Given how the word “Hulkamania” used to cause a frenzy among wrestling fans back in the ’80s and ’90s, Hulk Hogan’s net worth of $25 million doesn’t come as a surprise. A Georgia native, the wrestler originally known as Terry Gene Bollea is arguably the biggest pro-wrestling star in history. There’s no doubt that WWE largely owes its wide popularity to the iconic pro wrestling veteran who was famed for his flamboyant style and impressive in-ring skills. Amidst recent reports that Hogan is eyeing a return to the ring, let’s take a look at how the former WWE star lucratively earned his wealth.
When Did He Retire From Wrestling?
Hulk Hogan debuted on the professional wrestling scene in the late ’70s and shot to fame in the late ’80s. The aspiring wrestler’s interest and skills caught the attention of Vince McMahon Sr, the owner of World Wrestling Federation, (WWF, now WWE) in 1979. Hogan later had brief stints in the American Wrestling Federation (AWF) in the early ’80s before returning to the WWF in 1983. He eventually found fame in WWF and became an iconic figure in the pro-wrestling world between the late ’80s and early ’90s.
In the course of his decorated pro-wrestling career, Hogan also had stints in several other pro-wrestling organizations and championships including the New Japan Pro-Wrestling, TNA, and WCW. Hulk’s career achievements later earned him an induction into the WWF Hall of Fame in 2005. After fighting for the aforementioned wrestling promotion companies at different points in his career, the wrestler returned to WWE in 2014. Unfortunately, audio recordings of Hogan using offensive racial slurs during his infamous sex tape scandal made WWE terminate his contract in 2015.
How Did Hulk Hogan Achieve a Net Worth of $25 Million and How Much Came From Wrestling?
Banking on his fame as a pro-wrestler, Hulk Hogan successfully carved a niche for himself in the entertainment industry as an actor and media personality. The retired wrestler boasts of an extensive list of screen credits. Some of his notable works on the big screen include Rocky III, No Holds Barred, and Thunder in Paradise. On TV, he is recognized for hosting American Gladiators and featuring in the reality docu-series Hogan Knows Best. Additionally, the retired wrestler is musically talented. He was part of the Wrestling Boot Band that released the Hulk Rules album in 1995.
While most of Hulk Hogan’s net worth comes from his glorified WWE career, it is uncertain how much exactly he made from his time in the ring. Hogan is also known as an adroit businessman who invested in real estate in the Florida area at the peak of his career. He also owned the now-defunct WWE inspired restaurant, Pastamania. However, the Minnesota-based business barely survived up to a year. Undeterred, Hulk Hogan went on to open two more restaurants over the years. The second, Hogan’s Beach based in the Tampa area was launched in 2012 while the third is a Clearwater Beach-based outlet called Hogan’s Hangout. Hulk’s energy drink – Hogan Energy was launched in 2006. The former wrestler who apparently had a thing for good food and healthy living launched a nutrition website called Hogan Nutrition in 2011.
Hulk Hogan’s wealth was also drawn from lucrative endorsements. The former wrestler clearly cashed out on his in-ring Hulk trademark endorsing several foods and household items. He is known to have partnered with a grill brand to produce “The Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill”, and a Wal-Mart fast-food chain called “Hulkster Burgers”.
Hulk Hogan’s net worth was erratic over the years for obvious reasons. In addition to his extravagant lifestyle, the wrestler’s wealth would have seemingly been bigger but for his 2009 expensive divorce from first wife Linda Claridge. Despite being at the verge of bankruptcy, Bollea was compelled to pay Claridge whom he married in 1983, 70% of his assets as part of their divorce settlement.
However, Hogan who is no stranger to controversies seemingly scored the biggest win of his life in March 2016 following his legal battle with Gawker. In October 2012, the controversial website leaked a clip of a sex tape featuring the wrestling star and Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem’s) estranged wife. In a surprising turn of events, Hogan sued Gawker for invading his privacy. In a $115 million verdict, the state of Florida ordered the site to pay Hogan $55 million for emotional harm and $60 million for emotional distress. But the wrestling icon later settled with Gawker for $31 million for compensatory and punitive damages.