Wrestling 101: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is one of the most polarizing figures in the history of professional wrestling. While those who know of Hogan's backstage politicking may view him as one of the most selfish, arrogant performers of all time, the mark that he left on the business is undeniable. He helped elevate wrestling into the mainstream during the 80s, and then nearly destroyed the sport in the 90s. However, his backstage antics aside, Hogan put on some classic matches during his time in both WWE and WCW, including headlining the original Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania X8: Hogan vs. Rock
While some would argue, myself included, that Stone Cold should have faced Hogan at 18 , the Rock was a more than worthy opponent to take on the immortal one. While Hogan was way past his prime at this point, Rock managed to carry the match for the both of them. The crowd was also vocal and split down the center in regards to who to cheer for, which added to the greatness of the match. A lot can be said for a hot crowd, and there have been few crowds as hot as the one during this match.
Summerslam 2005: Hogan vs. Michaels
While not a classic by technical wrestling standards, Hogan and Michaels put on quite the insane match at Summerslam 2005, namely due to the overselling by Michaels. Hogan, leading up to the match refused to put Michaels over which obviously upset Michaels, as losing to an almost 50 year old man doesn't exactly do wonders for someone's character. So, knowing that Hogan refused to put him over, Michaels decided to make Hogan look like an ass by overselling every move no matter how run of the mill. It's an interesting match with some spectacularly insane selling by Michaels. His sell to Hogan's Big Boot is the highlight.
Wrestlemania V: The Mega Powers Implode!
Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage formed the Mega Powers tag team when Hogan was brought out by Miss Elizabeth to save Savage from a beat down. Following the run-in, Hogan and Savage began to work as a tag team even saving Savage from losing the title shot at Wrestlemania IV. However, trouble began to brew when Savage, who was notoriously protective of Miss Elizabeth, began to suspect that Hogan was eying her for himself. This lead to Savage turning on Hogan by hitting him in the face with the title belt, which then set up their match at Mania. It's a fantastic match with a fantastic story being told between the two of them.
Wrestlemania 1: Hogan and Mr. T vs. Piper and Orndorff
By modern day standards the final match of Wrestlemania 1 isn't much, but it's quite possibly one of the most important matches in WWE history. The inaugural event saw wrestling become a mainstream draw, with the inclusion of stars such as Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T, both of whom were huge at the time due to their work outside of wrestling. Hogan and Mr. T took on the devious heels Piper and Orndorff and won, which set the stage for future Mania main events.
Wrestlemania 3: Andre vs. Hogan
Andre the Giant had been undefeated for 15 years going into this match with Hogan, which has not been duplicated since. The match was grandiose in scale, with it being billed as the "unstoppable force" meeting the "immovable object". While the match itself is nothing too terribly spectacular, Hogan does manage to pull off an insane feat of strength when he lifts Andre and body slams him. The moment has been duplicated in the years since but it is still impressive over 30 years later.
Hogan is a divisive character in the history of the WWE but it cannot be argued that without him, professional wrestling would not be where it is today.