In the 1980s, pro wrestling went from regional events to national, prime-time ones. This was spearheaded by the risk-taking owner of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), who rode the fame of stars such as Hulk Hogan, the late Andre the Giant and Randy Savage to take wrestling to the peak of its popularity. Catch up with a few of wrestling's blasts from the past.

Hulk Hogan
During the early 1980s Hogan's switch from this wrestling organization to the WWF was central to the astronomic popularity both Hogan and the WWF enjoyed. Watch videos of him in action. Hogan, who was billed as the working-class hero, earned his nickname "Hulk" after being compared to this comic-book hero. In 1987, his title match with Andre the Giant drew more than 90,000 fans, as Hulk beat Andre to keep his title belt. A whole new generation now knows Hogan after the success of this reality show, which helped launch his daughter's singing career.

Bret Hart
Hart grew up around the world of wrestling and as a professional wrestler earned an ominous nickname. In 1984 he joined a high-profile federation and his career took off (watch). His love for the sport even survived a family tragedy.

Jim Duggan
Breaking into the WWF world in 1987, Duggan was hardly ever without his trademark prop. And no career in pro-wrestling is complete with a kick-butt nickname. What did he often chant from the ring? After a bout with a serious condition, Duggan is reportedly still wrestling.

Randy Savage
Known by this macho name in the ring, Savage took wrestling to a new level with his international fame. He became well known for this catchphrase and recognizable for his attire. He used this diving drop to finish off many of his opponents. Since retiring, Savage has played a role in this 2002 blockbuster film and released a rap album.

Ted DiBiase
This wrestler, who went by a wealthy nickname, became well known by this trademark and his finisher, which sent opponents straight to dreamland. During his career, DiBiase won 30 titles, and since he retired, all three of his sons have followed in his footsteps. Meanwhile, DiBiase has found a higher calling in his life.

Jake Roberts
Roberts may be best known for inventing this famous finishing move, used frequently in wrestling now. Watch videos of him in action. He earned this slithering nickname by bringing this animal into the ring to intimidate opponents. Since retiring, Roberts has had a rocky battle with drug addiction, documented in this 1999 film.

This wrestler, whose real name is this, was known as the "franchise" for this wrestling organization, where he won six of his 13 titles. Watch videos of him in action.

Rowdy Roddy Piper
Though Piper is Canadian, his story line billed him as coming from this country. At the age of 15, Rowdy became the youngest wrestler to debut as a pro. See videos of him in action. As his career progressed, he became known for this finishing move. Piper has continued to make sporadic WWE appearances. He was also diagnosed with this disease in 2006.

Jesse The Body Ventura
Ventura shot to the top of wrestling with this finishing move. Watch videos of him in action. The Navy veteran retired in 1984 because of blood clots in his lungs as a result of this agent, which he was exposed to in this infamous war. Ventura continued to play a role in wrestling part-time and also as a color commentator. In 1991, he began his career in politics, which culminated as the governor of the North Star State from 1998 to 2002. Since then he has admitted to using this performance-enhancing drug and been a talk show host.

Ultimate Warrior
His official name is now Warrior, but he was given this name at birth. Warrior became known for this burly finishing move, in which he took a running splash onto an opponent's back or front. Watch videos of him in action. In 1999, Warrior retired from wrestling and since has taken up a career in public speaking, writing and blogging.

Ric Flair
Flair, who earned this natural nickname, is still one of the most popular pro wrestlers. Watch videos of him in action. He was recognizable for his robes, signature shout and this finishing move. He was a member of this famous wrestling entourage. His career lasted through 2009, and in 2008 he became the only active wrestler to receive this honor. As a tribute to his popularity, he has been given the keys to six different cities.

Iron Sheik
The wrestler, whose real name is this and who was born in this Middle Eastern country, first rose to popularity when he dethroned this six-time, reigning champion with this finishing move. Watch videos of him in action. The Sheik was cast as a heel largely because of this controversy involving the United States and Iran. The Sheik adopted an Iranian caricature costume by shaving his head and growing this kind of mustache. The Iron Sheik later gained popularity as a regular guest on this profane radio show.

Blog Archive