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
across the country. Truly one of Tampa’s most famous characters!
B. Brien Blair & Hulk Hogan