Arguably, no wrestler had a bigger impact on the global entity of pro wrestling quite like WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan. The mustachioed monster was a 13-time world champion winning heavyweight titles in the IWGP, WWF and WCW. Starting in the early 1980s, Hulkamania swept the nation as Hogan went on to win back-to-back Royal Rumbles, hundreds of matches, and acclaim of the highest order. Sure, there was a scandal involving some shockingly racist behavior, but that hasn't stopped Hulkamaniacs all over the globe from loving Terry Bollea unconditionally.
After the company reinstated Hogan to the WWE Hall of Fame last year, he's appeared on television several times, including Extreme Rules and Crown Jewel in 2018, as well as the Raw Reunion special in July 2019. Despite an upcoming back surgery, the 66-year-old titan of pro wrestling is aiming to compete in one, last retirement match at "The Grandest Stage of Them All."
Hulk Hogan's Retirement Match
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bollea discussed what it's like being "Hulk Hogan" outside of the house, his upbringing and rise in pro wrestling, and how his iconic leg drop finishing move took an incredible toll on his body.
"Everyone says they wouldn't change anything about their life. If I could change anything, it would be my finisher," Hogan said. "All the back surgeries I've had are because of that damn leg drop. I had scoliosis, brother. Dropping that leg for 35 years did me in."
Hogan is preparing for his eighth back surgery, but that doesn't mean he's ruling out returning to the ring. In fact, Hogan is eyeing a retirement match in his hometown of Tampa, Florida at WrestleMania 36 in 2020.
"I talked to Vince [McMahon], and I said I really don't know if I could live with myself knowing my last match was with TNA [Total Nonstop Action Wrestling]. If I can get [my back] fixed, I pray I can have one more match. I told Vince, 'When I get through this back surgery, I'm going to get in the best shape of my life and we're going to talk about me having one last retirement match.'"
— Hulk Hogan, via LA Times
So, who would it be against? What WWE superstar could possibly live up to the hype and give Hulk Hogan the perfect ending to his career?
"I'd love for it to be against Vince [McMahon]," Hogan said. "I had such a great time with him in the ring at WrestleMania 19. I had no idea what to expect from him, but he's a great bad guy."
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon - WrestleMania 19
Hogan is scheduled to be back on pay-per-view when Team Hogan takes on Team Flair — led by none other than Ric Flair himself — at WWE Crown Jewel 2019.
If Hogan's final match is anything like the street fight these two legends had back at WrestleMania 19, this would be must-see television next year. Here's to hoping Hogan can get healthy and make one last in-ring return in front of his hometown.
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