Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The American Hall of Heroism: Inductee Hulk Hogan

I was talking about American Heroes the other day, and a friend of mine wanted to know if I could even name ten living American Heroes.  Heroism is not something that is easy to recognize, so I felt like just listing names would not do these heroes justice.  Instead, I am starting The American Hall of Heroism (AHH - carefully selected as that is what terrorists should be screaming when they see these Americans coming their way).  Much like the WWE's Hall of Fame, there will not be a physical place that you can visit, but for our Hall, this makes sense, because heroes live forever in our hearts.

For the judging criteria, the following is considered:
1.  Fame
2.  Americaness
3.  Heroic Deeds
4.  Memorable Moment
5.  Redemption

Without further adieu, I present our first inductee to The American Hall of Heroism...
Hulk Hogan is an obvious first choice for The American Hall of Heroism.  There are two sets of colors that represent America, the red, white, and blue of the American flag, and the red and yellow of Hulkamania.  But let's break it down to show how The Hulkster has excelled in each area of the AHH.

1.  Fame
I believe Hulk Hogan's fame speaks for itself.  He is the biggest name in the history of professional wrestling.  He starred in a reality show that made his entire family more famous.  He has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and he even had his own cartoon.

So yeah, Hulk's got fame.

2.  Americaness
Let's just start with Hulk Hogan's theme music.  A little song entitled Real American by Rick Derringer.  If you love America, I cannot be held responsible for your actions after listening to this song, because it will pump you up to levels you never thought possible.
Alright, I know we're all extremely pumped right now, so feel free to take a break and catch your breath before moving on.

And if you're still not convinced, his theme music when he went to WCW was a song titled American Made.  Oh yeah, and when he went back to the WWE, he put on a mask and took up an alias.  That alias?  MR. AMERICA.  His Americaness can never be questioned.

3.  Heroic Deeds
Not only would Hulk Hogan be recognized on any street corner in America, he would be worshipped for the way he has defended our country against The Iron Sheik, the Iraqi-sympathizing Sergeant Slaughter, and probably saved California from sinking into the ocean by defeating Earthquake.
And this doesn't even bring up the indisputable fact that Hulk Hogan helped so many children turn into well-respected adults.  By teaching us to train, say our prayers, and eat our vitamins, many kids have chosen not to become gang bangers or deviants, because Hulk showed them the righteous path.  Even though these values may seem childish, I still train my body, pray to the Hulkster, and always take my daily vitamin.  I am living proof of Hulk's heroism.

4.  Memorable Moment
Although Hogan has had many memorable moments, including his own music album as well as epic matches with Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Shawn Michaels, there is only one moment that can stand out as his most memorable.  It was March of 1987, and it was the biggest WrestleMania in history.  That's right, WrestleMania III, where Hulk Hogan would take on the unbeatable Andre The Giant.  These men were once friends, but Andre had turned to the darkside and was now managed by that weasel, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

Andre weighed well over 500 pounds, so the odds were stacked heavily against our American Hero.  Because of the size of Andre, fans knew there would be no way that Hulk Hogan could not use his patented bodyslam on Andre the Giant.  And it's true, by himself, Hulk Hogan would not be able to bodyslam Andre, but with the power of all the Hulkamaniacs behind him, anything is possible.

5.  Redemption
Hulk did one of the most shocking things in the history of wrestling in the summer of 1996.  It's still tough for us devoted Hulkamaniacs to talk about, so here's the video.

I'm sorry that you had to see that.  It's still tough for me to watch as well.  Hulk had lived his entire life by not just living the right way, but also preaching to children to live the right way.  Finally, he decided he had enough of being good, and decided to be bad.  It was heartbreaking to all of us Hulkamaniacs.  He was no longer Hulk Hogan.  He had become Hollywood Hogan.  We didn't understand why.  But sometimes, you need to hit rock bottom before you can find salvation.

Unfortunately, it would take years for Hogan to truly find that salvation.  Although popular belief may have you believe that he did not find salvation until getting back to his roots with the red and yellow; these people are missing when Hulk Hogan truly regained the power of Hulkamania.  Yes, he was still in the black and white, but WrestleMania 18 is when Hogan stopped depending on the cheating ways of Hollywood and yet again gained his strength from all of his Hulkamaniacs:

Part 2:

Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock will go down as one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history.  Somehow, Hogan turned the crowd against the most popular wrestler of the era, and got them back on his side.  Did Hulk lose on this night?  Yes, but that wasn't what was important.  Hulk was never about winning or losing, he was about doing what was right.  And this was the day that Hogan found redemption, and Hulkamania was reborn.

And that is why I am proud to make Hulk Hogan the very first inductee of the American Hall of Heroism.  Congratulations Hulk.


P.S.  Do you remember D David Schultz?  Probably not, because he dared to insult Hulk Hogan's manhood.  Outside of punching a reporter, he was never heard from again.

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