Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan will make an appearance at his new I-Drive beach shop attraction, which opens next month during WrestleMania.
The semiretired wrestler, onetime movie star, reality TV personality and author told fans on Twitter that he would attend the grand opening of Hulk Hogan’s Beach Shop near the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road. The opening is timed to coincide with WrestleMania, which begins April 2 in Orlando.
This is the second beach shop for Hogan. His first opened in 2012 in the heart of Clearwater Beach’s tourist district. The shop is a shrine to the 63-year-old wrestler. It sells T-shirts, DVDs, autographed posters and memorabilia spanning his three-decade career. Most of the store’s merchandise consists of T-shirts that say “Hulkamania” or “Hogan’s Beach” or “Thunderlips, the Ultimate Male” — a reference to Hogan’s role in Rocky III, the 1982 film that catapulted him into the spotlight.
The shop also sells hardcover copies of his autobiography, “My Life Outside the Ring.” The book details his battle to overcome depression and suicidal thoughts after his life collapsed into turmoil five years ago. That’s when his son caused a car crash that left a friend with severe brain injuries. Then Hogan’s wife divorced him, taking 70 percent of their assets.
Hogan, whose birth name is Terry Bollea, grew up in Tampa Bay and owns a beachfront mansion just blocks from his Clearwater beach shop.
Facebook videos show Hogan inspecting the new I-Drive store and marveling at his own life-size statue. He noted that the statue is 6’7”, while he stands 6’4”. He blames his decrease in height on nine back surgeries, along with knee and hip surgeries.
Hogan’s beloved Dodge Viper called “Hulkster” will also be on display at the Orlando beach shop.