Using "Eye of the Tiger" as his theme music, Hogan soon became the promotion's top babyface, and throughout 1983, he engaged in a big feud against AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel and his manager Bobby Heenan.
Gagne, however, continued to tease the AWA audience by booking numerous screwjobs meant to keep the championship with Bockwinkel, who was a veteran of the territory and had assumed the mantle of the organization's centerpiece following Gagne's retirement from active competition.
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.
He began watching professional events at 16 years old.
While in high school, he revered Dusty Rhodes, and he regularly attended cards at the Tampa Sportatorium.
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.
Because Hogan was not an "old school" technical wrestler, Gagne would not let him be champion.
On several occasions, Hogan defeated Bockwinkel to win the title, only to have the decision later reversed.
A short time later, Bollea donned a mask and assumed the persona of "The Super Destroyer," a hooded character first played by Don Jardine and subsequently used by several other wrestlers.
A few months later, he joined Louie Tillet's Alabama territory, where he tag teamed with Ed Leslie (later known as Brutus Beefcake) as Terry and Ed Boulder.
His six combined reigns in WCW make him the longest-reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion of all time as well, with a 469-day reign from 1994-1995.