I about threw up when I read the possibility of Hulk Hogan making an appearance at WrestleMania 33 to replace Shaquille O’Neal in a match with Big Show.
Hogan, who was wiped clean from WWE’s website like a crime scene on NCIS after a tape surfaced of racial slurs from years gone, is back in the news. The 63-year-old wrestler, actor and most importantly, self-promoter hasn’t been in a ring since he was part of the awful Sting-Triple H angle at WrestleMania 31. It wasn’t “Too Sweet” and the thought of Hogan, who hasn’t shown fans anything resembling a wrestling move since the days of dying his beard in WCW, putting on the red and canary yellow is nauseating.
When will WWE learn it cannot rehash the past when most of the fan base has never seen Hogan in his heyday other than old shows on the company’s network? Trying to recreate Halloween Havoc from 1995 where The Giant takes Hogan’s title in his very first match with the company isn’t going to happen. Hogan is a shell of his former self whereas Big Show is leaner than he has ever been and could be an asset in storylines later this year.
While this is all rumor and conjecture right now, as it has been talked about on various websites and in wrestling chatrooms, it makes no sense to put this kind of match together on the fly as there are less than three weeks until the show in Orlando. Hogan, who will tell you he helped build WCW during the Universal Studios tapings, hasn’t been a thought on the WWE radar. Yes, the company usually brings back stars of the past to help create a nostalgic feeling to its biggest night of wrestling. But in this case, it becomes a ooey, gooey mess. There are better ways to book Big Show.
I cannot believe I just wrote that.
WWE still has not yet revealed its plan for Braun Strowman, but I suspect he enters the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Why wouldn’t Big Show be part of that match again, creating a feud between the two big men until the company figures out when Strowman can seek revenge on Roman Reigns? If memory serves me correctly, the match between the two behemoths was pretty good.
Big Show is in the same purgatory other WWE superstars like AJ Styles and Luke Harper are experiencing right now. If it had not been a match with Shaq to begin with – which was proposed as a retirement match – this wouldn’t be major news at all. OK, maybe middle-level at best.
While the company figures out what to do with a slimmer Big Show, other wrestlers can twist in the wind. I’m sure the solution will be decided in the next few days. I’m sure there will be an angle to bring Hogan back into WWE’s close knit family and fans will still have the same reaction to the news that I am having right now.
When I step back and look at how this match is a topic many are discussing like it’s a big deal, I cannot help but realize this is the state of the business and state of the company. It’s a sad commentary on how WrestleMania 33 might turn out. The day Big Show’s new opponent makes bigger headlines than what to do with other WWE superstars tells us the company still might not have a clue how to book a proper WrestleMania event.