As the guitar riffs of Hogan's theme music, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child," ripped through the arena, the chants blended into a single roar and Hogan, dressed in red and yellow tie-dyed tights and matching feather boas, sauntered to the ring, playing air guitar.
Hogan did not win that night. He was pinned by the Undertaker following outside interference by "Mr. McMahon," the evil character WWE owner Vince McMahon plays in the wrestling storylines.
But the Hulkamaniacs didn't care. Following the loss, Hogan posed in the ring, flexing his 24-inch biceps and cupping his hand to his ears, asking for more cheers, even though the ovation was loud and nonstop. So what if Hogan had done the post-match posing routine thousands of times and wrestling fans had seen it thousands of times.
As one boy cheered and pumped both fists in the air, one long-time Hogan fan shook his head in amazement.
"I didn't think I'd ever see him live," said Jason Asher, 25, after the show. "Seeing him not only as a guy who revolutionized the business but also as a man who touched so many people by the way he carried himself — I don't think we'll see a character like him built for a very long time."
Before leaving the ring, Hogan pounded his heart with his fist and pointed up at the sky, perhaps in salute to his father. He then pounded his heart again, mouthing the words, "thank you" as he saluted the fans.
Hulkamania is runnin' wild again. … Whatcha gonna do?