WrestleMania XXX: Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena – Will It Happen?

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So, TNA is in shambles, Hulk Hogan is “the hottest free agent in sports,” and the milestone WrestleMania XXX event is rapidly approaching. The question on the minds of many fans is: will Hulk Hogan appear on the largest stage the sports entertainment world has to offer? According to a new article by eWrestlingNews.com journalist Ryan Clark, Hogan and World Wrestling Entertainment have reached a verbal agreement. While many new fans could probably care less if “that old, bald guy” ever works another match, long time pro wrestling fans enjoy the possibility of one last major nostalgia match from the man who arguably put the event on the map.

WrestleMania and Hulk Hogan go hand-in-hand. Hogan was the centerpiece of the initial event on March 31, 1985, some 28 years ago. Many fans reading this probably weren’t even born yet. Others who were, will never forget that event. If you watch it back on tape today, it may seem like ancient history. At the time, it was one of the coolest things our favorite brand of entertainment had ever seen. That night, Hogan teamed up with A-Team mega-star Mr. T, and the two, with “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka in their corner, battled “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, with “Cowboy” Bob Orton in their corner.

WrestleMania II took place the following year, with Hogan again headlining the major event. This time, Hogan challenged King Kong Bundy in a steel cage match that was quickly forgotten. WrestleMania II may not have been the finest presentation in the world, but it kept the tradition alive and cleared the path for WrestleMania III.

On March 29, 1987, WrestleMania III took place from the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. It has become pro wrestling legend that 93,173 fans filled the aforementioned building, when in reality, many sources claim there were closer to 80,000 fans in attendance at best. Regardless, Hogan slammed the legendary Andre The Giant that night, and WWE was well on its’ way to becoming the NFL of the sports entertainment genre’. Vince McMahon rolled the dice, much like he did with the first WrestleMania, and it paid off in droves. It was again centered around one man: Hulk Hogan. Andre The Giant was a household name, and on that night, he would officially pass the torch to “The Hulkster.”


Hogan took a back seat at WrestleMania IV as his friend “Macho Man” Randy Savage would win a tournament to become the new WWE Champion. This would lead to a monstrous main event between Hogan and Savage, with Miss Elizabeth stuck in the middle, for WrestleMania V the following year. Hogan would regain the title, and one year later, at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario Canada, Hogan would challenge The Ultimate Warrior. In many ways, this was supposed to be the passing of the torch from Hogan to Warrior. Things didn’t really end up that way in the end, but at the time, it was a historical showdown.


Hogan would appear at a few other WrestleMania events following the huge show in Toronto, but his next mega-impact on WrestleMania would come after the biggest rival to WWE, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), was purchased by Vince McMahon. By the time WrestleMania X8 rolled around in March of 2002, all eyes were on Hogan vs. The Rock. The final match that evening was actually a Championship match between Chris Jericho and Triple H, but the true main event was the Hogan-Rock showdown. This would be the first of a couple of “dream matches” that would become the focus of WrestleMania several years later, when The Rock again returned to challenge who in many ways was his successor, John Cena.

On April 1, 2012, The Rock and John Cena locked horns in what was then billed as “Once in a Lifetime.” That didn’t last long at all, as the match would take place again the following year to even up the score. With the last two years of WrestleMania featuring back-to-back “dream matches,” or matches where one generation’s top Superstar would collide with a past generation’s Superstar, many are looking ahead to WrestleMania XXX on April 6, 2014, and are wondering what to get excited about.

As with any WrestleMania the past 20 years, there’s always The Undertaker’s streak. Outside of that, there aren’t many matches WWE can make that will feel as special, or as rare (meaning a match they couldn’t promote on any other pay-per-view just as easy) using their current talent roster. There’s Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock, assuming The Rock will actually compete again next year. We’ve seen that already. Not on the WrestleMania stage, but the two have shared the squared circle in the past, when both were actually closer to their primes. Other than that, any match they promote with their current roster is something they could do whenever they want. WrestleMania is the one time of year that they are expected to put on something special. Something rare. Something that is legitimately “Once in a Lifetime.” That match is ready-made if WWE is willing to pull the trigger.


Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena is a match that many hardcore pro wrestling fans will probably hate. Hogan is so far past his prime, it’s not even funny. Hogan at his prime was never a particularly great in-ring worker. Cena has been accused of being more “sizzle” than “steak” himself. Regardless, as was the case with Hogan-Rock, which wasn’t exactly a “catch as catch can” classic, it’s a match that will feel special. It will generate interest from fans who have long forgotten about the pro wrestling world we still enjoy as fans presently. It’s a match that will bring many former fans back, and garner interest from people who were never fans at any point. Having a match like that can be huge at the box office, and let’s not forget, WWE is a business first and foremost.


A match like Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena could be the one thing that WWE can promote that will shine the light on the pro wrestling world again, bright enough that maybe things could start turning around. In a year where WWE television ratings have steadily declined, pay-per-view interest wanes as each event passes, and live ticket sales dwindle to, at times, embarrassing levels, Hogan vs. Cena could be the beginning of a turnaround. The only question is will WWE make it happen. All signs point to the fact that WWE isn’t willing to offer Hogan what he wants to put that “dream match” together. For the last several years, WWE has spent insane amounts of cash to secure special “attractions” for WrestleMania. There was WrestleMania 23 in 2007 with Donald Trump. There was WrestleMania 24 with Floyd Mayweather. The last two years, WWE spent the big bucks to bring back The Rock.

What is the big attraction going to be at WrestleMania XXX? Will there even be one? Sure, there are other options besides a Hulk Hogan return. However, with next year’s event being the milestone 30th event, what better, easy, ready-made attraction is there than to bring back the guy who arguably got the tradition going in the first place? Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena is one of very few dream matches that are in a position to actually happen. With “Stone Cold” Steve Austin all but promising fans he’ll never lace up his black boots again, the other two legendary figures who are on a level higher than any others, no matter how much hardcore fans will argue certain other stars, there’s only Rock and Hogan left. We’ve seen The Rock in the ring two years in a row, and a featured player three years in a row, at WrestleMania. WrestleMania XXX is time for one last chance for the Hulkamaniacs to run wild. It’s one chance for the CeNation and the Hulkamaniacs to collide on the grandest stage of them all. If WWE fails to pull the trigger now, it will be another “what could have been” situation, like so many other “dream matches” of the past.

Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena. WrestleMania XXX. It just makes sense. Actually, it makes dollars. Lots of them. We’ll see what happens.

Keep up with the latest updates regarding WrestleMania XXX, and Hulk Hogan’s negotiations with WWE in the eWrestlingNews.com news section..

Do you want to see Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena? If not, what match would you like to see promoted as the main event of the milestone 30th edition of WrestleMania? Leave you feedback in the “Comments” section directly below.


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