Hulk Hogan (Terry Gene Bollea – 61 now!) the famed wrestler grew up in Tampa, Florida. He still lives in the region and also has a bar and restaurant on Tampa Bay called Hogan’s Beach (check out the commercial on the website). It’s a crazy party place on weekends but a little quieter on a weekday, so I decided to check it out and drop by for lunch before heading to the Tampa airport.
The Hulkster is best known from his wrestling days in the 1980’s with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE where he was a six-time World Champion). Back then he was the real American hero crushing his foes like the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff with his mighty 24″ pythons!
In the 1990’s he changed sides so to speak and was part of World Championship Wrestling (WCW where he was also a six-time World Champion) and known as “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan. This is where he became the villainous leader of the New World Order (nWo) group of wrestlers and appeared in black to highlight his bad side! The nWo and Hulk Hogan ended up back at the WWF when they purchased the WCW .
There is plenty of Hulk Hogan related memorabilia around the place including WWE championship belts, great photos and even his “Thunderlips – The Ultimate Male” cape from Rocky III. Now that’s a classic scene from the Rocky movie series!
One section is dedicated to his epic match against Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III in 1987 where the Hulkster famously flipped the giant! This one really sticks in most people’s minds when they think of 1980’s WWF.
His buddy and old school wrestling manager Jimmy Hart features prominently around the bar too. He must be a part owner? From time to time these guys along with other old school wrestlers appear at Hogan’s Beach but all quiet on my visit apart from restaurant patrons.
As a Hulkamaniac from the 80’s who loved watching the WWF this was a good trip down memory lane. All good fun and the sandwich I had was good too!
p.s. Recent rumours of Hulk Hogan’s death were a total hoax. He is alive and well!