Legendary professional wrestler and pop culture icon Hulk Hogan wants to return to the ring for one more big WWE match at WrestleMania. Hogan was of course at the forefront of WWE's first big national boom period in the 1980s, reigning supreme for much of the decade as a heroic, flag-waving WWE champion. During that time, Hogan faced off against such greats as Andre the Giant, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect, and his greatest rival, "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
When WWE looked ready to move on from the days of Hulkamania in the mid-1990s, Hogan showed himself to be an extremely smart businessman, jumping to competing promotion WCW for big money. When his good guy act grew stale, Hogan then turned heel, becoming a founding member of the New World Order (nWo) faction. After WWE bought WCW in 2001, Hogan sat out his contract, then signed with WWE in 2002, famously taking on The Rock at WrestleMania in a dream match.
While it's been nearly two decades since Hogan did battle with The Rock, he remains a towering figure in the world of pro wrestling, despite spending a few years in exile after his infamous racist rant tape surfaced. At this point, Hogan is 66-years-old, and hasn't competed in a televised wrestling match since facing Sting at TNA Bound for Glory in 2011. However, it seems Hogan isn't content for that to be his last match, telling the Los Angeles Times that he plans to try and convince WWE boss Vince McMahon to allow him one more big match at WrestleMania, possibly against McMahon himself.
I talked to Vince, and I said I really don’t know if I could live with myself knowing my last match was with TNA [Total Nonstop Action Wrestling]. If I can get fixed, I pray I can have one more match. I told Vince, ‘When I get through this back surgery, I’m going to get in the best shape of my life and we’re going to talk about me having one last retirement match.'
I’d love for it to be against Vince [McMahon]. I had such a great time with him in the ring at WrestleMania 19. I had no idea what to expect from him, but he’s a great bad guy. His timing is great. I loved wrestling him, but everything he does hurts. When you’re in the ring with someone and they’re hurting you, you kind of pinch them on the wrist, and the whole match I was doing that to Vince. I was like, ‘Vince, take it easy!’ Everything he does hurts, but I’d like to get in the ring with him one more time for my last match. That would be perfect.
As Hogan makes mention of above, he's set to undergo another back surgery soon, at which time he thinks he'll be good to go for one more big match. Whether that will actually be the case remains to be seen though, as reports in recent years have suggested Hogan was in such bad shape that he couldn't even get medically cleared to deliver his signature jumping leg drop. If Hogan does get cleared for another match, it seems extremely unlikely McMahon himself will participate, as he's now 74, and hasn't stepped in the ring for a match since 2012.
When it comes to more realistic possibilities for a Hogan opponent at WrestleMania, the obvious choice seems to be John Cena, as a match between he and Hogan has long been a fantasy of many fans. Cena was in many ways the Hogan of his era, and with him appearing less and less on WWE TV nowadays, the window for such an encounter looks to be rapidly closing. Again though, that's if Hogan can get medically cleared, which remains a big if.
Source: Los Angeles Times