I have never been a Hulk Hogan fan. I was never sucked into the media circus of canary yellow and red and the premise that as long as you trained, said your prayers and took your vitamins, all was right in the world of professional wrestling.
Hogan and Vince McMahon changed my views of a “sport” I watched as a youngster when I decided the NWA and superstars such as Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Ric Flair and Dory Funk, Jr. were “real’ wrestlers and Hogan’s machine was just that. Eight-minute matches, a lot of “Hulking Up” and an infamous leg drop that would beat the biggest stars in the WWF circus.
While many of my friends wanted to emulate the man who would change this business forever, I fought any alliegiance to an “inferior” promotion where I believed territorial wrestling was the only thing right about what many knew was fake to begin with.
Now, it looks like after a three-year hiatus or blacklisting, the man who helped make McMahon the successful wrestling tycoon that he is, is returning to where it all started. I may not like it, but Hulk Hogan has been punished enough.
Per Mike Mooneyham, “Hogan was wiped from WWE history three years ago after audio emerged of him on a racist rant. But his recent show-stealing appearance on HBO’s Andre The Giant documentary has prompted speculation that Hogan and WWE could be working on a deal to bring back the Hulkster after a lengthy banishment from the company.”
While he probably won’t wrestle (please, don’t let that happen) making an appearance every so often and serving as an embassador for the company isn’t such a bad idea. Hogan has atoned for his sins, said all the right things and kept a low profile since the “incident” no one wants to discuss, but won’t soon be forgotten.
Other wrestlers have been given chance after chance. WWE is doing the right thing by bringing back the man who made sports entertainment part of a vocabulary of a 1980s generation.
“Until recently, the name Hulk Hogan has been persona non grata in WWE circles. Hogan apologized, but the company moved swiftly to terminate his contract, remove his merchandise from its online shop, and scrub him from several online platforms,” Mooneyham writes. “The company said in a statement at the time that it was “committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
Ric Flair has had cameo appearances the past few years, even doing segments with Charlotte and The Miz. While the 16-time world champion has allowed his demons from the past tarnish his name, the enigmatic performer still riles the crowds with his persona and his trade mark “Wooooo!” Hogan with his bandana and snap-to-it vocabulary still gets over with the fans both young and old.
It appears a deal for Hogan’s return will happen as news outlets (yes, news outlets) and other websites have reported.
A report by TMZ indicated that the two sides have been in talks regarding the former six-time world champion’s possible return,” Mooneyham adds. But, according to mutual agreement by both sides, the return has to be done “the right way.”
Whatever that “right way” is fans are privy to yet. At some point Hogan will walk into a WWE arena. He will climb into the ring. He will say all the right things and ask, “Whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania runs over you?”
Hopefully, the fans welcome him back with open arms… then we all can get back to professional wrestling in the here and now.