew of nWo run-ins without resulting in a DQ.
In Warrior's big "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Hogan on the August 17, 1998 Nitro, he said, " Hogan - beating you means nothing anymore. Everybody already has," with Bobby Heenan adding, "Now, to Hogan, that hurts."
Lost clean to perennial cruiserweight midcarder Billy Kidman during their feud in 2000. Clean, but more of a fluke win than actually being defeated.
Famously lost clean to the Rock at WrestleMania XVIII, first tapping out on a submission hold (which didn't count due to a ref bump) and then being pinned after the Rock kicked out following the five moves of doom and countered with his own.
Jacques Rougeau (best known for his runs in the WWF as half of the Fabulous Rougeau Bros. and later as The Mountie) once pinned him cleanly in WCW.
As far as the trope applied to Hogan's opponents, the WWF would often sign a new monster heel, touted as unbeatable, and then allow that wrestler to run roughshod over jobbers and low- to mid-carders, even occasionally taking out a main eventer. Famous examples include King Kong Bundy, The One Man Gang (before he became Akeem), the Big Bossman, Big John Studd, and Earthquake; Andre The Giant became an example when he turned heel in 1987. Hogan would then get a shot at the heel and, after enduring a beating, would come back with his Five Moves of Doom to eventually defeat the bad guy. By the time Hogan was done with the feud, the monster heel wasn't so fearsome anymore.
Dented Iron: Hogan's patented legdrop has caused serious damage to his spine over the years, not helped by his long-term steroid abuse, and the sheer length of his career. He's had numerous spinal operations that have left him all but unable to wrestle, and have even resulted in him losing several inches of height.
Disproportionate Retribution: He suspended Bully Ray, a man who's consistently sided with him easily more often than not during his three years in TNA. Why? For dating his daughter Brooke. According to Hogan, this broke some sort of unwritten wrestler's code, brother! ...however this falls flat when you consider that not only is Brooke a legal adult at 24 who's moved out of her parents' house and thus can make her own decisions, but Bully and Hulk's age gap is actually bigger than Bully and Brooke's.
It Got Better on the 1/31/13 Impact Wrestling episode when Hogan finally reinstated the Bully.
The IWC LOVES to say that Vince made Hogan, and that he'd be nothing without him. This is of course ignoring the fact that he was so popular over in Japan that he was called Ichiban, which means Number One, and that the phrase Hulkamania was first used in the AWA.
Evil Costume Switch: Hogan switched out his famous yellow trunks and boots for black-and-white tights with a lightning design airbrushed on when he joined the nWo.
Expy: He visually resembled Jessie The Body Ventura, who in turn took cues from super star Billy Gram. Their gimmicks were pretty different once you got past that though.
Face-Heel Turn: One of, if not then the, most famous example in wrestling history. Hogan - the ultimate All American Face, who taught kids to train, say their prayers, take their vitamins and believe in themselves - turned his back on the fans at Bash At The Beach 1996, once more becoming one of wrestling's top draws (this time, as a Heel).
Heel-Face Turn: Following the huge crowd reaction to Hogan when the nWo came into the WWF, Hogan was quickly moved out of the group and turned back to a face role. He did a similar turn twenty years earlier in the AWA, to the point where when he returned to the WWF, he was brought in as a straight-up babyface.
Ladies and gentlemen, please note: Hulk is the page picture for bothHeel and Face.
Fingerpoke Of Doom: Hogan was one of the two men involved with the actual Trope Naming match.
Game-Breaking Injury: Potentially. Hogan had spinal fusion surgery in late 2010, which might very well end his active wrestling career permanently.
To put this in perspective, this was the same surgery Edge had in 2003 that led to his retirement. Edge was 29 at the time and lasted eight more years, probably against better judgment. Hulk Hogan was nearly twice that age.
Implausible Deniability: "I am not a steroid abuser and I do not use steroids." After the stink started hitting real media, he did a complete 180, trying to explain that the show format didn't allow him to tell "the whole truth." After this, former Hogan role model "Superstar" Billy Graham would admit to using steroids with Hogan, and former friend David Schultz would not only admit the same, but also buying them from him as well. He admitted to 13 years of steroid abuse in Vince McMahon's 1994 drug distribution trialnote In which they had him dead to rights for distribution (ironically, to McMahon), but offered him immunity since they felt he had the dirt on Vince (he didn't), and has generally been candid about past use. Although Hogan would remain one of the most popular wrestlers in America for a long time afterwards, his numbers (house show, TV, pay-per-view) took a nosedive almost immediately after the show hit the airwaves, and never really reached the same peak of popularity.
Somewhat subverted as he was the biggest draw in wrestling at the time, invincible certainly for the audience, but not very boring until later years at least.
One of the reasons that Hogan stayed interesting for so long was that Hogan's Strictly Formula main event matches were few and far between. Unlike today's wrestling atmosphere, a main event featuring World Champion Hulk Hogan was something rare and special.
The problem with this didn't really become apparent until his time in WCW; a good portion of WCW's fanbase had it in for Hulk and all things WWF from day one, and when Monday Nitro was started with main-event-quality matches every week and WCW started airing Pay-Per-View events every month, Hogan's formulaic work quickly became overexposed. Thankfully, a truly shocking Face-Heel Turnmay have saved his career.
His invincibility hit particularly egregious levels during Uncensored '96 just prior to turning heel. He and Randy Savage took on the Four Horsemen AND the Dungeon of Doom (a total of EIGHT men) and squashed them.
Subverted in his 2002 run. While he did win the title from Triple H, he lost it shortly afterwards to The Undertaker, and would go on to have a loss to Kurt Angle at KOTR by TAPPING OUT, and was finally destroyed by Brock Lesnar and would leave television until early 2003.
Large Ham: Even in real life and his short lived movie star career if people stop paying attention to him, he will do something to get the cameras pointed his way.
Motive Rant: What ended the Bash at the Beach PPV when Mean Gene demanded to know what Hogan was doing joining the NWO. Hogan's response pointed out that he had done everything a good guy should and the fans had turned their backs on him for it. Had some elements of a Worked Shoot as part of it.
The Munchausen: Hogan is prone to repeating various anecdotes wherein the truth has been... blurred to say the least. Although in all due fairness, the man spent twenty-odd years traveling on a constantly exhaustive schedule in various nations as the biggest name in wrestling and spent a good deal of time having his body and head battered. Probably not all that surprising that events have become confused in the Hulkster's mind.
The biggest might be on the eve of his TNA debut when he declared he taught Vince McMahon how to work a wrestling business.
He was able to work 400 days a year due to gaining time while crossing the International Date Line on flights from Japan and back.
He was fired from the WWF for appearing in Rocky III instead of going to work in North Carolina. Any interviews on MSG TV promoting the film and Hogan's role in it (or wrestling clips of Hogan jobbing to Tony Atlas after filming wrapped) are the figments of someone's imagination.
Hogan, while being pushed as a top Foreign Wrestling Heel in Japan, was told to wrestle to a draw with young boy and Olympic judoka Riki Choshu, and just 'kicked his ass' instead.
In every interview that brought up the subject, Hogan would vehemently deny taking any type of steroid/HGH/whatever. Once Hogan was under oath in the '93 steroid trials, his story changed.
He was considering suicide and actually had a gun to his head when he was called on the phone by Female Boxer Laila Ali, who managed to talk him down. Oddly enough, Ali has no memory of any such event.
He was so fed up with wrestling in 1986 that he auditioned for the role of Metallica bassist after Cliff Burton's death.
Older Is Better: Not usually thought of like this, but in comparison to current-generation wrestlers(or for that matter, the generation or so before them), is very old-fashioned in his thinking about wrestling and it's traditions. Case in point: During the WWE DVD/hatchet job The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, Vince McMahon recalls a story from Summerslam 1991 where the eponymous wrestler refused to wrestle in the main event unless given twice the agreed-upon amount of money beforehand. According to Vince, Hogan asked if Warrior needed to be hurt. Hogan's response? To candidly admit that he said exactly that, and claim that it was how things were done when he was in the business at his prime.
Papa Wolf: Aces and Eights threatened his daughter. When he returns, he knocks out three of their members with Sting's baseball bat and is absolutely livid.
When they ruined her wedding and attacked him and Bully Ray along with the wedding party, that was enough for him to finally recognize Bully's loyalty, revoke the disproportionate suspension he put on Bully, and book a pseudo-rematch of the BFG'12 tables match (Aces & Eights vs. Bully and Sting) the following week.
Poor Communication Kills: Thankfully no one died but a few careers might have. Hulk Hogan announced he would not be returning to WWE because of the insult they gave an aspiring singer, his daughter Brooke, through Jillian Hall's tone deaf gimmick and went on to say he would prove Hulkamania was bigger than WWE. Turns out Jillian had a tendency to "sing" in that manner already and had just decided to do so on camera. Most of her act imitated the likes of Britney Spears or Beyonce and she kept it up long after leaving McMahon land, including a few appearances for TNA. Hulk Hogan's whole TNA run? That happened because he assumed something was about him when there were any number of possibilities and Jillian's might have been the gimmick he could have used to convince WWE to give Brooke more of their airtime; might have helped elevate Jillian too (Jillian was in a "feud" with Lillian Garcia, a singer whose voice did not make children cry and has since "feuded" with Mickie James in the NWA for the same reason) and might have averted TNA's misguided attempt to recreate the Monday Night Wars.
Properly Paranoid: Though in 2007 Hogan knew Vince McMahon was upset with him for getting drunk and leaking the names of then up coming Hall Of Fame inductees over the radio. Since had Hulk gotten Brooke in a storyline already it is not hard to see why he jumped to that conclusion. Still, a lot could have been salvaged with a little conversation.
Popularity Power: Years after the height of his popularity and success in the industry, Hogan is still wildly popular, especially outside of America.
The Hulkster's so well loved, he actually managed to get THE ROCK booed when they fought at Wrestlemania 18... and Hulk was a heel then!
Note: Wrestlemania 18 was held at the Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And Canadians usually have an aversion for stereotypically American things. Not to mention the standing ovation he got the show after Wrestlemania 18, in Montreal.
Was a member of the Spears Family while wrestling in Alabama early in his career.
The Millionaires' Club in WCW in 2000, before the group fell apart.
Precision F-Strike: At Bash at the Beach 2000, Hogan faced Jeff Jarrett in a WCW Championship where Jarrett immediately took a dive for Hogan. Annoyed, Hogan shot off with, "That's the reason why this company's in the damn shape it's in, because of BULLSHIT like this!"
The Prima Donna:invoked He's been accused, with some equanimity, of always putting himself in the spotlight, even when it's to the detriment of the product. Burying younger talent in interviews (seemingly unable to decide whether his protégés are "the future of this business brother!" or talentless "knuckleheads" who "aren't ready, brother"), putting himself over despite being booked as the heel, invoking "Creative Control" clauses, and generally soaking up as much adoration as humanly possible.
As proof, his last bit within WCW was a Pay-Per-View event where he walked out to the ring and literally stepped on his opponent's chest for the pin. This led Vince Russo (whom the fans unanimously hated) getting cheered as he violated Kayfabe by explaining Hogan's Creative Control clause, which let him rewrite anything he didn't like in WCW... including the results of that match. In short, Russo — quite possibly the biggest heat magnet in the entire industry — achieved in minutes what few actual wrestlers did in their professional careers: burying the mustachioed one. In typical Russo fashion, this entire exchange was a work, but Hogan was so furious with the outcome that he filed a real-life Defamation of Character suit anyway. (Despite the fact that everything Russo had said was a matter of public record, including a jibe at Hogan's baldness.)
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Hulking up always started with the opponent punching at the Hulkster to no avail. This was used against him at least once when he squared off against The Giant at Hog Wild.
Put on a Bus: This happened with Hogan and his Mr. America persona due to Hogan having a falling out with Vince McMahon (over money, apparently).
Real Life Writes the Plot: In his Terry Boulder days he was being interviewed alongside Lou Ferrigno. The host looked at them and proclaimed Boulder was "bigger than The Hulk!" The name stuck for the rest of his career.
Real Song Theme Tune: Prior to the release of the WWF's first Wrestling Album, Hogan used Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" as his entrance theme, which he carried over from his 1982-1983 run in the AWA. Replaced briefly by "Hulk's Theme" (which was used for his concurrent Saturday morning cartoon series) before using Rick Derringer's "Real American" starting in January 1986.
As part of the NWO and during his WWE run in '02 he used Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile (Slow Return)"
Red Baron: The "Immortal", "Hulkster" and/or "Hollywood".
"Ichiban" ("Number One" or "The Best") in Japan.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Invoked during the start of Hogan's feud with Ted DiBiase in the 80's where Hogan was offered a substantial amount (Never verified but DiBiase said it would have made "The crowd's head spin.") for his title. Hogan's understated response?
During his initial heel run in the WWF, by late 1980 and early 1981, Hogan — in television interviews — began bragging that he was going to become a big Hollywood star and had connections with his "friend," Sylvester Stallone, who was then working on Rocky III, and that Hogan was going to be the star of the film. Everyone thought he was full of it and it was just another muscle-bound, arrogant wannabe blowing hot air … but it would be averted, big time, when Rocky III became a huge box office success and made Hogan (proving himself right) a national icon.
Smug Snake: Hogan as a heel is somewhere between this and a Generic Doomsday Villain. While Hogan could and often did beat anyone that came to take his championship, he often did it with illegal help and was so smug about it that the crowd was hoping somebody would just take the damn thing away from him. Enter Sting and later Goldberg.
In 1988, there was a tournament to crown a new WWF Champion. Hogan was in it, but he and Andre The Giant got each other disqualified and eliminated in their quarter-final match. The two men who made it to the finals were Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar Man was accompanied to the ring by Andre, who interfered a bit on his behalf. Savage's valet Miss Elizabeth decided that Savage needed help, so she ran to the back and came back with none other than Hulk Hogan, who whacked DiBiase with a chair while the ref's back was turned. (As opposed to, say, brawling with Andre in order to stop him from helping DiBiase any more.) This set DiBiase up to be hit with the Macho Man's Finishing Move, and Savage was the new champ. It was Savage's first ever world title in the WWF, which was undoubtedly a great night for him. But the way the finish was booked, it looked like he hadn't been able to do it without Hogan's assistance. Savage also had to share the spotlight with Hogan in his post-match victory celebration, as Hogan would stay in the ring with Macho until the show ended. It's one thing to, say, raise the new champion's hand and briefly congratulate him before getting out of the ring and letting him have his moment. It's another to spend like five minutes congratulating him, working the crowd, and not leaving the ring, thus drawing the crowd's attention away from the new champion and onto yourself.
Similarly, when Hogan passed the torch a couple of years later to the Ultimate Warrior, he got at least as much time on camera as Warrior after the match, much of which showed him looking absolutely heartbroken over his loss. (To put this in perspective, imagine if years later when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin won the WWF Championship from Shawn Michaels, most of the attention after the match was on HBK and how upset he was over losing his title rather than on Austin.) Then, once he composed himself, he got into the ring with Warrior and proceeded to congratulate him and work the crowd until the end of the show, just as he did with Macho. Once again, he arguably should have stepped aside and allowed the new champion to have his moment and, once again, he didn't.
Wrestlemania IX. Hogan walked out of the arena with the World Title, when he was not even in the championship match. It was Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, with Yokozuna winning unfairly. Then Hogan comes out and pins Yokozuna in a matter of seconds, making both Yoko and Bret look like complete weaklings.
Many of his Big Damn Heroes moments during his 1980s prime would result in having his music, rather than that of the wrestler(s) he had saved, being played. This often happened with Randy Savage.
The main reason Paul Orndorff turned on Hogan was feeling he always took the spotlight and considered Orndorff to be underneath him. The problem was most fans agreed with Orndorff, causing the first real split crowd in a Hogan feud since Hogan had become champion.
Still Got It: Invoked with the "Hulk Still Rules" shirts released by WWE during his run in 2002.
What Have I Become?: After his match with Sting at the climax of the Immortal angle, Hogan performs a Heel-Face Turn and turns on Immortal. Next Impact, he explained he'd realized he'd pretty much become nothing more than a thug and he didn't like it.
In New Japan Pro Wrestling he called the WWF Championship worthless while he was still WWF champion and called the American promotions crap. He even put down The Great Muta saying he wanted to knock out Antonio Inoki again.
"These two men right here, came from this great big organization up north. Well, who knows more about that organization, brother?"
"That's the reason why this company's in the shape it's in, because of bullshit like this!"
Wrestling Family: His nephew Mike competed as Horace Boulder in Japan, ECW and other promotions before arriving in WCW in 1998. On the October 26, 1998 WCW Monday Nitro, he said his name was "Horace Hogan" and joined the NWO. While in FMW, Horace teamed with his cousin, Mike Awesome.
Wrestling Psychology: Say what you will about his tendency to No Sell when making his big comeback at the end of matches and of his overall wrestling ability in general, but when he took a beating in the ring, he took a beating. When on the receiving end of his opponent's overpowering assault, he looked absolutely haggard and could make you believe that the man he was facing was an unstoppable juggernaut.
Writing Around Trademarks: Hogan's changeover to the ring name "Hollywood Hulk Hogan" was WCW's way of getting around royalty payments to Marvel Comics; the announcers started calling him simply "Hollywood Hogan", which cut down on the amount of times "Hulk" was used, which cut down on the royalty payments. Eventually, Hogan simply bought the rights to use the name himself.
Younger than They Look: Hogan had started going bald even in his early career and by 1990, was bald as an egg. He was around 40 in the image above but looked a lot older. His age has caught up to his lack of hair, though.