The series featured the animated comic adventures of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and his group of "good guy" friends who included fellow professional wrestlers Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, Andre The Giant, Hillybilly Jim, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Tito Santana, and Wendi Richter. The animated series also featured a group of selfish and greedy "bad guy" wrestlers led by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper that included Nikolia Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, Mr. Fuji, Big John Studd, and The Fabulous Moolah. Throughout the series run, these bad guy wrestlers often opposed Hogan and his friends in their adventures.
In the 80s of the last century, professional wrestling was becoming very popular. Hordes of people became addicted to the anabolic males of the American wrestling organisation WWF (now WWE). In their tight speedos various wrestlers fought each other like live action superheroes and super villains straight out of a comic book. It all looks real, but ‘professional' wrestling is actually just a big show. The huge popularity of wrestler Hulk Hogan in particular leads to different merchandising and spin-offs of Hulk Hogan. One of the spinoffs was a cartoon featuring an animated version of Hulk Hogan and a bunch of the most famous wrestlers of that time in the WWF.
Professional wrestling is a phenomenon in itself. All fights are scened like in a movie and run accordingly to a pre-written script. Even though it’s fake, it’s a form of entertainment that has reached millions of fans. Professional wrestling is so extreme that it almost looks like you’re watching a live action version of a superhero comic book.
If real superheroes would exist then wrestlers probably come the closest to their physical appearance, the exotic nicknames they have and the special ‘powers’ (moves) that they have. The "special move" is the one fighting technique specific to a wrestler which enables him to overpower his opponent. The Macho Man, The Undertaker, The Hitman, The Million Dollar Man, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Iron Sheik, are all names of wrestlers. Because just being called Ben or Eric isn’t nearly as cool as being called Jimmy Superfly Snuka or Ultimo Dragon. Even the special moves have exotic names like The Tombstone, Power Bomb, the Sleeper etc.
Similar to superheroes comic books is the struggle between good and evil, in this case ‘good’ wrestlers vs 'bad' wrestlers. Good wrestlers are the ones who fight neatly and completely on their own strength to win a game. They train hard, live healthy and swallow their vitamins - no anabolic steroids of course. This contrasts with the bad wrestlers who cheat to win by for example knocking their opponent with a chair, or brining in a second person to distract the opponent. As a child I would actually get upset when such cheaters would win, thinking there’s no justice in the world. Of course at that age I didn’t know it was all faked. But even with the knowledge that it’s all faked, professional wrestling is still fascinating to see if you want to see real life superheroes and villains.
Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Wrestling is about the most popular wrestlers of the WWF in the mid 80s. Wrestling itself is quite exaggerated in terms of characters and actions in the real wrestling ring. The 80s also provides a background of the cold war which even translated to wrestling. Wrestlers from the Middle East and the Soviet Union were for example automatically portrayed as the bad guys, like The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Not so subtle references to ones ancestry was also commonplace. And because it’s a cartoon it’s exaggerated even more than the WWF shows. In Hulk Hogan’s Rock n' Wrestling there is no debate who belongs to the good guys and who belongs to the bad guys. All wrestlers are caricatures n terms of designs and personalities - and this is on top of the live version which were already caricatures.
Hulk Hogan is the undisputed leader of the group of ‘good' wrestlers. Among the good wrestlers are Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, André the Giant, Wendi Richter, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Hillbilly Jim and Tito Santana. Rowdy Roddy Piper who’s one of Hulk Hogan’s biggest nemesis on the real show, is the leader of the bad guys. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, The Fabulous Moolah, Big John Stud and Mr. Fuji are the bad guys. Wrestlers may not be immediately associated with high intelligence, but because this is a cartoon some of characters have been dumbed down to a retarded level. Nikolai Volkoff is portrayed as a complete moron and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka makes a flying dive in every possible situation, even if it’s just to pick up something from the floor. The target audience is obviously children, because for adults the cartoon is too childish.
Each episode consists of two short stories and a middle segment in which the real wrestlers have a short sketch. The voices of the animated versions are unfortunately not recorded by the real wrestlers but voice actors. The difference with the real wrestlers in some cases can clearly be heard because it totally doesn’t sound like the real wrestlers.
An ongoing story is not present. Although wrestlers play the leading role, the stories have little to do with fights in the ring. In this regard the cartoon is nice addition in the sense that it shows an different side of wrestlers outside of the ring. But the stories shouldn’t be taken series, similar to the ‘real’ fights in the ring. If you are a kid who loves good guys vs bad guys shows or an avid wrestling fan who must see everything related to WWE, then this is probably your cup of tea.
Voiced by: Joey Pento.
Voiced by: Chuck Licini.