This is not a suggestion that Hulk Hogan be inserted into the meandering, overarching, primary storyline (where the Authority picks victims at will) that has veered from focusing on one of the most popular faces in the WWE to targeting the longest-tenured face in the company. Instead, this is an admission of something that has been true for a few decades now: Hulk Hogan is a draw. While Hogan sits in limbo and anticipates joining an American company—either a return to TNA or a return to WWE—this much we know is true: aside from his ridiculous tattoo-acquiring, pop-star-mimicking antics, Hulk Hogan draws attention. No, TNA hasn’t grown to the levels that anyone anticipated with Hogan, but you can argue that A. there were other problems that spoiled his TNA run and B. He wasn’t used correctly. Although word is that Hogan is asking for far more than Vince wants to offer, Hogan’s presence in WWE would be profitable.
Once news of Hogan’s impending split hit the internet, there was a vocal segment of the general wrestling world that wanted him to return to the WWE. People wanted him to wrestle one more match, and created dream scenarios of Hogan wrestling Cena–bad hip/back/knees, horrible wrestling, and all. Hogan’s WWE return is so anticipated that the pic that Hogan posted of his old nWo brethren from the Big Event this past weekend drew comments that Hogan and friends would outdraw a good segment of the WWE roster even now. It’s not hard to understand why Hogan would want to be back with the most profitable and most far-reaching wrestling entity in the world. The end of his career is at hand, and Hogan is trying to maximize his time left in the wrestling business. With that in mind, utilizing the company with the most resources and a huge dedicated weekly following would ensure that when Hogan goes out, he does so with millions of eyes watching him and millions of minds thinking about his legacy. Hogan is hated, loved, scorned, and esteemed, but no one can trivialize what he’s done for the industry. As a huge part of the reason that wrestling is as lucrative as it is now, Hogan casts a huge shadow over anything he does in wrestling, drawing either critics or people looking to capture the nostalgia of their childhood/earlier years.
At this point in his career, Hogan could only help make the WWE product stronger. He could be a part of linking the past with the present and giving ringing endorsements to upcoming faces or being the perfect fodder for nefarious heels. He’s much too old to wrestle, so the concerns of him burying people are moot. In addition, the locker room structure of the WWE is so structured with Triple H, Undertaker, and CM Punk, that Hogan wouldn’t be able to do much to alter the locker room atmosphere. Where Hogan’s biggest value would be lies in what he could do for younger stars and his general presence on shows. Hogan’s presence would certainly cause an uptick in merchandising sales (hopefully not to the chagrin of other stars) and an increase in tickets to shows. Hogan in a managerial or iconic mentor role would be great for young faces. Imagine Big E raising his right fist and performing his victory celebration alongside Hogan posing and flexing to a roaring, insatiable crowd. Or Roman Reigns breaking out into his own and eventually receiving the on-screen tutelage of Hulk Hogan backstage. Or imagine Damian Sandow or Bray Wyatt laying Hogan to waste, drawing the ire of a white-hot crowd that had their nostalgia trip brutally and mercilessly cut short.
Hogan and Vince are posturing at the moment, with Hogan wanting a certain amount of money, and Vince likely not ready to offer what Hogan wants. Still, while they posture, it’s easy to see that Hogan’s return can be a boon for the WWE.