AceShowbiz - Hulk Hogan has referred to his racism scandal as a "speed bump." The WWE legend was kicked out by the company and removed from the Hall of Fame with all references to him scrubbed from their website and the WWE Network in 2015 after past racist comments were leaked during his sex tape trial, while he was reinstated three years later and has apologised.
"There was a temporary situation with the surgeries and some of the racial stuff that went down. It was a speed bump, but that's not who I was, and everybody knew that," he told host Ariel Helwani when appearing on "The MMA Hour".
Hogan - whose real name is Terry Bollea - has appeared for WWE a number of times since 2018, first returning at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia that year and later hosting "WrestleMania 37" with Titus O'Neil in 2021.
Despite the scandal, he insisted the "main thing" that affected him were the surgeries he has had over the past decade after suffering many injuries over his career. He added, "So it was a tough time, but the main thing that really got me were the surgeries over the last 10 years."
"That was the thing that was in question. When you come out of a back surgery and someone tells you you're never gonna walk again, that will really screw your head up. The rest of this stuff, I had a bunch of people on my side, I had a huge support system. People that knew me stuck with me, and it's just been amazing to see how the fans have stayed with me."
Hogan admitted he did wonder about the impact his comments could have on his "legacy." He explained, "There was a temporary situation where I thought, 'Okay, where's this going to end up at? Where's this gonna wind down? Where's the legacy, where's this, that.' "
"At the end of the day, there had been so much goodwill with the Hulk Hogan brand, and people knew me so well, I mean I've been around over 40 years. People know me so well, from Mike Tyson to Brutus Beefcake to Vince McMahon to Verne Gagne to Bret Hart, everybody knows me so well that they knew that I would come back and I would become the person that I was."