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Hulk Hogan was not the first wrestler to use "Real American" as his theme song.

By Jimmy Traina
August 08, 2019

1. If you were one of the many people who grew up in the '80s and religiously watched the then-WWF, chances are there was no one more important to you than Hulk Hogan. Personally, I wasn't a Hogan guy (give me Piper, Rude, Jake the Snake over Hogan any day), but obviously I understand that Hulk's popularity dwarfed anyone else's in the company—by a lot.

Part of Hogan's popularity had to do with his entrance song, "Real American." It very well might be the most iconic entrance music in wrestling history. When that song hit, everyone in the arena and watching at home lost their minds.

The opening lyrics to "Real American"—When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside—couldn't have been more appropriate for how I felt Wednesday when I found out a truly mind-blowing fact that rocked me to the core.

Hulk Hogan was NOT the first WWF wrestler to use "Real American" as his theme song. When I first found out, I thought it had to be fake news, but there was video proof. I thought, "How could this be?" "How could this happen?"

I reached out to a couple of people who I knew to be die-hard '80s WWF fans to ask if they knew this surreal fact.

I asked SI digital editor, and my boss, Mark McClusky via Slack if he knew Hogan wasn't the first to use "Real American." His answer: "NO." Yes, he went all upcaps because he understood the severity of this information.

I reached out to my buddy, Kyle Brandt from Good Morning Football. Here was our exchange:

Yes, it is true, Kyle.

"Real American" was not intended to be Hulk Hogan's theme music. It was first used by the tag team of Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham, who were known as the U.S. Express. Here is the proof:

Yup, "Real American" was supposed to be for Rotundo and Windham, but they left the WWF for the NWA shortly after using the theme song and then it went to Hogan, who had been using Survivor's Eye of the Tiger.

I know that this is basically like finding out there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny, but know that I feel your pain and we are going through this shock together.

2. While many think Hogan's theme music is the best, I'm in the camp that Stone Cold's glass breaking is even better. I talked to Austin about his theme song, giving Vince McMahon the Stone Cold Stunner for the first time at Madison Square Garden, how differently fans watch wresting today compared to when Steve was an in-ring competitor, his new interview show, getting mani/pedis, his love of margaritas and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

3. Is this Dwyane Wade taking a friendly shot at his buddy LeBron?

4. This is NOT an Onion story: Jets QB Sam Darnold recently passed on participating in a video message in which players from the league wished Tom Brady a happy birthday. Why did Darnold say no? I have no idea after reading his quote in which he explained his reasoning: "I’m going to get every competitive edge I can, because he’s going to do the same thing. He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s exactly where I want to be when I’m his age. To chase that, I can’t be giving him anything.” Like I said, I literally have no idea what that means.

5. Baseball needs more Mutombo-like finger wags.

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Big talk comin’ from these kids 👀😂

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6. I know the Orioles aren't a real team, but this is one hell of a stat.

7. Macaulay Culkin has thoughts about the just-announced Home Alone reboot.

8. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Posted this on Twitter Wednesday night and it got a big reaction, so I wanted to make sure you see it even if you don't follow me over there.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

IN CLOSING: We are just four weeks away from the first game of the 2019 NFL season. It. Is. Coming.

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