SK Exclusive: Merchandise sold at Hogan's Beach Shop indicates that the Hulkster might be on good terms with WWE
What's the story?
It appears that Hulk Hogan is back on good terms with the WWE and is likely to return to the company soon. This story was broken on the “Dirty Sheets’ Podcast, via our “DS 247” show, where we also discuss a potential Hulk Hogan return in more detail. You can listen to the Podcast, below.
In case you didn't know...
Hulk Hogan was fired by the WWE in 2015, following a racism scandal. The decision came after additional footage from Hogan's 2012 sex tape leaked, showing the wrestler making racist comments about his daughter Brooke's boyfriend.
At the time, the WWE removed all mentions of Hulk Hogan from WWE.com, which included him no longer having a presence on the WWE Hall of Fame page and all Hulk Hogan merchandise has being removed from WWEShop.com. WWE announcers and wrestlers were also told not to mention Hogan on TV.
However, lately, Hogan’s name has been mentioned several times on WWE TV, including on two editions of “Bring it to the table” on the WWE Network. The company have seemingly softened their stance on the Hall of Famer.
The Heart of the matter
After visiting Hulk Hogan's "Hogan's Beach Shop" in Orlando, FL, during my WrestleMania vacation, I saw that the shop was not only selling current WWE merchandise, but it was also selling a brand new Hulk Hogan glass tumbler. You can see the very latest WWE Mattel action figures being sold, in the photo below.
Being a WWE memorabilia collector and also the father of a 6-year-old WWE fan, I am very familiar with WWE merchandise and what's old and new. The WWE released their glass tumbler range in 2014.
Also read: 5 audacious claims made by Hulk Hogan
You can currently go to WWE.com and purchase glasses featuring a litany of their Superstars and legends. However, you can not currently buy Hulk Hogan or Rowdy Roddy Piper tumblers from WWE.com, both of which were being sold at Hogan's Beach Shop, which you can see pictured below.
The fact that these two tumblers are being sold leads me to believe that these are products that WWE plans to add to its website, once Hulk Hogan is back in the fold. With the WWE having WrestleMania in Orlando, Florida, with Hogan being a Florida resident, many expected Hogan to be involved at WrestleMania 33. However, WWE opted not to give him a role.
Hogan's Beach Shop was a fun place to visit during our vacation. Aside from selling beachwear, Hogan's Beach Shop also sells merchandise and current WWE tumblers, T-shirts and action figures; it also featured tonnes of old Hogan merchandise from the 1980s and 90s. It also featured three very cool Hulk Hogan statues in each corner. They were Hogan as Thunderlips, Hogan in the WWE and Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
We met Hogan on Sunday 2nd April, before WrestleMania 33. Meeting Hogan and attending WrestleMania on the same day was quite incredible.
Having met Hogan five times, I can confirm he is by far the most personable wrestler I've ever met. When meeting him at Hogan's Beach Shop, he took 5 minutes to tell my son how he slammed Andre the Giant. My son was fascinated by how he managed it as he had just seen the life-size bronze Andre the Giant statue at WrestleMania Axxess.
It's easy to see why Vince McMahon banked on Hulk Hogan to carry the WWE on his back and make the company a worldwide phenomenon. Hogan has lost none of his star power, and aside from The Rock, he is still the most recognisable wrestling personality in the world, 11 years after his last WWE match.
I have no real opinion on the reason Hogan was fired. WWE can not tell their history without Hulk Hogan and they should rightfully re-hire him at some point. The last two years have been punishment enough, and with no lawsuit with Gawker hanging over him, Hogan would be willing and able to make his return.
Be sure to check out my Podcast, “The Dirty Sheets” for the latest breaking news, along with rumours and in-depth analysis. It is available via iTunes.
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