Hulk Hogan’s return to WWE is the big story in wrestling this week. It’s been 3 years since he has had any affiliation with them but a huge step was taken on Sunday he apologized to the locker room in Pittsburgh, PA before the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Hogan has been reinstated back into the Hall Of Fame but WWE says that he is not under contract, yet. Some people were skeptical while others were happy to see him and they welcomed him with open arms.
Former WCW executive Eric Bischoff was happy to hear the news about his friend. “I was really happy when I got the news because I know how much it means to him,” Bischoff told Sports Illustrated.
He was asked about the backlash surrounding Hogan’s return. As previously noted, Mark Henry told TMZ that there is a 50/50 split among black wrestlers on Hogan’s return. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter said that he has talked to several wrestlers in WWE and it seems like there is more than a 50/50 split. “You’re going to have haters no matter what you do,” said Bischoff. “You could cure every disease known to man and, still, someone’s going to hate you. But I don’t think people value that kind of negative input as much as they used to because people recognize it for what it is, and that’s people who want to be noisy and get attention.”
“Professional wrestling, the WWE, and being in the Hall of Fame represent such a large part of Hulk’s life, as does his connection to the audience,” said Bischoff. “For that to not be there for him, it hurt. So I think the news is great for Hulk as a person and for wrestling fans. To many generations of fans, Hulk Hogan really represents the beginning of what became this amazing industry that we have.”
There were some wrestlers backstage that were forgiving. James Ellsworth, for example, was backstage and said that he believed that Hogan was sincere when he apologized. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Hogan in WWE, especially for WrestleMania in New York City.