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Hulk Hogan Pins Down Faith

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He’s master of the grand entrance whose presence still holds attention! Terry Bollea made the name - Hulk Hogan - present, with unmatched success and global recognition in sports entertainment. A larger than life icon that transcends wrestling. Saving his biggest splash not far from his Clearwater Beach store and restaurant.  

Question: “Public Baptism. You’ve said – ‘the greatest moment in your life?'”

Hulk Hogan: “Yes without a doubt.”

Question: “What did that mean for you?” 

Hulk Hogan: “It broke down that fourth or fifth wall to tell people the truth about my Lord and Savior, how you should look at things or how you should care for people and not judge people. It set me free. I wasn’t that perfect vessel that I should be or should’ve been. Once I was baptized I felt I was all anew. It really was a major pivot in my life.”  

Aaron Filippone (Pastor of Indian Rocks Baptist Church): “So fun to be a part of Terry’s baptism and to see the ripple effect that it has made all over the world. He had people in Japan calling him just a couple minutes later. This is the way that Christians go public in their faith and he felt it important to do what Christians do.”

Question: “Hulk Hogan, what does the person of Jesus Christ, Terry, bring to you?”

Hulk Hogan: “That God presence in us, you know, that still small voice. What Terry brings to the table is a meat suit (laugh) you know, a meat suit filled with the Spirit of Christ and it’s a testing ground for me. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 14 but I derailed. It wasn’t my life. He has given me the opportunity to prove that I’m faithful and I’ll never make those same mistakes again. Going back to my faith, the momentum was overwhelming; there was nothing stopping me.”

Question: “What became the most draining to sustain the Hulk Hogan recognition?”

Hulk Hogan: “Well, 35 years of wrestling - still had that bug in me where I liked to see if I was getting approved. After I slammed one guy and looked to the crowd, I guess I made a crazy face. But the look that I gave gave a better ration than the wrestling move and I went – ‘Okay!’ They wanna see me be a little goofy and have fun in here. And that character launched me into this crazy genre where it all intertwined together, you know, the character and the wrestling.”

Question: “Why the demand for your brand?”

Hulk Hogan: “I like that. Why the demand for my brand. I think its generational trust. Because the parents and the grandparents all know who I am. And the kids know who I am. But like in Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, and Malaysia might not know Tom Brady, but they know Hulk Hogan. It’s kind of amazing how many homes I’ve been into around the world on a consistent basis, every weekend for forty-plus years.”

Question: “Hulk Hogan has that Clearwater Beach store and restaurant. How do you manage the brand and Terry, while tending to the expectations of people?”

Hulk Hogan: “Well the moment I come home, the headband comes off the bald head and you know, it's just Terry - Dad, father, husband, friend. I have no wrestling pictures in my house. No wrestling belts. Just Terry. The problem is, the moment I leave the house, the moment I walk out the front door - the world doesn't want Terry. The mailman goes, ‘hey, Hulk.' So instead of saying, ‘good morning, sir,' I go, ‘hey brother, how you doing?' I give him just a little, cuz they expect it, you know? You know there are a lot of tributaries that all parlays off this Hulk Hogan character, which I really appreciate and value very much, so it’s not just a job. But I learned to separate myself.” 

Question: “The difference between being outside the ring and watching as a spectator or getting into the ring, is if defining, 'this is what I am, right?'”

Hulk Hogan: “Yeah, you can relay that on so many levels because it's almost like people you know that say they’re a Christian and they know of, our Lord and Savior but they really don’t know Him. You know, everybody I meet’s a wrestler, talking about wrestling, but there’s a huge difference when you actually get in that ring just like you said. And that’s exactly the perfect way to describe it.”

Question: “Once you knew that things were scripted, a predetermined outcome, was it difficult for you to maintain the competitive side while entertaining?”

Hulk Hogan: “As a businessman, I look at it completely different because a lot of wrestlers look at it and go ‘it’s predetermined, it’s a “work,” I’ll take it easy on you out there. If I were to grab your arm like this and put you in the top wristlock here – that’s a “work.” (“Uncle”) No. No. That’s a “work”! If I go to the outside, that’s a “shoot.” That means you’re actually trying to hurt someone, break bones, submission holds. ‘Oh it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s predetermined.' Well it does! Because if I’m the good guy and my merchandise is selling five times more than you – that’s a shoot to me!”  

Question: “Don’t make me come over there!”

Hulk Hogan: “That’s ok, I’m way past my prime, you’d have an easy day with me. Real easy. Don’t forget it’s predetermined.” 

Question: “Oh yeah, right. But isn’t that a lot like the lives we live? We attempt to write the script to control the outcome. Right, Terry?”

Hulk Hogan: “It’s very funny. This whole thing is a shoebox, brother. And we’re in the shoebox and He’s in control. And it’s gonna happen exactly the way He wants it to happen. And exactly the way it’s supposed to be. And there are no coincidences. None!”

Question: “All of us are in our own ring. Using stage names, characters. How did you take off that mask?”   

Hulk Hogan: “I get sick and tired of myself. The two people in my head, the ego and the real I AM. I just surrendered. I just said I can’t do it anymore, you know. And I went back to the Bible and I started reading again and I’m either all the way in or all the way out with whatever I do. So if you’re with me there’s no guesswork. If I’m with my Lord and Savior I’m all the way in.”

Question: “What message do you now convey at this stage of your life?”  

Hulk Hogan: “It's a spiritual war in, in this fallen world. To turn to the truth, seek Him, and you shall find, to step outside their comfort zone and, you know, accept Christ. Knowing that He would heal the land and heal this nation and heal the people, it just seems like such an easy choice for everyone. If you'll just surrender and accept Him as your savior.”

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About The Author

Tom Buehring

Tom currently travels as a National Sports Correspondent for The 700 Club and CBN News. He engages household sports names to consider the faith they’ve discovered within their own unique journey. He has over 30 years of experience as a TV sports anchor, show host, reporter and producer, working commercially at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Nashville and Fayetteville where he developed, launched and hosted numerous nightly and weekly shows and prime-time specials. Prior to his TV market hopping, Tom proposed and built an academic/intern television broadcast program at the University of North