Disclaimer: This Article was First Published On Forreason.com and is published here with approval.
Oh no! Conor McGregor just announced retirement. Again. This is how you roll when you are 31 years old and earned enough money for a lifetime. If you'll ask us, this is just a temporary thing, and within a week or so he will get back to the ring. It is what it is and when you are a natural-born fighter, you cant just retire all of a sudden.
Meanwhile, We are here to entertain you with the life story of another wrestler, a true American hero and whether you're a fan of wrestling or not, there's one wrestler everyone seems to know: Hulk Hogan. Famous for his handlebar mustache and skillet, when he's in the ring, he's unstoppable. But as dramatic as his stage presence is, his personal life is twice as intense. You'll see.
A wrestler, musician, actor, and entrepreneur, Hulk Hogan has done just about everything and also has a fair amount of scandals under his belt. It's time you learned the untold story of Hulk Hogan.
Hogan grew up in humble beginnings.
If there's one thing Hogan didn't grow up in, it is money. He was born on August 11th, 1953 in Augusta, Georgia. And from our records, this was probably the first time he encountered baby oil. We're glad he enjoyed being lathered up, helped his future.
His father was a construction foreman, and his mother was a dance instructor. He also had an older brother, Allan. But the family didn't stay in Georgia for too long. One year after Hogan's birth, they moved to Tampa, Florida, where he grew up.
The Hulk was always a huge guy
But literally. When most kids look long and lean, Hogan was a giant towering above his peers. When Hogan was 12-years-old, he was already six feet tall and weighed 195 pounds. We wish we were joking. Imagine how much food he ate at 12-years-old?
At being such a large size at a young age, it was destined that he became a professional athlete. Sadly, as a kid, his size wasn't admired by others. Other kids used to call him "Fat Head" because, well, he had a pretty large cranium. The good thing is he grew into his head.
But he wasn't always known as the hulk
When his mother gave birth to him, she didn't hold him in her arms and think to herself, "I'm going to name him Hulk Hogan." The name 'Hulk Hogan' is his wrestling stage name. Do you know what his birth name is? Though his stage name gives the impression he's a tough guy, his actual name is Terrance Gene Bollea.
That's right; his name is Terrance. When you think of the name Terrance, it definitely shows his softer side. When Terrance was growing up, he didn't imagine he would be known as Hulk Hogan.
But he had other dreams before he became a wrestler
Though children today may dream about becoming a wrestler, for Terrance, wrestling didn't cross his mind as a possible career. Instead, he was focused on playing baseball and being a musician. But his dreams of becoming a baseball pro came to an end after an arm injury.
But the dream of being a musician was still alive and well. Terry was a bass player and loved the idea of making music and traveling around the world performing in front of eager audiences. He even dropped out of college to become a musician.
Hogan is a high school dropout
You don't need a college degree to become a musician, and Terrance knew that. After he graduated from high school, Terrance went to Hillsborough Community College for two years and then enrolled in the University of South Florida. But his university education didn't last long.
He switched his major several times during his studies, and finally decided to drop out and focus entirely on his musical career as a bass player. He knew it would take some time until his career as a bass player caught hold, so he tried to figure a way to pay the bills in the meantime.
He wasn't always a fan of pro wrestlers
While Terrance was in high school, he was terrified of professional wrestlers. Back then, wrestling wasn't a coordinated and scripted sports event; it was much more intense and less organized. In other words, wrestlers were brutal towards each other.
Though he enjoyed playing the bass, eventually, the sports industry sniffed him out. Well, specifically, the Brisco brothers spotted the 6-foot-8 Terrance playing the bass and convinced him to give wrestling a try. On his first day at training, Terrance broke his leg. Guess he didn't have beginners luck.
The wrestling industry was a secret boys-only club
When it came to the wrestling world, it was very secretive and known as a boy's club. Though many people wanted to get into wrestling, it was extremely hard to make your way unless you were connected. New wrestlers were trained by professional wrestlers whose goal was to break you. They would push the limits physically and mentally, testing how strong newcomers really were.
Hiro Matsuda was Terrance's trainer, who was a tough wrestler from Japan. After having his leg broken on the first day, Terrance showed back for training 10 weeks later. The professional wrestlers were impressed by his determination and strength.
At one point, he quit wrestling
Even though he was determined, one year into wrestling, Terrance decided to call it quits. He wasn't getting enough matches and decided the industry wasn't giving him a chance to progress. But he was still obsessed with getting a Greek body, so he continued to hit up the gym.
There was just one thing he added to his workout repertoire: steroids. Since steroids weren't banned until 1990, his steroid usage at the time (1978) was completely legal. He hit the gym, worked out, took steroids, and gained what was famously known as his 24-inch pythons. Then it was time to give wrestling another shot.
Where did he get his wrestling name from?
When Terrance had his first match, he used the name "Super Destroyer" and worse a nacho libre-type mask. But then he changed his name to "Terry Boulder," "Sterling Golden," and Hollywood Hogan," just to name a few. It wasn't until Vince McMahon Sr. came along and gave Terrance his famous wrestling name, "Hulk Hogan."
The "Hogan" part of the name was for his Irish background. And since then, the name stuck. "Hulk" became the nickname due to his size and after an interview with Lou Ferrigno, where Hogan towered over him.
He sent 3 stuntmen to the hospital
We all know wrestling isn't the safest of sports. During the filming of Rocky III, Hulk Hogan's tag team partner was Mr. T. Hogan played a villain in the movie called "Thunderlips," an arrogant wrestler who was known for his aggressive attacks.
Stallone wrote on his Instagram, "I remember a violent move where he threw me into the corner, charged across the ring like an ENRAGED bull and leaped so amazingly high above me, that his shinbone actually came down [like a] giant tree on my collarbone, and I tumbled to the floor." Well, he wasn't the only one who felt the pain as three stuntmen were severely injured and needed hospital treatment.
Hulk Hogan is the real Captain America
When it came to Hulk Hogan's stage persona, he was a living and breathing Captain America mixed with the Incredible Hulk. He would enter the ring waving an America flag, and would rip up his shirt to "Hulk it up." Though comparing his to the Avengers Captain America, we have to say; we're bigger fans of Chris Evan's adaptation of the character.
He just seems less oily. For us, he's more like the Incredible Hulk, and we have proof. Hulk Hogan was so similar to Marvel's The Hulk that Hogan actually ended up paying royalties to the comic book company. How wild is that?
1995 was a creative year for Hulk Hogan
What was Hulk Hogan's most creative year? We know you're dying to find out. Well, for Hogan, 1995 was quite the year for him. He opened up Pastamania that opened in malls all throughout America. That, as you guessed, served only pasta. But it was also the year he released a studio album called "Hulk Rules," by his band, Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band.
If you're wondering what some of the lyrics were, here's a taste. In one song, the lyrics were: "I used to tear my shirt / But now you've torn my heart." And from that line alone, we're happy to say Hogan didn't make it in the music industry.
Hulk Hogan found love while wrestling
Hogan was climbing up the ladder of success with his wrestling career, and along with that, he met his first wife, Linda Claridge. They met at a restaurant in Los Angeles and hit it off. For two years, the couple maintained a long-distance relationship that happened entirely over the telephone.
They married in 1983, with wedding guests including Andre the Giant, and Vince McMahon. Their marriage lasted for twenty-five years, and Linda gave birth to their two children, Nick and Brooke.
People loved robbing the Hulk
Though it's been well-known celebrities are targets for robbery, the Hulk has seemed to have his fair share of robberies. We're just wondering why anyone would think stealing from a giant wrestler would be a good idea. In 2014, his Florida home was broken into, and a woman stole $5,500 wrestling shoes.
In 2007, Hulk had $100,000 worth of jewelry stolen from his home. That's not all. In 2016, three robbers stole a package off of Hogan's doorstep. Even the Hulk isn't immune to robbery.
He missed the George Foreman Grill deal
If there's one man we all know who knows how to grill, it's George Foreman. The Geroge Foreman machine was the best item you needed in your kitchen for lean and fat-reducing food. But before George Foreman became the face of the grill, Hulk Hogan was offered to be the featured face.
Though he missed out on nearly $200 million dollars in profit and a partnership because, as he claims, he missed the call from his agent, or whatever his excuse was as he can't seem to decide what the reason was for this missed opportunity.
He doesn't regret using other wrestlers for his own gain
Hogan didn't become a famous wrestle by letting other people shine. Instead, he took the selfish road and hoarder the spotlight in the wrestling world. Whenever another wrestler seemed to be getting any attention, he made sure to squash them. Bret, "the Hitman" Hart, was an example of Hogan's selfishness.
Hogan refused to lose, and the Hitman was forced to lose the world championship against Yokozuna. Then, after the Hitman's loss, Hogan defeated Yokozuna in less than 30 seconds. But Hogan doesn't regret any of it. In a 2018 interview, he said, "Well, thank God I was!" he added. "That's why I made more money than anybody, that's why I kept the belt longer, that's why ... I had a 35-year run on top."
He told people "vitamins" made him big and strong
Of course, we all know by now that Hogan was naturally a big guy. He was 195 pounds by the age of twelve. That's just insane! But, to be a famous wrestler, he needed to make himself even bigger, and that wasn't going to happen naturally. In the 80s, he would preach to his fans to "train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins!"
This sounds all fine and well, but in reality, he was abusing alcohol, drugs, and periods. The best part of this is he continued to deny any steroid use throughout his career in hopes of keeping his crystal clear public image.
But he eventually admitted to using steroids
Of course, he wouldn't be able to keep this lie up for much longer. The government was going after the wrestling industry, and wrestlers had to testify in court, admitting their steroid use. The Hulk went on the Arsenio Hall show to reach out to the public, saying he only used synthetic hormones 3 times and only for the treatment of a shoulder injury.
Other wrestlers weren't impressed and called out his lies, but Hogan didn't cave until 1994 when he confessed to using steroids for 13 years. Now, that's a big difference from his first claim.
Behind closed doors, he was known as a racist
People viewed Hogan as a wholesome and fun American wrestler, but he has a dark side no one knew about. But eventually, his true colors were exposed as he was caught singing the tune of a racist song. The lyrics went, "I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n***ers."
He was also upset his daughter, Brooke, was dating an African American man. Saying, "I'd rather if she was going to f**k some n***er, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!" Not a good look for Hogan, and he was severely punished for his racist remarks. But of course, he pleaded for forgiveness saying: "There's not a racist bone in my body."
WWE doesn't support racism
If there is one thing corporations do not support, it's racism (at least until people forget). For WWE, having a known racist entertainer on their payroll isn't a good look. In 2015, WWE fired Hogan and completely wiped him out from their website's history as well as their Hall of Fame.
Even a restaurant in Tampa, Florida, one that worked with Hogan, cut ties with him. But with time, the WWE eventually forgave Hogan for this past and welcomed him back in 2018, where he hosted an event in Saudi Arabia and was placed back into the Hall of Fame.
Hulk Hogan's son almost killed his best friend
For Hogan, 2007 is probably a year he wishes never happened. Hogan's son, Nick, was known as an irresponsible driver who wasn't concerned about the consequences. Aside from his martial issues, Hogan's son, Nick, was behind the wheel and responsible for a serious car accident that almost killed his best friend, John Graziano.
But Graziano didn't walk away from the accident. The decorated marine suffered an extreme brain injury and will live the rest of his life with minimal function and under constant care.
Hulk Hogan has a suicidal past
Not everything was rainbows and bunnies for Hogan. While he was filming his reality tv show Hogan Knows Best, back in 2007, the family was going through a rough time. Hogan's son, Nick, was involved in a major car accident, the show was canceled, and Linda asked for a divorce after Hogan slept with his daughter's best friend.
As Hogan said, "Everything got dark, everything happened at once." Hogan turned to drugs and even placed a gun in his mouth, contemplating suicide. However, he managed to overcome his dark thoughts.
His biggest enemy is his ex-wife
While you think his biggest enemy would be another professional wrestler, in this case, it's his ex-wife. Cue the drama! This real-life feud never seems to end between the two as she blames him for ruining their marriage after having multiple affairs with other women.
But in 2011, Linda said that Hogan allegedly grabbed her by the throat during a heated argument, tor her clothes off, and threw objects. She also claimed that Hogan was getting frisky in the bedroom with his friend and fellow wrestler, Ed Leslie, also known as Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, or "the Booty Man." You can't pay for this entertainment.
He found out about his divorce during an interview
This isn't the way most people want to find out their partner wants a divorce. In 2007, Linda, Hogan's wife, decided she wanted a divorce from the wrestler. Nothing sounds suspicious right now but just wait. Hogan found out about the divorce in the middle of an interview.
When a St. Petersburg Times reporter asked Hogan about the divorce, he said, "I'm kind of shocked. You caught me off-guard. My wife has been in California for about three weeks. … Holy smokes. Wow, you just knocked the bottom out of me. … I just pulled over to the side of the road for five minutes to find out what was going on here." Surprise!
The Hulk and Bubba "the love sponge"'s bedroom scandal
This was quite the scandal in the wrestling world. Well, actually, even in the entire entertainment industry. Bubba, "the Love Sponge", gave Hogan his permission to have sex with his wife. Everything seemed to be going well, but there was just one thing: Bubba didn't give Hogan a head's up; he would be filming the entire event.
And with the internet, nothing stays private for too long. The sex taped ended up in the wrong hands and was leaked online. What was more embarrassing was Hogan was used to publically declaring his sexual abilities, and yet, the tape didn't match his claims.
His scandal ended up in the courts
The scandal with the wife of his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge went all the way to the courts. Hogan sued the website that published the sex tape for violation of privacy. From this lawsuit, Hogan was award $140 million for damages, which bankrupted the website.
But there was someone else involved 'in the lawsuit. Hogan was supported by billionaire Peter Thiel who had a personal grudge against Gawker as they leaked a tape of Thiel, which exposed his sexual orientation. Eventually, the chickens came home to roost.
He has a couple of accomplishments under his wrestling belt
Sure, Hogan has done some questionable things throughout his career, but he has made some accomplishments that shouldn't go unnoticed. He was the only wrestler to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated back in 1985. In the magazine, he was referred to as "Pro Wrestling's Top Banana."
He's been labeled as the greatest wrestler in history and has only lost three times throughout his entire career. He's also in WWE's Hall of Fame even though he was removed from it due to his racist remarks.
He didn't own his performance name
People were all about Hulkamania back in 1984, which happened shortly after Hogan won the WWF heavyweight championship. Naturally, Marvel caught wind of this and made a deal with Hogan. He was allowed to use the "Hulk", but he had to follow some rules.
He was restricted from referring to himself as "incredible" or wear the colors purple and green. It wasn't until 2005 when Hulk Hogan purchased the trademark for his stage name. It took a couple of decades, but he eventually was able to get what he wanted.
He shrunk three inches
When you're a professional wrestler, you're going to get your fair share of injuries. With time, it all adds up and does a number on your body. When Hogan started wrestling, he stood at a massive 6-foot-7-inches. But after years of continuous injuries and surgeries, he lost three inches of height.
And when we ay injuries, we mean them. He has a long list of injuries including, "a torn knee cap, a hip injury, spinal cord, and back injury." That's right; Hogan is now (still an impressive) 6-foot-4-inches tall.
He choked out Richard Belzer
Well, you weren't expecting to read this. On the one hand, you're probably thinking: oh my god. On the other hand, you're wondering who Richard Belzer is? If you're a fan of Law & Order, then you know who Richard Belzer is. In 1984, before Law & Order, Belzer had a show called "The Richard Belzer Show" - we know, not very creative.
Anyways, Hogan was a guest on the show when Belzer asked Hogan to show him some wrestling moves. Well, Hogan decided it was wise to put Belzer in a front face lock. That move rendered Belzer unconscious, causing him to fall down and crack his head open.