On March 31, 1985, the first edition of ‘Wrestlemania’ took place in New York at Madison Square Garden. Aka the night that Hulk Hogan became a true worldwide legend…
Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea), the legendary wrestler who became a household name in the ’80s on a wave of collective Hulkmania, was born on 11th August 1953 in Augusta (Georgia). Since his debut in 1977 in the National Wrestling Alliance, he was six times champion of the World Wrestling Entertainment and – on mainstream basis – played an over-the-hill lion in ‘Rocky III’ (1982) before he got his very own reality show on MTV (the massively popular ‘Hogan Knows Best’ broadcast in 43 episodes from 2005 to 2007)
Hogan is still today a big name on the scene and the WWE has paid tribute to him putting on the cover of the DVD ‘The Best Of The WWE at Madison Square Garden’ and making him the protagonist of six historic fights in the latest videogame ‘WWE2K14’ produced by 2K Sports.
In 2013 Hulk met his fellow-wrestler Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque) who, when not in the ring, is a main executive of the Federation. «He gave me a bear-hug and told me that if I wanted to return, the doors of the WWE would always be open for me.». Adding, «there’s still gas in my tank and I’ve got to do something to thank all those fans who’ve been faithful to me and will carry on this Hulkmania thing even after I’m gone.».
At WrestleMania XXX (2014), Hogan served as the host, coming out at the start of the show to hype up the crowd. Hulk was later joined by Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, and they finished their promo by drinking beer together in the ring. Later in the show, Mr. Bollea shared a moment with Mr. T, Paul Orndorff, and Roddy Piper, with whom he attended that historical, first WrestleMania in 1985.
On February 27, 2015, Hogan was honored at Madison Square Garden during a WWE live event dubbed “Hulk Hogan Appreciation Night” with a special commemorative banner hanging from the rafters, honouring his historic matches he had in the arena. He deserved it, for sure.