Is Hogan saying goodbye?
By MATT GARDNER -- For SLAM! Wrestling
According to respected wrestling writer Bob Ryder, Terry Bollea, better known
as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan will announce
his retirement from the sports entertainment
industry on Thursday's "Tonight Show with
Are Hogan's days numbered?
If it's indeed true, it will change professional wrestling forever.
Hogan was easily the world's
most recognizable wrestler of the past few
decades. Apparently Hogan has been removed
from WCW booking plans, and no other
appearances are expected on WCW television,
although it is expected he would wrestle
either one last match, or express himself
in a "Goodbye/Thank you" speech.
According to Ryder, some reliable
WCW sources have said one factor going into
Hogan's retirement was the lackluster
buyrate for this year's Halloween Havoc,
which featured the weak and strongly
disliked rematch between Hogan and
The Warrior. The same sources also credit
the sudden shift in booking philosophy
towards Kevin Nash's push, evident
by his win in the battle royal on
Sunday at World War III.
In his career, spanning nearly
twenty years, Hogan has held the World
Wrestling Federation title five times, and
the World Championship Wrestling Heavyweight title
four times. In the
eighties, and up until the mid-nineties, Hogan
was wrestling's most popular face, but
as the industry changed, so did Hogan.
In 1996 Hogan, along with Nash and Scott
Hall formed the renegade heel team known
as the New World Order, and turned his back on the
fans. Donning the name "Hollywood" he
became a mockery of himself, jobbing to
almost everyone he fought, and
winning only with help from his teammates. The Hollywood monicker was also to end the payoffs to Marvel Comics, who owns the rights to the 'Hulk' name.
Earlier this month Hogan, who reportedly
has two years left on his contract, threw his
name into the ring for the U.S. Presidency in the
year 2000. Whether or not he will
continue with his political
agenda is unknown at this time. Jesse Ventura's win in Minnesota, and subsequent promotion to North America's best-known wrestler, likely grated on Hogan's ego as well.
Obviously, more to follow on this story in the weeks to come.