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WWE: Hulk Hogan Back In Hall Of Fame

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WWE’s Extreme Rules event is minutes away and the event, but whatever happens tonight will likely take a backseat to the company’s reinstatement of former world champion Hulk Hogan to its Hall of Fame.

WWE announced it reinstated the former WWE Champion to its Hall of Fame in a news release.

STAMFORD, Conn. — After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.

In 2015, WWE terminated its contract with Hogan and removed all references to him on the website after the National Enquirer and Radar Online released a video of Hogan using racist language in a leaked sex tape.

Hogan has not made an appearance for WWE since he was fired. WWE COO Triple H said he would be open to a Hogan return and the company has kept their eyes on him and reactions to appearances for events like the Boys and Girls Club of America Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony – he was inducted into the organization’s HOF earlier this year – and the Andre the Giant documentary event.

On his Twitter account, Hogan said he was backstage at Extreme Rules and met with all of the superstars.

According to a report from PW Insider, Hogan made a formal apology to all of the talent and “apologized for embarrassing himself and the company, and told the wrestlers to be careful what the say as they could be recorded without knowing it.” The report adds that Hogan received a positive reception for the apology. Prior to meeting with the talent, Hogan met with company officials.

There’s speculation that Hogan may appear on Raw or Smackdown this week, but nothing is confirmed at this time.

Since Hogan’s comments came to light, there has been mixed feelings from wrestlers and fans. Older African American wrestlers like Virgil and Kamala dismissed the idea of Hogan being racist. Popular independent performers like Nick and Matt Jackson – the Young Bucks – have thrown out the idea of working with Hogan.

However WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry was supportive of the company’s no tolerance toward Hogan’s comments.

Even though it has been three years since WWE terminated Hogan’s contract, fans have to wonder if it too soon for the company to bring him back? Some fans are elated the idea of Hogan returning to the WWE fold and feels he deserves a second chance.

Others are not so forgiving and do not want to see him on WWE ever again as he said horrible things and alienated an entire race of fans.

But that is the case with popular celebrities who say terrible, unacceptable things. If a person’s favorite MMA fighter or boxer says something or commits a heinous, they are willing to come to the defense of the individual – and in some cases justifying the actions that got them into hot water in the first place.

Hogan isn’t the first wrestler to say something horrible and controversial. Fellow Hall of Famer the Ultimate Warrior and Ring of Honor’s Jay Briscoe made homophobic comments. In the case of Briscoe, he apologized and said those comments a reflection of his character, and he actually donated funds to the charity Partners Against Hate.

Meanwhile the Warrior never apologized for his rant, even after he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

It is still going to take a long time for fans to fully accept Hogan, and some never will. 

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Triple H Promoted to Chief Content Officer

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Triple H

WWE formally announced today that Paul “Triple H” Levesque has been elevated to Chief Content Officer. Additionally, the company has promoted Frank A. Riddick III to President & Chief Financial Officer.

Triple H has had stellar reviews since taking over creative for WWE in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement and legal issues, with a 15% boost in viewership on Monday Night RAW and double-digit boosts in social media engagement.

Now, Levesque will oversee Creative Writing, Talent Relations, Live Events, Talent Development and Creative Services. The role will report to WWE co-CEO Nick Khan.

Here is the official statement from WWE: “WWE is one of the most prolific producers of premium content in the world and I look forward to this amazing opportunity,” said Levesque. “Having spent my entire career in this business, I’m confident that we have the right pieces in place to continue to grow our audience and deliver for our fans around the world.”

Riddick joined WWE as Chief Financial Officer last year, after serving on the company’s Board of Directors for more than 13 years and previously holding the role of interim CFO. During that time, WWE has announced annual and quarterly records for Revenue and Adjusted OIBDA. As President & CFO, Riddick will oversee Financial Planning & Analysis, Strategy, Controllership, Investor Relations, Tax, Data Analytics, Technology, Event Travel and Facilities. He will jointly report to WWE Chairwoman & co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and co-CEO Nick Khan.

“I’ve had the great fortune of working closely with the talented people at WWE in a variety of capacities over the past 15 years,” said Riddick. “Along with Steph, Nick and Paul, we look forward to executing our ambitious plans and delivering for our shareholders.”

“We are excited to announce expanded roles for Paul and Frank, which will enhance WWE’s ability to create premium content for our partners around the world and, ultimately, drive our business forward,” said McMahon and Khan.

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Swerve Strickland Talks Hit Row’s Return to WWE

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Hit Row

AEW superstar Swerve Strickland shared his thoughts on his former faction Hit Row, making their return to WWE. Since Strickland is currently in AEW, and one half of the tag team champions with Keith Lee, he is unable to join them.

“I’m happy for those guys and I’m happy they got their second chance, I really am” Strickland said during an appearance on the Grapsody podcast.

“Some people were like, ‘Are you upset about this? They’re back.’ Good, they deserve to be on TV. Now, this is their chance to be them and do what they do or however they want to do. There were times when I would discuss things and they wanted to do it this way, and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s try to mesh this together.’ It was a lot of teamwork and effort and family-type vibes to put these promos together. I don’t think I brought them up to the main roster, I think we did it together. A lot of people with these comments are trying to separate us and do the dividing thing. No, you’re not going to divide me from my friends. You’re not going to divide me from people that I was really grinding with at the PC [Performance Center] and every week on TV, trying to do something really special and being, literally, probably one of the most creative people in the entire PC because nobody was telling us what to do. We were literally coming up with it ourselves. We did that together to get to the main roster.” (quote courtesy of Fightful.com)

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Braun Strowman Returns to WWE

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After over a year since his release from WWE, Braun Strowman made his surprise return to the company during Monday Night RAW,  during the Fatal-Four Way Number One Contenders tag team match between The New Day, Alpha Academy, Los Lotharios, and The Street Profits.

Now we have more information has come out regarding where Strowman will find himself on the main roster.

According to PWInsider, despite making his return on RAW Strowman will be a member of the SmackDown Live roster, and is slated to be used as a babyface.

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