If a new tweet from a reputable wrestling insider is to be believed, Hulk Hogan’s WWE return might not be too far off. Could this possibly point to a return at or in the buildup to WrestleMania 33?
Since the summer of 2015, Hulk Hogan has essentially been persona non grata to his former employers at WWE. In July of that year, the WWE Hall of Famer was abruptly and completely scrubbed from the company’s website, with no references even to his Hall of Fame status. He was also relieved of his duties as a judge on WWE’s Tough Enough series.
While it wasn’t immediately clear why WWE had parted with Hulk Hogan, it was revealed that this was a result of leaked audio where Hogan was caught on tape making racist comments about the then-boyfriend of his daughter, Brooke. These comments, as quoted by ProWrestling.com, dated back several years before the leak, and had Hulk repeatedly using the “N-word” to refer to Brooke’s African-American boyfriend. The transcript also quotes him as saying the following line toward the end of his leaked rant.
“I guess we’re all a little racist.”
CNN wrote soon after the leak that Hogan issued an apology for his comments, which also confirmed that he had resigned from WWE over the leak and was not fired by the company as earlier thought.
“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
— J. Durso (@jeffster_) February 5, 2017
Up to now, WWE.com registers very few accurate results when you enter the name “Hulk Hogan” in the search bar. More than one year and a half after the company “terminated its contract” with the man known in real life as Terry Bollea, those who search for the Hulkster will only see an article about WrestleMania III in 1987, with the accompanying image of Hogan being threatened by the late Andre the Giant in the run-up to their now-classic ‘Mania match.
But it might not be long before Hulk Hogan makes his WWE return after all those months seemingly blacklisted by the company where he became a legend. According to WrestleZone, Hogan’s return has been expected for quite some time, despite the lack of a more concrete timeframe. But the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer did have a curious reply earlier today to someone who asked him a question on Twitter, suggesting something may be in the works, and that Hulkamania may soon be “running wild” again.
Expect it sooner than later https://t.co/98AAq8GNSg
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) February 6, 2017
That succinct reply does not come with any accompanying timeframe, but based on that and recent reports, it may be safe to assume that Hulk Hogan’s WWE return may come in time for WrestleMania 33.
Early in November of 2016, Brooke Hogan spoke to TMZ about how her father was working out a deal to return to WWE and make a WrestleMania appearance. Hulk’s camp had denied this soon after, but toward the end of November, Brooke had claimed she “got in trouble” for her original statement while continuing to tease to TMZ the possibility of Hulk Hogan’s return to WWE.
“How can I put it? What is a way that won’t get me in trouble?… He’s capable of anything.”
Since November’s round of TMZ reports, we haven’t heard anything of note from either Brooke or Hulk’s camp, but Meltzer’s new tweet could be one of the better signs pointing to Hulk Hogan’s WWE return in the near future.
[Featured Image by John Pendygraft/Pool/Getty Images]