Hulk Hogan Profile
Born: August 11, 1953 (Terry Gene Bollea) | Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia
Billed Hometown: Venice Beach, CA | Billed Weight: 302 lbs
Other Aliases: Super Destroyer, Sterling Golden, Terry Boulder, Hollywood Hogan
Terry Gene Bollea was born on August 11, 1953 in Augusta, Georgia. The family moved when he was an infant to Florida, where at sixteen he became a fan of professional wrestling. He regularly attended matches at the Tampa Sportatorium, and became a big admirer of Superstar Billy Graham.
Bollea became a bass player for a band called Ruckus (formed in 1976 after he left university) which became popular in the Tampa Bay area. Professional wrestlers regularly attended their gigs and also noticed him working out at Hector’s Gym. When it was discovered he had an interest in the wrestling business, he was invited to train with Hiro Matsuda, who worked for Eddie Graham’s Florida Championship Wrestling.
The famous story tells that on the first day of training, the noted shooter Matsuda intentionally broke his leg. When the injury healed, Bollea returned and training recommenced without any other such incidents. After a year, he got his first match for FCW against Brian Blair on August 10, 1977. Early on he worked under a hood and was named “Super Destroyer.”
In Memphis, he met bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno at a television station. Ferrigno had just landed the part of The Incredible Hulk, and when Christine Jarrett (Jerry Jarrett’s mother) made the comment that he looked bigger than Ferrigno, it created inspiration for him to become Terry “The Hulk” Boulder. Along for the ride would be his best friend Ed Leslie, who Bollea trained on the road and was cast as his brother. But due to the low pay-offs in Memphis (and later in Alabama), he quit wrestling, until Terry Funk offered to get him an introduction with WWWF owner, Vince McMahon Snr.
Bollea signed with the WWWF in 1979, where McMahon Snr gave him the Irish name ‘Hogan,’ after which he went under the monikers “The Fabulous” Hulk Hogan, “The Incredible” Hulk Hogan, and then simply Hulk Hogan. As a heel, he debuted on November 17, 1979 with manager Classie Freddie Blassie, and defeated Harry Valdez. After crushing more opponents, he made a brazen challenge to Andre the Giant. In their television match, Hogan lost by disqualification after using a foreign object that bloodied Andre. In the rematch at Shea Stadium (August 9, 1980), Hogan lost after a big splash.
He began working for New Japan in May 1980, where he also continued to battle Andre. On June 2, 1983, he defeated Antonio Inoki in the final of the first IWGP Tournament, when his Ax Bomber (running Lariat) knocked Inoki out. Hulk worked a much rougher and physical style in Japan, completely different to his matches in the United States.
In 1981, Hogan reached a major crossroads when he was contacted to play the role of ‘Thunderlips’ in Sylvester Stallone’s film, “Rocky III.” McMahon Snr forbade it, and when Hogan took the role anyway, he was blacklisted from the territory. After filming the movie, he returned to wrestling in Japan and then for Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association. Cast as a heel, the fans quickly warmed to him and he became a fan favourite. The famous mannerisms – like the ripping of his shirts before matches – started here, as well as the first references to ‘Hulkamania.’
He feuded with Jerry Blackwell, and then received shots at the AWA World Heavyweight Title, held by Nick Bockwinkle. This was the beginning of his long rivalry with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who managed the champion. Despite several instances where he came close and even appeared to have defeated Bockwinkle, he never became AWA World champion. At the end of 1983, and with the WWWF (renamed WWF) now in the hands of Vince Junior, Hogan sent his resignation to Gagne while on a tour of Japan.
With big plans for national expansion, McMahon Jnr saw Hulk Hogan as his guy, and he wasted little time. Hogan re-debuted on December 27, 1983 with a win over Bill Dixon, and on the January 7, 1984 edition of Championship Wrestling, he saved WWF champion Bob Backlund from an assault by the Wild Samoans. Backlund endorsed Hogan, and soon after dropped the title to The Iron Shiek. On the famous date of January 23, 1984, Hogan challenged and defeated Shiek in Madison Square Garden for his first WWF championship. Hulkamania may have officially been born in the AWA, but it took off like a rocket in the WWF.
‘The Hulkster’ was front and center for the WWF’s entering into the mainstream, thanks to a collaboration with MTV, which produced two wrestling specials – ‘The Brawl to End it All’ and ‘War to Settle the Score’ – the latter of which Hogan (with pop star Cyndi Lauper, David Wolff and Captain Lou Albano in his corner) defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper by disqualification.
(The adverse effect was that Marvel Comics took notice, who felt that it infringed on their trademarked ‘Incredible Hulk’ character. As a result, Marvel obtained the rights to the trademarks “Hulk Hogan,” “Hulkamania” and “Hulkster” for a twenty year period, plus a percentage of money earned from his matches and merchandise).
This momentum led to the first Wrestlemania on March 31, 1985 in Madison Square Garden, which saw Hogan team with action television star Mr. T (with Jimmy Snuka in their corner) against Piper and Paul Orndorff (with Cowboy Bob Orton). Hogan got the winning pinfall when Orton accidentally struck Orndorff with his cast.
Shortly after Wrestlemania on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Piper and Orton turned on Orndorff. When Orndorff saved Hogan from being double-teamed by Piper and Orton, the two became a tag team, primarily feuding with Piper/Orton and The Heenan Family. On the February 15, 1986 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hulk was targeted by King Kong Bundy as he was wrestling Don Muraco. Muraco assisted Bundy in injuring his ribs, but it still did not prevent Hulk from defeating Bundy in the main event steel cage match at Wrestlemania II on April 7.
Orndorff began to resent Hogan, and at the conclusion of a match against Bundy and “Big” John Studd, Orndorff dissolved the friendship with a clothesline and a piledriver. Their bout in Toronto’s CNE Stadium drew over seventy thousand fans, and ended with Orndorff getting himself disqualified. The rivalry concluded when Hogan defeated Orndorff in a steel cage on Saturday Night’s Main Event (December 14).
At the beginning of 1987, one of the most famous rivalries in wrestling began, when Hogan was challenged by his former friend, Andre The Giant during a segment of Piper’s Pit. Hogan was being interviewed by Piper when Andre walked onto the set – after having taken a sabbatical from the company – with his new manager, Bobby Heenan. “The Brain” berated Hogan for never having offered Andre a title shot, and then Hogan’s shirt was torn off his chest by Andre.
All previous history between the two was ignored, but with a whole new nationwide audience, it resulted in a reported 93,173 fans jamming into the Pontiac Silverdome for their match at Wrestlemania III. Despite narrowly getting pinned in the opening seconds, Hogan went on to bodyslam and legdrop Andre for the victory, in what is still considered one of the most iconic bouts in wrestling history.
The rivalry continued going into the first Survivor Series on Thanksgiving night 1987, where Hogan captained a team against Andre’s team in the main event. Hogan was counted-out while battling One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy (Andre later won the match as the sole survivor).
A powerful alliance was formed in the wake of the October 3, 1987 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, when Hogan came to the aid of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Savage was being pummeled by The Honky Tonk Man who – with the help of The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) – cracked Savage over the head with his guitar. Prior to this, Savage’s valet Miss Elizabeth tried to shield her man, only to be violently shoved aside by Honky. In desperation, she ran to the back and brought out the WWF champion, who helped clear the ring. Later in a backstage promo, “The Mega Powers” were formed.
Hogan’s run of four years as WWF champion came to a controversial end on the February 5, 1988 edition of The Main Event. In a rematch from Wrestlemania III, Hogan battled Andre, who now had “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase in his corner. Andre got the pin despite the champion’s shoulders clearly being off the mat, and then to add further insult to injury, Andre immediately sold the title to Dibiase.
In the aftermath, it was discovered that referee Earl Hebner – making his first appearance – had been paid off by Dibiase and taken the place of his twin brother, senior official Dave Hebner. The match was watched by over thirty-three million viewers, still the biggest television audience for a wrestling match in North America. Soon after, WWF President Jack Tunney vacated the title and made a tournament for Wrestlemania IV on March 27, 1988.
As the last two champions, Hogan and Andre got a bye to the quarter-final, but were both eliminated by disqualification. Hogan stood in the corner of Savage as he faced Dibiase in the final, and helped him win the WWF Title. The Mega Powers went on to defeat Andre and Dibiase (The Mega Bucks) in the main event of Summerslam 1988, and then moved onto a feud with The Twin Towers (Big Bossman and Akeem).
Cracks appeared in the alliance when Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage from the Royal Rumble on January 15, 1989. Savage responded angrily, which brought out Elizabeth who calmed the situation. After relentless double-teaming from The Twin Towers, Hogan was eliminated.
On the February 3, 1989 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hogan and Savage were battling The Twin Towers, when Savage collided with Elizabeth on the outside of the ring. Concerned, Hogan carried her to the back and stayed with her until she convinced him she was fine and to help Savage. Hogan returned to the ring, only to be slapped in the face by his irate partner. Later in the backstage area, Savage snapped and attacked Hogan to break up the team. The Mega Powers exploded at Wrestlemania V on April 2, where Hogan defeated Savage for his second WWF championship.
After filming a Vince McMahon-produced film called “No Holds Barred” in which Hogan was the star, the conflict with his co-star Tiny Lister (who played the role of “The Human Wrecking Machine” Zeus) was brought to life. Zeus appeared and beat down Hogan prior to his steel cage match with The Big Bossman on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Despite this, Hogan still managed to defeat Bossman by escaping the cage.
At the Survivor Series on November 23, Hogan captained a team against a side captained by Dibiase, which included Zeus. Hulk was repeatedly choked by Zeus until he was disqualified. Hogan went on to become the sole survivor when he pinned Dibiase.
Savage – now using the name “The Macho King” – teamed with Zeus against Hogan and Brutus Beefcake (Ed Leslie) in the main event of Summerslam on August 28, 1989. The feud finished up on the “No Holds Barred” pay-per-view on December 27, when Hogan and Beefcake defeated Zeus and Savage in a steel cage. On the February 23, 1990 Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hogan also ended his rivalry with Savage when he defeated him in a match officiated by special referee, boxer Buster Douglas.
Hogan’s second reign as champion ended in a classic bout at Wrestlemania VI on April 1, 1990. Dubbed the ‘Ultimate Challenge,’ Hogan was pitted against Intercontinental champion and the equally popular Ultimate Warrior. During the 1990 Royal Rumble match in January, Hogan and Warrior found themselves opposing each other in the ring, and had a short exchange to the delight of the crowd. Later, Hogan accidentally eliminated the Warrior, and after a tense stand-off, Warrior ran to the back. Hogan went on to win the Rumble, and then the Warrior challenged him for the upcoming Wrestlemania. In front of over sixty-three thousand fans at the Skydome in Toronto, The Warrior defeated Hogan cleanly (a very rare feat).
Now without the title, Hogan entered into a feud with Earthquake, after he was attacked on The Brother Love Show. Hogan was put on the shelf for several months, and even claimed he may have to retire. “The Hulkster” did return and battled Earthquake at Summerslam on August 27, 1990, and the two continued to feud for several months. Hogan eliminated Earthquake at the Royal Rumble on January 19, 1991, to become the first to win back-to-back Royal Rumbles. Now the number-one contender, Hogan issued a challenge to WWF champion Sgt. Slaughter, and at Wrestlemania VII on March 24, Slaughter was defeated to begin Hulk’s third run as champion.
In late-1991, the WWF acquired the services of Ric Flair, who entered the company with great fanfare as the ‘Real World’s Heavyweight Champion.’ (Upon signing, Flair was still technically the WCW World Heavyweight champion). The two faced each other in a series of house show matches, with an expected big pay-off at Wrestlemania VIII. Flair caused Hogan to lose the WWF Title to The Undertaker at the Survivor Series on November 27, and when Jack Tunney ordered a rematch at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view on December 3, Flair again played a part in the finish by accidentally hitting Undertaker with a chair, to inadvertently help Hogan become champion.
Due to all the controversy, Tunney stripped Hogan of the title and decreed that the winner of the Royal Rumble on January 19, 1992 would be the undisputed champion. At the end of the Rumble, Hogan was eliminated by Sid Justice; as Hogan remonstrated with Sid, Flair came up from behind and with Hulk’s help, put out Sid to win the title. The event ended with Hogan and Sid arguing angrily in the ring among a swarm of referees and officials to set up the new plan – Hogan versus Sid at Wrestlemania VIII.
Around this time, the relationship between Hogan and Vince McMahon became strained as Vince was being investigated on federal charges concerning steroid use in the company. Hulk was also being drawn closer to film and television, and rumours circulated that Wrestlemania VIII could be the scene of his final match. Hogan beat Sid by disqualification in front of a sold-out Hoosier Dome and was then attacked afterwards by both Sid and Papa Shango. The Ultimate Warrior – who had been away for several months – returned to help Hogan.
Hulk did leave the company for a time, but would come back in January 1993 to team with Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake himself had made a return to wrestling on the February 1 edition of Monday Night RAW after a serious parasailing accident in 1990. Wearing a protective metal mask, Beefcake wrestled Ted Dibiase and won by disqualification when IRS interfered.
Dibiase and IRS went after Beefcake’s face with a steel briefcase, an act that even appalled their manager, Jimmy Hart. Hogan and Beefcake took Hart in as their manager – despite Hogan’s many battles with Hart’s men – and as The Mega Maniacs, they challenged the WWF Tag Team Champions, Money Inc. (Dibiase and IRS) at Wrestlemania IX. The Mega Maniacs lost the match by disqualification, but Hogan made another appearance later in the night, after WWF champion Bret Hart lost the title to Yokozuna.
Hogan came to Bret’s aid, and then accepted the challenge of Mr Fuji to face his new champion. Two minutes later, Hogan clotheslined and leg-dropped Yokozuna – after Fuji accidentally blinded his man with a handful of salt – for an unprecedented fifth reign as WWF Champion.
This was much less memorable than his previous runs with the belt. In Japan, Hogan challenged IWGP Heavyweight champion The Great Muta, in which he referred to the WWF belt as “a toy.” While there is some conjecture over whether or not Hogan participated on a WWF European tour, the next time the majority of fans saw the champion was at the inaugural King of the Ring pay-per-view on June 13, where he dropped the title back to Yokozuna. He left the company and would not return until 2002.
Hogan was filming episodes of his action television show Thunder in Paradise at MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida, when he was approached by WCW President, Eric Bischoff. In short order, Hulk signed with World Championship Wrestling in the middle of 1994, also bringing with him Ed Leslie (Brother Bruti) and Jimmy Hart. In his debut for the company at Bash at the Beach on July 17, he defeated Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Title.
The two feuded for several months, with Flair unable to regain the belt. Prior to another match with Flair at Clash of the Champions XXVIII on August 24, 1994, Hogan was attacked by a masked man in the backstage area. However, he still recovered to defeat Flair by count-out. The mystery behind who was behind this assault was solved at Halloween Havoc on October 23. Hogan defeated Flair again in a steel cage career match with Mr. T as special referee. Post-match, Hogan thwarted a blindside attack from the masked man and removed his hood to reveal it was the doing of his friend, Brother Bruti.
When Dave Sullivan – the ‘brother’ of the more sadistic and violent Kevin Sullivan – became a Hulkamaniac, this enraged Kevin enough to devote all his energies to ending Hogan’s career. Sullivan had been the man who convinced Bruti to ‘butcher the friendship,’ thus giving him his new moniker, ‘The Butcher.’ Sullivan also brought in a rival from his WWF days Earthquake, who went under the name ‘Avalanche.’ Together, they formed a trio known as ‘The Three Faces of Fear.’ Hogan needed allies of his own, and found them in company franchise Sting, and Randy Savage (the latter arrived in WCW in December 1994). In the main event of Starrcade on December 27, Hogan defeated The Butcher.
The challenges continued thick and fast for ‘The Hulkster,’ as he also entered into a rivalry with the monster, Vader. The ‘retired’ Flair became Vader’s manager for a series of matches, but it made no difference, as Hulk defeated Vader in a leather strap match at Uncensored (March 19, 1995), and then a steel cage match at Bash at the Beach (July 16). After The Three Faces of Fear, Sullivan became The Taskmaster and with the help of his ‘father’ The Master, put together the Dungeon of Doom.
A WarGames match was set up for Fall Brawl between The Hulkamaniacs and the Dungeon of Doom, with the stipulation that if Hogan’s team won, he would get five minutes alone with The Taskmaster in the WarGames cage. This was accomplished when Kamala submitted, but the five minute period was broken up by a seven-foot tall man called The Giant, who tore off the door to the cage and then tried to twist off Hogan’s head, injuring his neck. A member of The Dungeon, The Giant was originally cast as the son of the late Andre the Giant, who had passed away in January 1993, and the new feud had echoes of Hogan’s past with Andre in the WWF.
In the main event of the debut of WCW Monday Nitro on September 4, 1995, Hogan defeated Dungeon member Big Bubba. He was attacked by the Dungeon, but was saved by Lex Luger, who earlier had made a shock return to WCW from the WWF. Hulk was then challenged by Luger for the World Title, which occurred the following week on Nitro, which Hogan won by disqualification.
Hogan’s run as champion came to a close at Halloween Havoc on October 29, 1995. Earlier, Hogan had defeated The Giant in a ‘sumo monster truck’ match on the roof of Cobo Hall. Afterwards, the two got into a brawl, and The Giant plunged off the edge, apparently to his doom. Hogan and Jimmy Hart came to the ring in a somber mood, but were shocked when The Giant ambled down the aisle to the ring with The Taskmaster, showing no ill effects of the earlier fall.
Hulk was in control of the match when Jimmy Hart shockingly knocked out the referee. He then attempted to blindside Hogan, to reveal he had secretly done a deal with The Dungeon of Doom. Hogan was attacked by The Giant and The Taskmaster, as well as Lex Luger, and the Dungeon’s latest apparition, The Yeti. The match was deemed a disqualification, and it was revealed that Hart had put a clause in the contract that a disqualification would cause the title to change hands, thus The Giant was the new champion.
Due to the controversy over the finish, the title was declared vacant and put up for grabs in the sixty-man battle royal at World War 3 on November 26. Hogan was dragged under the bottom rope by The Giant while the referee’s back was turned, leaving just Savage in the ring, who was then declared the winner. At Superbrawl VI on February 11, 1996, Hogan defeated The Giant in a steel cage to end their feud.
Hogan and Savage teamed up at Uncensored on March 24 in a triple-tiered steel cage match against ‘The Alliance to End Hulkamania,’ which included members of The Dungeon of Doom, The Four Horsemen, Lex Luger and two ring in’s – Z-Gangsta (Zeus) and The Ultimate Solution (Jeep Swenson). Against all odds, Savage pinned Flair to end the match.
Hogan took time off after the Uncensored match, and during his sabbatical, the company was ‘invaded’ by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, who would become known as The Outsiders. Formerly Razor Ramon and Diesel from the WWF, respectively, they challenged three of WCW’s best for the main event of Bash at the Beach on July 7, 1996, saying they had a mystery third member which would be revealed on the night. WCW chose Sting, Savage and Luger, and mostly worked a handicap match in their favour against Hall and Nash, as no third member was present.
During the match, Luger was injured and stretchered out, and as The Outsiders controlled the bout, Hogan made his return and shockingly turned on Savage and Sting to reveal that he was the “third man.” “Mean” Gene Okerlund bravely got an in-ring interview with Hogan to ask him what this was about, and as rubbish piled up in the ring, Hogan explained that Hall and Nash were the future of the business and made reference to a “new world order of wrestling.”
The New World Order immediately made their presence felt, and went after fan favourites and rule-breakers alike, particularly Savage. Now calling himself “Hollywood” Hogan, he defeated The Giant at Hog Wild on August 10 for the WCW Championship (which he immediately re-named the ‘nWo’ Title). After the match, Hogan’s best friend Ed Leslie – now wrestling as The Booty Man – came to the ring with a cake to celebrate what was also Hogan’s birthday, only for Hogan to turn on him. Hogan also made an enemy of his other former ally, Sting.
Sting became a dark and enigmatic character thanks to the nWo, who had fooled the locker room and the fans – even Lex Luger – into thinking Sting had joined them going into the WarGames match at Fall Brawl on September 15, 1996. After declaring himself a ‘free agent,’ Sting took to the rafters and periodically came down to the ring, eventually making his full allegiance to WCW.
In the meantime, Savage challenged Hogan for Halloween Havoc on October 27, but was defeated after interference from the now nWo-aligned Giant. Right after the match, Hogan was surprised by the arrival of Rowdy Roddy Piper, who challenged him to decide who the bigger icon was in wrestling. Denied a championship match due to the shenanigans of Eric Bischoff – now an nWo member as well as running WCW – Hogan was defeated by Piper in a non-title bout at Starrcade on December 29.
After the loss at Halloween Havoc, Savage had been ‘suspended’ and blacklisted by Bischoff unless he joined the nWo. He returned on the January 20, 1997 Nitro and held up the show, also claiming – as Sting had done – that he was a free agent. Hogan battled Piper in the rematch at Superbrawl on February 23 – this time for the title – only for Savage to help Hogan retain the gold.
Bash at the Beach 1997 in Daytona, Florida was the one year anniversary of the nWo, and saw Hogan team with controversial NBA star, Dennis Rodman. They would be on the losing end though, when Luger forced Hogan to submit to the Torture Rack.
With the nWo running rampant, WCW made continued pleas for Sting to return to in-ring action, but he refused until he was given a match against Hollywood, which took place at Starrcade 1997. The match would go down as arguably the biggest in the company’s history, and in controversial circumstances, Hogan dropped the title to Sting. (The finish involved referee Nick Patrick making a ‘fast count,’ but instead he did a regulation three when Hogan covered Sting after the leg drop. The match was restarted by Bret Hart – who had earlier been guest referee for another match on the pay-per-view – and Sting then won with the Scorpion Deathlock).
Due to the confusion over the finish, WCW commissioner JJ Dillon gave Hogan a rematch the next night on Nitro which again ended in controversy, leading to the title being vacated. At Superbrawl VIII on February 22, 1998, Hogan lost to Sting after Savage turned on him.
The Hogan and Savage rivalry was on again, and the two battled to a no contest in a steel cage at Uncensored on March 15. At Spring Stampede on April 19, Hogan teamed with Nash against The Giant and Piper in a baseball bat match, which ended when Hogan turned on Nash. Later in the pay-per-view, Savage defeated Sting for the WCW Championship with the help of Nash.
The next night on Nitro, Hogan challenged Savage – who had suffered a torn ACL in the Sting match – and after a mass of interference, Bret Hart made the difference to once again hand Hogan the WCW Title.
Savage and Nash formed an off-shoot nWo faction called “The Wolfpac,” and feuded with Hogan’s nWo Hollywood throughout the year. Hogan held the title until the July 6 Nitro, where in front of over forty-thousand fans in the Georgia Dome, he fell to the undefeated United States champion, Bill Goldberg.
Hulk was taken out of the title picture for a period of time and worked in celebrity tag matches at Bash at the Beach on July 12, 1998 with Dennis Rodman against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone, and Road Wild on August 8 with Eric Bischoff against Page and Jay Leno.
Another nightmare from Hogan’s past came to haunt him in the form of The Warrior. After a brief confrontation at Fall Brawl on September 13, Hogan and Bret Hart teamed against Sting and Warrior on Nitro and then Hogan and Warrior faced each other at Halloween Havoc on October 25. Hogan won after interference from his nephew Horace.
Hulk announced his ‘retirement’ on the Thanksgiving episode of the Jay Leno Show and even claimed he was going to run for President of the United States. However, he returned on the January 4, 1999 edition of Nitro to challenge Nash for the WCW Title and finally settle the nWo Hollywood/Wolfpac feud. (Nash had just defeated Goldberg at Starrcade after help from Hall to become the new champion). In a moment that fans derisively call the ‘fingerpoke of doom,’ Hogan poked Nash in the chest, who fell down and allowed Hogan to pin him for the title.
Hogan faced the challenge of new WCW president Ric Flair – who earned the title after beating Eric Bischoff – and defeated him at Superbrawl IX on February 21, 1999 when they convinced Ric’s son David to turn on him. Hogan held the title until Uncensored on March 14, when Flair defeated him in a first blood, barbed wire steel cage.
Hulk was injured in his match at Spring Stampede on April 11 with Diamond Dallas Page, Flair and Sting, and returned on the July 12 edition of Nitro, where he defeated Savage for the World Heavyweight Title after interference from Nash. Nash inexplicably turned on Hogan, who reverted to the red-and-yellow on the August 9 Nitro, which led to Hogan ending the feud with Nash at Road Wild on August 14 in a ‘retirement’ match.
Injuries troubled Hulk, and he laid down at Halloween Havoc on October 24 to hand Sting the WCW Title, and was kept off television until February 2000 by new creative writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara.
Russo and Ferrara made it clear they were going for the youth movement, and Hogan was not in their future plans for the company. When Hulk returned, he entered into a programme with Billy Kidman, who made a number of cutting shoot-style remarks in promos about Hogan. (At this point, Hulk was cast as almost a “Stonecold” type character, dressed completely in black).
At Bash at the Beach 2000, Hogan was set to face Jeff Jarrett for the WCW Title, who then chose to lay down and allow Hogan to pin him; Hulk cut an angry promo criticising the shape and direction of the company and walked out with the belt. Russo came to the ring and cut a scathing promo on Hulk, talking about the politics of WCW and the selfishness of veterans like Hogan (as well as mentioning that Hulk had a creative control clause in his contract, meaning he could veto any decision he did not approve). This would mark Hogan’s final appearance in WCW.
(It was unclear for some time as to whether the Bash at the Beach 2000 incident was a ‘work’ or a ‘shoot;’ Hogan and Jimmy Hart claimed that it was explained to them as being a storyline, which Russo then turned into a shoot. Hogan filed a defamation suit against Russo, which was settled in 2002).
After working with the short-lived XWF, Hogan signed back with the WWF, where he reformed the nWo with Hall and Nash. At Wrestlemania X8, he returned to the Toronto Skydome to face The Rock and received a hugely positive reaction from the fans; he was then attacked by Hall and Nash and reverted to the red-and-yellow. In 2003 he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, followed by an induction into the 2005 WWE Hall of Fame.
After another falling out with Vince, Hogan signed with TNA along with Eric Bischoff, who announced big plans for the company which mostly fell short. In 2015, he was removed from the WWE Hall of Fame for making racist comments, but was reinstated and made a brief return to the company on July 15, 2018. Hogan has made other sporadic non-wrestling appearances for the company, such as at The Greatest Ever Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia, and on RAW as a tribute to the recently deceased “Mean” Gene Okerlund.