Fox on WWE's YouTube channel did a The Story Of: Hulk Hogan where the WWE Hall of Famer talked about how "Hulkamania" came to be, and where he originally got the idea for his trademark red and yellow colors.
Hogan was offered a role for Rocky 3 (1982), where he would play the role of Thunderlips, the world wrestling champion in the movie, who also fought Rocky at a charity event. Hogan initially thought the letter he got about the role was a rib from the other wrestlers and ignored it, but eventually found out the offer was legit. Hogan went to Vince McMahon Sr., and told him he wanted to do the movie. During that era, Hogan said wrestlers had to stay wrestlers, so McMahon didn't want him to do the role, Hogan decided to anyways.
"Mr. McMahon Sr. said, 'Well, if you do the movie, you're fired,'" Hogan recalled. "So, I did the movie, and got fired. The words were, 'You'll never work here again.' At the time there were other places to wrestle, so I went back to Japan, I went to Minnesota after Japan, and I started printing these t-shirts at the local mall. 'One star, one million enemies,' and all these other different t-shirts.
"Then, I started printed all these 'Hulkamania' t-shirts. Bingo, I hit on something. I started seeing 'Hulkamania' shirts in the crowd. Now I'm in the mall trying to figure out how to print more t-shirts because I was out back selling t-shirts out of the trunk of my car, making more money than I was wrestling. So, actually, 'Hulkamania' started around 1980-ish, maybe 1981."
Hogan then spoke about how he stumbled into the red and yellow look that he popularized throughout his career. Hogan credit "Macho Man" Randy Savage's father, Angelo Poffo, and McDonalds for coming up with the color combination.
"I always remembered Randy Savage's father, Angelo Poffo, when I was a kid growing up in Tampa," Hogan said. "Sometimes, Angelo was in the main event and sometimes a tag match, but whenever he came out he had this unbelievable tan, kind of like a Hulk Hogan tan. He always wore those canary yellow trunks. It didn't matter if he had a great or bad match, I just remembered how good he looked in the ring with that tan and yellow.
"After I stumbled around and tried to find 'my' color. I just gave up and I went with Angelo's color. Then I gotta give props to McDonalds, I stole their red and yellow, it worked forever, and the fans just dug the colors."
Hogan will be at WWE Crown Jewel this Thursday for Team Hogan vs. Team Flair, featuring: Roman Reigns (Hogan Captain), Rusev, Ricochet, Shorty G, and Ali vs. Randy Orton (Flair Captain), Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Drew McIntyre.
You can check out Hogan's full comments in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE on FOX with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.