It’s been a rough couple of months for Hulk Hogan. He was fired by WWE and apparently removed from the company’s Hall of Fame back in July following a racist rant from eight years ago that was caught on tape and reported by the National Enquirer.
Now, it appears that things are getting worse for Hogan, as his name has been removed from the Hogan’s Beach restaurant in Tampa, Florida. But while Hogan’s name has been removed, the restaurant is still open for business, and there are plans to rename and re-brand the restaurant.
With all of this going on, Hogan has seemingly been able to keep his cool and stay positive. So positive in fact, that he still believes that he can be on the WrestleMania 32 card in April of next year, as he’s continuing to push for one more match in WWE.
Hogan recently spoke with the UK Star, and talked about the chances of him wrestling again. He mentioned that there are plenty of opportunities for him to wrestle elsewhere. However, he wants to wrestle one more time in WWE on its grandest stage.
“There’s a lot of wrestling opportunities out there. WWE would be a great place to end my career. Everything would have to be very calculated. I’d want to go out there one last time to have fun. It would have to be something I’d really have to have a handle on, because I can’t afford any more downtime or surgery.”
Last month, while building up to the Seth Rollins vs. Sting match at Night of Champions, WWE was showing some of the greatest moments from Sting’s career, and one of them involved Sting defeating Hulk Hogan at WCW’s Starrcade event in 1997. Hogan was acknowledged by the commentators, so it appears that WWE won’t be giving Hogan the Chris Benoit treatment going forward.
WWE showing the clip of Hogan and acknowledging him led Daily Wrestling News to speculate that WWE was working towards bringing back “The Hulkster.” But other than the clip, WWE hasn’t gone out of their way to mention Hogan’s name, and there has been no evidence that WWE is interested in bringing Hogan back in the near future.
Shortly after Hogan’s firing, he appeared on Good Morning America and asked his fans and WWE to forgive him. WWE then released a statement shortly thereafter, saying that their stance on Hogan hadn’t changed and that they weren’t planning on bringing him back any time soon.
Before his firing, many believed that the ideal match for Hogan to be in at WrestleMania 32 would be the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which is the match that he created after his return to the company in 2014. The belief was that it would be a match where guys could just run into Hogan’s fist, he wouldn’t have to take any bumps, and all he would really have to do is throw guys over the top rope.
When Hogan was asked about wrestling at WrestleMania 32 in past interviews, he mentioned guys like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena, and even Ric Flair as opponents. But even when Hogan was still employed by WWE, those matches weren’t going to happen, and they’re obviously not going to be happening now.
Hogan had also mentioned that Vince McMahon was “looking forward” to seeing him return to the ring at next year’s WrestleMania. But Hogan never mentioned if he and McMahon ever had serious talks about an in-ring return at the event.
For right now, a Hulk Hogan return at WrestleMania 32 doesn’t seem likely. But in wrestling especially, you should never say never.