Hulk Hogan has been officially reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame following a three-year suspension, according to WWE.com.
The Hulkster was stripped of this honor for private comments made during a phone conversation in which Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, made racially charged comments in a private conversation with his son Nicholas according to The Mirror. The phone call was leaked by Gawker according to Hogan, a news organization that he later buried via a crushing lawsuit funded by private billionaire investor Peter Thiel according to The Hollywood Reporter, though the subject of the lawsuit focused on the leaked sex tape of Bollea released by the high profile media institution.
Since then, Hogan has made amends with the industry, has stepped up his charitable donations in terms of time and money being offered, and seems ready to step back into the spotlight according to the brief press release accompanying the statement on the WWE website.
“After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.”
This recent announcement putting Hulk Hogan back into his rightful place within the WWE Hall of Fame, given that the Hulkster is perhaps the most well-known and accomplished performer of his generation within the squared circle and a household name worldwide, may coincide with the rumors circulating that Hogan may appear at this evening’s ‘Extreme Rules’ pay-per-view to be held in Pittsburgh according to the Inquisitr.
— WWE (@WWE) July 15, 2018
Several recent hints have been dropped by WWE programming as to Hogan’s eventual return, including a recent performance by superstar Velveteen Dream in his contest against indie darling Ricochet during the NXT TakeOver Chicago II event held on June 16.
Whatcha gonna do when @VelveteenWWE declares your dream over?
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 17, 2018
Tonight’s event has been heavily promoted on the WWE Network and the lead up to the show has been hyped with a huge card set to take place. The main event for this evening’s pay-per-view rumble in advance of this year’s SummerSlam features the “phenomenal” AJ Styles versus the man behind Rusev Day, Rusev himself. The crowd will be on their feet, however, if the “Real American” icon, Hulk Hogan, hits the music and struts down that thrust towards the squared circle for the first time in years.
Other matches slated for tonight’s card in Pittsburgh include Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Title via a 30-minute Iron Man match, A RAW Women’s Championship rematch between Nia Jax and “Little Miss” Alexa Bliss, and finally a much desired cage match between the “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman vs. the eminently evil heel Kevin Owens.
Hogan will re-join other sports entertainment luminaries such as The Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and even the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump in the hallowed halls of the WWE Hall of Fame.