Hulking out! WWE brought back controversial wrestler Hulk Hogan back to host its Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on Friday, November 2.
“It’s great to be back with my @WWE Universe family,” the 65-year-old tweeted on Friday. “The love and welcome from the talent and stark raving Hulkamaniacs totally blew me away brother. Only Love HH”
It’s great to be back with my @WWE Universe family. The love and welcome from the talent and stark raving Hulkamaniacs totally blew me away brother. Only Love HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) November 2, 2018
Hogan, born Terry Gene Bollea, was fired from the WWE in 2015 and later removed from the WWE Hall of Fame after he was outed for making racist comments in a leaked sex tape. “WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide,” the company said at the time of Hogan’s dismissal.
The heavyweight champ apologized in a statement. “Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation,” he said in July 2015. “It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs. It is not who I am. I continue to work every day to improve as a person, and this matter is an important learning experience for me in that regard.
The Crown Jewel event had already sparked controversy even before Hogan’s involvement, according to CBS Sports, since it came just weeks after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. In the wake of the Khashoggi’s death, wrestlers John Cena and Daniel Bryan dropped out of the event.