Hulkamania is Back! Here's a Shirt-Ripping Playlist, Brother!
Kristin Fitzsimmons vis Wikimedia Commons
It looks like all that training, saying your prayers and taking your vitamins has paid off as this week the immortal Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE. Kicking off this week's edition of "Raw," the Hulkster arrived to a thunderous ovation, celebrating not only his homecoming but the launch of the WWE Network, the company's 24 hour channel of both original content as well as an on-demand service of their entire library of pay-per-views. In honor of Hogan coming back to host the upcoming Wrestlemania 30, as well as the ability to now look back at three decades of Hulkamania at the drop of a hat rip of a t-shirt, we've assembled this musical look back at the Hulkster's musical endeavors, in case you need a playlist that answers the question "Watcha Gonna Do, Brother?!"Survivor - "Eye of the Tiger"
The first time "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan appeared in tinseltown was in the 1983 classicRocky III
. Appearing as "Thunderlips"his scene where he spun Sly Stallone
made enough of an impression to make him synonymous with film. In the early days of wrestling entrance music, this connection allowed Hogan to electrify the building just by walking to the ring to the film's theme "Eye of the Tiger," playing both when he toppled The Iron Sheik for his first world championship as well aswhen he and Mr. T teamed up to headline the first Wrestlemania. Derringer - "Real American"
Perhaps the song most associated with Hulk Hogan, as well as America and freedom in general, "Real American" was penned by Rick Derringer (of "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" fame) and, while original intended for another team, happened to fit Hulk Hogan perfectly. Celebrated by everyone fromPresident Barack Obama
to Beavis and Butthead, it's an undeniable cornerstone of American pop culture. Accept no substitutions, except for maybe the Jimmy Hart-penned soundalike"American Made"
which Hogan used after jumping from the then-WWF to rival WCW in 1994.
But why should classic rock have a stranglehold on Hulkamania? In the late-80s, with Hogan infecting every aspect of media, he wound up doing everything from hosting "Saturday Night Live" to starring in films likeNo Holds Barred
and, indeed, recording a song with Dolly Parton. Appearing in Miss Parton's narrative under the name 'Starlight Starbright' (which isn't quite as menacing of a name as 'Hulk Hogan' or perhaps even 'Terry Bollea') according to Hogan, it isn't his first brush with musical greatness. He once claimed that he was almost chosen as the original bassist for Metallica, which the band vehemently denies.Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band - "Beach Patrol"
The aforementioned Jimmy Hart was no stranger to music, having one score a top ten hit with"Keep On Dancing"
as part of The Gentrys. He and Hogan made an entire album in the mid-90s under the name Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band. Including such gems as the manifesto"I Want to Be a Hulkamaniac"
and the touching"Hulkster in Heaven,"
we're partial to Hogan's rap skills displayed on "Beach Patrol."
But sometimes change is good, brother. In the mid-90s whem Hogan did the unthinkable and became a "bad guy" (a "heel," in wrestling terms) he needed to play up his egotistical larger-than-life persona. What better track to imply such importance (one of mountain chopping gravitas) than Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child?" Clearing the original master of such a legendary track for use in a sports-entertainment capacity is yet another perk of WCW being funded by Ted Turner.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.