When I was growing up Hulk Hogan was in the prime of his career. Everyone in the world to me seemed to be a Hulkamaniac and it was cool to be a wrestling fan. Hulk Hogan was one of the biggest icons in the wrestling world and he was the “American Hero.” I gladly cheered him on in his battles against Andre the Giant, Sgt. Slaughter, Yokozuna, and even my favorite the Ultimate Warrior.
In the 90's when he left the WWF for WCW I followed his career over there, though I didn't know the characters I still cheered him as he opposed Ric Flair, the Giant, and other WCW mainstays. Then when he finally turned heel and joined up with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash it was cool to be bad. The nWo was huge and I along with millions of others fans gladly cheered on this heel group. I gladly cheered on the Hulkster no matter what he did. Then I grew up.
I always was fascinated to find out what was going on behind the scenes, who was debuting, and whatever other information I could get my hands on. It was during this period that I learned about the man behind the persona of Hulk Hogan. I learned about Terry Bolllea and all the questionable things he did backstage. The backstage politics and games that Hulk Hogan played.
Hulk Hogan was arguably one of the greatest things to ever happen to pro-wrestling. But in some aspects he was the worst. From day one he used his appearance in the Rocky III movie to propel both himself and the entire wrestling industry into the spotlight. Hogan and Vince McMahon combined to start the Rock n Wrestling era and reach heights of popularity for wrestling that had never been seen before.
While all of this was going on Hogan was playing the politics games behind the scenes ensuring that he was always “the guy.” The face of wrestling. Often times at the costs of others. Once Hogan's rise to the top spot in the WWF happened he begin to use his leverage as a key star and draw to get what he wanted. Eventually even having it written into his contract that he would have created control over his character and guaranteed to headline a set amount of PPV's. While this was clearly all in his right to do and the companies did give into him, it often left him holding back others and denying fans dream matches that they would have loved to seen.
Want some example of what Hogan has done?
Well way back in 1993 during the buildup for Wrestlemania IX Hogan was returning to the company after attempting an acting career. In his absence the company had built up a stable of new stars. Hogan had refused to return unless he was able to leave the top guy. So what happened was instead of allowing Bret Hart to leave the event as the champion, the WWF was forced to come up with a different plan. Hart would go on to lose earlier in the night to monstrous heel champion Yokozuna. Immediately following Yokozuna's title defense Hulk Hogan would return to challenge the champion and defeat him in a 21 second squash match. How bad was this? Well it completely killed Yokozuna's momentum as an unstoppable force losing in such fashion. As for Bret Hart. Well he had been promised that the soon to be departing Hulk Hogan would drop the belt to him at a later date, thus passing the torch to him so to speak. Hogan though refused to lose to another popular face like Hart and instead insisted he lose to the top heel. So later that year Yokozuna would regain the title from Hogan and Hart's initial title run would be delayed an entire year because of Hogan's actions.
This was not one isolated event either. Hogan had made a history of my way or no way demands. In 2005, the WWE wanted to give the fans a dream match of Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels. Hogan agreed to do the match only if he would win, despite the fact that he was going to be leaving the company soon.
At Wrestlemania V Hogan decided to show up his real life rival Randy Savage. During the match Savage would deliver his finishing move to Hogan. Hogan would go on to no-sell it and beat Savage seconds later. On commentary, Jesse Ventura made some rather cryptic remarks about "there's a man (Hogan) who will stoop to any low to get what he wants."
Hogan even refused to wrestle Savage at Wrestlemania II, because he said he did not think anyone would actually buy Savage being a legitimate threat to him, instead opting to wrestle King Kong Bundy.
Hogan “stealing the title” from Goldberg. Back in WCW Hogan had done a clean lost to Goldberg to give him the title. Hogan had left and Goldberg was built up as a massive fan favorite champion. Kevin Nash would go on to beat Goldberg. Then the next night because Hogan was returning and wanted the belt back, Nash would participate in the “finger-tip of doom” match. Hogan would tap Nash with just his pinky, Nash dropped to the floor, Hogan pinned him and was champion again. Goldberg one of WCW's biggest stars would never be champion again in the company.
In WCW and WWE at various times Hogan refused to lose matches to Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Curt Henning, Randy Savage, and the list goes on and on.
Look at Hogan's current run in TNA, he has almost single handily (with the help of his good buddy Eric Bischoff) run that company into the ground. Instead of staying in the shadows Hogan and his well past their prime buddies continue to be the main focus of the company and really keeping any of the young stars from shining and becoming the future of the company.
Hogan's ego has at times severely damaged the wrestling industry and robbed the fans of many dream matches such as; Hogan vs Stone Cold, Hogan vs Bret Hart, Hogan vs Jarrett, etc.
This would be well enough to cement my reasoning for my dislike of Hogan, but in the last few years he has done plenty to help push that image along. Hogan's entry into reality TV and the use of twitter has further to push he creepiness and bad image along. Hogan made remarks about how god was punishing his son's friends after a horrible accident in which his son had caused and left the other individual permanently in a vegetative state. His very public divorce from his wife and his new fiancee that strikes an unnerving resemblance to his own daughter. Hogan gently rubbing lotion on his daughter’s bare buttocks. The recent comments about how Edge was not a real man or wrestler for retiring rather then risk paralysis or death. The list just continues to go on.
Sadly my days as a member of Hulkamania are long over with and Hogan's image has been forever damaged in my eyes.