In June 1979, Bollea won his first wrestling championship, the NWA Southeast Heavyweight Championship, recognized in Alabama and Tennessee when he defeated Ox Baker.
Later that year, former NWA World Champion Terry Funk introduced Bollea to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) chief Vincent J.
The series was nominated for Emmy Awards in 2001, 2002, and 2003, and Prism Awards in 2009.
On May 1, 2018, it was announced that the series would return.
Hogan's physical stature also caught the attention of Jack Brisco and his brother Gerald. Having been a wrestling fan since childhood, Hogan agreed, and in 1976, Mike Graham introduced Hogan to Hiro Matsuda, who was among the sport's top trainers.