December 12, 2004
|Hulk Hogan. - Sun files
REAL NAME: Terry Gene Bollea
BORN: August 11, 1953 in Augusta, Georgia
6'4", 290 pounds
ALIASES/ NICKNAMES: Terry Boulder, Sterling Golden, Hulk Hogan, the Hulkster, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Mr. America
If there is ever an argument over who is the biggest name in the history of pro wrestling, consideration must be given to Hulk Hogan, who was at the forefront of the great rise in wrestling popularity in the mid-1980s. Although Hulk Hogan may not have "made wrestling", it can certainly be argued that he helped to make wrestling what it is today.
Initially wanting to be a musician, Hogan decided (while working as a bank teller) that there was money to be made in the wrestling business after being spotted by the Brisco Brothers. Trained by Hiro Matsuda, Hogan debuted in Florida in 1978 and wrestled under a mask as the Super Destroyer before later being dubbed Terry Boulder.
It would be, however, under the guise of Sterling Golden that, after wrestling in Georgia, he would defeat Dick Slater for the NWA Southeastern title in Knoxville Tennessee on December 1st, 1979.
After losing the title on Christmas Day to Bob Armstrong, Golden would depart from the area and head to the WWWF under the management of "Classy" Freddie Blassie, targeting Bob Backlund and Andre the Giant. Andre and Hogan would meet in several high-profile bouts on August 9th, 1980 on the undercard to the Bruno Sammartino/Larry Zbyszko cage match at Shea Stadium.
For the first (but not the last) time in Hogan's career, Hollywood would come calling, and he found himself cast as "Thunderlips", a champion wrestler, in Rocky III. The move to Hollywood, however, cost him his job in the WWWF...at least for now, as Vince McMahon Sr. fired him.
When Hogan returned to the ring in 1981, it would not be in the WWWF but for Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association. Although initially a heel, as he had been in the WWWF, Hogan quickly became a face and was lined up for title matches against Nick Bockwinkle, who was managed by frequent Hogan foe, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan. Although Hogan was so over that his being cheated out of a title win nearly sparked riots (such as the aftermath of a NO-DQ win on April 24th, 1983), Gagne never consented to put the AWA World title on this rising superstar.
Hogan would still win titles, but in Japan where on June 2nd, 1983, he defeated Antonio Inoki to become the very first IWGP Champion. It was in Japan that Hogan told Gagne that he was leaving the AWA to return to the WWWF (or the WWF as it was known by then).
Introduced to the WWF fans as Bob Backlund's tag team partner during a match against the Samoans, Hogan quickly replaced Backlund in the hunt to dethrone new WWF Champion the Iron Sheik. On January 23rd, 1984, it took Hogan a little over five minutes to defeat the Sheik in Madison Square Gardens to win the WWF Championship.
With Hogan in place as the new WWF Champion and the phenomenon of Hulkamania running wild, WWF promoter Vince McMahon set into motion a series of events that would take Hogan and the WWF to the forefront of mainstream pop culture. Teaming Hogan up with A-Team star Mr. T, Hogan would headline the very first Wrestlemania against "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff in an event that included such celebrities as Liberace, Billy Martin and Cyndi Lauper, among others.
In the build-up to Wrestlemania, Hogan would make the talk show circuit, appearing with Mr. T on Saturday Night Live as well as the Richard Belzer Show. Belzer would suffer injuries when Hogan demonstrated a front facelock. Belzer passed out and then, when Hogan released the hold, fell to the ground, hitting his head on a table on the way down.
Hogan's feud with Piper would continue for months to come, including a World title match at the Wrestling Classic, the WWF's first pay-per-view. Hogan would also face Big John Studd, Greg Valentine and Don Muraco. Meanwhile, Hulkamania began to grow even larger. Hogan was the focus of a cartoon show, entitled Hulk Hogan's Rock and Wrestling, appeared on the A-Team and became the first pro wrestler to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.
It was a title defense against Muraco during the taping of Saturday Night's Main Event that Hogan was attacked by King Kong Bundy. The story was that Bundy injured Hogan's ribs, putting him at a disadvantage for the ensuing cage match at Wrestlemania II. Hogan would still climb out of the cage and retain the title against Bundy.
Following Wrestlemania II, Hogan began teaming with Paul Orndorff. But following a televised match against Bundy and Studd, Orndorff attacked Hogan, and the pair battled for the rest of the year, including a bout at Toronto's CNE Stadium in front of more than 60 000 people.
As 1987 began, Hogan found himself challenged by another former friend, Andre the Giant, who had taken Bobby Heenan as his manager and demanded a title shot. Andre would get his shot against Hogan at Wrestlemania III, at the Pontiac Silverdome. In front of an announced crowd of 93,173, Hogan bodyslammed and pinned Andre. But Hogan wasn't rid of Andre yet as the pair captained opposing teams at the first Survivor Series in November, 1987.
Hogan's first World title reign would finally come to an end on national television, as NBC broadcast "The Main Event" in prime time in February, 1988. Andre, now managed by Ted Dibiase, would pin Hogan, thanks to a crooked referee. The title was declared vacant when Andre tried to sell the title to Dibiase, and he and Hogan met yet again, battling to a draw in the second round of the WWE title tournament at Wrestlemania IV.
Hogan would depart wrestling to film No Holds Barred during the summer of 1988, returning to team with Randy Savage at Summerslam 88 against Andre and Dibiase. Hogan and Savage would also team at the 1988 Survivor Series. However, over the next few months, the team of Hogan and Savage would begin to disintegrate. After Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage at the 1989 Royal Rumble, tempers flared, and when Hogan left Savage during a tag match during the Main Event in February to attend to an injured Elizabeth, the Mega Powers exploded, leading to a World title match between Hogan and Savage at Wrestlemania V.
Hogan defeated Savage to regain the Championship but would have to continue to battle Savage for months. With the release of No Holds Barred in the summer of 1989, Savage would gain an ally in Zeus (Tiny Lister's character). Zeus and Savage would team to take on Hogan and his partner Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake at Summerslam 89 as well as in a cage match at No Holds Barred: the Match, the Movie pay-per-view that aired in December 1989.
Hogan came out victorious at the 1990 Royal Rumble but in doing so helped to eliminate the Ultimate Warrior whose popularity was beginning to rival Hogan's. After several altercations, the two met at Wrestlemania VI, from Toronto's Skydome. The Warrior defeated Hogan to become champion. A few weeks later, Hogan was seemingly injured at the hands of Earthquake and was gone for the summer of 1990, returning to defeat the Earthquake at SummerSlam 90.
For the rest of 1990 and into 1991, Hogan was aligned with the Ultimate Warrior although most expected Wrestlemania VII to be a rematch between the two. That changed when the Warrior dropped the title to Sgt. Slaughter at the 1991 Royal Rumble and Hogan was named the Number One contender. Hogan met and defeated Slaughter at Wrestlemania VII.
Hogan's third reign as WWE Champion lasted until the Survivor Series when the Undertaker defeated him, thanks to the interference of Ric Flair. The subsequent rematch (at This Tuesday In Texas) caused the title to be held up, and decided by the 1992 Royal Rumble. Hogan lasted until the very end, only to be eliminated by his supposed friend, Sid Justice. Hogan and Justice battled at Wrestlemania VIII, with talk that Hogan would retire after the match.
At approximately the same time that Hogan was disappearing from the WWE scene, the steroid scandal was beginning. Many wrestlers, including Superstar Billy Graham and David Schultz, claimed that Hogan had taken steroids, something Hogan denied during an appearance on the Arsenio Hall show.
Hogan would return to the WWE in early 1993 to aid his friend Brutus Beefcake in getting revenge against Money Inc. (Irwin R. Schyster and Ted Dibiase), challenging them to a tag team title match at Wrestlemania IX. Hogan showed up to the event with a black eye. The WWE explained it away that by saying Money Inc had attacked him during a workout but rumours persisted that Randy Savage punched him over suspicions over Hogan's relationship with Elizabeth.
Although Hogan and Beefcake would lose by disqualification to IRS and Dibiase, Hogan's night was not through. After Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, Hogan rushed to ringside and accepted a challenge from Mr. Fuji for the title. Fuji's attempt to throw salt in the eyes of Hogan backfired, as the salt hit Yokozuna, allowing Hogan to gain the pinfall and another WWE title.
Rather than drop the belt to Bret Hart, Hogan's reign came to an end with a loss to Yokozuna at King of the Ring two months later. By then, Hogan was more interested, it seemed, in his new television show Thunder in Paradise.
Hogan went to Japan for a while, defeating Tatsumi Fujinami at the Eggdome in Tokyo to start off 1994. Hogan would return to the national spotlight by testifying on behalf of the federal government in the steroid scandal. Hogan would admit to using steroids but said that he had done so on his own accord, helping to clear Vince McMahon.
In June 1994, Hogan would sign with Ted Turner's WCW and in his first match in WCW at Bash at the Beach in July, with Shaquille O'Neal in his corner, would defeat Ric Flair to win the WCW World Championship. Flair and Hogan would meet again, in a steel cage match with Hogan "retiring" Flair at Halloween Havoc. Hogan would then feud with Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom and face his former friend Brutus Beefcake at Starrcade 94.
1995 saw Hogan feud with Vader, a reinstated Ric Flair and the Giant (later known as the Big Show) and main evented the very first broadcast of Monday Nitro, on September 4th, 1995, when he defeated Big Bubba Rogers. At Halloween Havoc, Hogan lost via disqualification to the Giant. However, due to Hogan's then-manager Jimmy Hart signing a contract that allowed the World title to change hands on a DQ, the Giant left as the World Champion. The World title was later held up, but interference from the Giant left Hogan out in the cold again, as Randy Savage filled won the World War III battle royale to fill the vacancy.
With the arrival of the Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) in the spring of 1996, Hogan was strangely absent from WCW. During a six-man tag team match that pitted Hall and Nash and a mystery partner against Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger at Bash at the Beach, Hogan came to ringside and many believed it was to take the place of the injured Luger. A leg drop to Savage ended that speculation. After the match, Hogan announced the formation of the New World Order or NWO.
On August 10, 1996, the New World Order struck gold as Hollywood Hulk Hogan (as he was now being billed) defeated the Giant in Sturgis, SD, to regain the WCW World Championship as part of the Road Wild pay-per-view. With the World title around his waist, Hogan and the rest of his NWO cohorts would take the battle to every other member of the WCW roster, including Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, the Giant and even "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, who battled and defeated Hogan in a non-title cage match at Starrcade '96.
After teasing that Sting had joined the NWO in late 1996, Hogan had to keep looking over his shoulder as 1997 progressed. Meanwhile, he would team with basketball superstar Dennis Rodman to take on Lex Luger and the Giant at 1997's Bash at the Beach. Luger would also temporarily derail Hogan's run as champion, defeating him on Nitro in August. Five days later, however, Hogan would walk out of Road Wild as champion, much as he had a year previous.
As the year came to a close, however, the issue with Sting came to a head and finally, at Starrcade '97, Hogan and Sting met in what should have been a stellar blow-off to the feud that was over a year in the making instead was mired in controversy. The pinfall Hogan made on Sting was little out of the ordinary, hardly the result most fans were looking for, and then WCW newcomer, Bret Hart (a referee for the Eric Bischoff-Larry Zbyszko match) rushed to the ring, restarted the match and eventually counted the pinfall on Sting.
Hogan's attempt to regain the title from Sting ended in failure at Uncensored in 1998. Instead, Hogan would defeat former NWO member, Randy Savage, to regain the title on Nitro on April 20, 1998. After losing the belt to the up-and-coming Goldberg, Hogan switched his focus to feuding with Diamond Dallas Page. Hogan would reteam with Dennis Rodman to defeat Page and basketball star Karl Malone at Bash at the Beach, but, teaming with NWO head Eric Bischoff, would lose to Page and talk show host Jay Leno.
Just when Hogan thought it was safe, however, came the return of the Warrior. Warrior began to play mind games with Hogan, kidnapping "the Disciple" (formerly Brutus Beefcake) and forming OWN (One Warrior Nation). Hogan finally met and (with the help of nephew Horace Hogan) defeated the Warrior at Halloween Havoc to avenge his Wrestlemania VI loss.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1998, Hogan appeared on Jay Leno to announce his retirement from pro wrestling to make a run at the White House in 2002. Rumours also abounded that Hogan was on the verge of creating his own wrestling organization. But the retirement would last just over a month and end at the first Nitro in 1999 when Hogan would regain the WCW World title from Kevin Nash after the infamous "finger poke of doom".
With Hogan back as champion, his first major challenge was from Ric Flair, who had become the "president" of WCW. The two met at SuperBrawl and then at Uncensored, with Flair defeating Hogan in a "first blood" match, although referee Charles Robinson allowed the match to be decided by a submission via Flair's figure four leglock.
It would be another figure four leglock, this one from Diamond Dallas Page at Spring Stampede, that would provide the cover story for Hogan's departure from wrestling in the spring and summer of 1999 while he had knee surgery and worked his way back into shape. Hogan returned in July and quickly defeated Randy Savage for the WCW World title with the help of Kevin Nash.
But it would be Nash who would challenge Hogan for the title, resulting in a "Loser Leaves Town World Title Match" at Road Wild. Hogan won and retained the title and also returned to the red and yellow colours of Hulkamania. In a reversal of events from three years before, Hogan had to convince Sting that he had not returned to the NWO but Sting turned on Hogan during their World title match at Fall Brawl, winning the title.
Hogan's battle against Team Package (Lex Luger and Ric Flair) raged as 2000 began but came to an abrupt halt with the "reset" of WCW in April 2000. Hogan, a part of the Millionaire's Club, battled Billy Kidman, who was aided by Eric Bischoff. Hogan, however, got wins over Kidman at Slamboree and Bash at the Beach 2000, the latter of which earned him a title shot atthe Great American Bash.
At Bash at the Beach, WCW Champion Jeff Jarrett laid down for Hogan, who simply had to put his foot on Jarrett to win. But Hogan, upset at this turn of events, walked out on WCW, with booker Vince Russo cutting what is believed to be a "shoot" promo, condemning Hogan and giving the title back to Jarrett. Hogan would later file a lawsuit against Russo over the match and the promo.
Hogan spent most of 2001 on the sidelines, getting involved with Acclaim's Legends of Wrestling video game to become their spokesperson. His most high-profile in-ring activity was to defeat Curt Hennig at the XWF TV tapings in Orlando, Florida in November 2001.
HULK HOGAN'S MOVIES
Luscious Johnny: The Wrestler (2005)
Muppets from Space (1999)
Shadow Warriors II: Hunt for the Death Merchant (TV) (1999)
3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain
McCinsey's Island (1998)
Assault on Devil's Island (TV) 1997
The Ultimate Weapon (1997)
Santa with Muscles (1996)
The Secret Agent Club (1996)
Spy Hard (1996)
Thunder in Paradise 3 (1995)
Thunder in Paradise 2 (1994)
Thunder in Paradise (1993)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
No Holds Barred
Goldie and the Bears (TV) 1984
Bimini Code (1984)
Rocky III (1982)
The SLAM! Wrestling Movie Database
In February 2002, Hogan returned to the WWE but not in the red-and-yellow colours of Hulkamania but instead clad in the black and white of the New World Order, with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in tow. However, after losing to the Rock
at Wrestlemania X-8
at the SkyDome, Hogan was turfed by the NWO and became a face again. Drafted to Smackdown, Hogan defeated Triple H
to regain the WWF World title, only to lose it to the Undertaker at Judgment Day.
After a tagteam title reign with Edge in July 2002, Hogan left the WWE, returning in January 2003 to begin what he called "his last journey". He was quickly involved in a feud with Vince McMahon, leading to a bloody match that ended in a Hogan victory at Wrestlemania 19. McMahon would "suspend" Hogan leading to the appearance of Mr. America. By the end of June, 2003, Hogan had left the WWE, returning only to the WWE only via videotape as part of Smackdown's 5th anniversary special.
In October 2003, Hogan travelled to New Japan and defeated Masa Chono in approximately 19 minutes. During a post-match press conference, Hogan was attacked by Jeff Jarrett providing much needed buzz for what was to have been a match in NWA-TNA between the two but knee surgery for Hogan prevented that match from taking place. Meanwhile, Hogan seemingly switched gears, becoming more interested in daughter, Brooke's singing career than his own in-ring career.
Hogan's days with the WWE were not through. On September 23, 2004, he appeared, via a video-taped segment, for the 5th anniversary of Smackdown. Hogan discussed winning the Smackdown Tag titles with Edge.
The night before Wrestlemania XXI
, Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Not content with simply picking up the plaque, Hogan made an appearance at Wrestlemania, coming to the aid of Eugene, who had been attacked by Muhammad Hassan & Khrosrow Daivari.
Hassan and Daivari weren't quite finished, as they turned their attention to Shawn Michaels
in the weeks following Wrestlemania. Michaels, wanting revenge on Hassan and Daivari, implored Hogan to return for "one more match". Hogan agreed, and he and Michaels gain the victory over their foes at Backlash
Hogan and Michaels' "dream team" would end when Michaels turned on Hogan following a tag bout on Raw against Kurt Angle
. Michaels immediately challenged Hogan for a bout at SummerSlam
, marking the first time these two legends clashed in the ring. Hogan got the victory, and disappeared from WWE TV screens for nearly a year.
Outside the ring, Hogan has joined the reality TV craze, premiering his new series Hogan Knows Best
in which he oversees the growing-up of his two children. Hogan would show up in WWE, challenging Steve Austin
at WWE Homecoming and, later, inducting Mean Gene Okerlund into WWE Hall of Fame.
With Randy Orton becoming infatuated with daughter Brooke and challenging Hogan and later attacking him, the Hulkster would return for "One More Match", again at SummerSlam. And again, Hogan came out victorious!
Hulk Hogan Appreciation Day and Legends Under the Stars, July 10, 2009 in Chicago
Few expect Hogan not to return again for "one more match", but even when Hogan does finally hung up his boots, he has long ago established himself as one of the legends in the world of professional wrestling. Critics may question his in-ring ability or criticize his penchant for using his "creative control" but no one can deny that Hogan's charismatic persona has taken him a long way.
-- compiled by John Milner
HULK HOGAN PHOTO GALLERIES
HULK HOGAN STORIES
Oct. 29, 2012: Hulk Hogan settles sex tape lawsuit with radio personality
Oct. 23, 2012: Hulk Hogan loses bid for Heather Clem sex tape injunction
Oct. 16, 2012: Hulk Hogan sues for $100M over sex tape leak involving Heather Clem
Oct. 7, 2012: Hulk Hogan offered big money for sex tape
Oct. 5, 2012: Hulk Hogan eyes legal action over sex tape
March 8, 2012: Hogan sex tape offered to porn market
July 11, 2011: Linda Hogan's book has sex, drugs and lots of advice
May 26, 2011: TNA hopes to make an Impact with name change
Apr. 10, 2011: Hogan's second autobiography deserving of a look
July 19, 2010: Hogan and friends show entertaining, if pricey
Dec. 12, 2009: Hogan talks suicide, TNA and injuries
Nov. 16, 2009: "Unreleased" Hogan DVD great if not exactly true
Oct. 30, 2009: Mat Matters: Any hope with Hogan?
Oct. 28, 2009: Hulk Hogan signs with TNA
Apr. 18, 2009: Hulkster has an O.J. moment
Oct. 18, 2008: Celebrity Championship Wrestling a debacle and then some
Oct. 18, 2008: Reality 'n' wrestling collide in new Hulk Hogan reality show
Feb. 16, 2008: Hogan battles through tough times
Dec. 19, 2006: Hogan DVD a mix of the rare and the repeated
Sep. 4, 2005: Future stars must have 'It': Hogan
Aug. 21, 2005: Hogan ready for war with Michaels
Aug. 10, 2005: Hogan, Batista get cheers at SummerSlam confab
May 1, 2005: Hogan thrilled to be retro
Apr. 4, 2005: L.A. Hulkster heaven at WrestleMania
Oct 5, 2002: Hulkamania gets hucked
Dec 21, 2002: Hulk still pumped up
June 1, 2002: Hulk a hero to all
Mar 19, 2000: Hogan, Piper, Foley open up
May 31, 1999: Hulkster's plea
March 12, 1999: Back to Hogan's darker days
Nov 30, 1998: Hogan plans new fed: Valentine
Nov 27, 1998: Hollywood Hogan retires
Oct 13, 1998: New Hogan film a flop
May 22, 1989: Sun woman finds Hogan a huggable Hulk
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