As a legend of the professional wrestling business in the 1980s and 90s, Hulk Hogan is synonymous with the WWE. Yet the former 12-time world champion and WWE Hall of Famer has been banned from the company for several years after audio of him spewing racial slurs were uncovered during his infamous sex tape scandal.
Hogan made his return to the company after a lengthy departure in February 2014, but on July 24, 2015 his contract was terminated. In the years that followed rumors have spread that the WWE was inching towards forgiving Hogan and allowing him to come back to the promotion, but they were shut down as recently as January.
"At this time, WWE remains committed to its decision," the WWE said in a statement on Jan. 18.
"For me, I'd love to change that last story that was told with the Hulk Hogan career," Hogan said. "I'd love to get back in the fold, get back on the inside and correct a lot of stuff. It has to be the perfect timing for both sides. We're all on good terms. We're all working towards the same goal. So hopefully, I'll be able to be back with my wrestling family some day soon."
"The Nature Boy," who was Hogan rival for the majority of his career, gave his sign of approval to Hogan's potential return.
"We look forward to that," Flair said.
Flair was also asked if we'd ever see the 68-year-old wrestler step back into the ring. It was an idea he quickly shut down.
"With the exception of the thing I just went through, I feel great. I have to have another surgery in July. But to get back in the ring, I don't think they'd go for that."
Flair famously retired after losing a match to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV, after Flair had survived a string of matches over several months where his career was on the line if he lost.
Triple H said in a 2015 interview that he was hopeful Hogan would be allowed back into the fold eventually.
"Do I think he can be forgiven and make amends with the world and move forward? Yeah, absolutely. But at the same point in time, for us in that time frame, you're putting up a message to the world of how you'll tolerate things and how you'll react to things. And we did what we needed to do, and he'll do what he needs to do to get himself back."