Hulk Hogan’s Wrestling Shop Gets Paid a Visit by RD Reynolds!

It wasn’t fair. It just was NOT fair. I was in Orlando recently for work, and my schedule was jam packed. Booked during the days at a trade show, dinner with clients in the evenings. And yet there it was staring me right in the face as I came into the hotel lobby:

Yep, a completely free ride to my favorite place on planet earth, Universal Studios. And everywhere I looked I was reminded of it – walking to dinner, giant signs noting places that sold tickets. Looking out my window, I saw roller coasters. I took an Uber ride to breakfast and I swear to the good Lord above and I am not making this up, the guy drove past the Islands of Adventure spire TWICE. How was that even possible? He was trolling me, right?

But the last day, the LAST DAY of the trip, I saw a glimmer of hope. Trade show was ending early, which meant I could sneak in a few hours at the park. So I went to get tickets online and see it was CLOSING EARLY THAT DAY. I was crushed. And I suddenly knew how Clark felt when he drove across the country only to have moose out front tell him the park was closed.

Desperate for something to alleviate my pain before I had to hop on my redeye flight back home, I found a pretty decent arcade. Tons of pinball machines, some cool racers, and a giant line of classics where only one person was playing. Yeah, I love Asteroids and you may too, but let me tell you, ain’t nobody playing those great games anymore. I see that weekly at Rupert’s and it makes me so, so sad. Regardless, it was a fun time and while it wasn’t the same as riding Velocicoaster, it at least brought a smile to my face. So I left and started heading back to the hotel to grab my luggage.

And then I ran into this. I know what you’re thinking, “aww, cute, some baby gators.” And that’s kinda sorta what it is. Look closely to the left and you may notice a string dipping down into the water. That was a guy with a kinda sorta fishing rod. As best I could tell, you could pay to get one of these and bop the gators on top of the head to annoy them and get them to splash about. I was kinda hoping the thing would have gotten really ticked off and jumped up out of the pit but then realized I would have been in harm’s way and hit the bricks. Time was running out before my flight, so I started high stepping back when what should I spy with my little eye?

HOLY CRAP. Now I had heard of Hogan’s shop, but as I remembered, it was in Tampa (Clearwater?), not Orlando. So I was more than a bit shocked when I was literally walking down the street and ran into this, right across from DENNY’S no less. As if I wasn’t going to make a beeline for the front door!

At first glance, it appeared as though this establishment began its life as a drug store that had seen better days. The windows were covered with perf highlighting some of Hogan’s greatest moments, such as him battling Warrior, King Kong Bundy, and more. Plus that graphic of the Hulkster surfing on top of a smiling shark? Chef’s kiss!

Going in, it’s largely what you’d expect – Hogan merch as far as the eye can see. You may have thought those Wrestling Buddies were a relic of the 1980s, but here they are in all their glory. I also loved the license plates. You want an American Made plate for the front of your jalopy? The Hulkster’s got you covered, brother! I started belting out the opening line of that song as soon as I saw it. Guarantee I’m not the only one who’s done that.

Tons of socks are also available, with not only Hulkamania ones, but Warrior, Flair, Andre, and Undertaker too. Heck, there’s even Big Van Vader ones! Hopefully they come with a warning label advising the buyer to wash the socks more than Leon washed his wrestling tights.

Glass ware is also plentiful. I didn’t see any Hogan glasses, but if you are a Ryback fan, this is the place for you. Andre’s son is also there if you look closely!

SPEAKING OF ANDRE THE GIANT, there are some fantastic photos available for purchase, such as this one which I think was from the contract signing. Kinda shocked Hogan wouldn’t have someone else sign “Andre” so it looked like Andre himself autographed it! #missedopportunitybrother

But this one may be even better – MR. AMERICA! You know how I know that’s who it is? It’s signed right across his crotch! That was such a ridiculously stupid angle and I’m not ashamed to admit now that I loved it. I mean, not enough to buy this but that kinda goes without saying right?

Perhaps fine art is more to your liking? Then check out this incredible piece of work with the Hulkster (in yelllow biker shorts!) and Tiger Mask. At least I think that’s Tiger Mask. Or maybe it’s King from Tekken. Regardless, this is kinda awesome. If anyone wants to get me an early Christmas present, this is more than acceptable.

Looking around the store is more memorabilia, namely this bedsheet that someone scribbled “Hulkamania Will Live Forever” on and somehow gained a life of its own. I mean, that thing has to be almost 40 years old, so while it may not be technically forever, it’s still pretty impressive. But wait, what does that director’s chair say?

“Do not sit Brother!!!”??? Isn’t that what a chair is for?

A Hogan cut out guards some magnets and bottle openers. As much as I love glass bottle Coca-Cola, this was a huge mistake on my part not grabbing one of those. Especially since at $6.99, it was one of the cheapest things in the whole place.

I mean, these wacky shirts were $25. Although I will say I do like the Dr. Hollywood and Mr. Hogan motif on display here.

The highlight of the place may have been the wrestling ring smackdab in the middle of the store. Not a full-size ring, but still pretty cool that little kids could get in there and get their pictures taken. I mean, after they checked with the folks at the front desk. You can’t just get in there you know!

But the craziest things in the store may have been the MANNEQUINS. I’ve seen tons of life-sized Hogan statues in my day, but this one may be the best one ever. Thunderlips? Heck yeah dude! I’ll be the ultimate meatball to your ultimate male!

The Jimmy Hart one isn’t quite as good. The jacket is spot on (I’m sure it’s one of his originals) and the megaphone is there too. But take away the little beard and throw some different clothing on him and he could go in an Alice Cooper museum, right? Still, it’s a million times better than the man across the ring…

RIC FLAIR???!! Suddenly I don’t feel bad at all about the Katie Vick mannequin Blade and I used to haul around to conventions, it was a zillion times more accurate than this atrocity. I was just about to walk out of the store in utter disgust when I saw something I never thought I would see in person…

Hulk Hogan Funko Pops! No no, I am kidding of course, the PLASTIC FIST HELMET!!!!!!!!!

I honestly thought that thing may have been a figment of my imagination, having only appeared to my knowledge in a handful of Apter mag photos and maybe a handful of localized promos. To be able to witness this monstrosity in all its glory was enough for me to pony up a full five stars on Yelp for this joint. And you know what? I honestly think y’all would enjoy it too. So yeah, make sure to stop in if you get a chance. Just one word of advice: make sure you hit the bathroom before you go.

You ain’t taking a dump here, Jack!

Discuss This Crap!