Hulk Hogan’s relationship with WWE is as complex and baffling as his cameo appearance in Gremlins 2, as his recent three year banishment from the company for racial slurs uttered during an unwitting sex tape appearance proved.
But it would appear that, for many members of senior management in Vince McMahon’s organisation, time heals all wounds and the Hulkster was welcomed back to the promotion with open arms last year.
Although not everyone’s arms were so open.
Upon his return to WWE in 2018, Hogan privately offered an apology for racist remarks made during a secret 2007 recording in which he was unaware he was being video taped having sex with his then best friend Bubba the Love Sponge’s wife (here’s a tip, Hulk, don’t befriend anyone who legally changes their name to Bubba the Love Sponge).
Hogan could be heard uttering lines such as “I am racist, to a point, f**kng n****rs” which cost him his place in the WWE Hall of Fame as well as all mention of him on the company’s website and in any promotional materials. But it was believed that Hogan’s apology last summer was more about being sorry for being caught rather than regretting what he had said and knowing it was abhorrently wrong to hold such views.
Several members of the WWE roster were reportedly not too pleased with Hogan’s return, or his apology. The New Day, which consists of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E Langston issued a statement on Twitter, explaining that they were ‘indifferent’ to the former world champion and multiple time WrestleMania headliner returning.
“How do we feel? Indifferent. We are not happy, sad or resentful. Who WWE puts into the HOF is totally and completely up to the company and from a career standpoint, there is no argument whether or not Hogan should have his place.
“On a personal level, when someone makes racist and hateful comments about any race or group of people, especially to the degree Hogan made about our people, we find it difficult to simply forget, regardless of how long ago it was, or the situation in which those comments were made.”
And now, during an interview with Wrestling Travel over WrestleMania weekend, current WWE Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley has made some remarks that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows.
The 42-year-old former MMA fighter was asked about who his dream WrestleMania opponent would be when he gave an interesting answer.
“I think, the way things are right now, let’s do Hogan. Let’s do Hogan NOW! Am I allowed to say that? (laughing)”.
— Wrestling Travel (@WrestlingTravel) April 5, 2019
Lashley, who was Impact Wrestling’s first ever African American World Champion, last year refused to become involved in the discussion over Hogan’s return to the WWE Hall of Fame when he said “If he’s in, he’s in. Nothing to do with me.” Although it would appear now as if the former ECW and United States champion is willing to stir the pot a little.
Will Hogan respond to Lashley’s comments? Given that this is the world of professional wrestling, this one could easily run and run for a while yet.