So, it’s official! WWE announced today that Hulk Hogan will return at Monday’s RAW and will serve as the official “host” of WrestleMania XXX in April. Additionally, Hogan will appear on the WWE RAW “Backstage Pass” post-show, which airs live on the WWE Network, which officially launches on Monday.
Regarding Hogan’s return, WWE CEO Vince McMahon stated the following:
“We are thrilled that Hulk Hogan has returned home to WWE. It’s fitting to have him help us celebrate 30 years of WrestleMania and usher in a new era with the launch of WWE Network.”
Hogan said the following about his return:
“Words cannot express how excited I am to be back in the WWE family. I only have one question for the WWE Universe: Whatcha you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild as the host of WrestleMania 30?”
So, there you have it. “The Hulkster” is back in the company he helped build. The question I have is — how excited can we really be about his return? Personally, I’m very excited to see Hogan come out on a WWE stage, on a WWE television show, and end his career in the right company. However, after a promo or two, how much is Hogan going to be able to contribute as a regular on-air performer? As a business representative of the company he has a lot to offer. If you’re looking from a fan standpoint, however, there’s really not a whole lot he can do.
It’s been reported that Hogan wasn’t able to pass the required WWE physical to enable himself the ability to compete in a physical capacity for the company. Basically put, he won’t be able to do anything outside of talking. As I understand it, this includes anything physical. So, not only can he not compete in an actual match, but he can’t even do a run-in and throw a couple of worked-punches. At the end of the day, outside of a big initial pop and a couple of promos, he can’t really offer a whole lot in terms of being a regular character in the story lines.
One thing I hope WWE takes advantage of with Hogan back in the fold — and I’m sure they will — is to do a full-length documentary on his career. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of the current WWE product. This seems to cause some confusion, however, as I’m still an enormous wrestling fan. A large majority of my day is watching old DVD-documentaries, Legends of Wrestling round tables from WWE On Demand and a ton of other wrestling-related content. Needless to say, I’m excited about the WWE Network from that standpoint.
Over the past few years, WWE has put together some excellent DVD-documentaries on some of my favorite Superstars of all-time. The “Triple H: Thy Kingdom Come” DVD, the “For All Mankind: The Life And Career Of Mick Foley” DVD, the “Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line On The Most Popular Superstar Of All Time” DVD and “The Epic Journey Of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson” DVD are examples of WWE doing thorough documentaries chronicling the entire career of a given wrestler. They’ve never really done a great documentary on the career of Hulk Hogan. Hopefully with “The Hulkster” back in the fold, that is something we can look forward to.
With the launch of the WWE Network coming on Monday night, we already know that the company plans on running some weekly original shows. Personally, I’m looking forward to “The Monday Night War” show, and with Hogan being a large part of that era, he’ll likely be a major contributor to that program. He could be useful as a “talking head” for the “WWE Countdown” show as well. As noted above, he’s scheduled to appear on the RAW “Backstage Pass” post-show on Monday night, so there’s another role he can fulfill on a regular basis without risking his health.
At the end of the day, there is a lot that WWE can get out of a Hulk Hogan return, even if he’s unable to be an important contributor to the actual current on-air product. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’m a little disappointed that we can’t see another historic in-ring showdown with Hogan, such as the WrestleMania match he had with The Rock several years back. Like it or not, a Hogan vs. John Cena match at WrestleMania, while it may not be what one would call a catch-as-catch-can classic, it would still be a legendary showdown that could generate interest from fans who have moved on from the product, and serve as a catalyst to possibly get some of those fans back on board. In that sense, it’s kind of a shame that Hogan wasted the last few years of his in-ring career working in TNA.
Long story short, “Hulkamania” is back in time for WrestleMania, and it’s cool as a fan to know that Hogan’s legendary career is going to come full circle and finish up in the right place. As a fan, I can’t wait to see how they choose to kick-start his return this Monday night, brother!
What do you guys think about Hulk Hogan’s return to WWE? How do you feel he could best be utilized by the company? Leave your feedback in the “Comments” section directly below. Also, if you have a second, stop-by and add me as a friend at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.