Hulk Hogan has been on the outs with WWE since a sex tape leaked of him making racist comments after doing the deed.
Until then, the Hulkster had forged a working relationship with the company, usually consisting of him appearing to introduce pay-per-views or doing “Legends panels” on the weekly programming.
After lighting up the N-word on the tape, though, that was all she wrote. The WWE Hall of Famer was removed from the website, and the company stopped actively promoting programming that featured Hogan’s likeness.
Along the way, Triple H said he was “hopeful” that the relationship could one day be prepared, but the official position was that the two entities had gone their separate ways.
Enter Monday Night Raw — the June 6 episode.
If you were hoping that Hulk Hogan ran out and did his four sides “can’t hear ya” thing, you’ll be disappointed. He didn’t appear in the actual arena right there in the flesh, but he did appear.
— UltraLiger (@UltraLiger) June 7, 2016
Throughout the evening WWE highlighted great moments in the career of the late Muhammad Ali.
The former three-time heavyweight boxing champion had refereed a WrestleMania, and he also fought an exhibition with wrestling legend Antonio Inoki, so the tribute wasn’t out of place.
But something that grabbed the attention of many fans — and the team at WrestleView — was the image of Hulk Hogan and Muhammad Ali together.
The decision to place Hogan on the screen in such a prominent position is a significant programming departure from the Hulkster prohibition.
While most people felt that it was only a matter of time before Hulk Hogan reentered a WWE ring, few expected the prohibition to last this long.
Of course, some feel Hogan is part of the reason for that — particularly his ongoing litigation with Gawker.
After winning more than $100 million in his initial judgment against the left-wing clickbait website, the Hulkster launched a second lawsuit in May.
Allegedly, the website leaked audio that contained a racist rant which severely affected Hogan’s personal life. It definitely hurt his professional life, as far as WWE has been concerned.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, has been accused of bringing a lot of the scandal on himself, willingly having sex with his former best friend and Florida radio DJ Bubba “The Love Sponge’s” wife, Heather Clem.
In the aftermath of the sexual activity, the Hulkster crushed a million childhoods by unleashing this tirade.
“I don’t know if Brooke [Hogan’s daughter] was f****** the black guy’s son. I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am racist, to a point. F****** n******. But then when it comes to nice people and s***, and whatever…I mean, if she was going to f*** some n*****, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n***** worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we’re all a little racist. F****** n*****.”
The incident was a horrifying one for anyone who ever donned a red and yellow tear-away shirt displaying the Hulkamania logo.
Even so, numerous wrestlers came to Hogan’s aid at the time, claiming that he was not a racist — something that Hogan himself reiterated on an appearance of The View.
— Ric Olsen (@Ric9871Ric) March 23, 2016
With the WWE’s olive branch now extended, it appears they may be convinced as well. But what do you think, readers?
When will Hulk Hogan make his return to the organization where Hulkamania once ran wild, or should he even be allowed to? What would you do if you were the WWE?
[Image via WWE]