Hulk Hogan using racial slurs after boning his shock jock best friend’s wife is pretty weird, but it’s par for the course given some of his weirdest wrestling storylines…
Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea’s civil-in-name-only trial against Gawker has begun. Hogan is seeking millions of dollars in restitution due to the internet media giant publishing details from a leaked sex tape (which includes a racist screed) starring the pro wrestling legend opposite the then-wife of radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge. Just as the events leading to the trial were batshit crazy, the court case itself has been nutso so far with Gawker’s lawyer discussing the Holocaust persecution of the mother of the Gawker’s founder and Hogan denying that his penis is 10 inches long.
With a court case that’s likely to only get even more bizarre as the days roll on, it’s easy to forget that Hulk Hogan’s career has been steeped in craziness for decades. For as much as Hogan led WWE, WCW, and wrestling in general to new heights, he’s also done some of the dumbest things ever seen to sell an upcoming match or avoid taking a proper loss. Here are the seven stupidest things that the Hulkster has done onscreen that doesn’t involve his penis.
7- Hogan Becomes A Masked Wrestler To Avoid Unemployment
Most of the time, you can place most of the blame Hulk Hogan for a stupid situations surrounding his character. Here is a rare time when both sides were at fault. In WWE’s storyline, company CEO Vince McMahon was angry at the rebellious Hulk Hogan, because WWE’s storyline since 1998 has been “the most popular money-making dude is somehow hated by the boss.” McMahon was so peeved at the Hulkster that he declared was going to keep Hogan off TV for the remainder of his contract (which reflects the very real and very stupid practice of WWE paying stars without using them, just so other companies can’t have them). Vince’s daughter Stephanie decided to debut a new wrestler named Mr. America, who was quite obviously Hulk Hogan in a mask.
For WWE’s part, taking the name Hulk Hogan away probably did considerable damage to television and live event advertising. Your fair-weather wrestling fan isn’t going to see the name Mr. America and connect the dots to realize they can actually see the most famous wrestler in history. Despite considerable TV time and a major story line, Hogan was displeased with this direction and left before the Mr. America storyline was concluded, so WWE just used footage of Hogan unmasking to explain why he was fired in storyline. It was probably all for the best because Marvel had a good case to make for the similarities between Mr. America and Captain America, meaning WWE still hadn’t learned the lessons from twenty years earlier when they continually called their biggest star “The Incredible” Hulk Hogan.
6- Hogan’s WWE Hall Of Fame Ring Contains Magic Powers In TNA
Imagine going to a Batman movie where Bruce Wayne can’t stop talking to Superman about how Thor and Captain America are better superheroes than anyone in Gotham or Metropolis. It makes DC look bad, right? Imagine how much stupider it would be if Batman asked Superman to wear Thor’s cape and posited that it would make Supes stronger, but never actually explicitly said it was Thor’s cape. This was basically what happened when Hogan made his WWE Hall of Fame ring part of a storyline when he was in TNA (WWE’s biggest rival at the time).
Shortly after jumping ship to TNA, Hogan gave a ring that represented his storied career to down-on-his-luck behemoth Abyss (who himself was playing a character similar to but not on par with WWE’s Mankind). So immediately after joining a new company, his first act is to remind everyone about the great accomplishments he’s done for other companies, but since mentioning a competitor is free advertising, they talk in generalities. One thing that Hogan is up front about is that this ring is on par with Popeye’s spinach, basically indicating that it has the power to turn a wimp into a winner. After he gives away the ring, Abyss becomes much stronger, indicating that a ring that dozens of people own (including very beatable losers like Koko B. Ware and Tito Santana) has the power to make one stronger. Even if you take it as a motivational move, why the heck is Hogan giving something it took decades to earn to some schlub he’s known for weeks? And why is any of this happening in on a show where you can’t even be clear about what the item is? Sadly, this is kind of par for the course for TNA, which has been using WWE castoffs to earn nominal cred for over a dozen years now. As you could guess from TNA being less famous now than it was in 2010, that plan didn’t really work.
5 – Hogan Loses The WWE Title Due To An Evil Photographer
Hulk Hogan may have propelled WWE to new levels of success from the mid-80s to the early 90s, but he ruined WWE’s talent base for nearly a year with just a few quick appearances in 1993. His involvement in WrestleMania 9 in a non-finish tag team match where his team’s manager pretended to be a referee and a clusterfuck of a main event where he was given an immediate title shot after the title changed hands. All of this happened because then-champ Bret Hart was a fan favorite and Hulk couldn’t beat a “face” for the belt. Hence, evil sumo wrestler Yokozuna beats Bret, then challenges Hogan to an impromptu match despite the fact that Hulk regularly trounces giants who have months of preparation.
Shortly after WrestleMania 9, Hogan and the WWE decided to part ways. The time-honored tradition is to “go out on your back,” passing the company’s biggest prize onto the next top talent in a way that makes the next champion look good. The closest Hogan could come to doing that was losing the belt back to Yokozuna under the most bizarre (and borderline illegal) ways. On the verge of yet another victory, Hogan approached a random Japanese-looking photographer at ringside. Said photographer was actually evil manager Harvey Whippleman, who shot fire into Hogan’s face, leading to a win for Yoko. So basically, it took a third party maiming Hogan for the departing champ to be defeated. Yokozuna looked like a chump because he had to utilize costumes and arson to win a match and Bret Hart looked like a chump because Hogan didn’t want to lose against the next face of the company. It wasn’t until the next year’s WrestleMania that the ship was righted, but that’s partly on WWE for temporarily pinning their hopes on another America-loving musclebound freak.
Hogan’s stupidest movie tie-in and most convoluted loss await you on the next page!