Sunday, April 14

Wrestlers Hulk Hogan Was Close To

Few wrestlers were as important as Hulk Hogan was for about two decades of being a top star in the industry. WWE and WCW each had historic levels of success with Hogan leading the way as either the face of Hulkamania or the leader of the New World Order heel group.


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Many talents hoped to become close friends of Hogan since that led to them getting more opportunities. Hogan helped some of his buddies get jobs or receive pushes with his presence convincing management. Each story warrants a deeper look at the friendships and if those careers benefited. Hogan had the following wrestlers he felt close to in wrestling.


10 Brutus Beefcake Had His Career Defined By Their Friendship

Hogan Helped Him Get Multiple Jobs & Pushes Throughout His Career


  • WWE Pushed Beefcake As Hogan’s Tag Partner
  • WCW Tried To Get Major World Title Feud Between Them
  • Hogan Inducted Beefcake Into Hall Of Fame Years Later


Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake became known for being Hulk Hogan’s best friend as much as anything else in his career. WWE made Hogan and Beefcake a tag team as the Mega Maniacs when Hulk wanted a new short-term partner after Randy Savage ended the Mega Powers.

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WCW did even more to help Beefcake as he main evented their biggest event Starrcade 1994 against Hogan. Many wrestlers disliked Brutus for getting his opportunities mostly due to being the best friend of a powerful star.

9 Earthquake Was Hogan’s Dream Rival Character

WWE Feud Won Earthquake Hogan’s Trust For WCW Role


  • Hogan Preferred To Work With Monster Heel Characters
  • Earthquake’s Career Peaked With WWE Feud Vs Hogan
  • Hogan Used WCW Influence To Help Earthquake Get Hired


John Tenta found success in WWE playing the Earthquake character that peaked with a feud against Hulk Hogan. WWE tried to sign new monster heel characters at various points to ensure that Hogan had that style of opponent.


Earthquake became close to Hogan and felt like a more valued member of the industry thanks to that. WCW signed Tenta to play other characters when Hogan joined the company and suggested the former Earthquake become part of the new look roster.

8 Dennis Rodman Joined WCW Thanks To Hogan

Legendary NBA Player Picked Nitro Over NBA Finals Practice


  • Hogan’s Friendship With Rodman Convinced Him To Join WCW
  • Rodman Had More Fun At WCW Events Than Playing NBA Games
  • Helped Make New World Order More Popular With Big Names


The star power of Hulk Hogan saw him meeting and working with other top names in sports and entertainment. Dennis Rodman became a friend of Hogan and was talked into trying his hand at wrestling while still in the NBA.


WCW benefited immensely from Rodman showing up during his popular stint on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls to join the New World Order. Rodman even no-showed NBA Finals practice in 1998 to make appearances on Nitro having fun with Hogan.

7 RVD Was Personally Recruited By Hogan To TNA

Hulk Made Van Dam The Face Of Company In A Regretful Move


  • Hogan Made Free Agent Pitches For RVD To Join TNA
  • Instantly Pushed RVD As World Champion Over AJ Styles
  • RVD Didn’t Feel As Important In TNA As Other Companies


Rob Van Dam used to have a live radio show before podcasts and online wrestling content had the popularity it does today. One interesting moment featured Hulk Hogan calling in as a friend and letting Van Dam know TNA’s interest in him as a free agent.


TNA signed RVD shortly afterwards and made him TNA World Champion within a few months. Van Dam has talked about Hogan being his biggest supporter, but his main event run was unfortunately one of many mistakes of the Hulk era.

6 Jimmy Hart Became Hogan’s Right-Hand Man

Worked Closely Together In Both WWE & WCW


  • Hart Managed An Established Hogan In WWE Due To Friendship
  • Jimmy Jumped Ship With WCW For New Job Title With Hogan
  • They Still Make Appearances Together Today As Good Friends


Jimmy Hart will always be linked to Hulk Hogan since that’s what many fans most think of with his career. WWE and WCW both used Jimmy in the manager role representing dozens of names, but Hogan was by far the biggest star.


The real-life friendship between the two was the main reason they worked together on-screen since Hulk didn’t need a manager to talk for him. Hart received another big role in WCW both as a manager and a backstage employee thanks to Hogan’s input.

5 Kurt Angle Bonded With Hogan In Late WWE Run

Reunited In TNA To Continue Building Their Friendship


  • Hogan Respected Angle Enough For Rare Tap Out
  • Angle Was Rare Young WWE Wrestler To Trust Hogan
  • Became Closer When Hulk Was Kurt’s Boss In TNA


Hulk Hogan’s 2002 WWE return is remembered for the incredible match against The Rock and an eventual WWE Championship win. However, there were many more moments that showed a less selfish Hogan for the first time in years.

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Kurt Angle was a rare wrestler to make Hogan tap out cleanly in the ring, especially with Hulk in the babyface role. The two became friends in WWE, but they grew closer in TNA. Even though Angle didn’t agree with all of Hogan’s decisions, they were close through mutual respect.

4 Brian Knobbs Was Always With Hogan

The Nasty Boys Were Viewed As Hulk’s Sidekicks For Years


  • Nasty Boys Had Hogan’s Protection Despite Getting Over On Own
  • Brian Knobbs Was Viewed As Much Closer To Hogan Than Sags Was
  • Hulk Had Knobbs Appear On Hogan Knows Best Reality Show


Brian Knobbs is up there with Brutus Beefcake as the names that were viewed as Hulk Hogan’s best friend in his prime. The duo of Jerry Sags and Knobbs found success in WWE and WCW as the Nasty Boys tag team.


Hogan didn’t have to convince either company to believe in the tag act, but he clearly did help them get jobs. Knobbs remained close to Hulk to be part of the Hogan Knows Best reality series as a recurring character. TNA even got swindled into giving the aging Nasty Boys a chance when Hogan held power.

3 Mr. T’s On-Screen Friendship With Hogan Mirrored Reality

Became Close Buddies After Working Together In The Rocky Franchise


  • Rocky Film Franchise Made Hogan & Mr. T Friends
  • Mr. T Helped WWE Become Mainstream As Celebrity
  • Hogan Convinced Mr. T To Appear In WCW Years Later


WWE scored big when actor Mr. T agreed to wrestle for them on a few occasions after breaking out in the box office. Rocky 3 helped both careers with Mr. T playing a boxing rival of Rocky, and Hogan playing a wrestler that faced him in an attraction.


Hogan and Mr. T were portrayed as best friends on WWE TV since they were truly close outside of the ring. WWE made a lot of money thanks to fans wanting to see more of Hogan and Mr. T together after the Rocky 3 success.

2 Eric Bischoff Became Hogan’s Closest Ally For Decades

WCW Relationship Only Grew Closer In Following Years


  • Grew Close As On-Screen Friends In New World Order
  • Bischoff Became More Loyal To Hogan Than Other Wrestlers
  • Stayed Close For TNA & Non-Wrestling Business Deals Together


Eric Bischoff was the one responsible for Hulk Hogan signing with WCW once Ted Turner gave him full power. However, the two would become unexpected best friends for the rest of their lives moving forward.


An on-screen story of Hogan and Bischoff being paired together in the New World Order set up a friendship that exists today. Bischoff worked with Hogan in TNA and helped with personal things like his divorce as a close friend that he trusts to look out for him.

1 Abyss Was Viewed As “TNA’s John Cena” By Hogan

First Wrestler That Hogan Grew Close To In The TNA Years


  • Abyss Was First Homegrown TNA Name That Hogan Believed In
  • Teamed Up As Babyfaces With Hogan Giving Abyss His HOF Ring
  • Reunited As Partners In Top Heel Immortal Faction Again


Hulk Hogan loved Abyss from the early stages of his role leading TNA and watching many new talents for the first time. Abyss impressed Hogan enough for Hulk to actually call him “the John Cena of TNA” when picking his new face of the company.


TNA pushed Abyss hard in the beginning of Hogan’s era before he lost faith. Abyss remained a close friend of Hogan, and the two worked closely together in both the face and heel roles. Many wrestlers felt Hulk didn’t believe in them, but Abyss experienced the exact opposite.

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