Hulk Hogan's reign as champion lasted 2,185 days. When The Hulkster defeated The Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden to become WWE Champion for the first time in 1984, many saw it as the start of the contemporary WWE era. However, only two years later, Vince McMahon fired him.
Hogan was a world-class wrestler who owned every match he participated in and was one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. He was also one of the most physically dominant athletes in history, weighing more than 400 pounds at his peak. Combined, these factors made him one of wrestling's biggest stars.
Hogan started his career in World War II-era Florida where he trained under the legendary Stanley "The Man" Martinson. After returning from war, he began working on local shows across the state before moving up to New York City, where he met Vince McMahon. In 1983, he brought his brand of hard-hitting style wrestling to the world-famous WrestleMania event, which became his home ring until he retired in 2007.
He returned in 2009 at age 50 to challenge for his old championship but was defeated by John Cena. Since then, he has worked occasional matches around the industry including hosting an episode of WWE Raw in 2014.
Hulk Hogan is still very active in wrestling with appearances at major events such as WrestleMania and Survivor Series.
Hulk started out as a baseball player for Little League Baseball. After seeing the shows, Hogan grew interested in wrestling. He was also an excellent musician. Hogan's enthusiasm in the game never drove him to study, and he never received a degree. After his brother's encouragement, he also fought on local circuits in the south.
On January 23, 1984, he won his first WWF World Heavyweight championship, defeating the Iron Sheik (Khosrow Vaziri) in one of the quickest heavyweight title fights in history. Hogan used a leg drop to pin the Sheik in 5 minutes and 40 seconds.
WWE Superstar Hogan was granted the WWE title belt in 1984 for his epic victory over the Iron Sheik. He soared to super-stardom swiftly, and the ensuing fan frenzy, dubbed Hulkamania, became legendary. During this period, Hogan's popularity fueled the public's interest in professional wrestling. The genre had been popular before Hogan came along, but now it seemed like everyone wanted a piece of him.
Hogan continued to be one of the most recognizable faces in sports-entertainment, helping establish WWE as one of the biggest companies in sports media. In 1992, he entered the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWF) in a storyline where he was given the opportunity to face the ultimate champion, The Rock 'n' Roll Express. He lost the match but received an award from Vince McMahon for being the best wrestler in the world. This is considered by many to be the beginning of the modern day era of pro wrestling.
In 2004, Hogan returned to WWE after they cancelled several shows due to security concerns following the death of Vince McMahon. Hogan participated in a series of interviews on WWE television promoting his upcoming return match at WrestleMania XXIV. At the event, he defeated The Rock 'n' Roll Express again to become the number one contender for the WWE title. However, he did not win the title because of a ruling by the referee who was attacked by Hogan shortly after the match began.
With his long blond hair and bronzed complexion, Hogan entered the ring to his theme tune, Survivor's classic "Eye of the Tiger," exciting the Garden audience. Hogan turned the bout around after the Sheik established an early lead.
The Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan on WWE Judgment Day on May 19, ending his title run. Hulk Hogan beat Randy Savage at Wrestlemania V on April 2, 1989, to become the WWF World Heavyweight champion.
Among all of Hogan's incredible feats in the ring, maybe his most stunning was his final world championship triumph under WWE's roof, when he won the Undisputed WWE Champion at Backlash 2002, at the age of 48. Hulkamania persisted even in middle age. How many celebrities can say that?
Hogan debuted on the controversial WWF television program on January 4, 1979. He was immediately recognized as one of the company's biggest stars, if not the biggest star, playing to sold-out arenas across the country. During his time with the company, Hogan appeared on several other television programs including the short-lived Power Pro Wrestling and has also done some work for other companies such as WCW and ECW.
His official in-ring career began on February 23, 1980 at the Providence Civic Center in Rhode Island where he defeated Ed Francis for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s World Heavyweight Championship. This is considered by many to be the beginning of the modern day professional wrestling industry. Hogan held the title for nearly 12 months before it was vacated due to inactivity.
He returned to the title scene on July 16, 1981 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where he defeated Mr. T in a tournament final to win the belt. Hogan went on to hold the title for over 1,000 days during his first run with the company.
The victory over the Iron Sheik marked the start of a long and profitable relationship between WWF and Hulk Hogan, including a triumphant return after his extraordinary transfer to WCW in the 1990s and the establishment of the nWo. The match is also remembered for its controversial nature - the Sheik's team was known as the Arabians while Hogan's was called the Hulkamaniacs - and the extreme violence that ensued during the course of it. Both men were injured during the match and had to be taken to hospital.
Hulk Hogan vs. the Iron Sheik was a professional wrestling match held on January 23, 1984, at the Memorial Auditorium Arena in Portland, Oregon. It was part of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s WrestleMania IV event. The match established Hulk Hogan as one of the biggest stars in wrestling and helped launch the world-famous Hulkamania cult following.
Hogan was accompanied by The Hulkster (Paul Bearer) in the match. He faced off against the Iron Sheik who was accompanied by King Kalimanahibi and Abdullah the Butcher. This was before Hogan became famous for wearing pants, so he wore a skintight bodysuit under his costume. Before the match started, both men took turns hitting each other with objects such as chairs and belts outside the ring; this is referred to as "pre-match tactics".
For four years, Hogan held the WWF World Heavyweight Championship (1,474 days). He left the company in 1996.
Hogan returned to the company in June 1998, just in time to participate in their summer pay-per-view event, The Great American Bash. At the event, Hogan defeated Jeff Jarrett to win his record 4th World Heavyweight Championship. The match lasted nearly 15 minutes and received generally positive reviews from critics.
After leaving the company for good again, he appeared at various events throughout the year 1999 before finally calling it a day in February 2000.
During his time with the company, Hogan worked with some of the biggest names in wrestling history including The Iron Sheik, Andre the Giant, Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Guerrero, Flair, Greg Valentine, Harley Davidson, Ivan Koloff, Jake Roberts, Jim Neidhart, John Cena, Jerry Lawler, Joey Maggs, Kevin Nash, Mike Sharpe, Nikolai Volkoff, Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase, Terry Bollea (known as The Hulkster during this time), Tully Blanchard, and Vince McMahon.