Report: Hulk Hogan Backstage at WWE SmackDown Taping

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24:  Hulk Hogan rips his shirt prior to the bout against Ric Flair during his Hulkamania Tour at the Burswood Dome on November 24, 2009 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Paul Kane/Getty Images

With plans for WrestleMania becoming locked down over the next few weeks, there is talk of another huge return for the event this week, as a legendary figure has supposedly been spotted at a WWE event.

At Tuesday's SmackDown taping in Philadelphia, PA, an employee at the Wells Fargo Center—the site of the taping—reportedly saw Hulk Hogan in the backstage area. According to Mike Killam of, Hogan was indeed in attendance at the show:

A source close to Wrestlezone sent in word that an employee of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA – the site for tonight's WWE Smackdown taping – spotted Hulk Hogan in the backstage area. According to the source, Hogan said hello to a few people backstage, but denied taking any pictures. 

It would be a return of seismic proportions should Hogan return to the company for WrestleMania. There is little doubt that if he was at the arena for SmackDown tapings, it was to thrash out a deal to secure his return to the WWE for the pay-per-view later this year.

You would expect plans to be secured over the coming days and weeks—but the WWE will likely keep Hogan's return quiet until the time is right for him to actually appear. Could the Royal Rumble be the time for Hogan to make his grand return to the WWE? Perhaps—it is an event where plenty have returned in the past.

Hogan has not appeared in the WWE since May 2007, when his final appearance involved him saving Hornswoggle from a beating by The Great Khali. You would hope that if he does return to the company for WrestleMania season, the plans will be somewhat bigger than that.

But who would Hogan be working a program with for the event? Would he be a full-time star or appearing on a part-time basis to work around his other commitments? That is all up in the air at the moment, but what we do seemingly know is that talks are clearly ongoing for Hulk Hogan to return to the company where he made his name.