BOOK REVIEW: Hollywood Hulk Hogan - Autobiography

WWE BOOK REVIEW: Hollywood Hulk Hogan Autobiography
Hollywood Hulk Hogan is an engaging, entertaining and insightful biography from a man who revolutionised his chosen profession.

And whilst this book probably won’t be of much interest to anyone who isn’t a fan of pro-wrestling, for those who are, it’s an enthralling history of the man behind the most famous face in the sport, Hulk Hogan.

NOTE: This is a repost of a review I originally wrote back in 2009.

As with similar tomes released by the company, WWE seems to put a spin on Hogan’s book, and at times it seems as much an exercise in self-promotion as a detailed account of the life and times of Terry Bollea.

But at others, it’s a riveting read.

Though some critics have lambasted Hogan for leaving out a number of key issues, mainly from his time in World Championship Wrestling, Hogan does well to recount a career spanning 25 years at the time of publication.

Starting with his early childhood, when Hogan reveals that he was a chubby, out-of-shape kid who loved pro wrestling and admired ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes but never thought he’d ever find himself in the ring, the book goes on to talk about his days playing bass for a number of well-paid bands before finally deciding to pursue a career between the ropes.

What’s good about this book is that although it gives enough background to Terry Bollea’s pre-wrestling days to get an idea of where he's coming from, it doesn’t waste too much time in getting into the reason you want to read it; the wrestling.

From getting his leg broken in his first week of training to his triumphant match against The Rock at Wrestlemania 18, Hogan runs through numerous key episodes in his life and career; the birth of Hulkamania, single-handily carrying the WWF(E) to mainstream attention (Though many wrestlers would like to deny it, it’s hard to argue that Hogan, along with Vince McMahon, wasn’t largely responsible for the huge book in pro wrestling). the 1993 steroid scandal and his controversial exit from McMahon-land, with much more besides.

And the best thing is that Hogan comes across as being genuine and honest.

The man in yellow-and-red has gotten a lot of flack from some in the pro-wrestling community, and many so-called ‘smart’ fans (who probably don’t know half as much as they think) but here Hulk Hogan gets the chance to tell his side of the story.

He talks openly about mistakes he’s made, how Terry Bollea wasn’t quite as clean cut as the Hulk Hogan character he portrayed (there’s lots of talk about Hogan out drinking with other wrestlers and ‘Raisin’ Hell’) and how despite a genuine love of pro wrestling, making money was his number one priority.

Moreover, Hogan seems genuinely upset, annoyed, and at times simply bewildered, at the amount of jealousy and hurtful things hurled in his direction, as well as surprised and delighted at the continued level of support for a wrestler who helped catapult pro-wrestling into the global conscience.

Overall, a good read that should provide a good history lesson for newer WWE fans, a history of how the multi-million dollar, global empire they know today was transformed from a local territory in New York on the back of a phenomenon known as Hulkamania.

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