Mc Mahon, who was impressed with his charisma and physical stature.
Mc Mahon gave Bollea the last name Hogan, as he was obsessed with using Irish names.
This practice increasingly drew the ire of the fans, so much so that on one occasion, according to Hogan's autobiography and other books, one crowd nearly rioted until Hogan himself calmed the audience down.
Hogan himself also began to grow frustrated with Verne Gagne's unwillingness to give Hogan a larger share of his merchandise sales.
After filming his scene for Rocky III, against Mc Mahon's wishes, Hogan made his debut in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), owned by Verne Gagne.
Hogan started his AWA run as a heel, taking on "Luscious" Johnny Valiant as his manager, but AWA audiences loved the muscular and more charismatic Hogan, and soon the AWA's bookers were compelled to turn Hogan face.
These early matches as a tag team with the surname Boulder being used by both men prompted a rumor among wrestling fans unaware of the inner workings of the sport that Hogan and Beefcake were brothers, as few people actually knew their real names outside of immediate friends, family, and of course the various promoters the two worked for.
According to Hogan, during their first training session, Matsuda sarcastically asked him, "So you want to be a wrestler? Within a year, Matsuda had prepared him for his professional debut, in which Eddie Graham booked him against Brian Blair in Fort Myers, Florida on August 10, 1977.
It was at one of those wrestling cards where he first turned his attention towards "Superstar" Billy Graham and looked to him for inspiration.
Hogan was also a skilled musician, spending ten years playing bass guitar in several Florida-based rock bands.
Eventually, Gagne was finally ready to book Hogan to win the AWA title; however, according to Hogan, Gagne wanted a piece of the large money Hogan was making from his frequent trips to Japan, more control over the bookings that Hogan took overseas.
Hogan refused flatly, saying he didn't need the AWA title at that point.The host commented how Terry, who stood 6 ft 7 in and weighed 295 pounds with 24 inch biceps, actually dwarfed "the Hulk." As a result, Bollea began performing as Terry "The Hulk" Boulder and sometimes wrestled as Sterling Golden.