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Mr. T Talks WWE WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan and Hall of Fame

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2016

American high-wire artist, Nik Wallenda, left, helps pop culture icon Mr. T stay balanced at Fairfield Inn & Suites’ National Amazing Month event outside of the Flatiron Building on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in New York.
American high-wire artist, Nik Wallenda, left, helps pop culture icon Mr. T stay balanced at Fairfield Inn & Suites’ National Amazing Month event outside of the Flatiron Building on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in New York.(Charles Sykes/AP Images for Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott)

WWE Hall of Fame inductee Mr. T is one of the most recognizable personalities in the entertainment industry, and part of that notoriety comes from his memorable moments in the wrestling business.

As a key figure in both WrestleMania 1 and 2, Mr. T was part of wrestling's rise in mainstream popularity. He still looks back fondly on the industry and is grateful for his time in the ring.

During a promotional tour for Fairfield Inn & Suites, Mr. T sat down with Ring Rust Radio to discuss, among other things, his WrestleMania moments, his relationship with Hulk Hogan and his WWE Hall of Fame induction.

Mr. T was asked if he'd ever like to have another opportunity to shine on WWE's biggest stage:

No, I have been there and done that. It was fun the time I did have with them. I was honored that they thought enough of me to put me in the Hall of Fame. I was thankful they gave me the chance to talk about the man behind the guy with the gold and the Mohawk. I was very honored by that. My time has come and gone with them. Wrestling is a young man's sport. I was honored when they invited me to be a part of it in 1985 and it was fun. I was a high school champion wrestler back in my day, so this was up my alley. I liked to get in there and get thrown around and do some throwing around, getting a little roughed up, so it was good for me. I do like watching it now, and I would rather just leave it at that and watch it now.

During Mr. T's time in the wrestling industry, he was closely associated with Hulk Hogan, who has recently been embroiled in controversy over racially charged comments. While many former Hogan allies have turned their backs on the world champion, Mr. T views him in a much more forgiving light:

I don't have a problem with Hulk Hogan. People say things and do things, and who am I to judge? I am a Christian and the bible teaches me to forgive. So what am I going to say? The man did something wrong. The whole operation with how it happened was bad with him being filmed and everything. I'm mad at his buddy. Hulk loved the guy and he betrayed him, but that is life. Judas betrayed Jesus. Lady Red betrayed John Dillinger. Those things happen. If Hulk Hogan called me, I would talk to him. I wouldn't cut him off for what he did. I haven't lost any respect for him. Everybody has done something that we wish we didn't say or do and wish we could take it back. He is still cool with me.

At the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Mr. T was able to show his gracious side and speak about how he became the man he is today. He spoke about what the moment meant to him:

They wanted me in for a number of years, but I wouldn't be a part of it because it bothered me that they put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. He can't even get in the baseball Hall of Fame and he isn't a wrestler. That's just me clowning about Pete Rose. I was honored they gave me the opportunity to really tell people more about the man behind the character of Mr. T. That’s why I wanted to talk about my mother and give her credit for what she is. She made me everything I am and I wanted the kids to see that. That was the greatest part of it for me. Coming back and seeing the old wrestlers and the new fans was really heartwarming for me.

Wrestling fans will always remember the legacy Mr. T left as part of the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection era. From the very first WrestleMania to being part of WCW, Mr. T saw a lot in the industry.

While his in-ring wrestling career has come and gone, Mr. T's impact on fans has not wavered. Hopefully one day he can make another appearance for WWE as a special guest.

For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (warning: podcast contains NSFW language).