You think you know Hollywood Hulk Hogan? Brother, you don't know squat about me.
Yeah, I'm the towering red-and-yellow warrior who revolutionized the wrestling business, the larger-than-life superhero who transformed an entire country into a horde of Hulkamaniacs. I'm the guy who spit blood and breathed fire to help create an empire called World Wrestling Entertainment.
But it wasn't always like that. Once I was a fat kid named Terry Bollea watching legends like Dusty Rhodes and Superstar Billy Graham, never dreaming I'd be a professional wrestler myself one day.
Run with me on the streets of Tampa, where a bass guitar became my salvation. Fight alongside me in the wrestling arenas of Japan, where opponents try to bite your fingers off to make a name for themselves. Slide into the ring with me against 700-pound Andre the Giant, who only became my best friend after he found out he couldn't beat me down.
Then cruise L.A. with me and Sylvester Stallone on the heels of Rocky III. Learn why Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura hates my guts. Go head-to-head with Dennis Rodman in a hard-liquor drinking contest, and share a dressing room with Liberace.
Find out what makes me cry like a baby, what makes my blood boil, what I think of Jesus Christ, and what scares the living hell out of me. Then tell me you know the man called Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
Join the Babe Ruth of wrestling on a gritty, no-holds-barred odyssey from his start in the barbaric wrestling arenas of the seventies through the heartbreak of potentially career-ending surgery to the achievement of his greatest triumph yet.
Along the way, lock up with the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Andy Kaufman, Dolly Parton, Mr. T, Ted Turner, George Foreman, Jay Leno, Undertaker, Triple H, The Rock...and of course, Vince McMahon, head of World Wrestling Entertainment. They're all in here, waiting to show you what they've got.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan. It's the real deal, brother.
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World Wrestling Entertainment
June 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Hollywood Hulk Hogan by Hulk Hogan
A Rock and a Hard Place
You can be the Babe Ruth of wrestling and still have something to prove.
That's the way I felt on March 17, 2002, at WrestleMania X8 in the Toronto SkyDome. I had something to prove to myself and a lot of other people, and there was only one place I could do it -- in the ring. Against a guy called The Rock. In front of nearly 70,000 screaming fans.
It was already preordained that The Rock would win this clash of titans. We both knew he was going to come out on top that night.
But that didn't make my job easier. If anything, it made it harder. It would have been simple if all I had to do was put a boot in his face and lay a legdrop on him and strut around afterward like I owned the place.
Yeah, that would have been a piece of cake.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the way it was supposed to go down. I was supposed to lose the match, but I was supposed to do it in a way that made even bigger stars of both of us. And that was going to take some doing, brother. Losing this match the way I needed to lose it was going to be a lot harder for me, a lot more complicated, a lot more demanding of my skills as a wrestler and as an entertainer than anything I had done before.
Because this wasn't just a wrestling match. It wasn't just two guys tossing each other around in a ring for a piece of leather with a buckle on it. This was our shot at immortality. This was our chance to create something that people would talk about for a long time to come. Nobody had ever had an opportunity exactly like this one in the whole, long history of wrestling, and maybe no one ever would again.
It wasn't like all the movies I'd done where you could roll the cameras over and over again until you got it right. This was one time, one chance, don't screw it up or else.
And for me, there was something even bigger at stake in that arena. Immortality is great, but before you can even think about that you've got to get respect -- and the person I've always found it hardest to get respect from is myself.
I'm always asking myself, "What've you done for me lately " And before that WrestleMania, as I paced the long, curving corridor backstage like a lion in a cage, my answer had to be, "Not much."
Two years earlier, I'd left another wrestling organization under a black cloud. Basically, I was kicked out on my ass and told I'd never wrestle for them again -- that I was a has-been who could never be the attraction I used to be.
They had got me doubting myself. I was forty-eight years old. I'd had three knee surgeries over the past year and a half and I would eventually need to replace the knee joint altogether. And what they had said about me in public was dragging me down like a boulder hanging from my damn neck.
But I hadn't gone under the knife three times just to accept the verdict they'd laid on me. I did it to have an opportunity to make things right again, to end my career on my own terms and not someone else's.
I didn't want people to remember me as the guy who wrestled until he was washed up. I wanted them to remember me as the guy who wrestled longer than anybody and went out on top. I wanted that to be the ending of the movie.
That whole time I was sitting at home and recuperating from my surgeries, all I ever wanted was one more chance. Just one shot at making things right again. And here I had gotten one.