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.
Just met with the @WWE Superstars and on all levels the volume of love and support was overwhelming. I’ve been praying for this day and I finally feel like I made it back home. Only Love 4 the #WWEUNIVERSE brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 15, 2018
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.
Tye Dillinger Requests Release from WWE
Tye Dillinger is ready to move on from WWE, and has officially asked for his release from the company.
Dillinger has been sparingly used since his call up from NXT almost 2 years ago, and with the rise of other promotions, and the launch of AEW, it’s no surprise that Dillinger has decided to go elsewhere.
Lio Rush Backstage Reputation
WWE superstar Lio Rush has been in the middle of a confusing wrinkle in his association with Bobby Lashley, who seems to be done with Rush, but still teaming with him.
Lashley attacked Rush following Fin Balor pinning Rush in their handicapped match at Elimination Chamber, which cost Lashley his Intercontinental Championship despite not being pinned.
It’s been an interesting direction for Rush’s character, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingNews.co) Rush may have a reputation backstage.
“It appears Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin. There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people, including other workers, the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
D-Generation X, with Chyna, to be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame
Chyna will finally get recognized and honored as a WWE Hall of Famer.
According to ESPN, Degeneration-X will be officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2019.
Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, and Chyna will all be inducted. It will mark Michaels’ second induction into the Hall of Fame.
“I think it’s the most meaningful for us all to go in together and to be recognized together,” Tripe H said, according to ESPN. “Because I think both groups were [just] as impactful.”
“It’s a funny thing, because DX was something that, before Kevin [Nash] and Scott [Hall] left, at the time we all talked about using ‘The Kliq’ as it was — kind of morphing that into television, since it was so out there anyways,” said Levesque. “But things worked out the way they did — they left, and the timing was right.”
“Shawn and I still wanted to do it. Vince saw the value in it, I guess, and finally let us go at it, by that point in time I was looking for a heater, and we had brought Chyna.”
Triple H went on to say Chyna deserved to be in the Hall of Fame.
“Look, people believe what they want to believe. When I said a few years ago on the Austin podcast, or show, or whatever you want to call it, there’s complexities around it,” said Triple H. “But absolutely, definitely deserves to be in there. It’d be tough to pick a female that was more impactful on the business. She did something that was completely so out of left field that it wasn’t even being considered when we first brought it up for her to come in. It wasn’t even a consideration… it wasn’t an easy thing, and against all odds she did all of that.”
And as far as Chyna being inducted in the future as single’s competitor, which she deserves, Triple H is confident it will happen eventually.
“From that standpoint, absolutely 100 percent deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and should probably be more than once — as a group, but individually as well,” Levesque continued. “There’s more complexity to that than meets the eye, but here we are. I’m just happy that it’s here. I’m happy for her family, the people that she was close to, that hopefully this is super meaningful to them. I know it would be to her. It’s a great thing — very deserving.”
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