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.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 4, 2019
For Raw, the whole back and forth rivalry between Jeff Jarrett and Elias was entertaining. What started at the Royal Rumble and has carried over for the past few weeks, seeing Elias and Jarrett exchange guitar shots had a throwback feel to it. Along with that, Road Dogg being in the corner of Jarrett really brought times back. Lastly, Elias ended up winning the match, which helps give him momentum going into whoever his next rival will be.
For Smackdown, Mustafa Ali and Randy Orton put on the best match during their show this week. Ali’s high flying against Randy Orton’s slow attacking pace was a great matchup of styles and it showed. Orton ended up winning after hitting an RKO from the top rope and gives him the upper hand towards the Elimination Chamber match.
For Raw, the lack of featuring the tag team champions on their show this week was evident. While they did have a number one contenders match featured this week, the winners ended up being the Revival. This is a match that we have already seen one too many times and if there isn’t a different result this time around, then what is the point of the Revival facing off against the tag team champions.
For Smackdown, after R-Truth shocked the world last week by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States championship, you would think that we would get a segment of him celebrating this victory the next week. Instead, he wasn’t even really on the show this week. As good as R-Truth is, at least a 30 second segment would’ve been better than nothing from him.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were average this week. They did help build the Elimination Chamber as well as still pushing Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch as the main event of Wrestlemania. But, there was lots missing from both brands this week. Both shows were missing champions this week and didn’t even bother mentioning them. As talented as the champions currently are, each one should get respective time. With that said though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A debuting EC3, a solid double match with Ronda Rousey, and a decent main event gave Raw a better show this time around. In conclusion, WWE still has some work to do when building up these next two PPV’s, hopefully, they can put on better efforts that they did this week.
The Hart Foundation To Be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame
The original group, and the ones being honored, includes WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, and WWE Hall of Famer ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart.
Sadly, Neidhart will be inducted posthumously as he passed away in 2018 at the page of 63.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 28, 2019
For Raw, the ending segment between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar was an awesome way to close out the show and start the build for this match at Wrestlemania. After Rollins won the Royal Rumble on Sunday, he had to make a decision on which champion he would face. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar told Rollins to choose Daniel Bryan over Lesnar because he didn’t want to fight with Lesnar, which led to Rollins responding by igniting a brawl. Overall, great way to help ramp up the intensity for what could be the main event of Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States champion and this moment really came out of nowhere. R-Truth went one on one against Shinsuke Nakamura for the championship and he won via roll up. Soon after Truth won, Rusev then came out and challenged Truth to defend his newly won belt. Truth won again via roll up, which led to both Nakamura and Rusev attacking him after. Its a fresh start with the US championship and somebody with as much charisma as Truth is a good way to hit the reset button for this belt.
For Raw, who knows what they are trying to do with Kurt Angle. After losing to Baron Corbin in about five minutes, this leaves lots of questions on where Angle stands with WWE. Ever since he has came back to the ring, he has lost over and over again. This shouldn’t be happening with a hall of fame of his status. But, this could lead to an interesting story considering how good Angle is.
For Smackdown, while it was a feel good moment to see the Miz and Shane McMahon win the tag team championship, their celebration on the show this week wasn’t that compelling. At the PPV, when they won the match, they celebrated with the Miz’s father. Then, during this celebration, it was the same thing as the Miz’s dad came out and celebrated with them along with a video package being played. This could’ve been done better and differently considering we already saw this type of celebration during the PPV.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were really good this week. Not only are they starting to layout some of the big matches for Wrestlemania, but they are also starting to implement matches for their upcoming PPV, Elimination Chamber. Smackdown felt a little crammed though as they were trying to fit in promos during superstars entrances and having promos during commercials. While Raw, on the other hand, was able to announce two huge matches for Wrestlemania as well as help build up some rivalries going into Elimination Chamber. Raw had the better show this week for a few reasons. A solid ending, a great beginning for the Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch match, and an entertaining segment with Elias help Raw deliver this week. In conclusion, 2019 continues to be good for WWE so hopefully they can continue this pace going into their next big PPV of the year.
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