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  Nov 23, 1998



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

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 Jay Leno."


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.