Are the current crop of stars really scared? (Photo: WWE)
The Hall of Famer – who will be back on the red brand’s weekly show for the special Legends Night episode – has opened up on the reception he gets from his peers whenever he makes an appearance nowadays.
He told ESPN: ‘It’s a mixed bag. Some people I get a really warm reception from. Some of the younger guys are really cold to me, like I’m coming to steal the main event. And I’m like, “I can’t do this anymore, guys! I’m not a threat!”‘
Hogan returned to the WWE fold in 2018, three years after being axed when he was found to be using racist language in a leaked transcript during his successful lawsuit against Gawker.
‘Now, the former world champion has suggested the reaction from newer stars could be that they simply don’t understand the height of his fame in the business,’ he added.
‘When I’ve gone back before by myself, there have been certain wrestlers, like Edge and Seth Rollins, that have told me to my face that the only reason they got into this business was because of me. The newer kids… I don’t think they know who I am all the way?
‘The wake-up call that really got me was with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. We weren’t really close at all, but over the last few years have become good friends. It caught me off guard when he called me one day, and we’re chatting about cars or something and all of a sudden he goes, “Damn, Hogan. I was on the internet the other day and I can’t believe all the stuff you did in your career!”
‘When Stone Cold didn’t realise that I did The Love Boat and Johnny Carson, then I understood why the young people didn’t know.’
Ahead of tonight’s show, Hogan may be content with retirement but he recently suggested he could be open to the idea of lacing up his boots one more time.
‘Well, the fans should tune in because you never know what to expect,’ Hogan told WWE. ‘I don’t even know what to expect.
‘I’m going there just to have a great time, reminisce with friends, but when you’re talking about having [Ric] Flair and Kurt Angle there, Big Show, Carlito… anything is possible.
‘We could end up in the ring, brother. We could end up taking over the whole WWE in one given night. You don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s why I’m so excited.’
*Some of your favourite WWE Legends and Hall of Famers will return for Raw ‘Legends Night’ on the first Monday Night Raw of the new year, January 4, 2021.