Long blond mane, stars and stripes bandana, double denim, a penchant for ripping his top in two… yep, it's only wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.
Born Terry Gene Bollea… OK, stopped laughing now? I know, Terry was never going to make it in the world of American professional wrestling, was he. That is, unless he changed his name to something a little more, how shall we put it? Testosterone fuelled. Cue Terry's ring alter-ego, Hulk Hogan - summoning up all those images of the Incredible Hulk. Bulging veins, rippling muscles, larger than life . In fact, the story of how Terry became Hulk Hogan is an interesting one. While appearing on a TV talk show, Terry was sat next to Lou Ferrigno, the star of the TV series The Incredible Hulk, when the host commented on how Terry dwarfed Lou in stature and muscles. As a result, Terry started going by the name Terr "The Hulk" Boulder. But this didn't happen until the late 70s.
Hulk Hogan was a key player in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) during the mid 80s and early 90s, alongside the likes of The Undertaker, Andre the Giant (with whom he had a running feud with) and Earthquake and Typhoon. From the mid to late 90s, he went by the name Hollywood Hogan, the villain leader of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and later in the early 2000s he brought back his original character for the fans once again. To date, Hulk Hogan is a 12-time world heavyweight champion and was the first to win the WWE Championship not once, not twice, but three times.
His passion for wrestling began at 16 and, after dropping out of school, he worked at a weightlifting gym where he worked on his rapidly growing physique. Eventually, he caught the eyes of wrestlers Jack and Gerald Brisco who introduced him to their trainer, Hiro Matsuda. Hulk Hogan's debut fight came after just one year of training, when it was sprung on him by the Brisco Brothers. He wrestled under the hame of The Super Destroyer for a while, until losing interest and moving from Florida to Alabama, where he teamed up with Ed Boulder to become the Boulder Brothers wrestling tag team.
The early 80s saw Hulk Hogan achieve on the professional wrestling scene in Japan. They LOVED his all-American blond looks and as well as winning a number of high-profile tournaments, he even recorded a music album for his "Hulkamaniac" fans over there!
In 1983, he made a dramatic return to WWF - doing what he does best. He announced his four "demandments" that made him a wrestling star: training, saying prayers, taking vitamins and believing in himself. From there, the hulk went from strength to strength, with him even developing a trademark "fighting" technique.
He would usually enter the ring ripping his shirt off, then flexing his "guns" to cheering fans. He would then deliver a steady attack on his rival wrestler, but then lose momentum to the near point of defeat. But then, just i the nick of time, he'd get a second wind and, along with the cheers of the crowds, would launch an attack (it became known as "hulking up"). His other signature moves included: pointing at the opponent (which would later be accompanied by a loud "YOU!" from the audience), shaking his finger to scold him, three punches, an Irish Whip, the big boot and running leg drop or body slam, depending on the match "storyline" (you do know the wrestling wasn't all for real, don't you?).
With this in mind, it's hardly surprising that he has also appeared in a number of movies, including: Suburban Commando, No Holds Barred and Rocky III. More recently, his family have starred in their own reality TV series called Hogan Knows Best. And we're hardly going to argue with him about that...