- Hulk Hogan has several supporters in the wrestling community regarding his WWE reinstatement, including former WCW president Eric Bischoff.
Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler ever and one of the most significant reasons for the wrestling boom of the 1980s and ‘90s, but was seemingly erased from WWE history three years ago after a 2007 video surfaced with Hogan using racial slurs.
The video, which also featured sexually explicit content, functioned as the focal point of Hogan’s successful invasion defamation, loss of privacy and emotional pain lawsuit against Gawker that ultimately netted him a $31 million settlement.
Eric Bischoff, who was the WCW president when Hogan was signed to a contract in 1994 and oversaw Hogan’s role in the extremely successful New World Order faction, expressed happiness that Hogan had returned to WWE.
“I was really happy when I got the news because I know how much it means to him,” said Bischoff, who spoke in-person with Sports Illustrated after his appearance at the XWA “Wrestlution ‘18” show on Sunday in West Warwick, Rhode Island. “We’ve discussed the potential of this scenario for a long time.”
Bischoff was asked whether WWE will face backlash for Hogan’s reinstatement.
“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.”
The seeds for Hogan’s WWE return were first planted this past January. Hogan has also been involved in multiple charity events, most recently at a June fundraiser in East Meadow, New York to benefit the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, which followed his induction into the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame this past May.
There is also no chance that Velveteen Dream would have received permission to dress like Hogan at the NXT TakeOver in Chicago last month had Hogan not been in the process of returning.
“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.”