Superstar origins: 8 debuts that changed WWE

Hulk Hogan

Five years before Hulkamania redefined sports-entertainment, The Immortal One was under the tutelage of “Classy” Freddie Blassie as “The Fabulous” Hulk Hogan. Draped in a golden cape, The Hulkster made his WWE debut on Dec. 17, 1979, inside Madison Square Garden. Hogan’s first opponent was second-generation Superstar and WWE’s first North American Champion (a pre-cursor to the Intercontinental Title), Ted DiBiase.

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Initially, Hogan struggled against his gifted opponent. However, the sheer size, raw power and overconfidence of the future WWE Hall of Famer eventually swayed momentum into his favor. Putting a halt to DiBiase’s offense, Hogan applied a crushing bear hug to secure his first-ever victory in WWE.