“Go with the Goodies, beat the Baddies…Then play with the babes…If you think you’re good enough!” -Tagline on a poster for the Thunder in Paradise interactive T.V. show.”
In some strange way, I knew Randolph “Hurricane” Spencer before I knew Hulk Hogan. So it’s quite possible that when I first saw Hogan walk to the ring years later, I wondered why Randolph “Hurricane” Spencer quit his top secret mercenary taskforce to pursue a career in wrestling and changed his name to “Hulk Hogan.”
Serious downgrade if you ask me.
But as it turned out, he had been wrestling for nearly two decades by this point. The top secret mercenary taskforce became a side job for Hulk Hogan during the early 1990s. He hired a film crew to document the whole thing, and the footage was later released as a direct-to-video film and subsequent TV series entitled Thunder in Paradise.
During his stint as a mercenary, Hogan went by the name Randolph “Hurricane” Spencer and worked with his partner Martin “Bru” Brubaker off Florida’s Gulf Coast. They had a boat called “Thunder,” and it seems not a day went by without some high-speed chase after a drug lord. But that just goes with the job description. Hurricane and Bru were not prone to back down from a fight…especially against drug lords.
When they weren’t fighting crime at sea, they would hang out with supermodels and soak up the sun while sipping Daiquiris at the Scuttlebutt Bar N’ Grill. The name Thunder in Paradise was chosen very particularly to emphasize both the hazardous nature and the contrastingly relaxing elements of Hogan’s tenure on the Gulf Coast.
And also as a reference to the boat.
“Hurricane” Spencer came to me at an age where I needed an extreme introduction to the concept of manhood. I was likely in the first grade, learning how to transcribe the alphabet and count to 100. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to come home from school and watch a wrestler/ex-Navy Seal shoot big guns and then get trashed in the company of bikini-clad, emotionally-absent young women.
A badass like Randolph Spencer presents a challenge to the young male viewers watching at home: MAN UP. Bench press. Eat steak. Kill things. Sure beats “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect,” don’t it?
It’s important for us to remember “Hurricane” Spencer in these PG, soy milk times. More so than anything, he embodied the “Work hard, play hard” mentality. You need some paradise with your thunder, if you will. Randolph “Hurricane” Spencer gave me permission at an early age to unapologetically pursue greatness and then reap the benefits. And for that I will always be grateful.