Hulk Hogan, Hollywood Hogan, Mr America or just plain old Terry Bollea, the Hulkster is known by more names than you could shake a big fist at and after a wrestling career lasting over thirty years, and a huge number of TV and film appearances under his belt Hulk Hogan has earned a place as the most recognizable, iconic and popular athlete in the World of Wrestling. In recent years his success has been punctuated by legal issues and negative media scrutiny, but he still holds a special place in the hearts of millions of wrestling fans.
The World of wrestling is a punishing occupation, mentally, spiritually and most of all physically, but for those skilled enough, strong enough and determined enough to make it to the top of the professional game the rewards are magnificent, in terms of both wealth and status. After such a long period as the golden Boy of the WWF (As the WWE was known until 2002), and a huge number of paid appearances, exactly how much money has the Hulk amassed over the years? Step this way to explore the known facts about Hulk Hogan’s wealth.
Hulk Hogan Net Worth – $25 Million
How Did Hulk Hogan Make His Money & Wealth?
The skill set required to become a top professional wrestler is varied and unusual, you have to have the agility of a gymnast, and the natural showmanship of a talk-show host, but even if you’re a master contortionist and able to win a debate against Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno at the same time, you will still probably fail as a wrestler if you’re five foot ten and 170 pounds, you need the full package, agility, personality, and most of all an imposing physical presence.
Hulk Hogan began wrestling in the late 1970’s originally as a masked bad guy known as the Super Destroyer. It was a typical villain role which had in fact been played by several up-and-coming wrestlers in the past. Hogan had the body of a wrestler, and the skill to match, but everyone has to start somewhere and in those early days no-one realized how engaging Hulk Hogan could be with the fans. After a few early bouts for Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF) in a tag-team partnership with his friend Ed Leslie, who would later become professionally known as Brutus Beefcake, Hogan moved over to the more popular Hulk character, largely due to his popularity with the fans.
The top wrestlers today earn several million a year, John Cena makes $3 million annually, plus bonuses from pay per view events and merchandise sales, The Rock makes even more, but in Hogan’s day the rewards were not quite as generous. Terry Bollea joined the WWF in 1979 at the request of Vince McMahon Sr. McMahon wanted to use him as an Irish character, and suggested the Irish name Hogan to go with ‘Hulk’, he also wanted Terry to dye his hair red, but the wrestler refused that request, due to his already rapidly thinning hair. He performed in several high-profile bouts, including his majestic first match against Andre the Giant in 1980, which he lost amid controversy over the referee’s quick count, but he also became a popular favorite of the fans in the process, and a regular face on the show. He also wrestled for the New Japan Pro Wrestling league during the early 1980’s, becoming equally popular there, where he was known as ‘Ichiban’, which means ‘Number one’.
Hogan’s earnings during this time were at least $1.5 million per year from his wrestling performances alone, but his growing popularity with fans contributed to the Hulk’s bank balance by another half a million per year through merchandising, particularly after his role in Rocky III, in which he played the insanely temperamental Thunderlips. Hogan’s income was growing, but the son of a construction worker wasn’t the type to invest every penny, his lifestyle at the time was lavish, and once he had achieved a degree of financial stability, additional millions were not his main priority.
Vince McMahon Sr had asked Hogan not to take the role in Rocky III, and due to his wishes not being followed, Hogan had temporarily found himself out of favor at the WWF, but in 1983 all that changed. The elder McMahon, who was by now ailing and only a year away from death, sold the business to his son, Vince Jr who had big plans to expand the WWF franchise into a nationwide event, and Hogan was at the top of the list of potential attractions he had planned. The next five years became the most successful of Hogan’s career, as the era of Hulkamania was born. Hogan’s was the perfect character during the mid 1980’s to help WWF grow into the globally popular franchise it has become today, helped of course by Vince McMahon’s shrewd development of the WWF first nationally, and then internationally.
The rewards to both McMahon and Hogan grew exponentially for a few years, the cool new pop culture style of professional wrestling brought the sport fully into the mainstream entertainment category, huge television ratings were achieved every week and pay-per-view earnings went through the roof, with subscribers to certain events exceeding 30 million on occasion. Hogan was estimated to have earned at least $20 million from 1985 to 1990 alone, but he has admitted that his spending was so extravagant at the time with ‘hundreds of millions’ being spent on the good life, that his net worth actually decreased annually over several years of the period. Even after the peak years of Hulkamania had passed, a rare insight into Wrestlers earnings whilst working for the WWE came about when in 2016 the franchise released details of earnings between 1996 and 2000, Hogan easily topped the list with a total income during the period of over $13 million, over $5 million more than any other wrestler at the time.
In 2005 Terry Bollea starred in his own reality TV show, ‘Hogan Knows Best’, which focused on him, wife Linda, daughter Brooke and son Nick. The show was quirky and occasionally thought-provoking and as it gradually grew in popularity over a few seasons favorable comparisons with reality TV hit ‘The Osbournes’ were made, but fate intervened suddenly, bringing the show to an end.
By October 2007 cracks had begun to show in the marriage of Hulk and Linda, who had been married since 1983. At the time Hogan’s net worth was no more than $40 million, but it was severely depleted by the divorce settlement, which saw 70% of his assets go to Linda. By 2011 the Hulk was living in a rented home, but still enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle, however he was desperate to sell the former family home which he had reduced from $25 million to just $9 million in order to guarantee a quick sale. By 2013 he was busy rebuilding his wealth, launching a web hosting service called ‘Hostamania’, investing in real estate in Florida and using his royalties from Hulk Hogan merchandise sales to boost his assets.
Hogan rejoined the WWE in 2014 as the new host of the flagship WWE event Wrestlemania, but another legal battle soon curtailed his new role at the franchise. A sex tape featuring Hogan had been leaked by the controversial gossip blog Gawker, and Hogan had begun legal proceedings due to the invasion of his privacy. The case for Gawker was not helped by the flippant remarks made by its editor-in-chief A.J.Daulerio, who had somewhat unwisely remarked that a sex-tape involving anyone over four years of age was newsworthy in his opinion. Hogan won the case, and was awarded $115 million in damages, effectively finishing Gawker, but the case also had severe negative consequences for Hogan too.
He had been overheard making racial comments on the leaked sex tape at the center of the case, and Gawker had made sure that the details were fully publicized at the time, the backlash on Hogan was immediate and overwhelming, he was sacked from the WWE among a storm of media controversy and virtually scrubbed from the franchises history. On November 2nd 2016 Gawker, long into bankruptcy proceedings by now agreed a $31 million settlement with Hogan, which should see his personal wealth grow to at least $40 million once the settlement is paid, and legal fees and taxes are subtracted.
Hulk Hogan Personal Life & FAQ’s
Is Hulk Hogan Married?
After his first marriage ended in 2007, Terry Bollea met and began a relationship with Jennifer McDaniel. The couple were engaged in November 2009 and married in December 2010. The Hulk’s children from his first marriage, daughter Brooke and son Nick are now aged 28 and 26 respectively.
Hulk Hogan’s Salary & Annual Earnings in 2017
Even though Hulk Hogan’s wealth is lower than many others who have enjoyed long and illustrious careers, he still enjoys, in his own words, ‘A lifestyle of abundance’. The full amount he receives from his $31 million settlement with Gawker depends heavily on the type of arrangement he had with his legal team, it could be that the Hulk’s lawyers take a large slice of the settlement and leave him to pay the vast majority of tax on the sum, thereby leaving him with a small percentage of the total figure. The huge popularity of the hulk in the 1980’s may have diminished, but there are still plenty of ‘Hulkamaniacs’ out there. Merchandise sales bring him at least half a million per year and other revenue streams, such as the ‘Hostamania’ web hosting service and his various real estate interests leave the Hulk with an annual income comfortably over $1 million per year.
Where Does Hulk Hogan Live?
Due to a sluggish real estate market, Hogan was not able to sell his former family residence until April 2014, and then only for the knock down price of $6.2 million, but upon finally doing so he purchased a new beach-front property to share with new wife Jennifer. The attractive 5,000 square foot mansion, complete with a pool and two spas looks out over a secluded stretch of the gulf coast in Clearview, Florida and even comes complete with an elevator.
What is Hulk Hogan’s Car?
Throughout his years of lavish spending the Hulk was known for his enjoyment of a fine pair of wheels, he has admitted that cars, houses and vacations, for him and many other family members were the main drain on his finances during his peak career years, but perhaps the car that he is best known for is his beloved 1994 custom painted Dodge Viper, which comes in those iconic Hulkster colors of red and yellow. The car also sports a Hulkamania logo. The Hulkster also maintains a 2010 Camaro in the same color scheme.
Hulk Hogan’s Charitable Work and Philanthropy
Hulk Hogan has made many appearances at charitable events during his career, in the 1980’s he was the most requested celebrity for the Make-a-Wish Foundation children’s charity, but he has worked for a number of other charities too. The American Diabetes Association, Dreamseekers, 50 Legs and The Special Olympics have all benefited either financially or through securing a charity appearance from the most iconic wrestler of our time, but the Hulkster’s good intentions don’t end there. Throughout his career, from the very early days of his fame he has encouraged kids to work hard, to stay determined in order to achieve their dreams, and of course, to keep on taking those vitamins.
Although currently in exile from the WWE, fans of Hulk Hogan hope that it won’t be too long before the biggest name in the franchise is forgiven for past indiscretions and welcomed back to the franchise that he helped grow into the Worldwide sporting sensation that it is today.