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Terry Gene Bollea (born August 11, 1953), better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American professional wrestler, actor, television personality, and musician currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
Hogan had mainstream popularity in the mid 1980s through the early 1990s as the all-American, working-class hero character Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF—now World Wrestling Entertainment), and was notable in the mid-to-late 1990s as "Hollywood" Hogan, the villainous nWo leader, in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), along with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Following WCW's fold, he made a brief return to WWE in the early 2000s, revising his heroic character by combining elements of his two most famous personas.
Hogan was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. He is a twelve-time world heavyweight champion: a six-time WWF/E Champion and a six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, as well as a former World Tag Team Champion with Edge. He was the first wrestler to win the WWE Championship three times. He was also the winner of the Royal Rumble in 1990 and 1991 and the first to win two Royal Rumbles in a row.
The son of Peter Bollea, a construction foreman, and his wife Ruth, a homemaker and dance teacher, Hogan was raised in Tampa, Florida. As a boy, he was a pitcher in Little League Baseball. He began watching professional wrestling at 16 years old. While in high school, he revered Dusty Rhodes, and he regularly attended cards at the Tampa Sportatorium. It was at one of those wrestling cards where he first turned his attention towards "Superstar" Billy Graham and looked to him for inspiration. Hogan was also a skilled musician, spending ten years playing bass guitar in several Florida-based rock bands. Many of the wrestlers who competed in the Florida territory at that time visited the bars where Hogan was performing. He then attended the University of South Florida, of which he later dropped out; he spent most of his time at a local gym, where he met pro wrestler Mike Graham, the son of legendary wrestler and National Wrestling Alliance president Eddie Graham. Hogan's physical stature also caught the attention of Jack and Gerald Brisco. Together, they convinced Hogan to try wrestling. Having been a wrestling fan since childhood, Hogan agreed, and in 1976, Mike Graham introduced Hogan to Hiro Matsuda, who was among the sport's top trainers. According to Hogan, during their first training session, Matsuda sarcastically asked him, "So you want to be a wrestler?" and purposely broke Hogan's leg.
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