The story of WWE legend Hulk Hogan’s £161m mistake with George Foreman Grill that made heavyweight legend more money than his boxing career

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There have been two stories told by Hulk Hogan about missing out on a huge fortune by passing on the George Foreman Grill.

The ‘Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine’ has sold more than 100 million units since its inception more than 25 years ago.

Foreman hung up his gloves having fought Ali and made millions from having his name on the grill

Getty Images – Getty

Foreman hung up his gloves having fought Ali and made millions from having his name on the grill

Having began his illustrious career in the 1970s, he became the new heavyweight champion of the world at 45 years old in 1994

Getty Images

Having began his illustrious career in the 1970s, he became the new heavyweight champion of the world at 45 years old in 1994

It is believed to have made boxing legend Foreman $200m (roughly £161m), a massive payday Hogan, one of the world’s best known wrestlers, missed out on.

In 2011, Hogan told the story of how he chose to endorse the ‘Hulkamania Meatball Maker’ instead of the grill.

The meatball maker failed in the market, while the George Foreman Grill – launched in 1994 – soared.

Hulk Hogan (right) is one of the biggest names in wrestling

WWE

Hulk Hogan (right) is one of the biggest names in wrestling

According to Hogan, a conversation between him and his agent went exactly like this:


Agent: “You should get into these things, kitchen appliances, put your name on something.”

Hogan: “Well, what have you got?”

Agent: “Well, I’ve got this meatball maker. It pounds the meatballs when you clench arm muscles and press fists together.”

Hogan: “That’s fantastic, I want the Hulkamania Meatball Maker!”

Agent: “What about the other thing? The grill?”

Hogan: “Ah, give that to your other client.”


However, that story is extremely different to the one Hogan told on his reality TV show, Hogan Knows Best.

When asked if he passed up on the George Foreman Grill, the former WWE world champion said: “Stop, that’s not true! My kids were upset because I was always picking them up late from school.

“So I said ‘I’m going to beat all these soccer moms today’, and went to McDonald’s, got a cooler, had everything ready, and got to the school at like 2:30pm, instead of 3:30pm, and now I’ve finally got all the soccer moms behind me and my kids excited I got there early.

Lean Mean vs Hulkamania

They are two of the most recognisable men in their individual sports

GEORGE FOREMAN

– Two-time heavyweight champion
– Inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame
– Olympic gold medallist
– Notable wins over Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Michael Moorer

HULK HOGAN
– 12-time WWE champion
– Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame
– Known for his iconic leg drop
– Notable matches against Andre The Giant, Ric Flair and The Ultimate Warrior

“Then I get home and press the old school voicemail recorder machine and it says, ‘Hey Hulk, this is Sam Perlmutter, I’ve got a grill and I’ve got a blender and I’m going to call you and George [Foreman] to see who wants it.

“I wasn’t there to answer the call, so when I call Sam back he said George took the grill.

“So basically, $550 million later, George got the ‘Lean, Mean Grilling Machine’ and I got a blender that when you put double-AA batteries in, it would fart and then turn off.”

Who knows if either story is true…

When asked for clarity on the different versions of events by a fan on Twitter, Foreman gave a classy response.

He said: “The real story is Hulk Hogan is about the best friend I ever had. He could do a Hogan whatever it’d Fly, cause I’d buy.”

He’s clearly not fussed either way having made more money than he did during an illustrious boxing career that included fights with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Evander Holyfield.

Asked by AARP in 2014 if it is true he made more than $200m from the grill he replied: “Much more.

“There were months I was being paid $8m per month.”





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