The idiom “never say never” is at its most appropriate when discussing future happenings in WWE. Now that Daniel Bryan manifested the impossible, he'll turn in his SmackDown General Manager duties for those of a wrestler. However, he may be handing his old spot to a person whose return was once thought to be just as unlikely.
According to Cagesideseats, Hulk Hogan is being discussed as the next SmackDown General Manager. While that concept should be considered a rumor, the fact that Hogan’s name is even associated with such a high profile gig is quite remarkable.
It's been over two and half years since WWE excommunicated Hulk Hogan after his racially charged tirade in 2015. Hogan was unknowingly recorded tossing around the n-word during a pillow talk segment of a sex tape. When the footage went public, WWE fired and subsequently deleted Hulk Hogan from their history. Their swift justice felt like Christianity hitting backspace on the New Testament but as a publicly traded company, WWE had no other choice than to execute Hulkamania.
However, the Hulkster has been implicated in several rumors as of late, and it appears WWE is warming up to the idea of Hulkamania making a prodigal return.
WWE has released several statements regarding Hogan’s banishment, but their most recent left room for Hogan to wiggle his way back into the company:
"We have had discussions with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) about how he can help others learn from his mistakes, however, he is not under any contract with WWE," WWE said in a statement.
However, there’s still a wall of reluctance surrounding any Hogan comeback.
Mark Henry, who was announced for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018 last week, discussed the possibility of having Hogan come back into the fold in an interview on Busted Open Radio.
"He's a public figure," Henry said, discussing Hogan's involvement in the upcoming Andre The Giant HBO documentary. "It doesn't mean that everything that he's done is forgiven, you just gotta take the good with the bad and see how you could help the situation. I'm sitting on the chair of the delegation and they're not ready. I've had many talks, with dozens of guys, and the consensus is there's a lot of work to be done to heal that wound and to fix that wall."
By delegation, Henry was referring to African American wrestlers who compete in wrestling promotions across the world. Henry said more has to be done on Hogan's end if he and other wrestlers are willing to accept him back.1comments
"There's gonna have to be more community service and outside work. Support for programs and even creative programs that deal with diversity in the workplace. ... I don't process everything like everybody else. I believe that everybody should be given a second chance but I also believe that you have to own your issue, whatever that issue is. You gotta try to make closure on everybody else's behalf, not just yours."
This is a situation worth keeping an eye on. Daniel Bryan's General Manager position will open after WrestleMania, meaning we could see Hogan back on WWE television in a matter of weeks.