Last week, Hulk Hogan was reinstated into WWE’s Hall of Fame, three years after he was caught making racist remarks in a leaked video that was taken without his consent. At that time, he was also immediately released from the company, with WWE almost completely removing all references to him from its website. While Hogan has since apologized repeatedly, with the most recent example taking place backstage during the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, not everyone was convinced of the sincerity of his words. That includes Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer, who commented on Hogan’s backstage apology speech in the most recent issue of his publication.
According to WrestleZone, Meltzer was not happy with how Hogan delivered his backstage speech, as he focused mainly on how he wasn’t aware he was being filmed, instead of how his words might have offended WWE’s African-American wrestlers and other employees. He accused Hogan of “misreading” the situation, adding that the 64-year-old former WWE Champion didn’t seem like he was “trying to atone” for his past words and actions.
“He was making excuses saying ‘I didn’t know I was being filmed,'” Meltzer wrote, as quoted by WrestleZone.
“Forget about whether you’re filmed or not. You were filmed, ok? The story here is you said these things that were horrible….you need to apologize to them and say you’re remorseful and how stupid you were as opposed to I didn’t know I was being filmed.”
Talking about WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry’s recent observation that half of the company’s black wrestlers were unhappy about Hulk Hogan’s reinstatement, Meltzer suggested that the estimate might have been too modest, as “well over 50 percent of the wrestlers” were allegedly unhappy. He said that there was a reason why Hogan’s name was not mentioned backstage on this week’s Monday Night Raw, as performers were concerned about “possible repercussions” if they said the wrong things. Furthermore, Meltzer gave credit to Titus O’Neil for taking a risk and issuing a public statement on how he feels about the reinstatement, even if his comments could potentially land him in trouble with the WWE.
In all, Dave Meltzer felt that Hulk Hogan’s apology might have been “insincere,” not only because he was allegedly only sorry for getting caught, but also because of his past backstage reputation.
“Hulk Hogan is a person that lives in a working world. It’s Hulk Hogan. It’s not better. It’s not worse. That’s the world he’s been in his entire adult life. This working con-world and everything is just the work, the work, the work. It’s hard in a situation to know if he’s sincere because he’s never sincere.”
At the moment, it’s still not clear whether Hulk Hogan’s reinstatement into WWE’s Hall of Fame will lead to future appearances on television. The move, however, remains a very controversial one, with Meltzer the latest, and possibly not the last prominent wrestling personality to air his thoughts on the matter.