Report: Hulk Hogan close to WWE return

Hulk Hogan, pictured on tour in 2009, has been out of WWE since 2015. (Getty)
Hulk Hogan, pictured on tour in 2009, has been out of WWE since 2015. (Getty)

Less than three years after being fired by WWE for an infamous rant, Hulk Hogan is reportedly nearing a return to wrestling.

That’s according to TMZ, which reported Friday that Hogan and “high-ranking WWE officials have been in touch recently and it’s been positive.”

WWE parted ways with Hogan in 2015 after a profane, racist tirade from the wrestling legend about his daughter’s sex life was caught on tape and uncovered. Hogan used the N-word multiple times in the rant.

WWE moved swiftly to terminate his contract, and scrub its website of all references to and images of Hogan. It said in a statement at the time that it was “committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.” Hogan also apologized.

Now the two sides are reportedly intent on a reunion. TMZ reported that WWE “wants to bring [Hogan] back into the fold,” but also wants to make sure it’s done “the right way,” given the inflammatory nature of his 2015 departure.

That’s why WWE officials reportedly watched his recent speech at a Boys & Girls Club function. Hogan spoke about the rant, and his remorse appeared to be genuine:

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“WWE applauds the work Hulk Hogan is doing with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to turn what was a negative into a positive by helping young people learn from his mistake,” WWE said in a statement to TMZ. But, the statement continued: “While he has taken many steps in the right direction since we parted ways, Hogan is not currently under contract to WWE.”