Three years ago, the WWE removed all mention of Hulk Hogan from their website and removed him from the WWE Hall of Fame after racist comments surfaced in a leaked video published by Gawker of Hogan using the N-word in a disparaging manner.
On Sunday, July 15, the same day that the WWE holds its Extreme Rules pay-per-view event, WWE.com reports that Hulk Hogan has been reinstated to 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.”
This comes one day after Cageside Seats reported that Hulk Hogan had flown into Cleveland, Ohio, along with “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. This airport is 136 miles from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, where Extreme Rules takes place tonight.
While the speculation was that Hogan could appear at Extreme Rules in his comeback to the WWE, there is a more likely explanation.
Hulk Hogan likely was headed there as predicted but was going to meet with WWE officials about his reinstatement to the WWE Hall of Fame. Both Triple H and Vince McMahon are in Pittsburgh for the Extreme Rules event so Hogan likely flew into Cleveland so people wouldn’t know he was meeting with them.
What does this mean for Hulk Hogan and the WWE?
Hulk Hogan was suspended (as the news break referred to it) when the sex tape that he was in with the wife of Bubba the Love Sponge leaked. The suspension was not due to the sex tape, as the WWE has made it a company policy not to punish talent for something leaked illegally, an example being the sex tape with Paige and Xavier Woods.
However, when Gawker also revealed the audio portion of the tape, things got bad. That audio had Hulk Hogan making racial slurs towards an acquaintance of his daughter Brooke, using the N-word. It was the racial slurs that led to the WWE disowning Hogan for the last three years.
The WWE will likely not bring Hulk Hogan back to television because he needs to work his way back to that. It is likely the WWE Hall of Fame is the first step back. After this, the WWE will probably have him start doing promotional work for them, likely talking to groups about his use of the N-word and other racial slurs.
Only after he completes these tasks will the WWE probably move him back to the chance of television appearances.
Then again, this is the WWE, and Hulk Hogan could show up tonight at Extreme Rules.