Yesterday, Burnsy paid tribute to Hulk Hogan’s many great cinematic film contributions, but is one birthday tribute for the Hulkster really enough? (Don’t bother answering that question, we all know it’s “of course not, brother.”) Rather than focus on Hulk’s work in the ring (past and future), I’ve decided to take a look back at his pursuits outside the ring — which mostly involve crapping all over everything he’s ever done in the ring. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Hulkster as a kid, and adult me is genuinely glad he’s still around and in the public eye when so many wrestlers from his heyday are not. Still, I just wish he could have been satisfied with using his image to promote video games and wrestling buddies, or endorse a quality product like Macho Man’s Slim Jims.
Then again, if it weren’t for the man’s many poor business and creative pursuits, I wouldn’t be able to take you down this nostalgic path of embarrassing moments. Thanks, Hulk. Keep doing what you do, brother.
1. Hulk Hogan’s Not So Ultimate Grill
People like the idea of an electric grill that endorsed by a muscular celebrity. George Foreman is probably enjoying a steak and wiping his mouth with thousand dollar bills at this very moment. It could have been the Hulk Hogan Grill, but Hulk reportedly passed on the business venture when he was presented with the fat-reducing electric grill by his agent, and instead went with a protein shake blender called Hulk Hogan’s Thunder Mixer.
George Foreman was savvy enough to realize that every college student in America was going to be drunk and trying to grill chicken cutlets at 2 a.m. At one point George Foreman was making 5 million a month in royalties for his electric grill. My sources tell me that Hulk received a check for something like $6 for the sale of a Thunder Mixer at a Big Lots in Duluth, Minnesota. Hogan tried to bounce back with Hulk Hogan’s Ultimate Grill, but it was too late, George Foreman had already won by TKO years ago.
2. Hogan Knows Best… but not really
Generally speaking, Hogan doesn’t know best (e.g. Pastamania, Thunder Mixer, Hogan Energy drink, etc). In 2005 he decided that a VH1 reality show would be an easy way to capitalize on the popularity of other celebrity family reality shows like The Osbournes. Whereas The Osbournes were able to portray a recovering alcoholic metal singer and his family in a way that America could embrace, the Hogans had all the appeal of dousing one’s eyes with a full can of tanning spray.
The show was cancelled in 2007 after the Hulkster’s son, Nick, crashed his car and put his friend into a permanent vegetative coma. Then came the revelation that Hulk was cheating on his wife with his daughter’s best friend. Not to be outdone, Hulk’s wife then began sleeping with one of her son’s classmates. Hogan might not know best, but he certainly knows how to burn any shred of dignity to a crisp.
3. Hulkamania vs. Cocoa Pebbles
Let it be known, Hulk Hogan would not lose in a fight to a prehistoric cave child. In 2010 the Cocoa Pebbles cereal ran a commercial in which Fred Flintstone’s son, Bam-Bam, challenged and defeated a wrestler named “Hulk Boulder” who had an uncanny resemblance to Hulk Hogan. Hulk Boulder defeats Fred and Barney, but just as he’s about to celebrate with a victory bowl of cereal, in comes Bam-Bam to take the Boulder down. This likeness didn’t sit well with Hulk and he sued Post Foods for making him look bad. Hulk wasn’t suing for any trademark violations, only because “Hulk Boulder is shown humiliated and cracked into pieces with broken teeth, with the closing banner ‘Little Pieces…BIG TASTE!’ ” Right on, Hulk. F*ck that cartoon cave twerp.