Hulkamania was running wild at Philadelphia Phillies camp Friday as the man himself, Hulk Hogan, made an appearance before and during their Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 64-year-old Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, has been out of the professional wrestling limelight since the summer of 2015 when a racist rant recorded in 2007 cost him his job with World Wrestling Entertainment. He hasn’t made too many notable public appearances since then. Friday was one of his biggest as he spent time mingling with Phillies fans, players and coaches, including former manager Charlie Manuel.
He even found time to take an apparent dig at former boss, WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
Hulk Hogan was asked during the Phillies broadcast if he could drop one last leg drop on someone, who would it be?
“I would drop that leg right on Vince McMahon’s head."
— Marcus Vanderberg (@marcowill) March 9, 2018
Ever the showman, Hogan seems to relish blurring the line between reality and fiction. Any real tension with the WWE figurehead wouldn’t be too surprising though given how their most recent working agreement ended nearly three years ago. Not only was Hogan’s contract terminated, his likeness was removed from the WWE’s Hall of Fame.
Many wonder if the day will ever come where Hogan will be welcomed back into WWE. With WWE’s signature event, Wrestlemania, one month away, now is the time when that speculation reaches overdrive. So far, there’s no inkling his status is changed, but the WWE is often full of surprises.
Apparently, so too is new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. Hogan’s appearance, while not universally praised by fans, seemed to go over well with Phillies players.
— Dusty Wathan (@dustywathan62) March 9, 2018
Hogan spent nearly two years embroiled in a legal battle with Gawker Media over the unauthorized release of a sex tape. It was in that video that Hogan’s racist rant was made public. Hogan was rewarded a $31 million settlement in 2016. He’s since apologized for his actions, but faces a tougher battle to rehabilitate his image.
Perhaps more appearances like Friday’s will help.
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