Of all the crazy wrestling characters in the history of sports entertainment, none is more famous than Hulk Hogan. During the1980s and '90s (before more recent scandals), Hogan was an American institution. He starred in movies, and wrestled other legendary opponents, like Ric Flair, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and Antonio Inoki. But there is no shortage of ridiculous Hulk Hogan opponents as well.
The weirdest opponents Hulk Hogan faced were a combative bunch. Some of these feuds were forgotten not long after they started. Some went of for years. A few of the wrestlers were accomplished in-ring performers who embraced colorful gimmicks. Others probably had no business being in a wrestling ring in the first place, let alone in the main event scene of some of the biggest wrestling companies in the world. One thing that they all share is that these characters outshone even Hulk Hogan’s over-the-top stage persona.
This isn't the drill instructor and beloved G.I. Joe character. No, this Sgt. Slaughter became an “Iraqi Sympathizer” in 1991. This was in the midst of Operation Desert Storm, when Saddam Hussein was public enemy number one. What better way for Hulk Hogan to make his triumphant return to the top of the WWF than by beating this character?
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The Dungeon Of Doom
This collection of oddballs is one of the goofiest stables in wrestling history, and has been acknowledged as such by its creator Kevin Sullivan. The Dungeon of Doom was presented as if they had supernatural powers – powers that ultimately proved ineffectual against Hulk Hogan.
Members of this WCW rogues gallery included such infamous characters as The Zodiac (formerly Brutus Beefcake), the Yeti, Kamala, the Shark (formerly Earthquake in the WWF), and The Giant (later to have a long run as The Big Show in WWE). Their most famous incident involved whisking Hogan off to a cave with unintentionally hilarious results. Hogan’s line reading of “It’s not hot” will forever remain one of the most remembered moments of his career.
Professional athletes have a long history of crossing over into the squared circle. Lawrence Taylor, DeAngelo Williams, and countless other representatives from the world of sports have tried their hand at wrestling. In Karl Malone’s case, the match was a rematch of sorts from his tussles in the 1998 NBA Finals with Dennis Rodman (who teamed with Hulk Hogan for the match).
Malone seemed to have the time of his life during the match, slamming both Hogan and Rodman, playing to the crowd, and even delivering a Diamond Cutter to referee Charles Robinson.
The Iron Sheik lived quite the eventful life even before entering the often-ridiculous world of professional wrestling. He competed in the Olympics, was a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, and served as an assistant coach for the US Olympic team.
Sheik’s wrestling character involved him playing an Iranian nationalist who tagged with Soviet nationalist Nikolai Volkoff, and spitting whenever he said the letters "USA." Hulk Hogan pinning Sheik to win his first WWF Title in 1984 is usually the moment that is cited as kicking off "Hulkamania."
These days, the Iron Sheik is arguably more well-known for his viral videos, his profanity-filled Twitter feed, and his numerous appearances on The Howard Stern Show.