Watching Hulk Hogan take on Andre the Giant in WrestleMania III back in 1987 is an unforgettable memory for many wrestling fans. It was an epic showdown between two iconic wrestlers, and for those who grew up during that era, it remains a cherished part of their wrestling nostalgia.
Throughout their illustrious careers, Hogan and Andre faced off an impressive 42 times in singles matches. Their rivalry began in the wrestling circuit of Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1979 and culminated at a WWF house show in Atlanta in 1988. These two behemoths were the ultimate rivals, and their encounters inside the squared circle were filled with drama, excitement, and larger-than-life personas.
In a recent interview with Theo Von, Hulk Hogan opened up about his experiences with Andre the Giant, revealing that the larger-than-life wrestler used to intimidate him to the core. He confessed that during the first 8 or 9 years of their association, Andre didn’t hold back in showing his dislike for him and even tormented him. Stepping into the ring with Andre was not just about wrestling but about enduring the weight of his animosity.
Hogan recounted an incident that exemplified Andre’s disapproval of his actions outside the wrestling world. It involved inviting a flight attendant, with whom Hogan was involved, to watch one of his matches from the front row without informing Andre beforehand. This, as it turned out, was a grave mistake.
As the match progressed, Hogan made the mistake of repeatedly rolling out of the ring to the area where the flight attendant was seated. Andre soon realized that the woman was associated with Hogan, which further fueled his ire. In a moment of breaking kayfabe (the portrayal of events as real within the wrestling world), the flight attendant cheered for Hogan, inadvertently revealing their relationship.
Upon hearing her words, Andre’s anger reached its peak. He took matters into his own hands and delivered a terrifying punishment to Hogan right in the ring. With a combination of strength and fury, Andre tied Hogan’s neck between the bottom and second ropes, using his colossal size 27 boot to exert immense pressure on him. The situation escalated as Andre lifted Hogan, who was clad in his distinctive yellow tights, like a stork, with his “junk hanging out,” and paraded him around in front of the shocked flight attendant.
This incident illustrates just how serious Andre the Giant was about his code of conduct and the unwritten rules of wrestling. Crossing him or disrespecting the business could lead to dire consequences, as Hogan learned that day. Andre’s imposing presence and larger-than-life persona were not just for show; he commanded respect both inside and outside the ring.
For wrestling enthusiasts who admired Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, this story serves as a testament to the intense rivalries and personal dynamics that existed within the world of professional wrestling. It offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes drama and larger-than-life personalities that captivated audiences during the golden era of wrestling.