The Rock told an amazing story about Hulk Hogan during a recent interview from about 1983-1984 when Hulkamania was just starting to run wild.
The Rock is regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He picked up his popularity in the mainstream while working in the WWE from 1996 to 2004 and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company's history.
He returned to WWE part-time from 2011–13 and continues to make sporadic appearances for the company.
During his time with the company, he is an eight-time WWE Champion, two-time WCW/World Champion, two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion and a five-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He is the sixth Triple Crown Champion in WWE and won the 2000 Royal Rumble.
On the flip side, Hogan, maybe the greatest of all time. Hogan picked up mainstream popularity between the mid-1980s and early 1990s in the WWE. He would join World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s where he often performed as villainous New World Order (nWo) leader.
Hogan headlined the premier annual events of the WWE and WCW, WrestleMania and Starrcade, multiple times. He has also worked for other promotions such as American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
During his professional wrestling career, he is a twelve-time world champion: a six-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion/WWE Champion and a six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He was the first wrestler to win consecutive Royal Rumbles, in 1990 and 1991 respectively. Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Here is what the former WWE Champion had to say (thanks to Uproxx for the transcript):
“When Hulk Hogan came into the WWF in 1983 or ’84, I can’t remember … And this was when getting ready to blow up. Vince McMahon said, ‘You’re going to be my guy, I’m giving you the ball. I’m giving you the baton, and I want you to go.’ Hulkamania running wild, right?
“Right there, right when he came in … he was wrestling at Madison Square Garden, and he had a white headband that said ‘HULKSTER.’ Do you remember that? He came in the ring, and I was at Madison Square Garden. I was sitting there front row with my mom, I was watching the matches. And he came out. And I’ll never forget, he was wrestling Paul Orndorff, Mr. Wonderful. And he takes the thing off, and he throws it to the crowd. And I caught it. And it was a big nerd-out moment. … It was amazing.
“My dad was wrestling on the card that night … I was so happy that I caught this thing from Hulk Hogan. I go in the back of the dressing room when the matches were over. I go to my dad and I said, ‘Look. I caught Hulk Hogan’s headband.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool. That’s awesome,’ you know” ‘Take it home.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay.’
“But then Hulk Hogan was right over there taking off his wrestling boots, getting ready to shower. And I’m like damn, I want to go over and just say hello to him. So I went over to him, and I was like, ‘Mr. Hogan … I caught your headband.’ And he goes, ‘Oh man! That was my last one! I didn’t want to throw it out! Thank you so much! … Thanks man!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. You’re welcome, Hulk.’ …
“He did [take it back], but he didn’t know how bad I wanted it. But here’s how cool Hulk Hogan was. Two or three weeks later, he had thousands [of headbands] made. Went to my dad, he goes, ‘Hey, I signed this for your son. He gave me my only one back, and I needed that one, as one to make a thousand other copies. Give this back. Give this to him.’
“And I have one of those. Isn’t that the coolest thing. So Hogan, if you’re watching, I appreciate it, brother. I still have it.”