Additional Source – Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Jimmy Hart is currently trying to persuade Hulk Hogan into coming back for WrestleMania this year. The thought is that if NBC’s American Gladiators (premiering on January 6) is a hit they can use WrestleMania as a vehicle to cross-promote the show.
Hogan and Vince initially had a fall out early in 2007, largely because of his SummerSlam payoff. He was originally scheduled to be Donald Trump’s representative at WrestleMania 23 in the role that went to Bobby Lashley. There were also ideas last year of having Hogan face Big Show or Great Khali at Ford Field with the idea of duplicating the famous Andre the Giant slam from 20 years earlier. Another idea that was pondered was to have Shane McMahon be Hogan’s opponent with Khali in the corner (with the idea they couldn’t trust a Hogan vs. Khali match) to build to a slam. The final straw for Hogan was when the WWE creative team did an angle where they used Jillian Hall to mock his daughter Brooke.
Hogan and Eric Bischoff had also talked about starting a new wrestling promotion as a nostalgia tour. The idea would be to take Hogan outside of North American to markets he had either rarely or never appeared. The talk of doing a U.S. tour lost a lot of interest after the Memphis show which tested the market for Hogan vs. Paul “Big Show” Wight by only drawing 2,200 fans. This was the only Hogan match this year, and since Nick’s accident in August all talk in direction of the promotion has seemed to have been dropped.
With Hogan confirmed for next week’s WWE Monday Night RAW 15’th Anniversary show it does appear that his relationship with Vince is improving.