Why did Hulk Hogan leave WWE in 2015?
Why did WWE's first megastar part ways with the company?
After an absence of almost 5 years, Hulk Hogan made his fourth return to WWE on February 24, 2014. The homecoming of the Hall of Famer, who had just wrapped up an underwhelming stint with Impact Wrestling, even received mainstream coverage.
Since Hogan could no longer perform in the ring, he was primarily used as an ambassador and was asked to host WrestleMania 30, where he took part in a memorable segment with The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin that brought WWE's three greatest stars together for the first time since 2002.
On February 27, 2015, Madison Square Garden, the scene of many of the Immortal One's greatest victories, hosted a night in his honour that coincided with a Live Event. Hogan even made several appearances on Raw, usually appearing in segments with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello.
The highlight of the Florida native's fourth run with WWE undoubtedly came during WrestleMania 31 weekend when he inducted the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame before reuniting with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to reform the NWO, aiding Sting during the Vigilante's no disqualification match versus Triple H, who was helped by DX.
Hogan was also appointed as a judge on the sixth season of Tough Enough, which returned as a WWE Network exclusive with Chris Jericho as its host. However, his contract was terminated by WWE on July 24, 2015, after the National Enquirer released a racially insensitive diatribe that Hogan made in his controversial sex tape.
Apart from using a racial slur, Hogan also confessed to being a "racist to a point." A number of African-origin performers who were contracted to WWE, such as Mark Henry and Booker T, were quick to condemn the former World Champion's comments and praised WWE's no-tolerance approach to racism.
Hogan later sued Gawker, who leaked a clip from the controversial sex tape, for $100 million for defamation, loss of privacy and emotional distress. He was eventually awarded $151 million but settled for $31 million on November 02, 2016. Triple H has since said that he was open to the idea of Hulk Hogan returning to WWE.
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