Legendary multi-time world champion Hulk Hogan is reportedly in talks with WWE about a return to the company he once called home. Arguably the biggest star in WWE history, Hogan was the face of pro wrestling for most of the 1980s and much of the 1990s. Gifted with a natural charisma and possessing a staggeringly muscular physique, Hogan's star power carried the then-WWF through its rise from regional wrestling promotion to global powerhouse. It was Hogan that the early WrestleMania's were built around, and eight of the first nine annual mega events featured The Hulkster in the main event.
Showing that his talents weren't necessarily bound to the WWF and its owner Vince McMahon, Hogan left for WCW in the mid-90s, effectively reshaping the Ted Turner-owned company in his own image. Hogan reinvented himself by turning heel, leading the renegade nWo faction as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. For nearly two years, WCW was a serious threat to put the WWF out of business, and it can't be overstated how big a role Hogan played in that.
Hulk Hogan is truly an icon within the wrestling business, but unfortunately, Terry Bollea - the man behind the patriotic and honorable character - threw dirt all over Hulkamania's image a few years back via a secretly recorded racist tirade. While the ugly statements were made in 2007, they weren't leaked to the public until the summer of 2015, causing WWE to immediately part ways with Hogan. Now, PW Insider reports that WWE is currently talking to their former poster boy about a potential return. Perhaps fearing public backlash to the news getting out, WWE quickly released the following statement in response.
We have had discussions with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) about how he can help others learn from his mistakes, however, he is not under any contract with WWE.
There are a few things worth noting about WWE's statement. The first is that they confirm having had talks with Hogan, although not explicitly about a return. The second is that the phrase "not under any contract with WWE" effectively means nothing as it relates to this story, as the PW Insider report alleged that he was in talks, not already signed. If WWE really wasn't considering bringing Hogan back into the fold, they could have easily issued a straightforward, unequivocal statement saying that. The fact that they chose not to speaks volumes.
That said, if Hulk Hogan does return to WWE this year, one wonders how soon it'll happen, and what the fan reaction will be to his arrival. After all, Hogan has spent much of the last few years complaining about how his WWE firing was unfair, which really isn't showing much contrition for the horrifically racist comments that got him in trouble in the first place. With that in mind, fans - especially people of color - might not welcome Hogan back with open arms. However, with WrestleMania XXXIV just around the corner, an appearance by The Hulkster could theoretically be possible.
Source: PW Insider