‘Barbaric Thinking’: Hulk Hogan, Who Helped WWE Make Millions, Was Once Fired for a Foolish Reason

Published 08/11/2022, 2:00 PM EDT

68 year-old legend Hulk Hogan has won not only the WWE Championship 6 times, but also the hearts of millions of people through his role in ‘Rocky III’. His character “Thunderlips” catapulted him into the limelight and made him world-famous. However, the Hulkster recently revealed that the WWF actually fired him for acting in the movie.

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While appearing on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, Hogan opened up about the incident. Vince McMahon, Sr. fired him after he accepted the movie role. “Back then, 78-79, if you were a wrestler you didn’t do TV, you didn’t go do a movie, if you were a wrestler you were a wrestler,” said Hogan, recollecting the old times.

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Why was Hulk Hogan fired from the WWF?

Hogan, who initially thought he was being “ribbed” by actor Sylvester Stallone, said that the mindset wasn’t the same back in the 80s. The Hulkster referred to Steve Austin’s various Hollywood and TV appearances, remarking that, “We weren’t supposed to do movies or TV shows or anything like that back then. The thinking was pretty barbaric.

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The pro-wrestling icon talked about his interaction with his boss, who was not very enthusiastic about the movie offer. When informed about Thunderlips, McMahon reportedly gave Hogan an ultimatum: drop the role, or get fired. The Hulkster, one of the most profitable stars of pro-wrestling, could not turn down the offer to work with Stallone, and ended up being fired from the WWF.

How did Hulk Hogan bounce back to the top?

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Hogan did not sit idle afterwards, though. He moved to Japan and began touring with “New Japan Pro Wrestling” for about five years. The Hulkster fondly remembers his time in Japan, where fans called him “Ichiban” which means “Number One.” Japan also happens to be where he came up with the iconic “Leg Drop” finisher.

 

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Hogan did eventually return to his loving fans in the WWE in 1983. Ironically enough, new owner Vince McMahon, Jr. handpicked the Hulkster because of his awesome performance in ‘Rocky III’. His role as “Thunderlips” made Hogan the centre-stage attraction, and Hulkmania was ready to the take the world by storm.

Watch This Story: The Incredible Lifestyle of WWE Legend Hulk Hogan

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Anuvind Praveen

46 articles

Anuvind is a WWE author for EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing a Law degree, his first brush with the world of pro wrestling was playing WWE 12 with his friends. Since then, he has kept himself up-to-date on wrestling news and history, and his all-time favorite wrestling icon is Shawn "Heartbreak Kid" Michaels.

Edited By: Paras Pande

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