Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) recovers from training in Rocky

Over the last several decades, Sylvester Stallone and Rocky Balboa have truly become synonymous with each other. Stallone's scappy fighter has faced multiple adversaries over the franchise’s storied history, including professional wrestling icon Hulk Hogan. Hogan entered the fray in Rocky III as wrestling champ Thunderlips and, recently, Stallone decided to pay tribute to their iconic fight on social media with a cool post.

For some Rocky fans, Rocky III wasn't one of the franchise's strongest offerings (depending on one's opinion) after the greatness of the first two installments. With that said, the match between Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan was one of the film's highlights. Many lines from that scene are even still quoted today. Just recently, Stallone took to his Instagram to celebrate the iconic moment with a throwback photo. Check it out down below:

As Sylvester Stallone pointed out, posting the photo was a full circle for him. Comparing his younger self to a Rocky III Stallone allowed him to see how much hadn’t changed between the periods (other than age). While celebrating the moment, the actor was also able to give Hulk Hogan credit for providing such a major moment, as the fight between Rocky and Thunderlips was both fun and tense. You must also remember thatt Hogan was just one year away from becoming one of the WWE’s (and wrestling’s) top stars, and the film definitely helped in creating the mythos of Hulk Hogan.

As a kid watching Rocky films, the fight between Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan was one of my favorites. The two were evenly matched, despite Rocky’s eventual triumph over the wrestler. Overall, the best part of early Rocky films was seeing who Balboa would face-off with. Seeing the actor fight a pre-A-Team Mr. T was another match in which the opponents were evenly yoked. Despite how people feel about the latter films, every film is filled with one or two amazing fights.

Over the past few months, Sylvester Stallone has been celebrating the Rocky franchise on social media. Whether it’s a carved pumpkin or a throwback photo to the first Rocky, the actor has repeatedly shown how grateful he is to the boxing film franchise. And given how Rocky launched his acting career (and earned him an Oscar), he has never strayed away from the long-running franchise. That’s evident by the multiple Rocky sequels and revivals (see: the Creed series). He’s even revisited the fourth film while working on a director's cut.

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky III throwback was a nice shout-out to the original films, and it was also bittersweet as it is unknown if Stallone will return for Creed 3. Only time will tell if the Italian Stallion will pop up in the latest installment but, until we learn for sure, we'll see if the actor drops any other cool throwback photos.

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