Recently Hulk Hogan has been all over the media lately, mostly because the opening of the his new restaurant, Hogan Beach. Listed below are a few facts about the man that dresses in yellow n’ red that you may have not known.
First off, his real name isn’t Hulk
Shocker?, Not many parents – while holding their tiny, goop covered baby for the first time – look down at them and say something along the lines of, “We should name him Hulk.” It just doesn’t happen. Well, maybe it does, but it didn’t happen to Hulk Hogan. In fact, the Hulkster’s real name is Terry Gene Bollea – which is not quite as cool.
Hogan was Ridiculed as a Child for being overweight
Hogan was a pudgy kid. Actually he was a bit more than a pudgy kid, he was the pudgy kid that ate the pudgy kid. It’s been rumored that he clocked in at a hundred and ninety-five pounds at just twelve years of age. In fact, it was because of his weight, and some rather nasty childhood ridiculing, that he reportedly invested so much time into working out. Sometime revenge is the greatest inspiration.
Hogan made $150,000 as “Thunderlips” in Rocky III
Depending on your opinion of the third installment in the Rocky franchise, you might find the Hulkster’s paycheck to be either grossly low or idiotically high – I’m not entirely sure if either is incorrect. “To all my love slaves out there: Thunderlips is here. In the flesh, baby. The ultimate male versus… the ultimate meatbalI.” I doubt anyone other than Hulk Hogan himself could have delivered that line with a straight face.
Hogan’s first character name was “The Super Destroyer”
On August 25th 1977, Terry Bollea wrestled his first professional match on the Florida independent scene against an aging veteran by the name of Don Serrano. Bollea’s character was named “The Super Destroyer.” The moniker had been given out to generic masked wrestlers long before Bollea’s debut, and continues to be handed out to jobbers, scrubs, and newbies to this very day.
Hulk Hogan has an artificial hip
Not only is the Hulkster sporting an artificial hip from a surgery years ago, but at this point, the man’s body has been worked on more than Frankenstein. Knees, legs, arms, shoulders, hips, neck – nearly every part of his body has been sliced open, tweaked, and stitched up. As recently as last month he was given the go-ahead by doctors for an important, and necessary, back surgery. Doctors initially feared that his heart displayed signs of potential problems but in recent tests, the 57 year-old performer proved to be in perfect condition for the suggested surgery.
Hogan was the first wrestler ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated
On April 29th of 1985, Hulk Hogan became the first professional wrester to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated – a feat that, to this day, none of his peers has managed to match.
Hogan released an album that actually made it onto the charts
In 1995 “Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band” released an album titled “Hulk Rules” that sold well enough to earn a spot in the top ten on the Children’s Charts. The Hulkster himself played guitar. The quality of the album is of course debatable – unless listening to the Terry “rap” about the “beach patrol” happens to be your definition of quality music.
Hogan was a character in a Saturday morning cartoon
Alongside such luminaries as Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Iron Sheik, and Big John Stud, “Hulk Hogan’s Rock n’ Wrestling” debuted on CBS on September 14th 1985. By December 6th 1986, it was off the air. Neither Hogan nor any of the other performers whose likenesses were used also provided the voice for their character. Even stranger is the fact that the animators made the choice to give the Hulkster a full head of flowing blond hair – despite the fact that he was pretty much bald at the time.
In the 1980’s Hogan making well over ten million dollars a year
At the height of his popularity, there were no wrestlers bigger than Hulk Hogan. Vince McMahon’s WWF(E) had pushed him to the moon as their lead face. His mustached face could be found on just about every product imaginable, and he had even managed to make the transition onto the silver screen.
Hogan had his arm broken by Hiro Matsuda
Yasuhiro Kojima (better known as Hiro Matsuda) was the trainer of a number of professional wrestling’s most prolific performers back in the day, including Paul Orndorff, Lex Luger, Ron Simmons, and of course the Hulkster himself. It’s said that Hiro snapped Hogan’s arm during their very first training session when the youngster was slacking off – an interesting teaching method to say the least.
For years Hogan was accused of being more of a politician than a wrestler
Hulk Hogan had been the subject of much controversy throughout the latter part of his career. Many fans and wrestlers alike considered him to be a “politician” who used his influence to secure a spot at the top of the roster, while ensuring the underlings remained in their place below. When asked about his apparent refusal to job or sell moves in a 2005 interview, Hogan response was simple: “Verne Gagne, for three years, told me not to go down to a knee. That put me into a spot where everybody wanted to say ‘Well, he doesn’t want to do a job. He can’t work. He can’t take bumps.’ Promoters said ‘Man, if you go off your feet, we’re not going to make any money. You’re the Hulk!’ You need to know the whole picture of this business.”
Hogan was sued by Richard Belzer for five million dollars
In 1985, the Hulkster appeared alongside Mr. T on Richard Belzer’s late night TV Show “Hot Properties” a few days prior to Wrestlemania. While demonstrating a standing Guillotine Choke, Belzer went unconscious and flopped to the floor like a wet noodle. Unlike most things associated with professional wrestling, this wasn’t planned (the way Richard Belzer’s body flops to the floor made that perfectly clear to anyone who might have been wondering). Belzer sued Hogan for five million dollars. The case was settled out of court.
Hogan kept Vince McMahon out of prison
In 1994, a steroid scandal threatened the WWF(E), and Hogan testified in court that he had in fact used steroids regularly over a period of twelve years “to get big.” At the same time though, he made it clear that his employer at the time, Vince McMahon, never distributed the substance and even recommend against using it. More than likely his testimony is what kept Vince from ending up behind bars. Not long afterward, however, Hogan went to work for rival Ted Turner’s WCW.
How did he get the name Hulk?
After appearing on a television talk show alongside Lou Ferrigno – who was starring as “The Incredible Hulk” on television at the time – a comment was made about how Hogan had seemed physically larger than Lou. Subsequently Vince McMahon Sr. suggested adopting the moniker of “Hulk.” A deal was later struck with Marvel Comics to use the name. In February 2005, Bollea himself purchased the rights to the name “Hulk Hogan.”
His FIRST restaurant was called “Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania”
Opened on Labor Day weekend of 1995 in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania was created and financed by Hogan himself. The menu featured such delectable dishes as “Hulk-U’s” and “Hulk-aRoos.” Needless to say, it closed less than a year later. Feel free to enjoy this video introducing the restaurant to all of his “Pastamaniacs.”