In a surprising turn of events, World Wrestling Entertainment fired Hulk Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) over a suspected racial rant which supposedly happened a few years back.
The wrestling world was definitely caught off-guard to say the least. It all started with this cryptic tweet from the Hulkster on early Friday morning:
In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 24, 2015
Needless to say, the Internet Wrestling Community had a lot of speculation of what would be happening until this thread which mentions the National Enquirer releasing an audio tape of Hogan dropping N-bombs like there is no tomorrow. This fueled a barrage of Twitter posts of who’s who in the IWC, apparently backing up the leaked info and ultimately confirming that Hogan has been dropped by the WWE, like the one below:
Hulk Hogan dropped from WWE due to audio recording in which Hogan goes on a racial tirade. WWE preemptively cutting ties before it breaks.
— Rob McCarron (STR) (@ShakeThemRopes) July 24, 2015
And it looks like WWE is doing a Chris Benoit on this situation as all mentions of the Hulkster has been pulled out from WWE.com, including the Hall of Fame section. All current merchandise of Hogan’s has been dropped from the WWEShop as well. He has been removed from his position as Tough Enough judge, too. And Curtis Axel’s Axelmania gimmick is being dropped immediately (no word on Damien Sandow’s Macho Man gimmick though).
And as Friday rolled on, the National Enquirer made true to it’s promise of releasing the tirade:
“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f—–g n——. But then when it comes to nice people and s–t, and whatever.”
“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f–k some n—–, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n—– worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n—–.”
WWE sent out the following statement in response:
“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
The tape which contains the said racist rant is believed to be part of the sex tape that was leaked back in 2012 and is currently being used as evidence in Hogan’s case against Gawker Media. The popular Dave Meltzer has reported that WWE has fired Hogan in relation to the said sex tape and the racist rant.
People.com has also received an “apology statement” supposedly coming from Hulk:
“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” Hogan said in a statement exclusively to PEOPLE. The transcript featuring that conversation was published online by the National Enquirer.
“This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise,” Hogan told PEOPLE. “I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”
There are now rumors circling around that WWE is actively trying to disassociate with the Hulk Hogan brand:
“WWE informed just about every licensee and partner that they work with that all references to Hulk Hogan, all images of Hogan and all current and planned licensing projects that might involve Hulk Hogan products should be dropped immediately. I have heard that from action figures to streaming music, anything Hulk Hogan-related under WWE’s umbrella has been terminated and/or in the process of being pulled down.
WWE, wisely, wants no connection to Hogan or the coverage his situation is likely about to get within the mainstream media over the next several days.”
This is not the first time that WWE has acted hastily in perceived acts of racism and other social blunders by those in it’s employs. In August 2014, Alberto del Rio (now going as Alberto El Patron) was fired from the company after hitting one of the company’s social media managers, who said a racist remark allegedly degrading ADR (and Mexicans in general). Another WWE superstar, Abraham Washington, was released by the company back in August of 2012 after making a joke involving Kobe Bryant’s rape case in Colorado during a live Monday Night Raw airing. WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump however is still being recognized by the WWE even after the comments he said in his current presidential bid.
It’s also worth noting that WWE themselves have made use of racist stereotypes in previous storylines, including the infamous Rowdy Roddy Piper “half-blackface” incident and the Degeneration X skit where they were mocking the Nation of Domination.
We at What’s a Geek leave this article with a series of tweets from the 5-time WCW Champion, Booker T:
20 years ago I made a huge mistake by saying something I shouldn't have on National TV.
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 24, 2015
It's 2015 and the n-word should be eradicated from the English language in my opinion.
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 24, 2015
And a parting shot from CM Punk:
@RyanLoco Booker told him he was coming for him. Well, he finally got 'em.
— Coach (@CMPunk) July 24, 2015