Hulk Hogan made a ton of money in the 1980s, and that cash keeps coming in. His iconic phrases and likeness will always be attributed to The Hulkter, but he is also still reaping the benefits of all that hard work, for the rest of time, brother.

Before becoming the iconic Hulk Hogan in the WWF, the wrestling legend went by several different names in his earlier career. As his popularity soared during the 1980s, Marvel Comics took notice of the similarities between Hogan’s moniker and their character, The Hulk.

WWE and Marvel had to work out a deal so they could use the Hulk name, but the ownership of his name goes to the many behind the character now.

During a conversation with Theo Von on The Weekend After, Hogan shared the fascinating story of how he acquired the name rights from Marvel. He proudly stated, “I own everything. I own Hulk Hogan, Hulkamania, Hulkster. I’m one of the few guys who own the name, rights, trademarks, and licenses.” He then fondly recalled his meeting with Vince McMahon Sr., the then-head of WWF, where he discussed joining the wrestling promotion.


“He goes, ‘I want you to be Hulk Hogan.’ ‘What does Hulk Hogan mean?’ ‘Ivan Putski for the Polish Americans, Bruno Sammartino for the Italian Americans, Chief Jay Strongbow for the Native Americans, and Hulk Hogan for the Irish Americans.’ Vince gave me the name. Vince Sr dies, Vince Jr takes over. Right when Hulk Hogan takes off, we get a call from Marvel Comics. ‘You’re infringing on our mark. Reasonably similar. We’re going to sue you, put you in litigation.’ We let them have the name, didn’t license the name. I only had to pay them one-tenth of 1%. That went from 1985 to 2005. In 2005, it’s over. Now, I can’t use Hulk Hogan anymore, and I’m red hot in 2005. I went to my attorney, ‘I don’t give a damn what deal you make, you’re going to make a deal because I need the name.'”

“What happened was, I got a one-year extension and I had to pay them 30% of everything I made. Movies, TV wrestling, they got 30% of everything, but if they decided to sell the name, they had to give me first shot at it. They couldn’t sell the name or do anything. Fair market value. All of a sudden, Marvel Comics gets in a bitchfest with WWE about intellectual properties, that they can’t re-air old Hulk Hogan matches. Marvel Comics lost. They owe Vince $35 million. They made a huge mistake. They said, ‘Instead of paying $35 million, how about we give you the Hulk Hogan name.’ I heard about it and went, ‘You screwed up now.’ Now, I don’t have to pay $35 million for the name, you have to sell it for me for fair money value,’ which is only $750 grand. I bought the name back. Vince wanted to buy the name from me. ‘Nah, I got this one.’ I bought the name back and I own everything.” 

A lot of pro wrestlers don’t own their ring names, making it impossible to keep making money off their WWE names after leaving the company. Hulk Hogan is not in that boat at all, and he owns everything. That being said, Hulk Hogan is still under WWE contract with a legends deal.

Hulk Hogan doesn’t show up very often anymore, but whenever he does it is newsworthy. Only time will tell what is in the future for the two-time WWE Hall of Famer, but he’s not hurting for money.

What’s your take on Hulk Hogan owning his own name? Sound off in the comments to let us know what you’re thinking!

Tags: Hulk Hogan
Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

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