Things just keep getting stranger in the life of Terry Bollea, best known as the shirt-ripping professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.
As Hulkster is set to go to trial in a $100 million personal-injury lawsuit against Gawker Media, which posted video of a sex tape featuring Hogan, it’s been revealed late Thursday night that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has scrubbed most mentions of its hall of fame wrestler from its websites and online stores.
According to Wrestling News Source, “On WWE.com, Hogan is no longer listed on the WWE Hall of Fame page, and all of his merchandise has also been removed from WWEShop.com. The only thing currently remaining that mentions Hogan involves WWE’s upcoming Australian tour, which Hogan was scheduled to take part in as general manager. However, when any attempt to access this page is made, a message appears stating “you are not authorized to access this page.”
Seven pages of old Hogan articles, however, still appear when using the “search” function of the site. Hogan, meanwhile, tweeted the following in the wake of the news:
Reports online initially claimed that the reason behind the scrubbing of Hulk Hogan is an audio clip from an interview that’s surfaced online. The radio interview occurred back in October 2012, and featured Hogan on DJ Whoo Kid’s radio show Whoolywood Shuffle, which aired on Eminem’s Sirius XM hip-hop channel Shade 45.
During the interview, host DJ Whoo Kid brought up how Hulk Hogan has a history of calling everyone “brother,” and the conversation then segued into the infamous moment when Booker T called Hulkster a “nigger” on live TV.
“Well, Booker T used to do that to me, and every time I pull up YouTube there’s that famous thing with Booker T and his brother is there and they’re all talking trash, and Booker T says, ‘I’m coming for ya Hogan, you nigger’—and not ‘nigga,’ he goes ‘nigger,’” Hogan told DJ Whoo Kid.
Hogan then recounted his time living in Miami, and all the rappers he’d bump into like The Game, Lil Wayne, etc.
“And it’s still so cool, because the whole time I was down in Miami when I lived there, you know, everybody—I’d walk into the [DJ] booth and all of a sudden I’d bump into this guy and The Game’s in the booth, it’s all black and he’s got his BlackBerry, and I bump into him and he goes, ‘What’s up, nigga?’ and I said, ‘Oh, excuse me, bro!’ And he says, ‘No, it’s all cool,’” said Hogan.He continued: “And everybody down there—Lil Wayne, Birdman—they’re all calling me ‘nigga,’ and then I started sayin’ it. And I always said it, but now all of a sudden I get heat when I say it, and they say, ‘Hogan, you can’t say that,’ so I say, ‘Why can they say it to me then?’”
Other sources, however, claim that the controversial racist audio that got Hogan scrubbed is in addition to the radio interview, and comes from a legal deposition in the ongoing Gawker case. The WWE has not yet responded to requests for comment, and has yet to officially confirm the reason for erasing Hogan from their websites.Of course, it would be a bit hypocritical for the WWE to be offended by Hulk Hogan’s boneheaded comments when you consider that its CEO, Vince McMahon, once called wrestler John Cena the N-word right in front of Booker T, who then turned to his girlfriend and said, “Tell me he did not just say that.”
The National Enquirer and Radar have reportedly published portions of the transcript, and the audio, which the sites allege is currently still under seal in Florida court, stems from Hogan's ongoing sex tape drama with Gawker Media. In the audio, the sites report that Hogan complains to the woman on the sex tape, Heather Clem, about an unnamed black billionaire man who offered to fund his daughter’s music career. “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to fuck some nigger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall nigger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!” he reportedly says. “I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking nigger.”A representative for the WWE released a statement saying that the organization has fired Hulk Hogan:“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”And Hulk Hogan has released the following apology to People magazine: “Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”