When it comes to WrestleMania, WWE typically spares no expense to make sure that the “Show of Shows” lives up to its status as the company’s biggest, most important pay-per-view of the year. That has often meant bringing back some of the greatest performers in its history for in-ring or backstage segments or media events. As far as WrestleMania 35 weekend is concerned, reports suggest that there are two big names from WWE’s past who could be making their first appearances in years at the weekend’s other events, if not at the pay-per-view itself.
On Friday, PWInsider cited multiple sources familiar with the negotiations and reported that Hulk Hogan will be taking part in this year’s WrestleMania weekend. This will mark the first time since WrestleMania 31 in 2015 that “The Hulkster” will be participating in the annual spectacle, and possibly the “final piece of the puzzle” for Hogan’s gradual reintroduction to WWE fans.
After getting fired by WWE in the summer of 2015 for allegedly using racist language in a then-recently leaked audio tape, Hogan was mostly “scrubbed” from the company’s website, with his Hall of Fame profile page also getting deleted, as recalled by PWInsider. He was, however, reinstated last year into the Hall of Fame, as he made two appearances in the months that followed, cutting a promo at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia in November, then paying tribute to late announcer and interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund on the Monday Night Raw episode that followed his death in January.
At the moment, it’s still unclear whether Hulk Hogan will be booked for WrestleMania 35 itself on April 7. According to PWInsider, it’s possible he could take part instead in community outreach activities, but likelier that he could appear at WWE’s upcoming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, as his longtime friend, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, is rumored to be included in this year’s class.
Hogan wasn’t the only major wrestling icon who was rumored on Friday to be appearing at WrestleMania 35 weekend. Citing a separate report from PWInsider, WrestlingNews.co wrote that WWE is in negotiations to have “Stone Cold” Steve Austin take part in next month’s festivities, though like Hogan, it’s not clear what his role may be, or if he will have an actual ‘Mania segment. The outlet, however, speculated that Austin could potentially interrupt current Monday Night Raw superstar Elias, who is scheduled for a musical performance at WrestleMania 35.
In the event Austin is confirmed for WrestleMania 35 weekend, the appearance will be his first in three years. At WrestleMania 32 in 2016, Austin joined fellow WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley in chasing away the League of Nations, a mid-card heel faction that featured Rusev, Sheamus, and now-former WWE superstars Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett.