Crazy news from the world of pro wrestling on Friday as WWE Hall of Fame legend Hulk Hogan, currently pushing hard for a return match at WrestleMania 32 and working for the company as a judge on Tough Enough, is apparently “no longer associated” with WWE. It appears to be so serious that all mentions of Hogan are being scrubbed from WWE.com, he’s no longer listed as a Tough Enough judge, and you can no longer buy his merchandise.
The rumor going around this morning is that there is a “racist rant” about to be made public, and that WWE’s cutting ties with Hogan before it goes public. No major sources have substantiated that yet, however, so take it with a grain of salt. Here’s what Wade Keller of PWTorch and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter know at the time of this posting:
Hogan sent out a cryptic tweet in the middle of the night addressing the situation, but it doesn’t add any clarification:
We can’t confirm anything about the disassociation being related to a “racist rant,” but whatever it was must have been severe enough to cause such an instant, nuclear response from WWE.
There’s audio of an old Hogan interview going around on Friday that some are claiming is the aforementioned rant, but it’s several years old and, and aside from Hogan using the n-word to tell a story, doesn’t really constitute a rant or “tirade.” It’s audio of him recounting a famous Booker T promo and saying the n-word instead of “the n-word.” This can’t be what caused the split, but it’s being sent around and talked up as the reason, so here it is for the sake of conversation:
We’ll keep you updated on the story as it develops.
Update #1: Josh Cohan of ABC News has received a statement from WWE regarding the Hulk issue:
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to celebrating and embracing individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
Update #2: The National Enquirer claims to have obtained the audio from Hogan’s full sex tape, and if true, it’s pretty bad.
Update #3: Hulk has issued an apology.