Real Name: Terry Bollea
Stats: 6' 8" • 275 lbs.
Born: August 11, 1953
His name is Terry Bollea, but the world knows
him as "Hulk Hogan" and more than anyone else, he was
responsible for the meteoric rise in the popularity of professional
wrestling in the 1980's. While not the most skillful wrestler
of his era, nor even the biggest, Hogan combined his enormous
physical stature with an outstanding screen presence to cause
the World Wrestling Federation to rocket past all other Wrestling
Organizations as the top provider of wrestling entertainment on
a nationwide basis.
This Robinson High
School graduate was brought into the sport of Professional Wrestling
when he was discovered while playing the bass guitar in nightclub
in the early 1970's by Jack and Jerry Brisco. In order to learn
his new trade, Hogan trained under the tutelage of Japans great
Hiro Matsuda, after which he moved from his home in Tampa to the
west coast, where he began bodybuilding in Venice Beach, California,
working under the name of "Sterling Golden." Later,
he changed his Ring name to Terry Boulder, before settling on
the name of Hulk Hogan. He was later managed by "Classy"
Freddie Blassie and wrestled as a heel in a number of organizations,
including the AWA and the WWF. While he gained in popularity in
several regions, Hogan had not yet gained national exposure -
this would happen in 1982.
In 1982, Hogan appeared in the motion picture
Rocky III, starring as the enormous wrestling villain "Thunderlips."
Because of the huge positive response his appearance received,
Vince McMahon lured him back to the WWF and made him the focal
point of that federation's ability to survive and then thrive.
He defeated the Iron Sheik in 1984 to secure the WWF Heavyweight
Championship and quickly became the WWF's most popular athlete.
Behind Hogan's 26" arms and huge shoulders, McMahon pushed
the WWF towards a national audience. Commencing with several tie
ins with MTV, Hogan, the WWF and the sport of Pro Wrestling hit
the big time when the Hulk appeared with actor Mr. T at the WWF's
first big wrestling extravaganza, Wrestlemania I. Hulk also starred
in the TV action series “Thunder in Paradise”, as
well as several other movies.
We still look at him and see the tall, skinny
bass player who worked at many Tampa night clubs as a rock &
roller in the 70s. As a youngster in Port Tampa, He and Vic Petitt
won several youth bowling championships. After several years in the WCW, Hulk is
back in the WWE with Vince McMahon, headlining wrestling cards across
the country. Truly one of Tampa’s most famous characters!