As arguably the biggest name in wrestling in modern history, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan has had a lot of classic matches and as a result, a lot of classic rivalries. 

 

To be clear, these are all storyline rivalries and don't necessarily mean that there was any real heat outside of the ring. So people with "real-life" beefs with The Hulkster like Bret Hart, Verne Gagne, Gawker, his divorce lawyer, Mr. Brell, etc. aren't included, even though some of the names listed below also have had behind-the-scenes feuds.

In counting down the Top 50 Hulk Hogan Rivalries, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:

 

  • How prominent was the rivarly?

  • What type of stage(s) did it play out on?

  • How memorable were the matches and/or segments?

  • How much did the rivalry do to advance either person's career?

 

If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.

Ready? Here we go!

50.

Kamala

In the months leading up to WrestleMania III, Hulk Hogan and Kamala had an intense rivalry on the house show circuit, including a series of No Disqualification and Steel Cage matches. Hulk even wore Kamala-style face paint in some bouts.

48.

Antonio Inoki

In the early 1980's, Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki were both teammates and rivals. In 1983, Hogan defeated Inoki in the finals of a ten-man round robin tournament to become the first International Wrestling Grand Prix Champion. 

46.

Triple H

Triple H had just recently captured the Undisputed World Title in 2002 when The Game was programmed against Hulk Hogan in a face vs face match-up. To many people's surprise, Hulk won the championship at Backlash.

44.

Nikolai Volkoff

At the time of Hulk Hogan's first WWF World Title reign, WWE Hall of Famer Nikolai Volkoff was the antithesis of Hulk's Real American persona. The two clashed on a number of times, including in a flag match on Saturday Night's Main Event.

42.

Jeff Jarrett

Controversy surrounded WCW in 2000, when Hulk Hogan challenged WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Title. The match never happened due to a screwjob finish that was part work and part-shoot. Years later, Jarrett attacked Hogan at a TNA press conference in Japan.

40.

The Dungeon Of Doom

The Dungeon Of Doom was created in WCW in 1995 with the expressed purpose of destroying Hulk Hogan. Members of the cartoonish-at-times group The Zodiac, Shark, The Taskmaster and others, who gave Hogan some challenges near the beginning of his WCW run.

38.

Brock Lesnar

A decade before Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak, he left The Hulkster lying in a pool of his own blood during their 2002 match-up, a clash that gave the winner the right to face The Rock at SummerSlam for the WWE Undisputed World Title. 

36.

Dixie Carter

Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter were portrayed as BFF's when Hogan first signed his TNA contract. But by the time Hogan and Eric Bischoff had created Immortal, one of their first acts was to remove Dixie from (storyline) power. 

34.

Jesse The Body Ventura

Even discounting their legitimate behind-the-scenes rivalry, Hulk Hogan and Jesse The Body Ventura clashed many times in the AWA and briefly continued their feud in the WWF before The Body retired to the announcing booth -- where he constantly berated Hogan on the microphone.

32.

Diamond Dallas Page

In 1998, WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page rebelled against Hulk Hogan's nWo, including a pair of tag team matches that involved celebrities. A year later, a now-heel DDP put a newly-turned babyface Hogan on the shelf with an injury.

30.

Terry Funk

One of Hulk Hogan's toughest challengers on the house show circuit following WrestleMania 2 was WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk, who took The Hulkster to the limit and even defeated him by countout several times. 

28.

Vince Russo

Although the real-life bad blood between these two may be more fun to talk about, the storyline rivalry between Hulk Hogan's Millionaires Club and Vince Russo's New Blood began in 2000, which culminating in Russo "firing" Hogan in an unscripted moment at Bash at the Beach.

26.

Randy Orton

Outshining his father Bob Orton Jr. (who didn't even crack the Top 50 despite having a rivalry with Hulk Hogan), Randy Orton hit on Hulk's daughter Brooke, delivered an RKO to Hulk on Saturday Night's Main Event and mocked the Hogan Knows Best reality show, all in the name of a match against SummerSlam in 2006.

24.

Billy Kidman

What began as a shoot comment by Hulk Hogan about Billy Kidman not being able to sell out a flea market turned into an in-ring war, with Kidman aligning himself with Hogan's former nWo buddies Eric Bischoff, Torrie Wilson and Horace Hogan. Although Hogan was dominant, Kidman got some wins as well.

22.

Lex Luger

Lex Luger arrived in WCW for the first Monday Nitro as a heel to challenge Hulk Hogan for his World Title. While he wasn't successful, he was a few years later, when Hogan was a member of the nWo.

20.

Brutus Beefcake

Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Brutus Beefcake grew up in the business together and worked various territories including the WWF, even pretending to be brothers at one point. But in WCW, Hogan was constantly being attacked by a masked man, who turned out to be none other than Brother Bruti.

18.

The Rock

It was Icon vs Icon when Hulk Hogan met The Rock at WrestleMania X-8. Rock won after a hard-fought match, although the crowd was solidly behind The Hulkster. A year later, Rock would officially be a heel when the two went head to head again at No Way Out.

16.

Earthquake

Shortly after Hulk Hogan lost the WWF World Title in early 1990, Earthquake viciously attacked him on The Brother Love Show that left Hulk with bruised ribs. The two men feuded into early 1991, including matches at SummerSlam and Survivor Series.

14.

The Giant

Initially being billed as the Son of Andre, The Giant won the WCW World Title from Hulk Hogan in his very first match. From there, they battled during an infamous monster truck rally on the roof of Cobo Hall and became on-again, off-again rivals during the first year of the nWo.

12.

Vince McMahon

Real-life tension between Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon, which included being opposite sides in a steroid trial and Hogan leaving for the opposition, carried over into an in-ring feud in 2003. At WrestleMania XIX, the two battled in a streetfight that appeared to be far more "personal" than most rivalries involving The Hulkster.

10.

Nick Bockwinkel

In 1982, Hulk Hogan challenged WWE Hall of Famer Nick Bockwinkel in a series of matches for the AWA World Title. While he came close many times (and was unofficially champion for 24 hours due to a screwjob finish), it remains one of Hogan's few failed accomplishments.

8.

The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase

WWE Hall of Famer The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase decided he didn't need to compete for Hulk Hogan's WWF World Title - he'd buy it outright. Hogan spurned DiBiase's advances, but he wasn't laughing when DiBiase hatched a scheme that involved Andre The Giant and an evil twin referee.

6.

Paul Orndorff

WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff opposed Hulk Hogan at the very first WrestleMania, although afterwards they decided to bury the hatchet and become a tag team. That team ended in 1986 when Orndorff betrayed Hogan, leading to a red-hot house show rivalry that concluded with a steel cage match on Saturday Night's Main Event.

4.

Bobby The Brain Heenan

Many of the rivalries we've mentioned so far, including Bundy, Bockwinkel, Studd and Orndorff, have one common denominator - each man was managed by WWE Hall of Famer Bobby The Brain Heenan. Heenan said many times throughout his career that Hogan couldn't be trusted, even were both were technically heels in WCW.

2.

Randy Savage

The rivalry between Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Randy "Macho Man" Savage began when Savage joined the WWF in 1985 and raged on for decades. Fueled largely by the allegation that Hogan was "lusting after" his manager Elizabeth, Savage turned on Hogan in 1989 leading to their epic showdown at WrestleMania V. And they kept battling on and off, right through their stint in WCW.

49

Dr. D David Schultz

Hulk Hogan and David Schultz began their rivalry in the AWA and carried it over to the WWF, including some of Hogan's early World Title defenses. Dr. D challenged The Hulkster in some very bloody matches before being fired for his infamous 20/20 incident.

47.

The Magnificent Muraco

WWE Hall of Famer The Magnificent Muraco was an early challenger to Hogan's first WWF World Title on the house show circuit. On Saturday Night's Main Event in 1986, Muraco aided King Kong Bundy and Bobby Heenan in injuring The Hulkster's ribs.

45

Kurt Angle

Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle clashed a handful of times in the mid-2000s, with Angle making The Hulkster tap out for the first time in his career. They also had a face off in TNA when Hogan was leader of the Immortal faction and attempted to recruit Angle as a member.

43.

Greg The Hammer Valentine

WWE Hall of Famer Greg The Hammer Valentine was another early challenger to Hulk Hogan's first WWF World Title, meeting him in Madison Square Garden six months into his reign.

41.

Shawn Michaels

In 2005, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels turned on Hulk Hogan following a tag team match. After several months of getting the fans to turn against him, The Heartbreak Kid took on Hogan in the main event of SummerSlam (HBK turned back into a babyface the following night.)

39.

Brother Love

Although he claimed to "looooove" everyone, Brother Love never seemed to warm up to The Hulkster. The faux evangelist assisted Earthquake and Big Bossman in separate attacks on Hulk, which in turn led to him being beaten up by The Hulkster on Saturday Night's Main Event.

37.

Big John Studd

Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Big John Studd met several times in the early-to-mid 1980s, both in singles and tag team matches. In fact, Hogan was one of only a few people that successfully answered Studd's $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge.

35

Vader

Vader and Hulk Hogan engaged in quite a feud in WCW in 1995, including four different pay-per-view bouts (a singles, tag team, strap and cage match), all of which saw Hogan decisively win despite being at a significant weight disadvantage.

33.

Big Boss Man

WWE Hall of Famer Big Boss Man once handcuffed Hulk Hogan to a guardrail and attacked with a nightstick. The two battled many times, including a steel cage match on Saturday Night's Main Event and when Hogan and Randy Savage took on Boss Man and Akeem.

31.

The Iron Sheik

In some respects, Hulkamania was born i in 1984 when Hulk Hogan defeated WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik to win his first WWF World Championship. The two engaged in several bloody rematches around the house show circuit that year.

29.

Sid Justice/Vicious

Sid Justice came to the WWF in 1991 as the second coming of Hulk Hogan, but just six months later, he'd turned on Hogan and challenged him at WrestleMania VIII. A somewhat-similar story happened in WCW later in the decade, once Sid had turned back into Sid Vicious.

27.

Mr. Perfect

WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect chased Hulk Hogan all over the house show circuit in 1989 and 1990. To add fuel to the fire, Perfect aided his manager The Genius in gaining a countout victory over The Hulkster on Saturday Night's Main Event. Hogan and Perfect also battled again in the short-lived XWF.

25.

Kevin Nash

Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash were two-thirds of the original nWo, but were soon at each other's throats. Things didn't come to a head until Road Wild '99, where the two faced each other. A few years later, they reconciled in WWE as the nWo... before feuding again.

23.

Yokozuna

At WrestleMania IX, Hulk Hogan challenged WWE Hall of Famer Yokozuna and defeated him for the WWF Title in mere seconds. By King of the Ring that year, the 600 pound-plus Yoko regained the championship in Hogan's final WWF match for nearly a decade.

21.

King Kong Bundy

King Kong Bundy sneak-attacked Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night's Main Event in 1986 and injured his ribs. This led to a steel cage match in the main event of WrestleMania 2, as well as a pair of matches on Saturday Night's Main Event.

19.

Bully Ray

Hulk Hogan barely trusted Bully Ray when the threat of Aces & Eights was threatening to turn TNA apart. But once Bully Ray began dating (and married) Hogan's daughter Brooke, the overprotective Hulk went ballistic. Of course, Bully Ray ended up being the leader of Aces & Eights.

17.

The Undertaker

The Undertaker is the only person to defeat Hulk Hogan for the WWF/E World Title twice, and in two different decades (1990 and 2002) to boot. Interestingly, both rivalries took place when Undertaker was a heel and Hogan a face.

15.

Zeus

In one of the only storylines based on the outcome of a movie, Zeus appeared in WWF rings shortly after his film No Holds Barred came out, and he wanted a piece of his movie opponent, Hulk Hogan. The two clashed at SummerSlam in a tag match, and again at a special one-off pay-per-view later that year.

13.

Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan continually targeted Hulk Hogan during his WCW World Title run, first through his Faces of Fear stable and later with the expanded Dungeon of Doom. Perhaps it was because Hogan once took Sullivan's younger brother under his wing, but the two continued feuding even after Hogan formed the nWo.

11.

Sgt. Slaughter

In 1991, WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter portrayed an American turncoat supporting Saddam Hussein at the time of the first Gulf War. Slaughter faced off against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII and their feud lasted until SummerSlam that year.

9.

The Ultimate Warrior

In 1990, WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior did the seemingly impossible and cleanly pinned Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania VI. The two feuded nearly a decade a later in WCW, with Hogan as part of the nWo.

7.

Sting

For most of 1997, WWE Hall of Famer Sting stood silent in the rafters, waiting for his opportunity to defeat Hollywood Hulk Hogan and his new World order. At Starrcade, the Stinger did just that, and was able to keep Hogan at bay. The two clashed again during a series of conflicts in TNA.

5.

Ric Flair

How many rivalries can say they had main event spots in WWF, WCW and even TNA? Not many. Yet the battle for who the biggest wrestling icon between Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair spanned many pay-per-views and house shows, in singles action and in tag team matches.

3.

Andre The Giant

One more Bobby Heenan-inspired feud: In 1987, Heenan convinced Andre The Giant to turn heel for the first time in his storied career and challenge Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Title at WrestleMania III. The ensuing rivalry lasted right through to WrestleMania IV, and included Andre (temporarily) winning the championship following a match on NBC's The Main Event prime-time special.

1.

Rowdy Roddy Piper

The first major confrontation between Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper took place on MTV in 1985, a match dubbed The War To Settle The Score - even though, ironically, it settled nothing. From WrestleMania in 1985 to SuperBrawl VII in 1997 and even with hints of the feud making cameos at WrestleManias XIX and XXX, Hogan and Piper have largely remained at each other's throats for a very long time.

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Wrestling Merchandise and Memories podca
Wrestling Historian Mike Rickard