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1980s / Hulk Hogan SI Cover
Pro wrestling may have hit its pinnacle in 1985 when grappling thespian Hulk Hogan was featured on the cover of the April 29 edition of Sports Illustrated. It generated letters to the editor for several weeks, equally pro and con. One rasslin' fan wrote, 'With low ticket prices, no offseason, no trades, no contract disputes...pro wrestling is true sports entertainment!' A contrary opinion was offered by another SI reader who wrote, 'For you to even think of pro wrestlers as athletes is ridiculous, let alone put one of those marshmallows on the cover. Come on!'