Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair may have been rivals inside the ring, but it's quite clear that the duo are close friends outside the squared circle.
On Saturday night, the two wrestling legends and WWE Hall of Famers appeared together at a "Legends of the Ring" event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Naturally, the subject of a Hogan return to WWE came up.
Chris Van Vliet, a reporter for WSVN-TV in Florida, asked Hogan about a possible return.
"Things are moving in that direction quite quickly. It's all about execution and timing and the right place and the right time but things are good," Hogan said.
WWE has clearly started to back off from their previous exile of Hogan following the release of racist statements that Hogan made on a sex tape in the mid 2000s. The comments leaked to the media in 2015 while Hogan was a judge on WWE's Tough Enough series. His contract was quickly terminated, he left the show, and he's not been part of WWE since.
Hogan appeared at the world premiere of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Andre The Giant back in April and encountered some WWE talent, notably Triple H. While the door was still mostly closed on a WWE return at that point, it seemed to be cracked open ever so slightly. Since that time, the door has continued to open a little bit more as time has went on.
Since Hogan was doing the appearance with Flair, another topic which came up had to do with why the pair never wrestled each other at WrestleMania. It was originally planned that Hogan would face Flair at WrestleMania VIII in Indianapolis in 1992. However, Hogan and Flair wrestled each other all over the country, virtually in every major market, throughout the fall of 1991 and into 1992 at untelevised live events, so WWE felt at the time that the feud had been played out and a high percentage of the fans had already seen the match.
Hogan still sounds like he would have liked to have done the match on the biggest stage, though.
"We don't know (why they didn't wrestle at WrestleMania)," Hogan said. "We were on fire. We did some house shows in Chicago, Milwaukee, three or four shows in a row we set all kinds of records all over and we were pushing real hard towards that WrestleMania time and for me I have a personal opinion, the chemistry was so powerful between Ric and I, I hate to say anything bad about any of the other wrestlers, I hate to say anything bad about the company but with Ric and I heading into WrestleMania it kind of took over everything."
He continued, "If we would have wrestled at WrestleMania, we would have taken so much of the focus because there would have been the rematch and the cage match, the title would have dropped and hopefully I would have won it back and back and forth. I think that Vince knew that this was such a powerful turbulence between the two of us he could conquer and divide and make it work even better and pretty much that's what he did. He sent me off in one direction and him in another and we drew money in both directions."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. and WSVN-TV]