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As rumors circulate the internet that the WWE could be bringing back one of its biggest superstars of all time, others are wondering if it's still too soon. One person who isn't wondering, WWE commentating legend and executive Jim Ross, thinks Hulk Hogan should be brought back to television soon and wouldn't be surprised if it happens next year:
I don't have any insider knowledge that Hulk will be back in WWE, but if he isn't in 2018, I will be shocked. . . . I don't know what Terry -- Hulk Hogan is able to do physically. I know he's still training. He's about my age --- 64, but he's in really good shape. He looks awesome. So, I would say that Hulk is -- there's a ticket for Hulk to punch somewhere to get back in WWE, at least on a reoccurring role-type basis, in my opinion. If I were there, I would encourage that development. If you don't like him, don't watch the damn thing, but I believe he belongs on that television show or WWE in general, and that somewhere in 2018 that will happen.
Older superstars returning to the ring isn't an entirely new thing, and if Hogan returned to compete at 64 years of age, he wouldn't even be the oldest wrestler to have done so. Jim Ross appears to say that, since he thinks because the wrestler is in good shape, Hulk Hogan should be back in WWE. Ross even doubles down on his stance and says that fans who may not want that to happen don't have to watch, which is certainly a bold thing to say given why Hogan was blacklisted from the company he helped build.
Jim Ross' stance is definitely not one currently shared by WWE, who removed a bulk of the wrestler's accolades and mentions from the product after a sex-tape surfaced of Hulk Hogan making racial slurs against African Americans. Ross told Business Insider he believes Hogan paid the price for that mistake, and the world shouldn't judge him and keep him from coming back and continuing to contribute to the WWE:
The world has an interesting way of forgiving others. The guy paid his price. He had a trial. He lost jobs. He had a court case. I don't know what more he needs to do. And why are we his judge and jury? It seems right for, arguably the greatest alumnus of WWE ever with the most global name identity, will make his presence felt in WWE in some way.
While Jim Ross might feel Hulk Hogan is owed the right to return to the WWE, some of the product's biggest superstars might feel differently. With the multicultural roster that the entertainment organization currently boasts, it wouldn't be surprising if there were a couple of wrestlers who believe two years isn't the maximum penalty Hulk Hogan should receive for his racially charged remarks. On top of all that, one of the big rumors currently circulating regarding Hogan's return is that he would have a Wrestlemania match against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, which would obviously be a whole other can of worms, for obvious reasons, if the WWE actually decided to book it. While the company has made some less than politically correct decisions in the past, recent moves appear to indicate that the current WWE brand is not one in which Hulk Hogan can be a part.
WWE's Monday Night RAW airs tonight on USA at 8:00 p.m. ET, although it's unlikely the brand will make any mention of these Hulk Hogan rumors. For more on upcoming programming, be sure to check out both our fall premiere guide and midseason premiere guide. For a look at every show that was kicked off the air in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.