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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Still The "Immortal" Hulk Hogan"
December 21, 2005 by Justin Pulaski


Over the last few decades, Hulk Hogan has captured the hearts of many fans, and lost some too. Hogan was just one of those guys that the fans marked out for, the one that had the crowd erupting whenever he came out to his "Real American" theme music. But the question remains now, "Is it still there""

Back in the 80's, Hogan was a huge success. He is one of the reasons the WWF was in business. The fans loved good ol' Terry Bollea aka "The Hulkster". Funny how Vince McMahon was the one to give Hulk his wrestling name. It shows truly how magnificent Vince can be, seeing as how the name is very much still used today, and hasn't changed since. Vince made Hogan what he is today. Simple as that. However, that's a whole different story. Vince started Hogan off in the WWWF as a heel, better known as the "bad guy" of the show. After winning some matches, Hogan was pit in a feud with Andre the Giant. Showdown At Shae in 1980, Hogan faced Andre, only to lose cleanly. Soon after, Hogan left the WWWF and went off to Japan where he became a huge sensation to wrestling fans all over there. Not much happened in this time. Hogan spent a small amount of his career in AWA and New Japan Pro before going back to the WWF. Going back to the WWF was one of the best decisions he could make in his life.

The WWF was really where Hulk was born. This is where Hulkamania began, with Hogan using the catchphrase "When Hulkamania runs wild on you!" Hogan became one of the biggest superstars there at the time. He was it. He was business, or at least a big part of it. Hogan fought his way through many matches, with one of his most memorable ones at WrestleMania against Andre the Giant. The infamous body slam was one of the biggest, and best moments in WWF history. The fans were going crazy. Hogan was putting on a superb match with the Giant. Hulkamania was running wild, and the fans were loving it. How could anyone not love Hogan during that time" He was one of the biggest marks you could cheer for. He was what The Rock was just a few years ago, and what John Cena is today. The fans chanted his name, cheered for him, loved him. This is also where the "Immortal Hulk Hogan" began. The era where Hogan was it, and nobody could beat him.

Soon after though, Hogan left the WWF once again to tour Japan for a short time, and then move on to WCW (World Championship Wrestling) where he was just as big. In the WCW, Hogan began one of the most notorious factions in wrestling, the nWo or New World Order. Wrestlers such as the likes of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Syxx Pac were included in this superior faction. Once again, Hogan was a heel, but the fans still loved him. Over the time, different versions of the nWo were created. There was even an nWo Japan! However, were things starting to fade" Was Hogan beginning to lose his "immortality"" Many fans didn't want to believe it, so they denied it themselves. Nobody wanted to see just a regular Hogan. They wanted the Immortal, Hulkamania, Hogan. That would be brought back to life again in the WWF in just a few short years.

After the fall of the WCW, Hogan once again was back in the WWF, proving to the fans he still had it. The nWo was once again reformed. This time it included people such as Shawn Michaels, Bookter T, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac, and Hogan obviously. This idea failed though, as it was soon killed off at WrestleMania 18, where Hogan faced "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment Today" The Rock. They put on a great match, in my opinion, and was one to remember. The fans loved Hogan. They loved The Rock. What a great match to end the feud. The hand shake was a sign of respect, and was appreciated by everyone. Then, Hogan was back with Hulkamania again. The fans were going wild to the sound of "Real American". They were in awe at how Hogan still had their eyes glued on him. He was still great, still "immortal". Hogan had a very heated feud with Mr. McMahon, much to the fans delight. Also, for a short time period, Hogan was under an alias of "Mr. America", which gave him a little more time on air before he chose to leave once again.

After a long wait, Hogan returned again. At WrestleMania 21, superstar Eugene was being attacked by Muhammad Hassan and Khrosow Daivari. After just a few minutes though, everything changed. The music hit, the lights flashed, and out came one of the greatest superstars in the history of the WWE/F, Hulk Hogan. I was at a sports bar watching WrestleMania 21 with some friends and it was back. When Hogan came out, everyone in the bar went nuts. I did myself. Just seeing him with his sunglasses, bandana, and red and yellow boas was enough to mark out. But then, seeing him dispose of Hassan and Daivari was even better. The fans still had it. He still had it. Hulk was back, and quite possibly better than he was before.

For this time period, Hogan had a feud with Hassan and Daivari a little bit, and then, moved on to a feud many had been waiting to see. After HBK Sweet Chin Music'd Hogan on Raw one night, it was set. The dream match was going to happen. It was going to be Legend vs. Icon. Hogan vs. HBK. Was Hogan still immortal enough to win" Many though so. I did. Matter of fact, Hogan did win. However, it.. wasn't really much of anything. Just a few moves, and Hogan had won. Really, over the past year or so, what has happened to Hogan" Surely he can make the fans cheer his name and all, but what happened to the wrestling aspect" During his recent matches, I see basically a punch, punch, body slam, taunt, leg drop. Then only to be followed up by at least fifteen minutes of posing after the match. Hogan, what happened, brother" It's true, you still can make everyone mark out, but where's the good matches nowadays coming from you" Nobody knows for sure. I guess it's really opinion based, but you have to ask yourself, "Is he still the Immortal Hulk Hogan"" I want him to be, and hope for him to be. Nobody deserves to see such a character go. It's only a matter of time though. Hogan's a legend, and always will be. He will always be immortal in the hearts of some, and the hearts of none. I still want to say "Thank you" for what he's done for the company. Without Hogan, there wouldn't be a WWE. To be immortal, it takes such great achievements, and Hogan has achieved so much.

by Justin Pulaski ..


Augustus wrote:
Hogan's flame burned out a LONG time ago. This guys ego is as big as Don Vito's chin. Face it, Hogan has been known as a jackass backstage, this guy has so many demands, he thinks he royalty. This guy should stay away from every pro wrestling organization known to man. Worst of all, we have to have his whole damn family shoved down our throats on his own tv show every sunday on VH1.
Gareth Cross wrote:
Vince mcMahon did not give the Hulkster the name "Hulk Hogan" this came about after Hulk was on a TV show with the star of the incredible hulk Lou Ferringo and the host said to Hogan "Your arms are bigger than the Hulk to which Hogan replied "Thats because im the real Hulk" so he started using the name Terry "The Hulk" Boulder while wrestling for Louie Tillet in the Penascola-Alabama territory and when he first when to the WWWF for his first run there Vince mcMahon snr dubbed him "Hulk Hogan" to make him represent the Irish-Americans.
Adam Stodden wrote:
HELLO! The reason why the Hulk can't wrestle no more is because he's old! You wrestle for as long as he has, and taken so many bumps, you're body just starts to cease up and you can't do all the gymnastics. It would be the same with your NFL stars and our AFL stars here in Australia. I thought that would be pretty obvious. The Hulkster should just retire gracefully, or is it too late for that"
Drew Cooper wrote:
Poor Hulkster, he just doesn't know when to step down. But, I still get chills each and every time he comes out to that squared-circle. Hell, I even cried when he arrived at Wrestlemania 21! Although, I still think HBK should have beaten Hogan at Summerslam because HBK is my favorite, and HBK is much better. And another thing. Not to be mean, but I think you should have included when Hogan won his last world title from Triple H a few years ago. That was really emotional too. Although Hogan is sticking around for too long, he should still be on the camera as some sort of personality like a manager or even the new Raw GM" No, that probably won't happen. But, nice article. Totally awesome!
Chris Pugsley wrote:
I personaly respect Hogan for what he has done for the business but he is so old and dilusional to think he can still wrestle(Not that he ever could). He has to have a guy that can run around him the whole match and carry him and I think that my grandma could do a better leg drop but he has charisma. He just needs to stay gone, stay gone forever.
Mush wrote:
I'd like to bring to your attention that there are a few errors in your article. When Hogan returned to the WWF in 2002 as Hollywood Hulk Hogan, the New World Order (nWo) consisted of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and himself. After Hollywood Hulk Hogan came up short against The Rock at WrestleMania X8, Hall and Nash attacked him. The next night on RAW, Hogan still came out to the nWo theme and had on an nWo shirt, but then The Rock got him to rip it off and severe all ties with the nWo. X-Pac returned and re-joined the nWo with Hall and Nash on the March 21, 2002 edition of SmackDown!, The Big Show joined the nWo on the April 22, 2002 edition of RAW, Ric Flair joined the nWo on the May 6, 2002 edition of RAW, Scott Hall was released from WWE on May 7, 2002, Booker T became a member of the nWo on the May 13, 2003 edition of RAW, Shawn Michaels became a member of the nWo on the June 3, 2002 edition of RAW, Booker T was kicked out of the nWo on June 10, 2002, and then Vince McMahon came out and killed the nWo at the beginning of the July 15, 2002 edition of RAW.

Hogan did not immediately start using "Real American" after WrestleMania X8. In fact, he used the nWo theme at the beginning of the show, and then when he and The Rock teamed up against Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at the end of the show, he used "Voodoo Child" by Jimi Hendrix, only using "Real American" once on the July 4, 2002 edition of SmackDown!. He began using "Real American" again as Mr. America, and then when he returned to WWE in 2005.
PolyphonicAllan wrote:
If I have to read yet another "This Is Your Life..." style column of Hulk Hogan, I will crack up. Especially one as lazy and unresearched as this. You state "Without Hogan there would be no WWE...". There very nearly wasnt BECAUSE of Hogan (remember his role at the steroid trial"). The only reason he stayed on top so long, is because he refused to put anyone over who wasnt a friend or relative. eg- Billy Kidman, who he threatened to punch in the face if he tried a drop-toe hold! What a pro!...
Gilberthuey wrote:
yes Hogan is old but let the poor man (not saying hes poor) still do his thing i mean hes been around forever. He cant wrestle worth shit now, I think Vince should put him as a manager
John Austin wrote:
I agree with fans on how Hulk Hogan needs to step down, just for the reason that his body has taken quite the beating over the years, but for fans to chastize him when one of the main reasons he comes back is because of us fans makes us hypocrites. Now I know he doesnt complain about the money he gets, but come on. We all know he is rich to the point where that pay really doesnt matter. Nick and Brooke's great-great-grandkids will be rich from all the money he has made. Just like Michael Jordan's mistake of coming out of retirement and playing for the Wizards, can we really knock Hulk Hogan for longing for our cheers again" It's like we have created a Frankenstein of sorts, and now some of us want it destroyed. I do think that a position like GM would be perfect for him. Then, occasionally, have him wrestle a match after an angle where he feels some wrestler has crossed the line and he has to take matters into his own hands. Before I stop typing, I wanted to comment to Augustus: You think Hogan is the only wrestler with a big ego" Better yet, the only guy in the business with one" I can name a dozen off the top of my head: Vince McMahon obviously. As far as wrestlers go" Jeff Jarrett. Bill Goldberg. Paul Leveque. Steve Williams(Austin). Dwayne Johnson. Richard Fliehr(WOOOO!!!). John Layfield. John Cena (you really think that kid's still humble"). Jerry Lawler. Bret Hart (he hides it better than others but its there if you listen REAL closely). Shawn Michaels. Kevin Nash. I could keep going but I think you get the picture. You have to be cocky to be in sports entertainment, and we as fans (along with the massive pay wrestlers recieve) continue to inflate those egos, then we wonder why they just dont deflate on their own. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I guarantee you that EVERY one of the names I have mentioned are guilty of being "jackasses" backstage as you put it. Matter of fact Jordan was an insufferable bastard while he a hero to millions and was winning all those rings in Chicago. It just comes with the territory.
Towerdel24 wrote:
I only have a few comments to make, And I will make them brief. As regards to Hulk Hogan wanting to be treated as royalty.........HE IS royalty. As is Vince, Bret Hart, Randy Savage......and the oddly mentioned Michael Jordan.

I think that with the beatings these guys have taken over the years if they want to be difficult backstage, it is the promoter, and the arena's fault. As long as these guys have been around if they did a little research........and maybe had a little concern for the situation maybe these issues would not be so apparent. You would not know though, as you have never been on the road for several weeks, even months.........this is stressful, and very disturbing to be away from your family and friends for such a long period of time. So before you judge......go on the road, take abuse.....then go without a good night's sleep for an extended period of time. I am an artist, and have never taken the physical abuse these guys have. I have been gone for months.......almost a year and half from my friends and family.......on the road. It is unbearable, and as great as it is to have so many people cheer your name.......and it is hard not to go and be cheered for after a while. It is always so rewarding to get back to where you belong, and if that time away means getting a little bit of consideration that the normal person would not ask for so be it.

As The last person said...It comes with the territory........and in my opinion....which I know opinions are a lot like A**Holes.......everyone has one and they are all full of S***.......Try it before you tell someone else how it is supposed to be or feel!
Mike Hamblin wrote:
Hulk Hogan is still the greatest of all time in my opinion. I know he isn't the wrestler he used to be but he can still work a crowd like no one else. As for his show on Vh-1 I like it. I know we have way to many reality shows but his is good t.v.. Hulk you will always be the Immortal One to me.
Zac Moate wrote:
I think that Hogan should spend some time managing newer talent and slipping in the occasional leg drop where it is needed, Hogan should be part of the company just not competing in completeley unrealistic matches.
wrote:

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