Projecting How Long Hulk Hogan Will Remain on WWE Programming Past WrestleMania

Sharon GlencrossContributor IMarch 12, 2014


After several years away, wrestling legend Hulk Hogan is now back with WWE. He will, as announced last month, serve as the official host of WrestleMania.

Going by his first promo from two weeks ago, he may also be serving as an ambassador for the new network.

All things considered, this is the best role for Hogan. His well-known back problems have seemingly ruled out an in-ring return, and it's simply not smart for WWE to make the wrestler a fixture on television when he's so limited.

John Cena interacts with Hogan on Monday's Raw.
John Cena interacts with Hogan on Monday's Raw.Credit:

But really, how long can the Hogan-WWE relationship last? Will he still be with the company this time next year? Or in 2016?

No matter how well things are going between Hogan and Vince McMahon, history has shown us that Hogan will always leave for greener pastures.

In the early '90s it was his (doomed-to-failure) movie career that occasionally took his attention away from the then-WWF, with Hogan often taking time off for films like Suburban Commando and No Holds Barred.

Then he outright left the company for rival WCW, becoming an integral part of why Ted Turner was able to take the fight so fiercely to McMahon in the late '90s.

Even after WCW's demise in 2001, Hogan didn't become a WWE lifer. He had an on-again, off-again relationship with America's No. 1 wrestling promotion throughout the '00s, even signing with TNA in 2010 and spending three years there.

Of course, people could say Hogan will be sticking around this time. After all, there's no real place for him to go in wrestling.

Sure, there are options in Japan for foreign wrestlers, but not that many. And at nearly 60 and with a bad back, it's doubtful he wants to do all the traveling.

The convention circuit and the indies could provide a few well-paying gigs, but it's difficult to see it matching up with the cash in the big leagues.

With its well-documented struggles over the past year, it's difficult to see TNA making Hogan another major-money offer—particularly since the Hall of Famer wasn't exactly setting the world on fire during his three-year stint there. Truthfully, TNA doesn’t seem any worse off without him.

So, WWE is his only option in the foreseeable future?

Well, maybe not.

Hogan does have a life outside of wrestling, as well as several businesses.

Despite the hammering his reputation has taken over the past few years due to his turbulent personal life, he's still the most famous wrestler in history and one of the most recognizable people in the world. He's a brand name.

In the past few years alone he's snagged lucrative sponsorship deals with companies like Rent-A-Center and Walmart. There's also his restaurant in Tampa, Fla., Hogan's Beach. Thanks to the entertainment connections of good friend Eric Bischoff, there will probably always be options in the television world for him too.

While the WWE exposure undoubtedly helps, it's not like the man desperately needs them.

And one day he may feel like he's being wasted in an ambassador-type role or that it's simply not worth his time to show up on Raw or SmackDown to plug the new network. The day may also come when his outside business deals and appearances conflict with his WWE dates.

It's not inconceivable he could leave. He has before.