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World Working Self Into Shoot, Brother, Over Rumored Hulk Hogan WWE Return
Over the weekend, TMZ, the Bleeding Cool of celebrity news, cornered Brooke Hogan, daughter of pro wrestling star Hulk Hogan, and managed to snag a juicy rumor about her dad's return to the WWE ring. "I know that people have been calling him," Brooke told TMZ, adding, "For Wrestlemania."
Hogan was ousted from the top wrestling organization in July of 2015 after comments made in a sex tape were leaked as a result of a legal battle with website Gawker. Speaking to the wife of radio host Bubba The Love Sponge, who Hogan was having sex with as part of an arranged cuckolding that was secretly recorded on video, Hogan didn't leave much up to interpretation, saying of his daughter's relationship with a black man:
I don't know if Brooke was f***ing the black guy's son. I mean, I don't have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f***ing ******s. But then when it comes to nice people and shit, and whatever. I mean, I'd rather if she was going to f**k some ******, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall ****** worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we're all a little racist. F***ing ******.
Hogan later won a lawsuit against Gawker for leaking the sex tape, eventually resulting in the dissolution of the site itself and the selling off of its other properties, like Deadspin, Kotaku, Gizmodo, and Jezebel, to Univision. That lawsuit was financially backed by Paypal founder Peter Thiel, who spoke at this year's Republican convention in support of Donald Trump. Hogan himself also appears to be a Trump fan, tweeting when Trump's victory in the election became apparent:
It's unclear whether Hogan is a supporter of Trump's for his policy, status as a fellow WWE Hall of Famer, connection to Thiel, or all of the above. What is clear is that, despite Brooke's comments making the rounds in wrestling and mainstream media, Hogan isn't planning on a WWE return, telling former WCW boss Eric Bischoff on his podcast:
Brooke needs to get the big yellow boot to the head…. Brooke's running around on TMZ and made the statement about me and wrestling and WrestleMania. For the record, like I said, she needs the big boot to the head. I haven't talked to anybody about WrestleMania. I just need to put that to rest.
And so, the matter is put to rest… or is it? Hogan is an old school wrestler with old school wrestling values of protecting the business, and could very well be denying the return in order to keep it a surprise for next year's Wrestlemania. WWE has distanced itself from Hogan, removing him from any prominent place in their marketing, including his spot in the WWE 2K video games. The company has also distanced itself from Trump, when if it were any other presidential candidate who formerly appeared at Wrestlemania getting a major party nomination, the company would likely be touting their connection on a weekly basis. But with Trump's victory in the election, it's possible WWE sees a change in the air that would make these associations less toxic, allowing them to exploit it.
The bottom line is, nobody has any idea what's truth and what's Hogan working everyone as he's always done, but it would be very surprising if Hulk Hogan never appeared in WWE again, as the company was built around his legacy in the 1980s, and Hogan maintained a prominent presence in wrestling well into the 21st century.