Born Terry Bollea but destined for greater things than a name like Terry could provide, Hulk Hogan swooped onto the national stage in the 1980s and replaced the idea that wrestling was a sport that combined endurance and technical skill with the idea that wrestling was about slamming a guy through a table after bribing the ref to allow it. You may argue that greater wrestlers have come and gone, but only a handful have even come close to his mainstream impact (The Rock comes to mind).
Since the glory days of the '80s, Hulk has re-invented himself while still managing to keep his trademark persona. He went from face to heel to WCW to Mr. America to the Hall of Fame before hitting up the reality TV circuit and finally settling down as a slightly incestuous dad. Along the way he faced many obstacles, from major back surgeries to his ex-wife running off with a 19-year-old classmate of her children (that's a lot of range). Such an interesting life deserves to get the "little known facts" treatment. Especially today, on the Hulkster's 61st birthday. If you already know all of these you're a true Hulkamaniac and should be proud (we guess). For the rest of you, here are 25 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Hulk Hogan.
He accidentally made a sextape with the wife of his best man.
At the age of 12 he was six feet tall and weighed 195 lbs.
He was the first (and only) wrestler on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
In his first training session his leg was broken intentionally.
Richard Belzer filed a five-million dollar lawsuit against him.
Randy Savage's "Be a Man" was a Hulk Hogan diss track.
His first ring name was "The Super Destroyer."
He got his nickname "Hulk" after doing a talk show with Lou Ferrigno.
He's lost three inches of height due to surgeries over the years.
He wears "lucky" red underwear while flying.
Brad Garrett voiced him in a 1985 cartoon.
He was being sought to play Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.
He was scouted by the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees as a pitcher.
In high school he admired Dusty Rhodes.
He was a full-time bank teller.
He dropped out of college to join a band.
He (probably) saved Vince McMahon from serving jail-time.
He could've been the pitchman for the (eventual) George Foreman grill.
He didn't learn of his divorce until a reporter asked about it.
In 2007 when his wife Linda filed for divorce, Hulk was asked for a comment by a St. Petersburg Times reporter. After deadpanning "Thanks for the great information" Hulk told the journalist:
“I’m kind of shocked. You caught me off-guard. My wife has been in California for about three weeks. … Holy smokes. Wow, you just knocked the bottom out of me. … I just pulled over to the side of the road for five minutes to find out what was going on here.”