Headlining the Class of 2017 of the MWC Hall of Fame is none other than the biggest name in the history of professional wrestling: "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan!
Real Name: Terrence Gene Bollea
Weight: 303 lbs
From: Venice Beach,California
Birthday: August 11,1953
Trained by: Hiro Matsuda
Notable Titles Held:
WWE World Championship (6x)
WCW World Heavyweight Championship (6x)
WWE World Tag-Team Championship
NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (3x)
PWI Match of the Year (1985,1988,1990,2002)
PWI Wrestler of the Year (1987,1991,1994)
PWI Ranked No. 1 Top 500 Wrestlers of All Time
WWE Royal Rumble Winner (1990,1991)
WON Bext Box Office Draw (1997)
WON Best Babyface (1982-1991)
IWGP League Tournament Winner (1983)
MSG Tag League Tournament Winner (1982,1983)
WWE Hall of Fame (2005)
Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (2002)
Without a doubt, Hulk Hogan is the biggest household name in the history of professional wrestling! Whether you love him or hate him, you just cannot deny that fact!
Hogan began his career in 1977 after being trained by Hiro Matsuda, who also trained multiple other legends but The Hulkster was his most successful student.
He wrestled for multiple territories in his early years most notably with the AWA. In 1979 Hogan also wrestled for the WWF and was still a heel at that point, believe it or not! He competed with the company at his first run for a couple of years but was ultimately fired after having disagreements with Vince McMahon Sr.
1982 was when Hogan starred in the Rocky III movie with Sylvester Stallone which really made took off his career! He was still wrestling for AWA at the time when he got fired in the WWF whilst also doing tours in NJPW. In fact they were rumors that due to his fast rising popularity he was supposed to have been AWA World Champion, but Verne Gagne thought Hogan wasn't the "traditional wrestler" so he ended up not winning said belt.
It was a bad move for Verne that Vince McMahon Jr. capitalized on as he recruited Hogan back to the WWF in 1983 and in just a short amount of time became the biggest babyface of the company when he defeated The Iron Sheik for the WWF Championship in 1984 giving birth to Hulkamania!
Hogan successfully defended the WWF Championship over the next 5 years and not only became the most popular wrestler during the 80's but also a pop culture icon! He headlined the first 3 WrestleManias as the World Champion, most notably against Andre the Giant in WrestleMania 3 in what is still I consider the most iconic main event in WWE history!
Speaking of Andre, him and Hogan had one of the greatest feuds ever and ultimately was the man who ended Hogan's long streak as champion! (In fact, Hogan's first reign with the belt is the third longest only behind Bruno & Backlund!)
He would become WWE Champion 5 more times in his multiple runs with the company and had many memorable feuds besides Andre such as Randy Savage,Ultimate Warrior,Roddy Piper,Paul Orndorff,and The Rock just to name a few.
In 1994 Hogan jumped ship to WCW and just two years after his debut, shocked the world by becoming a heel, forming the nWo with Nash & Hall which is in my opinion the most unforgetable moment in WCW history! He had a successful run with WCW, becoming 6x WCW World Champion during his stay there and remained one of the biggest draws of the company.
Besides his massive career in the US, Hogan also was a semi-successful "gaijin" or foreign wrestler in Japan. He mainly wrestled for NJPW mainly being pitted against or teaming up with Antonio Inoki, who was essentially the Hulk Hogan of Japan.
I know Hogan gets a lot of flack in his in-ring work but he actually knows how to work a match depending on the crowd he wrestles. For example he knows the American crowd at the time mainly cares more about the entertainment side of things, but in Japan he can definitely go toe-to-toe with some of the best technicians like Inoki and Great Muta.
Hogan wrestled his final match on 2012 under TNA. He returned to the WWE two years later but ended up being fired again due to some scandal issues.
Stone Cold,The Rock,and even John Cena are all big names in the pro wrestling business, but the biggest name of them all and still is the most popular wrestler known to man is Hulk Hogan! He made wrestling into a national business, into a worldwide phenomena! Whether that's good or bad, you be the judge.
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