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A muscular guy with a characteristic biker beard who has won the hearts of fans as a wrestler, musician, actor and showman. This is how you may recognize Hulk Hogan – a former wrestling star who, when in his best shape, weighed 137 kg at a height of 201 cm. These large numbers earned huge respect in many of Hogan’s opponents. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at where this bearded guy came from, what he went through, and how he can win your sympathies.
His first love was baseball, followed by music
Hulk Hogan, real name Terrence “Terry” Gene Bollea, was born on August 11, 1953 in Georgia, USA. However, his origins are much more complicated, as he has French, Italian, Panamanian and Scottish roots. He is the son of construction foreman Pietro Bollea and dance teacher Ruth. He has two brothers, Allan Bollea and Kenneth Wheeler. When he was about a year and a half, his family moved to Florida and his future began to take shape there. As a child, he started playing baseball, in which he was so successful that he was noticed by a talent scout. However, Terry’s path to the professionals was obstructed by an injury. In addition to sports, he also liked music, which he began to devote himself to only after he left college.
Due to his school duties, he wasn’t able to attend concerts, so he decided to devote himself to the career of a musician instead of getting education. He started playing the guitar during high school and played with several bands. However, one of them got a guitarist who was much better than Terry. The band gave him the choice of either leaving or learning to play the bass guitar.
At that moment, Terry reportedly decided to become a hell of a good bass player. From the bands he cooperated with, he allegedly got all the good musicians into a band called Ruckus. This band was quite famous, especially in Atlanta.
A child scared of wrestlers
As a child, Terry, aka Hulk Hogan, was also a big wrestling fan. However, the wrestlers themselves scared him to death. When he was a child, everyone took wrestling very seriously and not even fans were safe. If someone in the audience said that the fight was fake, they would break his arm without flinching. It was a time when there were no lawyers, no lawsuits and, of course, no camera phones. According to Terry, the wrestlers could practically do whatever they wanted.
His rock band was gradually becoming more and more popular and it didn’t take long for the wrestlers themselves to appear at concerts. One of them was Jack Brisco, and according to him, he introduced Terry to wrestling. Jack himself remembers their meeting in such a way that 21-year-old Terry amazed him with his great appearance at first sight. As a teenager, Terry ate much more than his peers. Some sources mention that he was able to eat 10 eggs and 340 g of bread for breakfast alone and finished it with a quart of orange juice.
When the band had a break, Jack came to him with a beer and an offer to become a wrestler. Terry responded very promptly and accepted the offer with a great deal of enthusiasm, knowing Jack and cheering for him for years. They arranged a meeting the next day, and this well-known wrestler introduced him to colleagues Eddie Graham and Hira Matsuda.
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Wrestler, who received applause from the audience in his first fight
Terry was trained wrestling with the well-known Hiro Matsuda, who had owned gym at the time. His first fight took place in Vero Beach and it was an opening fight. Jack Brisco also came to see him. He had chills because as soon as Terry showed up he got a standing ovation from the audience. People quickly fell in love with him in other fights, and so his promising career began. However, Terry took the next steps without his coach Hira Matsuda because he considered him too authoritarian. He found out how unorthodox Hiro’s practices are when he broke his leg during training and told him never to come back to the gym. However, Terry returned after 4 months, more determined than ever.
Bollea, whom fans have known throughout his career under names like Mr. Sterling Golden or Terry the Destroyer later met with Ed Leslie. They became very good friends and formed a wrestler duo. It didn’t take long for them to become the stars who dominated the Memphis Championship Wrestling event in the late 1970s.
The birth of the Hulk and entry into the WWF
Growing fame in Memphis brought Terry to a local talk show. Actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno sat there next to him. He was best known in the 1970s for the series The Incredible Hulk, where he was the first actor to play the green giant from the Marvel Universe. He got this role, in part because he was muscular and really big. However, when Terry sat down next to him on the talk show, everyone noticed that he was much bigger. It was then that this nickname came to life and he performed as Terry “The Hulk” Boulder in the world of wrestling.
Interestingly, he was allowed to use this name under an agreement with Marvel, which owns exclusive rights to name the Hulk. The specific details of the agreement are not known. However, some sources state that Terry paid Marvel $100 for each fight during his 20 years career under the name Hulk. Marvel was also to receive a share of the sale of promotional items related to Hulk Hogan. This was mainly about t-shirts, posters, action figures, etc.
The year of 1979 was a turning point for Terry as he joined the World Wrestling Federation. Even though he was catching everyone’s attention with his charisma, WWF promoters thought that something wasn’t right. They wanted to make him a characteristic Irish wrestler, so they changed his name to Hogan. In addition, they wanted this tall wrestler to dye his hair ginger. However, he refused this request because his hair was already falling out at that time. So he became a blond Irish named Hulk Hogan.
His best form at the turn of the 70’s and 80’s
Do you dare to guess what the famous Hulk Hogan looked like in the times of his best form? It would be best characterized by the word – giant. At the turn of the 70s and 80s, with a height of 201 cm, he weighed a respectable 137 kg. His chest was said to be 147 cm wide and his biceps 61 cm wide. With his looks and charisma, Hulk Hogan has made a significant contribution to making wrestling a popular mainstream sport.
So how did Hulk Hogan get in shape? He was known for training very intensely with heavy weights. He especially liked complex exercises that worked with several parts at once, such as squats, bench-press, deadlift, or pull-ups. He used to drink raw eggs for breakfast, followed by morning workout.
Even today, despite his age, he still exercises regularly. He has a private gym at home, where he regularly lifts weights. He trains exhaustively and leaves room for only a short break between exercises. In order to stay in shape even after the age of 60, he claims that he has to work intensively on it every day. Of course, as of now he trains mainly with light weights with a higher number of reps. His trainings are driven by the idea that every day he wants to be better than yesterday. He sticks to the basics and balances regular exercise with a healthy diet. The only thing he struggles with is his love, chocolate. Apart from that, he also loves his Alpha Male Milkshake. He prepares it from chocolate ice cream, protein, milk and peanut butter.
His professional debut and madness called Hulkamania
The year 1984 was a turning point for Hulk, as he won his first WWE championship belt. He entered the history of wrestling with the memorable defeat of Iron Sheik. He considers this moment to be the most important in his entire career. He started the match as a substitute, but finished as the only man in the world who escaped Iron Sheik’s camel clutch.
After this performance, his fame took on a new dimension and a madness called Hulkamania broke out. Terry became a 12-time world champion, six times in WWE and six times in WCW (World Championship Wrestling). According to statistics from the Cagematch website, he fought over 2,000 fights and won 1552 of them.
Film career as well as a controversial steroid lawsuit in WWE
The year 1985 marked a huge wave of popularity for Hulk Hogan. The Americans wore his face on T-shirts, action figures were flying off the shelves as well as virtually anything that bore Terry’s wrestler name. In the 80s and 90s he appeared in several films. Worth mentioning are the sports drama Rocky III, the cult film No Holds Barred, the horror film Gremlins 2 and the family comedy Mr. Nanny. Everything seemed perfect to the point where Hogan’s boss and CEO of WWE (then called WWF) Vince K. McMahon was accused of giving steroids to his wrestlers.
On top of that, he was to obtain them from illegal sources. One of the witnesses was Terry, who was to help prove McMahon’s guilt. The plaintiff claimed in court that the head of WWE provided the wrestlers with steroids in order to build them more muscular figures, which would be even more attractive to the audience. Hulk Hogan then confirmed that the use of steroids from illegal sources was relatively common. The blame was put on Dr. George T. Zahorian, who was convicted of illegally distributing steroids.
Terry himself admitted that he used them as well. And not only to improve his body, but also as an aid in healing various injuries. At the time, however, he believed that everything he did was legal because he was receiving a prescription for steroids. McMahon himself was found not guilty. Ten of the 11 witnesses who were wrestlers said McMahon had never forced them to take steroids, and he himself had never bought them. After the process, the well-known wrestling organization introduced a tough steroid testing policy. Its goal was that any wrestler caught using illegal substances would be fired immediately.
The last WWE fight of his career
Hulk Hogan has worked in several organizations during his career. Sometimes, he even bounced between them, which brought him some small but also some big fights. In the ring, he met, for example, the well-known The Undertaker, Dwayne The Rock Johnson or his former boss Vince K. McMahon. At that time, the pair got into a dispute over who has done more for WWE. It was a fight full of blood, but at the end, Terry was the winner.
Hulk Hogan last competed in WWE at SummerSlam 2006. He faced Randy Orton, who had previously insulted Terry because of his age. Orton even went so far as to flirt with Hogan’s daughter Brooke. Their fight was called Legend vs Legend Killer and it was a rather brutal affair. Orton attacked Hogan’s injured knee from the start, but the legendary Hulk eventually won the fight. After that, he again got into a dispute with Vince K. McMahon about Hogan’s reward for the fight with Orton.
After this incident, he decided to leave WWE and ended his career in the most famous wrestling organization. Hulk Hogan is undoubtedly a huge wrestling legend who has done a lot for the sport. Today, he is known as the ambassador of professional wrestling, and this sport was very fortunate to have someone like him.
Hot affair with the wife of his best friend
In private, Hogan maintained a very close relationship with his parents throughout his career. Nevertheless, he was accompanied by controversial moments. He went through a divorce from his wife Linda, whom he met at a restaurant. After the divorce, a relatively tempestuous period awaited him in regard to his relationships. He became involved with Heather Clem, who was married to Hogan’s best friend, a well-known radio host named Bubba the Love Sponge.
However, he dealt with his unfaithful wife and a dirty friend in his own way. One day, Hulk and Heather decided to move their love affair to the bedroom, where Bubba placed a hidden camera. The footage was then given to Gawker Media, which published it in 2012. The whole situation resulted in a lawsuit and litigation. Hogan demanded $100 million in damages. He argued his right to privacy, and also the fact that he had never given the Gawker blog permission to publish the spicy footage. A jury in the state of Florida finally ruled and awarded Hogan $115 million in damages.
Tempestuous private life of the wrestling star
In private life, according to several sources, Hulk Hogan was sometimes a quiet guy who tried to avoid any conflict. At other times, however, according to his ex-wife Linda, he suffered from mood swings and could be angered by a small banality. This was especially the case when Hogan was actively taking illegal substances in the form of steroids. Despite his divorce, Terry says that he really loved his wife. Even so much so that he bought her a house before they got married. They had two children together, a son, Nick, and a daughter, Brooke.
Nick was not very ambitious and in his life, he never really devote himself to anything. His only hobby was illegal racing. One day, however, he ended up in a terrible accident caused by Nick under the influence of alcohol. His best friend escaped with brain injury, and Hogan’s son headed behind the bars. After this incident, he stopped racing. Terry had a rather turbulent relationship with his daughter Brooke. They went through a lot, but today she claims that the bond with her father is stronger than ever before.
Hogan also helped Brooke start her singing career, and every boyfriend candidate first had to go through him. But it came back haunting him. When Brooke introduced him to her new black boyfriend, Hogan decided to scare him so much that at the end, he looked like a racist. He told his daughter’s friend that Brooke could only date black guys if they were rich. This claim cost him all the awards in WWE, angered the African American community, and he had to publicly apologize.
Falling to the bottom and suicidal thoughts
Despite many private problems, the Hulk Hogan family decided to open it to the public on the reality show Hogan Knows Best. After four series, it was ended because of the behaviour of the main protagonists. A main issue the creators had, was Nick’s problems caused by the car accident. Even Terry and Linda, who were divorcing at the time, were no longer reminiscent of the family idyll. His son’s car accident, a divorce from his wife and a cancelled reality show brought Hogan to the very bottom. He started drinking a lot and even considered suicide, in which he allegedly saw an easy way to fix things.
In the show “Oprah: Where are they now?” he admitted that the events that took place on New Year’s Eve helped him then. He spent it in the circle of loved ones, but, according to him, the evening was accompanied by a lot of negative energy. They did not like the food in the restaurant and not even the champagne help to solve the issue. When he went to get some fresh air, after a while a child allegedly ran up to him. He hugged him and told him that he has been watching his fights and looks at him as a father he never had. Apparently, another man passing by shouted at Hogan that they loved him. When he returned to the table, he realized something must change. When he looks back at it, he realizes that he had to go through this dark period to become the man he is today.
In 2021, Terry is 68 years old and is showing a great physical form on Instagram. He’s still partially involved in wrestling. Although he doesn’t fight anymore, he appears in various promotional events from time to time. In collaboration with Netflix, he is also preparing a biographical film, in which he will be played by Chris Hemsworth. As of now, Hulk Hogan forms a couple with his wife Jennifer McDaniel, who is 21 years younger than the legendary wrestler.
They got married in 2010 at a private ceremony, which came to the public’s attention because one journalist tried to sneak in. A confrontation ensued with security guards and eventually got dispersed by the police. Jennifer McDaniel is a professional make-up artist and, same as Hogan, is known to be crazy about a healthy lifestyle and exercise.
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 Hulk Hogan: The man who took wrestling mainstream – https://thesporting.blog/blog/hulk-hogan-the-man-who-took-wrestling-mainstream
 J P Zarka – Hulk Hogan His Life Before Wrestling as a Rock Star Brandon Curry – https://prowrestlingstories.com/pro-wrestling-stories/hulk-hogan-rock-band-ruckus/
 The Jack Brisco Interview – http://wrestlingperspective.com/issue/60/brisco.html
 Logan Wol – Hulk Hogan On Having His Leg Broken By Hiro Matsuda & More – https://www.wrestlenews.net/hulk-hogan-on-having-his-leg-broken-by-hiro-matsuda-more
 Hulk Hogan – https://www.biography.com/personality/hulk-hogan
 Keith Garling – The Secret Life of Hulk Hogan And His Family – https://noteabley.com/culture/hulk-hogan-fb/
 When was Hulk Hogan's last WWE match? – https://www.sportskeeda.com/wwe/when-hulk-hogan-s-last-wwe-match
 Hulk Hogan, on Witness Stand, Tells of Steroid Use in Wrestling – https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/15/nyregion/hulk-hogan-on-witness-stand-tells-of-steroid-use-in-wrestling.html
 Hulk Hogan Workout Routine – http://www.fitbiz.in/hulk-hogan-workout-routine