Stew, I couldn't help but notice Hulk Hogan's shirt referred to the legendary Pastamania festival of a few years ago, the first-ever attempt to mix professional wrestling with world-class pasta cooking.
I did a little reseach (using the little known search engine Linguini-Nexini) and managed to locate a story about the event:
(AP [Associacione di Pasta] April 1, 2000) "Pastamania!" Wrestlers Hit the Sauce.
The city of Florence, home to elegant Italian Tuscany cuisine, is fraught with excitement today, as Pope John Paul II is in town for a brief visit. Meanwhile, in Hoboken, NewJersey, a different kind of excitement was at hand this week as Hulk Hogan's Pastamania I!!! came to town. This unique event pitted teams of professional wrestlers and world-class chefs against each other in a physically violent, remarkably appetizing contest to see whose pasta and muscles reign supreme. The winners of the contest receive $10,000 in prize money, a year's supply of Ragu, and the Hulk Hogan's Pastamania! Wardrobe.
In the opening round, Hulk Hogan himself teamed with Mario Batali to dispatch Harold "The Crusher" Johnson and Emeril Lagasse. Hogan floored The Crusher with a series of piledrivers, leg drops, and groinsplitters while Batali perplexed Lagasse with a superb Gorgonzola cream sauce that he repeatedly flicked into Emeril's eyes with a strand of fettuccine.
In other matches, Legendary Bruno Sammartino combined with another legend, six-foot tall Julia "The Baguette" Child, to overwhelm talented newcomers The Skull and Antonio "Gelato" Pistoni. In a stunning strategic twist, Child delivered a series of kesagiri chops to the Skull, before finishing him off with a combination flying clothesline/curlyhoward. Meanwhile, Sammartino stunned Pistoni by whipping up a remarkably complex cold pasta salad, including ripe olives, calamari, balsamic vinegrette and beluga caviar, which he followed by dumping the salad over Pistoni's head and then beating him unconscious with the empty, yet highly aromatic bowl.
In the Women's Division, Mary "Hot Tights" Finklestein combined with Rita "Mrs. Butterworth's" Cagliari to win a closely fought battle against Sharon "Doublemint Gum" Gottschalk and Mary Lou "Canoodle" Ferlinghetti-Rosario-Dingbat-Mooselips-Jones. The contest ended when Gottschalk and F. R. D. M. Jones had the hair on their heads pulled bald and replaced with spaghettini and truffle marinara.
The tournament will run through next week and will be covered nationally by the Food Network and TBS Superstation.