Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair hosted the Legends of the Ring Fanfest this past weekend at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida, and when walking the red carpet prior to the event, Hogan let slip to journalist Chris Van Vliet that he’s close to a WWE return.
That’s if you believe what Hogan is saying.
Hulk doesn’t exactly have a sterling record when it comes to telling the truth. The only thing he’s done more than drop his leg on opponents is stretch the truth, or at least bend it in a way puts himself in a favorable light.
“Yeah I’m ready,” Hogan said about a WWE return. “Things are moving in that direction quite quickly. It’s all about execution and timing – the right place and the right time – but things are good.”
OK … let’s take a step back and remember why Hogan was let go from WWE in the first place.
Hogan was canned by WWE in 2015 after it came out, in court, that he used a truckload of racist slurs when describing an African American male that had shown interest in dating his daughter, Brooke. The comments were caught, if you remember, on a sex tape where he was recorded having sex with the wife of his (now former) friend, radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge.
Not long after that, WWE scrubbed Hogan from WWE.com and released the following statement:
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
WWE believes that now — of all times in our nation’s history — that Hogan will be beloved and accepted back into the WWE Universe (ugh, I hate that term, but let’s go with it).
Two weeks ago, Roseanne was cancelled by ABC hours after its star Roseanne Barr went on a racist Twitter tirade.
If WWE believes that people will forgive and forget in 2018 they are in for a rude awakening, I hope.
Honestly, this is on wrestling fans. Let’s face it, wrestling fans don’t have the best reputation. The rest of society looks down on pro wrestling and many people in the “mainstream” mock the form of entertainment as appealing to the “lowest common denominator.” If you’re reading this, and you’re a wrestling fan, they’re talking about you. It’s terrible, I know, but that’s how haughty people look at pro wrestling and it’s fans.
Wrestling fans lovingly accepting Hulk Hogan back into their world would reinforce that stereotype. It would be ironic, considering Hogan’s quick stereotyping is what got him into this mess in the first place.
But wrestling fans need to do good here. They need to reject Hulk Hogan. I’m all for giving second chances, but Hogan has proven time and time again that he’s not a good person. This isn’t a second chance for Hogan, it’s more like an eighth… He’s certainly not the “say your prayers and eat your vitamins” guy that WWE pitched him as when most of us were kids.
There’s the racist comments caught on video. There was a report by TMZ a few years ago that Hogan’s now closed restaurant, Hogan’s Beach, had a strict dress code (it was a family restaurant similar to Applebees) that banned things such as “wearing sports jerseys, low-hanging pants, virtually any clothing deemed ‘baggy,’ and ‘excessive’ or ‘oversized’ jewelry.” A dress code like that is a dog whistle for something else.
Remember when Hogan was caught on tape saying of John Graziano, a man with severe and permanent brain damage following a car crash that put Hogan’s son in jail, “I don’t know what type of person John was or what he did to get himself in the situation. I know he was pretty aggressive and used to yell at people and used to do stuff. For some reason, man, God laid some heavy s**t on that kid, man. I don’t know what he was into.”
Yeah, blame the victim. What a “real American” that Hulkster is. He “fights for the right of every man,” but only a certain type of every man.
This isn’t a one-time incident with Hogan. He’s proven, time and time again, that he’s not someone who should be celebrated.
WWE, in particular Stephanie McMahon, likes to tout the company’s philanthropy. You’re going to air a video on Martin Luther King Day, honor Black History month with video packages throughout February, and then also celebrate Hulk Hogan on the same show?