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Western Animation / Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling

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Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling is a 1985 CBS cartoon series developed by Jeffrey Scott, produced by DiC Entertainment and WWE, with animation by Studio Shaft, Hanho Heung-Up, and Wang Film Productions.

The show went as followed: Hulk Hogan and a few other face WWF wrestlers (Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, André the Giant, Wendi Richter, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Hillbilly Jim, and Tito Santana), along with "Mean" Gene Okerlund fought against several heel wrestlers, whom were led by Roddy Piper (The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, The Fabulous Moolah, Big John Studd, Mr. Fuji, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan).

In other words, it followed every other children's show plot at the time.

Because of how long it takes to animate a cartoon, let alone 26 episodes, the show was often behind the times and ended in 1986. It's also worth pointing out that none of the wrestlers played their animated counterparts. Instead, the show featured well-known voice actors of that particular time — for instance, a young Brad Garrett voiced Hulk Hogan, and Charlie Adler was Roddy Piper — not counting that Mean Gene Okerlund and many of the aforementioned wrestlers themselves appeared in the live action skits.

The series does not have an official DVD release (WWE owns the rightsnote ), so your only option is through YouTube via member rocknwrestling.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Here and there: for example, Hulk has a full hairline, not the skullet that he had even back then... Roddy is muscular and large, when he was slightly-built and a bit overweight in real life.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In "Driving Me Crazy," Nikolai Volkoff uses a remote control to help his cohort, the Iron Shiek, pass a driver's test, even though Shiek has less than zero idea how to drive. Things work fine ... until Nikolai is distracted by a young boy flying a remote-control airplane and wants to try.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In "Superfly Express", a woman named Lenora is kidnapped by her cousin's men so that she can take her ring and take over her kingdom. She then orders her men to get rid of her. Superfly later finds her in a sack amongst a pile of sacks full of potatoes.
  • Ballet Episode: "Ballet Buffoons".
  • Barbershop Episode: Moolah and Volkoff work at Moolah's sister's beauty salon and give a lot of customers very ridiculous haircuts in "Moolah's Ugly Salon".
  • Berserk Button: Roddy HATES rock-n-roll. This echoes a sentiment of his heel days (which is what made him a natural villain during the Rock-and-Wrestling Connection of The '80s).
  • Big Eater: Captain Lou Albano and Andre the Giant.
    • Captain Lou. He literally lives to eat. In one episode where he has to struggle to lose weight to make his weigh-in for a match, he manages to get his weight down at the last second by going through his clothing and dropping a small mountain of food he'd stashed about his person.
  • Camping Episode: "A Lesson in Scouting".
  • Celebrity Toons: An early example.
  • Circus Episode: "Big Top Boobs".
  • Compilation Movie: At least a few episodes were cobbled together into these and run in syndication in the late 1980s, adding in new dubbed dialogue from Brad Garrett to link the episodes together.
  • Corrupt Politician: "Ballot Box Boneheads" has this as the lead antagonist.
  • Diet Episode: "Captain Lou's Crash Diet".
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. This leads the former to ask why the latter can have a license.
    • It's actually quite simple. Volkoff took his drivers test on frozen Siberian wasteland. There's nothing to hit for a thousand miles!
  • Driving Test: The Iron Sheik went through one in "Driving Me Crazy". Nikolai Volkoff was assisting him via a remote control (hidden in the engine)... but it does not end well.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Friend to All Living Things: Hillbilly Jim's central character trait. He usually has some barnyard critter tagging along who ends up being relevant to the plot.
  • Gentle Giant: Andre is extremely mellow and kind, although he will use his size and might as a trump if the situation calls for it.
  • Hammerspace: The intro sequence has all of Hogan's buddies (all *six* of them) popping up from the backseat when the heels menace Hogan. And it was obvious from previous shots that the backseat was empty.
  • Have a Gay Old Time:
    • When this series was produced, "bimbo" was a gender-neutral term meaning a dummy or an airhead. Today, Captain Lou calling Moolah a "bimbo" would mean something totally different.
    • Also, the aforementioned Circus Episode "Big Top Boobs". This uses the older definition of "boob" meaning a silly or foolish person. Today, the word has a different, more suggestive association.
  • Indian Burial Ground: "Rock n Zombies". Not Indian, but the same idea.
  • Jerkass: The heels, of course, are all creeps. Roddy Piper and Iron Sheik stand out in particular.
    • Bobby Heenan only appears in "Driving Me Crazy" and "Rock N Zombies", but he's an underhanded cheapskate that even the heels find despicable — which perfectly summed up his real-life character.
    • While he is on the good guys' side, Captain Lou is a bit of a selfish, abrasive jerk.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Averted in "Big John's Car Lot." When John Studd's father finds out the heels made him significant money by cheating his customers, he's outraged and returns the ill-gotten spoils to the customers immediately.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Subverted somewhat. The wrestlers on Roddy Piper's side can be competent, but it's not often.
  • Mythology Gag: Possible: In the "Roddy Reforms" title card, Roddy is shown tossing daises out of a basket. The real-life Roddy Piper tossed daisies from a basket into the crowd in his debut match as a pro wrestler (against Larry Hennig).
  • Not Quite Starring: The wrestlers themselves did not appear outside of the live action segments.
  • Off-Model: This was a DiC series after all. Though the fact they shipped it to three studios (mentioned at top) doesn't really help matters much.
  • Once an Episode: Mean Gene Okerlund will appear out of nowhere and comment on the current situation to the audience watching, microphone and all... even in places that make no sense for him to be there(in the sea, in deep space, etc.)
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Roddy Reforms," Roddy is brainwashed into being a good guy. Not only does it cause his fellow heels much concern, even Hulk Hogan is puzzled that Roddy can be nice. [[Foreshadowing Ironically, Piper would turn face just about the time the series ended, and one brief stint in 2003 aside, would be a face for the rest of his career.]]
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite being a show featuring face vs. heel pro wrestlers, they are rarely even in a wrestling ring. And in the rare instances that it happens, the cartoon never shows any wrestling happening (it's always right before a cutaway or after the fact).
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It uses the same good-defeats-evil plot of practically every other 80s action cartoon. There was even an episode, titled "The Wrong Stuff", where Hulk Hogan and Nikolai Volkoff go into space, literally.note 
  • Road Apples: Mean Gene Okerlund checks himself for these as he drops in on Hillbilly Jim in a live-action segment.
  • Running Gag: Andre doesn't know his own strength, JYD will start dancing for any reason, and Nikolai is... well, Nikolai.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the "Duke of Piperton", Roddy has to compete against his cousin Ronnie in a series of knight tourneys to claim a castle in Scotland. Ronnie bests Roddy, despite his cheating. When he (uncharacteristically) graciously concedes defeat, she removes her helmet at last.
  • Shout-Out: On top of "The Ghost Catchers" being obviously inspired by Ghostbusters (1984), the intro notes of the movie's theme song are played in the middle of the episode.
  • Self-Deprecation: Most live-action sequences featuring Bobby Heenan would have him whistling "Pop Goes The Weasel." "Weasel" was a scornful nickname that he hated (kayfabe).
  • Spin-Off Babies: "Small But Mighty" was the word for one episode when the face wrestlers try Junkyard Dog's secret-recipe chili sprinkled with some of Hillbilly Jim's granny's magical herbs, and all the gang transform into 10-year-olds. Before all is said and done, young Hulk and his buddies are able to stop a car-stripping ring.
  • Stupid Evil: None of the heels are particularly bright, but Nikolai Volkoff is a moron even by their standards.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: The episode "Ten Little Wrestlers", a rare episode where the Hogan-led faces and Piper-led heels are forced to work together to defeat a common enemy.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Happens several times in the series: one of the heels (usually Roddy) has to work with Hulk to solve a bigger problem. Hulk is always game and forthright, whereas the heel invariably doesn't do much more than complain.
  • The Abridged Series: A one shot was done by Youtube User Surberus which you can view here[1]
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: "Wrestling Roommates" has Captain Lou thrown out of his apartment and staying with Hulk Hogan and making a mess overnight. Eventually, Junkyard Dog needs someone to look after his junkyard while he heads out of town for a match, so Hulk lets Lou stay there as his part-time home. But then, just as Hulk has finished cleaning up his place, Hillbilly Jim pops by to stay with him.
  • Tickle Torture: Captain Lou Albano is subjected to this in "The Last Resort."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In "The Blue La-Goons," Despite Hulk saving his life no less than four times, feeding him, and generally doing all of the work to keep them alive, sane and healthy, Iron Sheik does nothing but insult Hulk, complain to him and even try to attack him out of pure spite many times.
  • Villain Episode: Six of the episodes focused only on the heels: "Driving Me Crazy", "Moolah's Ugly Salon", "The Duke of Piperton", "Big John's Car Lot", "Ballet Buffoons", and "Rowdy Roddy Reforms".
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: "Small But Mighty" had Hulk and the gang trying to both retrieve Hulk's car and rescue Hillbilly Jim's pet raccoon Mortimer from a gang of car thieves. At the end, Mortimer is revealed to be female and haven given birth to cubs.


Hulk Hogan's Rock n Wrestling

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