Smooth Words

By SilkySmooth

Terry Gene Bollea - A True American Hero
In the early 1980's, professional wrestling was something that you dare not admit to being a fan of. One man would soon change that. On August 11, 1953, a 10 pound 7 ounce boy was born by the name of Terry Gene Bollea. Little did the pro-wrestling world know how much it would soon change. Terry Bollea began body-building in 1967, eventually accomplishing his world-famous "24 inch pythons." After attending the University of South Florida, Bollea moved to Venice Beach, California to start training to become a professional wrestler, to which he debuted as Terry Boulder, only to be discovered in 1979 by then-WWF owner Vincent K. McMahon, Sr. In 1983, Terry Bollea started telling kids to "Say your prayers and eat your vitamins." Thus, Hulk Hogan was born, and the world of professional wrestling was in for the ride of it's life. Hulk Hogan fought for America by facing opponents representing countries all over the world. Including, Iran, The Soviet Union, and even Iraq. In 1984, Hulk Hogan pinned The Iron Sheik to become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion, marking the birth of Hulkamania. This would be the driving force that brought pro-wrestling back to mainstream media. Not only did Terry Bollea do good for kids while performing in the ring, but he also did so in real life. You could often find him at the Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping out those less fortunate children. Bollea was also a good man to his own kids and wife. In a time in pro-wrestling when many wrestlers bring in their own family members for angles and gimmicks, and even have their own real life personal problems played out for the whole world; never once did we see or hear about Bollea's wife Linda, nor his two children Brooke and Nicholas. Hulk Hogan led the professional wrestling world for some 15 years, and at the age of 45, with 8 World Heavyweight Title reigns under his belt, (5 in the WWF and 3 in WCW), Terry Bollea announced his retirement from the sport on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 1998 on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno". Bollea decided that it was time to step down and pass on the torch to a new generation of professional wrestling superstars. Now it is time for wrestlers like, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsly, Sting, Lex Luger, Steve Austin, Dallas Page and The Rock to step up and take the wheel and drive professional wrestling into the next millenium. Hulk Hogan meant to professional wrestling what Michael Jordan meant to basketball, what Wayne Gretzky meant to hockey, and what Babe Ruth meant to baseball. Hulk Hogan made pro-wrestling what it is today, and he remains, to this day, the most famous wrestler of all time. Just by simply doing something that most wrestlers do many times throughout their career, Hulk Hogan created the biggest story in pro-wrestling history. That was when he turned heel, started the New World Order, and becoming "Hollywood Hogan", thus, once again, changing the world of professional wrestling forever. Hulk Hogan is the true icon of professional wrestling and will remain so for a long time; probably forever. I can only sit back and think of all the times I watched Hulk Hogan on TV and cheered him on. I remember how much he made it seem like the fans were giving him strength and stamina. Hulk Hogan made us feel as if we were actually in the ring helping him to fight the forces of evil. Then, when he was the force of evil; he made us feel as if we were in there helping to stop him. Hulk Hogan made us feel good about ourselves and our country. I for one will mess turning on the TV each Monday night and watching this true American hero.

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