Last night, TNA was advertising a huge, bombshell announcement from the immortal Hulk Hogan. Holding everyone in suspense, the company saved this announcement for the final minutes of the show.
When the time came, Hogan made his way down to the ring. The crowd was mixed. Half of the audience were booing him because he's a heel, but the other half were cheering due to Hulk's legendary status in the professional wrestling business.
Hogan grabbed the microphone and talked of his legendary career, starting with the beginning. He mentioned how on his first day of training Hiro Matsuda broke his leg, how he first started wrestling in high school gymnasiums, and how he and his boys would drive from show to show before he got his big break.
He then went into wrestling Andre the Giant in front of 93,000 fans at Wrestlemania III, as well as selling out and breaking records in arenas all over the world, including New York City's Madison Square Garden and the Toronto Skydome.
Getting to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, he said it was a great opportunity for him to be apart of it. By now, Hogan had the entire audience eating out of the palm of his hands. The fans that booed him during his entrance, were now cheering for their former hero.
The Hulkster proceeded to put over the entire Fortune faction, Rob Van Dam, and Jeff Hardy. He said that he took his 30-plus years of experience in the wrestling business and gave the guys in the back all the advice he could, and now his time in TNA was coming to an end.
At this point we got some shots of the crowd, as some of them were crying.
Without saying the word "retirement," Hulk Hogan announced that his wrestling career was over. He thanked the people backstage as well as the fans that stuck with him for his 30-plus year career. He declared that there would be a formal announcement next week on Impact Wrestling.
During parts of Hogan's speech, we went backstage where Sting was watching the whole thing on a monitor. He wasn't believing a word Hulk was saying, and said he deserved an Oscar for his acting.
Is Hulk Hogan's informal announcement of retirement sincere or just a part of the story line? With the camera cutting to Sting backstage, it makes it seems like part of the ongoing feud between the two wrestling legends. At the same time, though, we heard a side of Hogan we haven't heard in years.
Hulk was never one to talk about retiring. When it was brought up, he would usually say he'd retire when he was ready. Well, is he ready?
Is the immortal one's immortality up?
As a lifelong Hulkamaniac, I'd be lying if I said a part of me didn't get a bit emotional during his speech.
But as a lifelong fan, I can't help but think that something is up. There's a part of me that doesn't think he's going to retire, at least not yet.
As sincere as he sounded, I fear that when he does legitimately retire, no one will care. He would have already fooled us once, so why would we believe him when the time really comes?
Whether the Immortal Hulk Hogan is really retiring, or this is a part of the Sting/Hogan feud, next week should make for some very interesting television, as the Hulkster makes his "formal" announcement.