Ongoing Coverage: Full Details of Hulk Hogan’s WWE Firing

Hulk Hogan is Gone from WWE Due to Racist Tirade

In the latest illustration of the effect social media has had on breaking wrestling news, the “always on” Twitter spread the word like wildfire Thursday night: Hulk Hogan has been scrubbed clean from Vanished without a trace.

Word started trickling in just after 10:00pm, Pacific after a cryptic tweet from Hogan on Twitter.

Speculation spread rampantly as to what the issue was about until, finally, the code was — allegedly — cracked.

Tomorrow, The Scandal Breaks: WWE Will Sever All Ties with Hulk Hogan

A post on message board claiming that Friday, the National Enquirer will release audio of a racial tirade, and that WWE is expunging Hogan at record pace in order to stay ahead of the story.

When the National Enquirer releases audio of the Hulkster dropping the N-word so liberally that insiders are saying “there’s no coming back from this.”

News again swiftly took to Twitter, with Rob McCarron, a guest here on Sheet Sandwich’s Talking Sheet podcast earlier this week, among the first to tweet out the news

Hulk Hogan dropped from WWE due to audio recording in which Hogan goes on a racial tirade. WWE preemptively cutting ties before it breaks.

In just under an hour the story, almost entirely on Twitter, went from speculation, to amateur sleuthing documenting all of the ways Hogan had been scrubbed from the website to the nasty rumor that will apparently reveal itself on Friday

PW Torch editor Wade Keller, led a wave of tweets from notable wrestling news websites including Voices of Wrestling who were also on top of the story, and Fighting Spirit Magazine.


Dave Meltzer first responded to a message by one of his followers, noting that he was looking into it, confirming that it was apparent Hogan was gone

Soon thereafter, Meltzer would update on the subject, noting that everything had happened within a couple hours.

Earlier in the evening as things were being pieced together, and prior to the widespread twitter speculation, lead by forum member Grammarian, the F4Wonline Board quickly assembled a thread of “evidence” noting all of the ways the WWE site had erased Hulk Hogan.

Curtis Axel profile page before Hogan removal
Curtis Axel profile page before Hogan removal
Current Axel profile image
Current Axel profile imagenoting all of the ways Hogan had been removed from the site — right down to Curtis Axel’s “AxelMania” gimmick.
Before Hogan was removed
Before Hogan was removed
Tough Enough page after Hogan was removed
Tough Enough page after Hogan was removed

Sean Ross Sapp at and James Caldwell of PW Torch were two of the first wrestling news sites to report the story formally online.

While Caldwell’s write-up has steered clear of the allegations circulating on, Sapp briefly mentions it in his story.

“The reason stems from rumors of a tape existing featuring Hogan allegedly going on a racial tirade,” Sapp writes.


F4Wonline’s David Bixenspan perhaps telegraphed this earlier with his as part of his ongoing, stellar coverage of the Hogan v. Gawker story in July 18th Figure Four Weekly article.

Eluding to there being a “secret” being kept, in which the FBI were allegedly stalling on turning over evidence to Gawker in the form of complete tapes to aid in their defense, Bixenspan wrote:

If the “real secret” has to do with the allegation that Hogan used racial slurs and making various racist comments on one of the videos, then that was something reported years ago, long before the FBI lawsuit.

Late Thursday night, Rob McCarron on twitter dug up a thread on the Freakin’ Awesome Forums from 2012 backing up claims David Bixenspan recently made in the Figure Four Weekly newsletter.

In a forum post, a poster reports on a story by Dan Gross of the Philly Inquirer:

Another source says he saw footage on one of the surreptitious recordings of Hogan, all of which seem to have been taped in the Florida home of the Clems, using the N-word and making other derogatory remarks about black people., which in April was the first to post about the Hogan sex videos and to identify Heather Cole, said Hogan went on a “racist rant” that included “N-bombs.”


As reported would happen late Thursday night, the National Enquirer released details of shocking evidence Friday that they’ve obtained containing an apparent racist tirade by now former WWE Superstar Hulk Hogan.

The transcript of what Hogan has allegedly said on one of the four tapes leaked of Hogan in compromising situations with the then life of Bubba the Love Sponge.

“I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,”

“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, fcking n-ers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.”

“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to fck some n-er, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n-er worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!

“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n-er.”

News is continuing to spread rapidly throughout the wrestling news world, with two major premium outlets already posting updates to their reports on Hogan.

Dave Meltzer updated his story on, teaming up with Josh Nason from the site to report details of the firing, as well as a statement from WWE regarding Hogan’s termination.

According to the story on their site, WWE got out in front of the Enquirer’s release of their story, in which they claim to have tapes of Hogan using the N-word over and over to describe black people:

“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”

The story further states:

The dropping of Hogan was entirely due to the content on the sex tape with Heather Clem, believed to be from 2006, who at the time was the wife of Bubba the Love Sponge.

Reiterating what had been reported Thursday night, Meltzer underlines just how wide spread the expulsion of Hogan is within WWE.

After learning of the content that was going to be released, On Thursday night, the WWE ordered its web site to eliminate all mentions of Hogan, including as an Alumni or as a Hall of Famer, in addition to his merchandise. He was also removed as a judge for Tough Enough and at this point a replacement has not been named. Curtis Axel will be dropping his Axel Mania gimmick immediately.

According to Dave Scherer at PWInsider:

“…the transcripts were sealed when filed in court, obviously to avoid this situation, but [National Enquirer] unearthed a tape, which they cited for their report. They promised more “vile” things from the tape to come later. They really don’t need to release any more to implode Hogan’s career because that has already been done.”’s Jason Powell has a report on the situation as well. Powell’s take on the matter:

The transcript of the rant are under seal in a Florida court. However, Radar Online and the National Enquirer claim they have five independent sources who provided them with the quotes from the tape. Hogan is currently suing the Gawker website for releasing the sex portion of the tape.

Wrestling News Source has a story up on the heels of a TMZ report wherein Hulk Hogan’s lawyer is claiming the ex-WWE Superstar resigned Thursday night ahead of details leaking out regarding his liberal use of racial epithets.

Despite WWE very clearly stating that they had terminated Hogan, Wrestling News Source seems to be biting on the idea put forth by his attorney that he stepped aside:

It would seem Hogan knew it would cause a stir and did the right thing by walking away from WWE to protect their image.

TMZ meanwhile is corroborating the Enquirer report, writing earlier today:

“TMZ has seen the tape … and on it, Hogan is discussing his daughter Brooke’s music career. He repeatedly used the n-word while talking about an African-American guy she was dating.”

The official twitter of MLW, the wrestling podcast network created by Court Bauer, linked out to an apology issued by Hogan, exclusively to People Magazine.

Hogan’s lawyer, David Houston told the magazine:

“He decided to resign from WWE because he didn’t want to put them or his family through this.”

Hogan’s apology:

“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” Hogan said in a statement exclusively to PEOPLE. The transcript featuring that conversation was published online by the National Enquirer.

“This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise,” Hogan told PEOPLE. “I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”


Mid-Day Update:

James Caldwell of PW Torch updated the premium news site’s Hogan story with the details that emerged later today.

While not everything covered was new for those following along this site’s compendium of updates, what is new is a report surfacing from just under three years ago from

Caldwell cites a story by Dan Gross wherein he reports that the Huckster was speculated to have more sex tapes, also cited the April 2012 report on regarding the then alleged racist tirade., which in April was the first to post about the Hogan sex videos and to identify Heather Cole, said Hogan went on a “racist rant” that included “N-bombs.”

The Torch story also has a timeline of events from 2006 when Hogan and Heather Clem engaged in sexual acts that were filmed at Bubba the Love Sponge’s home in Florida.

WWE Legend and announcer Booker T, who once referred to Hogan as a “nigga” during a live broadcast of WCW’s Spring Stampede pay per view in 1997, weighed in on the topic earlier today.

WrestlingInc.’s Sean Ross Sapp also has a story looking at Daniel Bryan’s reaction. The convalescing WWE Superstar is currently doing a publicity tour for his just released auto-biography, and in the wake of this controversy with Hogan (who, until yesterday, was a co-host with Bryan on Tough Enough) has been asked his thoughts on the matter.

“I’ve never seen that side of him and it’s crazy, all this stuff,” Bryan said.

Gawker has also weighed in on the topic. The site, currently embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the banished wrestling legend, posted a story recapping the events of Hogan’s demise from WWE, and the partial transcript.

They pulled no punches, even running an inflammatory headline to underscore the severity of Hogan’s racial remarks.

PWInsider’s Dave Scherer has also weighed in with an update covering the People magazine mea culpa by Hogan, the article citing hints of racial slurs being a Hogan secret as well as the Booker T reaction to Hogan’s transgressions.


F4Wonline’s Bryan Alvarez put over David Bixenspan’s work on Figure Four Weekly covering this story

Alvarez further reported on Wrestling Observer Live that there would be “more to come” on this. (Members can listen below)

Mike Sempervive wasted no time in voicing his disgust for the story, noting it was a” pathetic situation.”

Dave Meltzer reported that Hogan would have known this was a possibility that this could surface, given the information being reported was included in a deposition and on video tapes Hogan knew had been leaked, but had hoped for the best.

“He had every reason to hope it wouldn’t come out, but also every reason to expect that it could.”

The Observer editor characterized this as being 100% related to the Gawker lawsuit, even down to the Gawker side hinting last week that something could happen with regard to the case, but that Hogan — who could have known what was coming — was determined to see his lawsuit against the website to the end.

On the topic of whether Hulk Hogan would be expunged from the WWE Network similarly to how he was erased from the company’s website, Meltzer and Alvarez deemed that unlikely, pointing to the case of Chris Benoit being on the website despite having been involved in a double-murder/suicide of his wife and child.

However, earlier today, Hulk Hogan’s Rock’n Wrestling cartoon from the 1980s was removed from the network.

Meltzer also said that when he asked whether Hogan was still in the WWE Hall of Fame, pointing to the evidence that his name had been removed from the website listing past inductees, WWE responded by saying, “that decision has yet to be made.”

Alvarez and Meltzer speculated on who would replace Hogan as a judge on Tough Enough, among the names mentioned were The Miz, Mick Foley and Ric Flair as well as the option of using the trainers in a revolving panel featuring Booker T, Billy Gunn and Lita.

“FBI is playing games with what they are redacting,” said David Bixenspan when he joined Wrestling Observer Live on Friday to talk with Alvarez and Sempervive.

Bixenspan broke down the story so far, with regard to alleged extortion being threatened regarding the tapes, as well as the creative editing of some of the tapes involving Hogan and Clem, and how it contained the wrong audio.

Bixenspan outline the claims of Gawker owner Nick Denton that there was a coverup and games being played with regard to the evidence being handed over to his lawyers in the case.

There also seemed to be some question now of how many videos exist, and who saw what and when.

Meltzer had claimed there were four separate tapes in play upon which Hogan may have said these things. Bixenspan, however, has said there are three tapes.

One of them contain no racially explicit language, as that was the partial tape Gawker had previously run on their website.

Sempervive questioned whether, if TMZ had seen and heard the tapes, as they’ve claimed earlier today, why the story is only gaining traction now.

Alvarez speculated that, had TMZ had only ever seen or heard something, but had never taken physical possession of evidence related to the story, would they report it, saying it’s one thing if you hear or see something and confirm it with your own eyes or ears, but if you don’t have the evidence of it, one might be careful of how much to report on it since no proof could be presented.

Speculation then turned to what else could be coming that could be damaging to Hogan. Alvarez several times steered the conversation toward what else is out there and what the “more to come” note from the Enquirer might refer to.

During the radio show Alvarez was receiving notes, either via text to instant message that he said he needed to check into before repeating them, and hinted it could be related to what else might surface:

“It is likely there is more coming out today, and that it is going to be a very long weekend for the Huckster, which is why the WWE bailed as quickly as possible…”

Read Brooke Hogan’s poem to her father

Mark Henry, who famously had a racial epithet thrown his way years ago by WWE employee Michael Hayes, reacted to the Hogan controversy on Twitter.

Bryan Alvarez noted today in a rare daily update penned by him that:

Various wrestlers and personalities are publicly backing Hulk Hogan today, including Virgil to TMZ and Dennis Rodman on his Twitter account. Rodman is also backing Donald Trump, who at one point in history was involved in the main event of the biggest WrestleMania of all time.

Meanwhile, PWInsider’s Mike Johnson has dismissed Vince McMahon’s use of the term “nigga” in a televised skit at Survivor Series a decade ago because it was satire, as opposed to the real Vince McMahon uttering the term in a derogatory fashion in his personal life in an otherwise private setting.

“To me, the difference is that what Hogan said was Terry Bollea the person using hateful remarks that have no business being spoken or used in 2015 in real life while Mr. McMahon and Booker T were characters doing something that was obviously produced to be comedy and satire as part of a WWE storyline.

The latter might have been in bad taste (and let’s face it, it was) but it was done to make someone laugh. What Hogan said and did came from an evil, hurtful place and was real life…”

Mick Foley tweets about Hogan, and Hogan gives heartfelt thanks:


PW Torch’s James Caldwell has an article recapping an appearance Hogan’s attorney David Houston made on Fox News wherein he vowed to get to the bottom of who leaked these transcripts.

Hogan’s camp trying to shift the focus from Hogan’s comments to who leaked the comments is the latest development in the ongoing Hogan vs. Gawker suit.

Attorney David Houston told Fox News on Friday that he is suspicious about Gawker’s involvement since the transcript was contained in a “sealed deposition” from Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit against Gawker.

“I have my suspicions, as you can imagine,” Houston told Fox. “If I can find out it is Gawker who leaked the transcripts, we will bury them.”

Bruce Mitchell on the opening moments of an 80-minute podcast this evening with Wade Keller on the PW Torch VIP website seemed to be getting hung up on the idea that WWE is trying to “erase Hogan from history,” strenuously arguing that there is no way for Hogan to be erased from WWE history because he will always be a part of it, despite the company trying to disassociate itself from their brand.

Keller argued that he thought people were using that as a figure of speech to mean exactly what Mitchell was saying, that expunging Hogan was WWE’s way in 2015 to disassociate itself from their brand, and protect their brand and their shareholders in more of a PR “whitewashing” than an attempt to change history.

Keller went on to note that WWE based on its past track record, specifically when it comes to race, do not have a high ground to stand on. Though they made the right decision for their brand in this case, they’ve made poor decisions in the past and “should not get on their high horse too much” over it.

Mitchell agreed, saying this is a PR/Marketing move where WWE has to protect itself and its business partners proactively as a way to isolate themselves from the story, and not draw attention to themselves through any association with Hogan.

On the subject of the Hogan lawsuit against Gawker, Mitchell characterized the situation as “playing a high stakes game and lost” due to all of this.

They also compared the Hogan case to others, like Paula Dean, who’ve gotten into hot water over racially explicit language in the past, too. Wade Keller downplayed this, saying that the case with Hogan is different because of the way he had been portrayed as a hero to children for so long, while others weren’t.

David Bixenspan for is has an article based on a Polygon report stating that 2K Games will drop Hogan from WWE 2K16 at the behest of the sports entertainment company.

“We are highly respectful of the way that our partners choose to run their business and manage our partnerships accordingly,” the spokesperson said. “We can confirm that Hulk Hogan will not appear in WWE 2K16.”

Bixenspan also unearthed a story from a Washington DC CBS sports affiliate stating that WWE plans to announce Hogan’s Tough Enough replacement on the show next Tuesday.

Bixenspan notes in his piece:

Earlier, we noted that it’s being reported that Ric Flair is a leading candidate for the spot, There are a number of reasons why that may not be a great idea.

He and Sean Ross Sapp had a breaking news audio on the Hogan story and spent what I would classify as an inordinate amount of time running down Flair for comparatively minor past transgressions in wrestling.


CM Punk sarcastically touched on the topic earlier today on Twitter:

Keller & Mitchell also debated briefly the difference between the Cosby situation and Hogan’s, with both eventually agreeing that Cosby is, by far, a worse situation and a farther fall from grace. Mitchell also pointed out that, between the two, Cosby’s cultural and social contributions dwarfed, by far, Hogan’s.

In probably the most eagerly anticipated hot take on the Hogan situation, Scott Steiner finally addressed the story.

Back in April, over WrestleMania weekend, allegations were flying that Scott Steiner had threatened to kill Hulk Hogan, and Hogan called the police on him.

Steiner at the time told TMZ, “Typical Hogan. He’s just a punk.”

There are reports that Hogan has been removed from the TNA roster page as well, however there were also reports back in 2013, after Hogan left the company, that he had been removed, so it is unclear whether he had been on their page lately and re-removed, or whether people had just forgotten that he’d been removed back in October 2013.

Interesting to note that on Wade Keller’s VIP Hotline Friday night, Keller took the opposite view of Bryan Alvarez in stating he does not believe this story will have legs beyond this weekend, and doesn’t expect anything more of note to come out on it, and that the churn of the “always-on” news cycle will burn through it. “It doesn’t have legs like the Cosby story” he said (paraphrasing).


PW Torch’s James Caldwell has another update with developments on the Hogan story. Among those not previously covered here in this post include

The Florida restaurant that bears Hogan’s name was open on Friday and says they are distancing themselves from Hulk Hogan.

The manager of “Hogan’s Beach Shop” told “The restaurant has nothing to do with the comments made by Hulk Hogan. We are open for business, and we welcome and serve everyone.”

Also reported is a source claiming to to speak for Linda Bollea giving a quote to Radar Online:

…Hogan’s ex-wife, is trying to distance herself as much as possible from Hulk. quoted “a source close to Linda” who says “Hulk’s statements do not involve Linda.”

Good Ol’ JR, Jim Ross has also weighed in on the topic in a recent blog entry on his website.

Hulk made a grievous error in judgment, a major mistake, that he will have to live with this rest of his days. One can only hope that every one who this matter touches can learn from it and move forward in a positive manner. The WWE acted quickly and decisively in this matter to which they are to be commended.

More as this story continues to develop.



    • I think you mis-read the bit in question. It says Booker T referred to Hogan that way. Not the other way around.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.