By Aaron Oster
For The Baltimore Sun
5:33 PM EST, February 21, 2014
The WWE made official on Friday what was long-rumored: Hulk Hogan is returning to the company
The WWE Hall of Famer is going to return on RAW on Monday, according to the WWE, and will take part in Wrestlemania 30 as a host, similar to what The Rock did for Wrestlemania in 2011.
Hogan, 60, was last in the WWE in 2006, when he faced Randy Orton at Summerslam. That was part of a short run that started in 2005 when he teamed with, and later had a memorable (perhaps for the wrong reasons) match with Shawn Michaels.
Since then, he had a four year run in TNA, starting at the beginning of 2010. He split time between being an on-screen authority figure, as well as an occasional in-ring competitor.
However, in the past couple of years, he hasn’t wrestled at all, focusing on the authority figure role while recovering from surgeries.
For those who dream of seeing the Hulkster in the ring again, I wouldn’t get too excited. His numerous surgeries, as well as his age, have taken a toll on Hogan’s body, to the point where he has trouble moving in the ring
The last match he had in 2012, a six-man tag match, allowed him to be in the ring as little as possible. The last time I can find a record of him doing his famous Leg Drop was in 2007, in an independent match against Paul Wight (The Big Show).
So, anyone hoping for Cena/Hogan, Punk/Hogan, or, god forbid, Warrior/Hogan to commemorate Warrior’s HOF induction, I think you’re likely out of luck.
Now, that doesn’t mean that Hogan couldn’t be around the WWE for an extended period. While he couldn’t wrestle a match on his own, it wouldn’t completely stun me to see him get one big match where he’s able to be protected, likely in some sort of multi-man tag match.
As of now, it doesn’t appear that he is cleared to wrestle, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be in the future if he truly trains for one final match. And he could certainly serve as some sort of authority figure if they wanted to use him on RAW for the future.
Here’s my guess as to what we see from him in upcoming months: First, I think it’s a lock that he inducts Warrior into the Hall of Fame. I really couldn’t think of a better person to do it, especially if both sides are OK with each other once again as it appears, and it would be foolish to try to dig up someone else to do it if Hogan is around.
As far as hosting Wrestlemania goes, and the build to it, my guess is that if he needs to get involved in a single storyline, it will be with Cena.
Assuming Cena is out of the title picture after Elimination Chamber, it seems very likely that he gets involved with the Wyatts based on their Royal Rumble interaction. Hogan could certainly function as a presence in that feud to back up Cena.
While Hogan is obviously no longer his old self, it will certainly add a bit of nostalgia to RAW, as well as Wrestlemania, to hear Real American played and see him come down the ramp. And a little nostalgia, as long as it’s kept in small doses, is never a bad thing.
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