I was shocked and disappointed about the story of Hulk Hogan allegedly using several racial slurs, which was reported from many main stream media outlets. The comments, which include Hogan saying he’s racist, stem from the sex tape that was secretly filmed of Hogan and the former wife of his friend, Bubba Clem. Clem has a notable radio career and when it was first leaked, many assumed it was some type of publicity stunt, but Hogan has been involved in a lawsuit with the Gawker website to prevent the entire tape from being released. The National Enquirer published the racist statements and have indicated that more quotes from Hogan will be released. Amid the fire storm of negative publicity, the WWE announced that they have terminated his contract and all mentions of him, including the Hall Of Fame biography, were removed from the website. Since the comments were published, additional video from past radio appearances have surfaced and Hogan uses several derogatory terms in the videos. Hulk has apologized to several media outlets and posted messages on Twitter to apologize to fans. Hulk Hogan is an icon in the wrestling world and he survived a wave of negative press a few years ago when he became known more for the tabloid circus that surrounded him than his run in sports entertainment, but what does Hogan do after this debacle?

To be honest, I wasn’t going to speak on this subject because everyone will offer their opinion on it and it’s obvious what the right answer is, but there’s more to this story than just a stain on Hogan’s career. Despite any political, religious, or other affiliation, it should be clear that we are all human and there are certain rights that everyone deserves, and it’s sad that people are denied human rights in some parts of the world. I’m not going to try to convince anyone of anything, but we all bleed the same color and if you don’t understand that then you don’t have to continue reading this article. This is just my two cents, but I think everyone should be treated fairly and any type of prejudice is counter productive to making the world a better place. Judging someone without knowing anything about them is ridiculous and I hope that there’s more equality in the world as society evolves during the next few years.

Terry Bollea became a global entertainer and one of biggest stars in the history of the business in the 80s during his initial run in the WWE. Hulk helped take the industry national and without question, the sport wouldn’t be where it is today without the star power of Hulkamania. During his prime, Hogan set attendance records with Andre The Giant, merchandise records, and many of the early Wrestlemania events were promoted with him on the top of the card. Wrestling purists scoffed at Hogan’s limited technical and purely entertainment style, but it can’t be argued that Hogan could draw money anywhere for the WWE during his original run. As history tells us, with any wrestling boom, there are causalities and then an eventual decline before the business picks up again. Hogan’s star power along with the WWE’s better production, merchandising, and marketing gave them the edge over the NWA during the 80s boom. Jim Crockett Promotions spent themselves too far into debt and were forced to sell to Ted Turner, who renamed the promotion World Championship Wrestling. The steroid scandal of the early 90s led to a decline in business and Hogan actually testified during Vince McMahon’s trail. Hogan was expected to be the main witness, but went on record to say that McMahon didn’t distribute steroids, which led to an acquittal. Despite McMahon being acquitted of all charges, the damage was done to the image of the business and Hogan distanced himself from the industry when he left the WWE in 1993. Hogan’s ego and refusal to put over other talents is well documented, and his exit from the WWE was one of many major examples in his career. Hulk didn’t want to put Bret Hart over for the title and it led to a bizarre series of events that saw Hogan defeat Yokozuna at Wrestlemania to win the title again. Even for his departure at King of the Ring the same year, there was a goofy finish with a camera exploding in Hogan’s eyes before Yoko pinned him so obviously, giving back to the business was never The Hulkster’s top propriety.

After an attempt at a movie career that included “Mr. Nanny” flopped and the short lived “Thunder in Paradise” television series concluded, Hogan signed with WCW in 1994. Hulk became an immediate main event performer and won the WCW title in his debut for the company. However, the “Real American” character was stale and considered tacky as the sport evolved, and fans would boo Hogan at events. Despite the rejection, Hulk defeated a cast of cartoonish goons to maintain the top spot in WCW until Eric Bischoff signed The Outsiders in 1996. Hogan turned heel at Bash of The Beach and the New World Order was formed, which gave him a second run as a relevant star. However, it didn’t take long for Hogan to utilize the “creative control” clause in WCW, which allowed him to refuse any storyline he didn’t want to perform. Hulk won the title at Road Wild 1996 and kept it for eight months until he dropped it to Lex Luger on Nitro, but won the title back the same week at Road Wild in 1997. Even Goldberg’s run to became one of the industry’s top stars in less than a year was indirectly affected when Kevin Nash ended his undefeated streak, only to set up “the finger poker of doom,” which is still mentioned as one of the reasons WCW went out of business. Hogan’s refusal to step away from the main event spot led to an over exposure of the NWO and the group eventually became a stale act, which allowed the WWE to take the lead during the Monday Night Wars. In 2000, Hogan didn’t want to put over Jeff Jarrett and used his political power to change the finish of the match. Jarrett laid down for Hogan and the referee counted the fall on live pay-per-view for the Hulkster’s final WCW appearance. After the “match,” Vince Russo cut the infamous “shoot promo” and the company shut down less than a year later. There were a variety of reasons that WCW went out of business and the blame can’t be directed to one person, but Hogan certainly didn’t help the situation.

Terry Bollea was signed to the Turner company and had a guaranteed contract, which meant he was paid even after WCW shut down. Many of WCW’s top stars had similar deals and most of them opted to stay home and get paid for the remainder of the contract, which is why the Invasion angle flopped. Similar to the previous boom, after the Attitude Era, business declined and to boost revenue, the WWE signed the original members of the NWO in 2002. Hulk did the job for The Rock in a memorable match at Wrestlemania XVIII, but would become dissatisfied with the creative team and left the company in 2003. After the premiere of the “Hogan Knows Best” reality show in 2005, Hogan returned to the spotlight and eventually the WWE. A match for Summer Slam with Shawn Micheals was booked and reportedly, Hogan didn’t want to lose the match so HBK did the job on pay-per-view. The following year, Hogan feuded with Randy Orton and was booked to lose at Summer Slam, but again The Hulkster didn’t want to put over younger talent so he conveniently had a knee injury that could’ve potentially prevented the match until the finish was changed.

In 2007, Bollea got divorced and he became a tabloid circus for the next few years. Nick Hogan was driving intoxicated and was involved in a very serious car accident, which critically injured a passenger in the car. Bollea became a regular on TMZ and he mentioned during an interview on the Howard Stern show in 2009 that he was in debt from the divorce settlement. Shortly after that, Hogan signed with TNA and it’s been discussed many times, as he used Dixie Carter as a money mark, and used the promotion to financially rebound from debt. Hogan needed money and that was the only reason he signed with TNA. During his run in TNA, a sex tape surfaced online and it further damaged Hogan’s public profile, which resulted in the lawsuit that was mentioned earlier. Despite almost four years under contract, Hogan didn’t improve the ratings or attendance and he didn’t really do anything to help TNA. That being said, you can’t blame Hulk for taking the money that was offered and if anything, it proves that Dixie Carter is clueless.

It was announced in 2014 that Hogan would return to host Wrestlemania 30 and the WWE marketing machine restored him image. Finally, Hogan seemed to embrace his status as a legend and worked as an ambassador for the company instead of trying to get another main event run. However, the racist remarks that have surfaced could completely tarnish his legacy. One of the reasons that Bruno Sammartino and John Cena are considered heroes for their respective eras is that there’s an authenticity to them. Sammartino really does try to respectfully represent the business, stands up for his beliefs, and appreciates the support of the fans. John Cena actually does try to be a role model and he does many charity events. The remarks that have surfaced from Hogan take away from his Hulkamania persona because it goes against everything that fans believe in to cheer for him. Obviously, pro wrestling is people portraying characters, but it certainly sours fans on cheering Hulk Hogan when they know that Terry Bollea made such ridiculous comments. The question is, how should the WWE handle this? As I said, there’s no place for Hogan’s remarks and it’s completely understandable that the WWE doesn’t want to promote him, but he has been featured on dozens of pay-per-views so it’s not realistic to erase him. Hogan stepped on many careers to maintain his spot at the top and he rarely gave back to the business that made him a star so it’s difficult to view him as a sympathetic figure that just said the wrong statement. Obviously, Hulk Hogan made a mistake and he will have to deal with the consequences, but if the reported comments actually represent his prejudice towards different groups of people then he deserves the consequences.

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.

Until next week
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It

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