Thursday, July 27, 2023

[REVIEW] My Life Outside the Ring (Hardcover) by Hulk Hogan

For decades, Hulk Hogan has been a name very familiar even to those who have never watched a pro-wrestling show in their entire life, as he is one of the most iconic pro wrestlers of all time. And yet, for most of Hulk Hogan's career, very little was known about the man behind the name and persona. In his memoir My Life Outside the Ring, Hogan reveals the story of his life, discussing his childhood, his career, as well as how he bounced back after experiencing turbulence in his life that caused Hogan to reach his lowest point.

My Life Outside the Ring is well-written and engaging, and people who enjoyed Hulk Hogan's work will appreciate his honesty and openness. Hogan's writing style is easy to follow, and he does a good job of weaving together his personal stories with the history of professional wrestling.

One of the most interesting aspects of, My Life Outside the Ring is Hogan Hogan's discussion of his personal struggles. Hogan's openness shows a side of him that was never seen during his pro wrestling career when he was the industry's version of a superhero.

Although the focus of the memoir is -as the title states- Hulk Hogan's life outside the ring, he also goes into detail regarding his pro wrestling career from his unique perspective.

The timing of when My Life Outside the Ring was published is excellent. It was published in October 2009, during a time Hulk Hogan was not signed with any pro wrestling company. This enabled him to express himself without having to worry about upsetting an employer. However, since the book was written before Hogan's 2009 HULKAMANIA- Let the Battle Begin tour, it is not discussed. The book was also written before he joined TNA (known today as Impact Wrestling), so there is no mention of Hogan's career highlights there, such as when he was the leader of the Immortal faction or his feud with the Aces and Eights faction. Currently, Hogan is not under contract with a pro wrestling company, so it would be great if he writes another memoir in the future. In any case, I would highly recommend My Life Outside the Ring to anyone who enjoyed Hulk Hogan's work. It provides a glimpse into the life of one of the most successful wrestlers of all time.

Hulk Hogan’s complete impact on the pro-wrestling industry will never be duplicated. Upon winning his first WWE Championship in January 1984, Hogan set a foundation that began a revolution in the wrestling industry, as he captured the attention of wrestling fans (as well as created new wrestling fans) with incomparable showmanship and delivered promos that sold out venues worldwide. As the main face of WWE, Hogan took the company into the mainstream and helped to turn the pro-wrestling industry into a major business.

While in WWE during his first run, Hulk Hogan headlined eight of the first WrestleMania events, with WrestleMania III in 1987 being the largest-attended one, where he defeated Andre the Giant moments after delivering the slam that was heard around the world. This event is the second-largest attended WrestleMania in history.

Hulk Hogan faced Andre the Giant in a 1988 rematch on, “The Main Event” which was broadcast live on NBC-TV and drew 33 million viewers, the largest viewership for a televised pro wrestling event in American history.

By the time Hulk Hogan had completed his first run in WWE, Hogan had become WWE Champion five times, with his first reign being the third-longest in history to date. During Hogan’s second run in WWE, he captured the championship a sixth time.

After Hulk Hogan’s first run in WWE, he eventually went to WCW, where he revolutionized the pro wrestling industry for a second time. As the leader of the New World Order (NWO) faction, which is still popular to this day, Hogan’s presence drew high viewership numbers, attendance figures, and PPV buyrates.

In 1997, Hulk Hogan main-evented Starrcade, which has gone down as the highest-grossing PPV event in WCW’s history. On July 6, 1998, he main-evented, “WCW Monday Nitro” in front of an attendance of 41,412 fans, the largest live-televised crowd for a non-PPV in history.

Hulk Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, and this championship later became known as the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE after they gained ownership of it. No matter the name, this championship is one of the most prestigious titles in pro-wrestling history. During his first reign, Hogan held the championship for 469 days, the longest reign in the championship's history. During his second reign, Hogan made history again by holding it for 359 days, the second-longest reign in the championship's history.

For all of his contributions to the pro wrestling industry via WWE and WCW, Hulk Hogan has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on two occasions- individually, and as a member of the NWO.

In October 2009, Hulk Hogan joined TNA, brought in to help take TNA to a higher level. He pushed for TNA-TV to go live, going as far as stating that doing so would solve 75% of the issues in TNA. Going live had a positive effect on the roster, its morale improving due to the motivation involved with putting on a live show.

Also during Hulk Hogan’s time with TNA, the company became involved with new sponsors. Advertisers look for opportunities that will give them exposure. If your brand is not popular and marketable, it will not be sponsored. Hogan was the biggest name in TNA, and his being connected to the company made the TNA product attractive to advertisers who may not have heard of TNA otherwise or may not have been interested in them previously.

Hulk Hogan is a significant member of the pro-wrestling industry outside of US-based companies as well. In Japan’s NJPW, he became a part of the original IWGP Heavyweight Championship lineage in June 1993, and was the first holder of the championship in fact.

Hulk Hogan’s success in pro wrestling led to success in the world of acting, where he appeared in films such as”Rocky III,” (which Hogan was a part of before he became the superstar that he is today), “No Holds Barred,” “Mr. Nanny,” “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” and “Spy Hard”. Hogan also appeared on the television series, “The A-Team.”

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