Hulk Hogan was THE wrestling icon of the eighties as he embodied the working man's hero. He said his prayers, took his vitamins, exercised and believed in himself. He has fought and beaten myths, legends and giants. He has beaten legends such as The Iron Sheik, Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase, Curt Hennig, Terry Funk and Rowdy Roddy Piper. He has also beaten giants such as Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd. He was in short, a superhero of the masses.
Hogan would often flex his muscles and pose for the audience. The audience in response would wildly applause and cheer for the Hulkster. Hogan was very much loved and adored by the general public and Hulkamania was running wild indeed. Hogan brought wrestling mainstream and helped make the World Wrestling Federation into a global company.
In the mid nineties, Hogan jumped ship to rival World Championship Wrestling or WCW. This move was a big one as Hogan was wrestling. Hogan was still the same hero when he arrived there and was still promoting the red, white and blue. He was still the Hogan of the eighties.
Then, the good two shoes Hogan character ran its course and the fans no longer reacted as positively as before to the wrestling icon. Eric Bischoff then did something controversial, at Bash at the Beach 1996, he scripted Hogan to return to his early roots and become a villain. Early on, there was a three on three tag team match with Sting, Macho Man and Lex Luger for team WCW versus Scott Hall and Kevin Nash and a mystery partner who were depicted as "invading" the WCW on behalf of rival promotion the WWF. Hogan turned out to be the mystery partner and the New World Order was born.
The Hollywood Hogan persona was born from this. Hollywood Hogan was a thug who used his gang to beat up unsuspecting wrestlers. He was brash, arrogant and deceitful. He even turned on his own nWo cohorts on occasion such as what he did to Randy Savage and The Giant. He was the ultimate villain. Fans hated him so much that they frequently threw garbage his way. He was for everything Hulk Hogan stood for.