Hulk Hogan is a professional wrestling icon and a legend of World Wrestling Entertainment. Hogan had a big part in the WWE going from a regional product to a worldwide sensation that has since branched out to multiple forms of entertainment. Just like the WWE, Hogan has also had projects outside of the ring. He has been involved with multiple movies. Hogan once had his own television show and his family was featured in a reality TV program. He may, all things considered, be the most famous person to ever be associated with the wrestling business among individuals who are not diehard fans of the product.
2015 has been a rough year for the Hulkster. Recordings of Hogan making racist and other hate-filled comments in the past were released, and the WWE responded by cutting ties with Hogan. Hogan is not, as of the posting of this piece, welcomed at shows such as Raw and SmackDown. The company has been careful to not showcase highlights of Hogan during television programs. WWE even went so far as to remove Hogan's name and picture from its official Hall of Fame website. Whether or not Hogan will ever be returned to that site is not known as of this time.
Time heals all wounds, is the well-known saying, and one would be understood for believing that the WWE will eventually allow Hogan to come back. Maybe the WWE should not take that step. Maybe the WWE should, to steal a line from the song that the company used in old highlight videos, leave the memories alone. Bringing Hogan back at any point in the near future would generate at least some negative press for the WWE. Is Hogan, at this stage of his life, really worth that type of attention and the controversy that he would bring to the company the first time that he stepped into a ring?
12 WWE Doesn't Need Hogan
What, exactly, does Hulk Hogan provide the WWE in 2015-2016? He may receive a big pop from fans when he makes his way from the curtain at a show. Hogan is not, however, selling out a massive stadium via his drawing power. He is not getting the WWE a significant television rating, particularly if Raw is going up against a competitive Monday Night Football game. The WWE certainly is not allowing Hogan to wrestle in a match. Hogan is now just another name from the past, like others out there who do not have the reputation that is currently had by the Hulkster.
11 Hogan and McMahon Relationship
It is no secret to those who have followed the careers of the two icons of the industry that Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon have shared a complicated relationship for decades. McMahon allowed Hogan to leave the WWE in the 1990s because the promoter believed Hogan had hit his peak as a performer. Hogan went on to become a massive star in World Championship Wrestling. The two had an on-again, off-again relationship in the 2000s, so much so that Hogan linked up with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for a time. Maybe, just maybe, Hogan and the WWE being on the outs is how the story is supposed to end.
10 WWE Doesn't Owe Hogan
It should not be forgotten that Hulk Hogan was not just a bystander as WCW was trying to put the WWE out of business. Hogan was the central figure in the New World Order storyline. McMahon and the WWE nevertheless welcomed Hogan back with open arms multiple times in the 2000s. Even Hogan joining up with TNA Wrestling was not enough to completely kill off his relationship with the WWE. Hogan did a lot for the WWE and that cannot be ignored or denied. With that said, it is not as if Hogan has not been given multiple chances by the WWE since he first walked away from the company.
9 Public Company
The WWE is not an island unto itself that does not have to answer to any outside interests. It is, for starters, a public company. There are investors who have plenty of reasons to want the WWE to no longer have anything to do with a person such as Hulk Hogan. It is possible that those investors could be polled on the matter. Maybe it would turn out that they would not care all that much about Hogan being allowed to come back to the WWE. It is, however, more likely that investors would rather the company find other ways to attempt to generate revenue and business.
Not only does the WWE have to worry about the opinions of investors. The company also has to cater to advertisers who are responsible for keeping shows such as Raw and SmackDown afloat. The question, thus, has to be asked: What big company that pays money to advertise during WWE shows would, right now, want to have any association with a person such as Hulk Hogan? Hogan is only a negative, to the point that there would be people suggesting that consumers should boycott WWE advertisers if the company let Hogan come back. That is a headache that no company wants.
7 WWE Roster & Staff
Here is one that you may not have given much thought to when contemplating the future of Hulk Hogan. What if there are members of the WWE roster who do not want to see Hogan at shows? What if there are wrestlers and/or other staff members who work for the company who were legitimately offended upon hearing or reading the comments made by Hogan? Those individuals who did nothing wrong should not be made to feel uncomfortable by a man who made outrageous and hurtful comments. Regardless of what Hogan meant by saying those words, the words were said. They were awful and worthy of a termination.
How do you think Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and others within the WWE felt upon learning that Hulk Hogan was going to be the star of such a news story? You can bet everything you own that they were all less than pleased. Not only was Hogan referred to as a current or former member of the WWE when this story was released. The company had to issue its own press release assuring the public that Hogan had been fired and that employees making any such comments is completely unacceptable by WWE standards. The entire ordeal was a black eye for the WWE.
5 WWE Already Has Hogan
You want to see Hulk Hogan at his best as a member of WCW or WWE? You can do so already thanks to the WWE Network and to websites such as YouTube and DailyMotion. The WWE does not have to bring Hogan back to stream his old matches. Heck, the company does not even have to advertise the fact that Hogan is all over the WWE Network. All fans have to do is search out shows during which Hogan performed. The version of Hogan that means the most to the WWE is one that the company already has via the Network. Bringing back the actual man is unnecessary.
4 The Questions
If those asked were forced to be honest about the matter, National Football League general managers and head coaches would say that former running back Ray Rice has not been welcomed back by any team because he is not worth the distractions that he would bring with him. The same is true about Hogan. Any press conference or investor call that includes Vince McMahon or Triple H would eventually be taken over by people asking why a person such as Hogan was again a paid member of the WWE. That would grow old fast, especially because of how little Hogan brings to the company as of the end of 2015.
3 Sex Tape
The start of this entire ordeal was the release of a sex tape that allegedly featured Hulk Hogan and a woman who was the estranged/ex-wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, a man who was a friend of Hogan's when the tape was produced. WWE prides itself on being a company that presents “PG” television. Do you know what is not PG? A sex tape. Perhaps Hogan's privacy was invaded in the matter and maybe he is a victim as it pertains to the tape. It still makes sense that the WWE would rather not have a relationship with somebody who was involved in such a recording.
2 The Comments
Maybe you believe that Hulk Hogan did not know that he was being recorded at the time that the sex tape was made. That does not change the fact that Hogan did not deny that he made those comments. Hogan even apologized for the words that he said. Any recognized person working for a company as large as the WWE found guilty of making similar comments would likely be fired by that organization, if for no other reason than for the bad publicity generated by the matter. Hogan dug the grave of his WWE career when he said what he said.
1 What Else?
A sex tape including a woman who was once married to a friend. Hateful comments that were recorded and released. Any company, let alone the WWE, should have questions for Hulk Hogan before moving forward with a relationship: Is there anything else? Are there any other stories that could possibly be leaked that would make Hogan or the WWE look bad? The WWE has to protect itself and its image. Letting Hogan come back, even for a one-off, could blow up in the faces of the people who made that decision. That is a risk that will not be worth taking.