80s History – Hulk Hogan Chokes Out TV Host Richard Belzer On Live TV

80s History - Hulk Hogan Chokes Out TV Host Richard Belzer On Live TV

On March 27th, 1985, Wrestler Hulk Hogan and Mr. T appeared on the Richard Belzer show to promote the first Wrestlemania. The two had just previously appeared together in Rocky III.  The now famous Wrestlemania wasn’t known at that time and this was their chance to hype up the event which featured Hulk Hogan and Mr. T taking on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff.  The Richard Belzer show was one of many talk shows the duo were visiting to promote the event, but, just five days before “Wrestlemania”, this one went horribly of the rails.

Host Richard Belzer, asked them to show him a wrestling move.  Mr. T refused, but Belzer kept asking them to show him a move. So, Hulk Hogan proceeds to put Belzer in a front chin-lock, which renders him unconscious.  When Hulk Hogan releases him, Belzer falls limply to the floor and hits his head on the hard surfaced floor. While Belzer awakened to direct them to a commercial, he didn’t return to finish the show and was taken to the emergency room where he received a total of 9 stitches for the wound to his head.

All of this resulted in a lawsuit between Richard Belzer and Hulk Hogan, which was settled out of court for a staggering 5 million dollars.  The publicity, while negative in many ways, helped promote the first Wrestlemania to be a huge success and turned this spectacle into one of Wrestling’s greatest moments in the 1980s.


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