Hulk Hogan Will Remain Only Peripheral Figure at WrestleMania 30

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2014

Chris Carlson

Those waiting to see another iconic WrestleMania moment for Hulk Hogan may be left wanting on Sunday night.

Despite being named the host for WrestleMania 30, Hogan has been used only sparingly during the buildup for the massive pay-per-view.

Given the rather vague status of the hosting role, it's tough to figure how WWE might utilize one of its biggest stars in history. The two ends of the spectrum are pretty extreme.

The Rock hosted WrestleMania 27 and was thrust into the main-event feud. He eventually interfered in the WWE Championship match between John Cena and The Miz, setting up his "Once in a Lifetime" match with Cena at WrestleMania 28.

Of course, who could forget The Miz hosting SummerSlam 2013? His duties were kept to a minimum, and the big payoff was a match between him and Fandango at Night of Champions.

Hogan will likely trend more toward The Miz than The Rock. There's nothing in the way that he's been used so far that makes you believe that the Hulkster will have a major impact on Sunday's PPV.

Since he's returned to the company, Hogan has been used to promote the WWE Network, rub shoulders with Arnold Schwarzenegger and announce the creation of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

There was also that moment that Hogan posed in the ring with Cena after Cena beat Erick Rowan, but that was the beginning and end of his interjection into the Cena-Bray Wyatt feud.

As I wrote earlier in the day, it would be a big mistake to throw Hogan into the Wyatt-Cena match, since Wyatt needs the bump from WrestleMania to maintain his status as a monster heel.

WWE's plans for Hogan were likely affected by the physical he was given before he made his long-awaited return. Back in January, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required) reported that the 12-time world champion couldn't handle any sort of in-ring action:

As things stand right now, while Hulk Hogan will be returning, and making an appearance in some form at WrestleMania, after being examined, the company made the call to not only not put him in a match, but not book anything physical involving him.

What has also limited Hogan's ceiling at WrestleMania 30 is the fact that he's no longer the draw that he once was. Time moves on. New stars take over from where the old ones left off. Between that and his disastrous run in TNA, Hogan remains a big name in wrestling, but he's far from the biggest and nowhere near the level of The Rock or Cena.

In the past, Hogan has been accused of holding down younger talent. Yet, even he can see the writing on the wall and understands that Sunday is about the emerging stars and putting WWE in the right place going forward.

“WrestleMania is also about pushing ahead for the future, and the future is right now," he said, per Newsday's Josh Stewart.

It's likely that Hogan will have some sort of role at WrestleMania beyond giving a speech at the beginning of the show and a few backstage promos.

He is Hulk Hogan, after all.

Don't be surprised, though, to find that the Hulkster only remains a minor figure on Sunday, lost in the grand nature of WrestleMania and the popularity of the "Yes Movement."