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.
Former WWE Star Lanny Poffo Dies at 68
Former WWE star Lanny ‘The Genius’ Poffo has reportedly died at the age of 68, according to his close friend “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, although no cause of death has been given at the time of this writing.
Poffo made his in-ring debut with the All-South Wrestling Alliance back in 1974, and also wrestled for a number of promotions such as the National Wrestling Alliance where he won a tag-team title with his father, Angelo.
Poffo debuted for WWE back in 1985 where he would be known as “Leaping Lanny Poffo” and “The Genius.”
Poffo would return to WWE back in 2015 to induct his brother, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, into the WWE Hall of Fame in a touching induction ceremony ahead of WrestleMania 31.
“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius,” Duggan said on Twitter.
Braun Strowman Talks Brock Lesnar Shooting On Him at Royal Rumble
WWE superstar Braun Strowman has had a number of memorable moments during his career at WWE, but none are quite like the 2018 Royal Rumble where Brock Lesnar got upset with Strowman for catching him with a knee.
Lesnar didn’t take to kindly and immediately hit Strowman with a flurry of legitimate punches, including a right hand to his jaw.
“Shit got real” Strowman said, during an interview with BT Sport.
“I mean, at the end of the day it’s two scary guys, two dominant males, not wanting to give an inch to either one, and we took it from each other. Things happen. We’re not playing, we’re not ballet, we’re not badminton. We’re physical. He’s [Lesnar] 300lbs, of just unadulterated animalistic beast and I’m a 385lbs monster. Things happen. At the end of the day, we made one hell of a segment, that’s what really happened.”
“I pat myself on the back. I think I’m the only person in history to take an overhand right from Brock Lesnar and not get knocked out. Anytime you get in the ring with “The Beast” and mix it up, the bigger the challenge the better. If you’re not wrestling the best, then who’d you beat?”
Ex-NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Signs with WWE
Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Karl Fredericks has officially signed with WWE following the conclusion of his four-year tenure with NJPW. Fredericks announced on social media back in summer 2022 that he would not re-sign with NJPW.
Fredericks was initially linked to WWE last September, when he was reportedly spotted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
According to PW Insider, Fredericks has officially signed with WWE and will be a part of the NXT brand initially.
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