WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan was released from the company last year when a tape, released by Gawker Media, had audio of the Hulkster saying some racist comments. To bring that into context, the video was eight years old at the time and Hogan didn’t know he was being taped, to begin with. On top of that, Hogan and his family were going through a fair share of problems and Hulk was not the most pleasant guy in the world.
Gawker released it just to get to Hogan and it ended up costing him his job with WWE at the end of the day. The real problem is not that fans were in an uproar, but rather that the stockholders were. Just in the few hours after the audio was released, stock fell $50 million. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon couldn’t risk a bigger drop than that, which is understandable. Hogan gets why he was let go.
The idea was never to ban Hulk Hogan, however, as the company always had intentions of bringing him back when they could do so. According to Ringside News, the plan has been to do little tests to see how the audience would react to seeing Hogan. They have dropped his name on the WWE Network and on television, as well as used him in video packages. In fact, his voice is used in the latest ad for the network.
None of those tests have seen anything close to negative attention, which makes WWE feel comfortable slowly trying to bring Hulk Hogan back to television if he wants to come back. Hogan is financially set for quite some time. That said, he doesn’t “need” the job that WWE would offer him. However, it may also entice him to take less if he did want to come back to the company for any reason at all.
He said he is interested, even when the trial with Gawker was over. Hogan won over $160 million in the case, so if Hulk Hogan wants to come back it is certainly not because he needs a paycheck. He would come back to the WWE because, well, he loved the WWE. Fans would know that, and that would make his return to television even more special for the fans at the end of the day. Before, we knew Hulk Hogan was always showing up somewhere because they paid him enough to be there.
Now that we know he doesn’t really need the money WWE would offer, it makes sense to see him back for random appearances under a legends deal. The question was always if Hulk Hogan would return, now that we know WWE is trying to bring him back, we had to know when WWE would actually pull the trigger and bring the WWE Hall of Famer back to television. Would it be soon or later?
According to RSN, Hulk Hogan will be back around WrestleMania 33. That would be a big time to bring him back honestly, as WrestleMania is an event that Hogan helped make popular with his name recognition. While it was Vince McMahon’s vision, there was a reason Hulk Hogan was in the top matches on the first number of the shows. Whether he was the best on the card is subject to opinion, however. Cue the WrestleMania III debate.
Regardless, Vince McMahon was happy to have Hulk Hogan back when he managed to have him there in 2014. It seemed doubtful for a bit if we would see Hogan again, but WWE managed to make it happen and even allowed him to become an ambassador of sorts when he managed to still be close with the crowd. He made a good memory happen at both WrestleMania 30 and WrestleMania 31 in very different roles and he very well could have served in another role at WrestleMania 32 if he was in the company at that time.
There was a rumored plan that Hulk Hogan would wrestle someone like John Cena at that event, but sadly with his release and Cena’s injury, the match didn’t happen. Many believe Hogan will never wrestle for the WWE again, however, he could always take bumps if they feel he can do so medically.
All of that being said, do not be surprised to see Hogan make his return in 2017. What role he will have in the WWE is yet to be determined, however.
[Featured Image by WWE]