HomeSportsHulk Hogan Declares Tom Brady a True Tampa Bay Legend After NFC Championship Win

Hulk Hogan Declares Tom Brady a True Tampa Bay Legend After NFC Championship Win

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

It didn’t take long, brother, for Hulk Hogan himself to celebrate Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady leading the Bucs into the Super Bowl.

Hogan, who knows a thing or two about championships himself, took to social media and offered his congrats to Brady.

“The Hulkster” has lived in the Tampa area for a long time, so celebrating his team’s victory isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Brady and the Buccaneers secured the NFC Championship on Sunday by defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-26 at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Now Tampa Bay comes home, where it will not only host the Super Bowl but be the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl it is hosting.

Now Hulk Hogan might have been called on to help Buffalo Bills fans in their table-breaking activities had they made it to the Super Bowl. But that didn’t happen as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs beat Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game.

Meanwhile, the “Bills Mafia” fandom is quite famous for the many different ways tables get broken. It’s something someone in Buffalo probably borrowed from the professional wrestling playbook. They already found a way to involve their own “Hulk Hogan” in a table-breaking stunt.

Hulk Hogan Looks Back On Initial Title Victory In WWF

Before turning into a Tom Brady super fan, Hulk Hogan was working his way up the pro wrestling ranks. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, actually started his career in the Midwest for the old American Wrestling Association.

Obviously, WWF (now World Wrestling Entertainment) Chairman Vince McMahon saw something in Hogan and got him to join the WWF. Hogan made his first appearance in a WWF ring in November 1979. He worked his way up to becoming a main eventer for McMahon quickly, thanks to his size and McMahon’s booking brilliance.

It all led up to one night at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. On Jan. 23, 1984, Hogan defeated the Iron Sheik, managed by veteran pro wrestling legend Freddie Blassie, for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. That night, Hogan said, started what would be known as “Hulkamania” in pro wrestling.

Also, the packed house was totally into the match, cheering from Hogan’s entrance all the way until he pinned the Iron Sheik for the victory.

Recently, Hogan celebrated the 37th anniversary of that first championship win. He said he drove from Stamford, Conn., where WWF/WWE headquarters are located, to New York City for the match.

Hogan Helped Change Pro Wrestling In The Public Eye

Hulk Hogan became a phenomenon, again thanks in large part to the vision of Vince McMahon. Hogan started appearing on talk shows and even had a role as “Thunder Lips” in “Rocky III” with Sylvester Stallone.

Ironically, his “Rocky III” co-star, Mr. T, would team up with Hogan in the main event for WrestleMania I. They faced “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in the card’s final match, with boxing legend Muhammad Ali acting as special enforcer for the contest.

WWF became mainstream programming to watch, having 3-4 shows per week on the USA Network at that time. They ranged from pro wrestling matches to “Tuesday Night Titans,” a weekly talk-show for different WWF stars to promote themselves and upcoming cards.

Additionally, Hogan and Mr. T, who already was a star at the time thanks to the popularity of “The A-Team,” would come out victorious in the main event. McMahon had Hulk Hogan in the palm of his hand and truly took his business to a new level.

Hogan appeared on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” and other magazines. His name and “Hulkamania” were hot commodities. The way that Hulk Hogan and the WWF marketed him changed the way the public viewed pro wrestling. It became fun and popular to be a part of the action, even sitting in the stands.

Hulk Hogan is a legend in professional wrestling. Now he gets to watch another legend, Tom Brady, play in the NFL’s biggest game right in Tampa.