Pigskin, Pimpin’ and Pugilism: Is Hulk Hogan Taking Over The Entire Planet?

Hulk Hogan, Peyton Manning, and Snoop Dogg walk into a bar. Sounds like a joke with the greatest punch line ever, right? Actually, WrestleMania is upon us and a legion of well-oiled and spray tanned grapplers are engaged in a media blitz as the Hulkster leads the charge in earnest. As of late, he has popped up in some unusual places and shared the stage with an eclectic cast of characters.

Earlier this week, an intriguing picture surfaced on Twitter featuring Hulk Hogan shaking hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The image, which captures what appears to be a spontaneous and candid meeting between two icons of American sports, made its rounds in the Twitterverse and throughout the Internet. The individual who posted the photo made light of Manning’s “mom jeans” and Will Brinson of CBS News cracked wise about the football player’s fashion gaffe, as well. SB Nation hailed the meeting as “a titanic summit.”

On Monday night, Hogan appeared on Monday Night Raw with Snoop Dogg. The platinum-selling rapper, who once teamed with R. Kelly to lament life on the street in the tune “Pimpin’ Ain’t EZ,” joined forces to thwart blustering bad guy Curtis Axel. WrestlingINC.com covered the show online, reporting that Snoop ultimately chucked Axel out of the ring shortly after the architect of #Axelmania charged Hogan. Once the dust settled, the two mega-stars shared the ring for a lighthearted pose-down to round out the segment.

Hulk Hogan also showed up on ESPN’s Sports Nation on Tuesday morning and discussed his interest in boxing. In a video clip posted by GMA News Online (as well as a number of other news outlets) Hogan teased that he would predict the winner of the forthcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. After tearing off his t-shirt to reveal another shirt with Mayweather’s picture on it, he then tore that shirt off to display a shirt bearing a picture of Pacquiao. He finally tore that shirt off and got serious. Maybe.

“There’s too much money to be made,” said Hogan. “It’s gonna be a draw, brother, so they can make the money again, Jack!”

Later the same day, the Hulkster made an appearance on ESPN’s The B.S. Report, talking to Bill Simmons about his wrestling career. In the interview covered classic angles and told some behind-the-scenes tales about superstars of yesterday, including Bob Backlund and Paul Orndorff

It’s a big week for all of wrestling, to be sure. Honors and emotions are especially elevated for Hogan, who will be inducting his former in-ring partner (and occasional nemesis) “Macho Man” Randy Savage into WWE’s Hall of Fame the night before the big WrestleMania show. It’s natural, then, that he’s the face of this year’s full-court press to rally pay-per-view buys. So if you’re growing weary of Hulk Hogan and his legendary 24-inch pythons, don’t even think about changing the channel because he’s probably on all of them — at least for the next few days.

[Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images]