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Gene Bollea is one of the most famous wrestlers in the world, but is more famously known as Hulk Hogan. Hulk’s known for wrestling from the 70s to the 90s and stands as a very famous person in his own right. He’s worked on TV, movies and video games, and today, The Hulkster is regarded as the original superstar wrestler who made the transition into a global household name.

A Life Before Wrestling

Before he was the global superstar he is today, Gene almost never made it to wrestling. He was born on August 11th, 1953 into a working-class family in Augusta, Georgia. As a young boy, he showed promise as a talented baseball pitcher and even got noticed by high-level professional scouts. But it never panned out, and instead, he played bass guitar in rock bands around Florida until he eventually went to college where he later dropped out.

Hitting the Gym

Gene got the bug for working out when he began hitting the local Florida gyms in the late 1970s and, although his time in education was over, his dedication to his physique paid off soon after. Impressed by the Gene’s physique, a local promoter asked him to join their wrestling league and Bollea had his first wrestling match on August 10th, 1977. Soon after, he donned the stage name “The Super Destroyer.”

The Making of a Legend

Before Gene had adopted his most famous moniker, Incredible Hulk legend Lou Ferrigno had commented that Bollea himself was Hulk-like and bigger than the Hulk he played on the iconic Marvel show of the late 70s. The name kind of stuck, and Gene would play about with different stage names, all with the word “Hulk” in them. It wasn’t until he joined the Word Wrestling Federation that WWF owner, Vince McMahon, gave him the name we all know and love today, adding “Hogan” to the end of his name to sound Irish.

The evolution of Bollea’s character is a rocky road and, at one point, almost never even happened. Marvel Comics considered suing the WWF for using the word Hulk. Though, thankfully, in the end, this didn’t happen.

Hogan quickly became noticed as a gifted wrestler and it wasn’t long before he was on magazine covers and in TV shows and movies.

Early Appearances in Film

Few names were more established than Hulk Hogan throughout the 1980s. Alongside superstars like Michael Jackson, the name Hulk Hogan was on everyone’s lips. This brings us to our next tidbit, where Hogan starred as an early antagonist, named Thunderlips, in the third installment of the Rocky franchise alongside Sylvester Stallone. Hulk also appeared in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, No Holds Barred, and his own moderately successful action movie, Suburban Commando.

Hulk’s Recognized Achievements

Hulk was featured in many movies right up until 2011 and also starred in many TV shows, including 80s throwback The Goldbergs. His fame and talent have netted him many accomplishments and awards. Most notably, Hulk has been named the strongest-ever wrestler and has won many championships across major wrestling leagues. He has also been added to the WWE Hall of Fame twice, and only 8 others have had this honor.

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