Hulk Hogan’s contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been terminated, after a tape emerged of him using racist slurs.
The wrestler debuted in 1977 and is one of the best-known names in the industry.
Hulk Hogan has apologized, telling People: “It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it.”
The comments referred to came in audio transcripts seen by RadarOnline.com and The National Enquirer.
WWE did not link the termination to the tape, saying: “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.”
However, Hulk Hogan’s lawyer said the wrestler had resigned rather than being fired.
Hulk Hogan told People he was disappointed with himself: “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.”
He had earlier tweeted this cryptic message.
According to RadarOnline and The National Enquirer, Hulk Hogan’s comments were made in an audio recording submitted as evidence in his legal battle with gossip site Gawker, who he is suing over the publication of a s** tape.
In transcripts seen by the two publications, Hulk Hogan allegedly tells Heather Clem – a friend’s wife – “I guess we’re all a little racist” and uses racist language while referring to his daughter’s love life.
The WWE has scrubbed references of Hulk Hogan from its website.
Hulk Hogan has enjoyed huge popularity in his long career as a professional wrestler, with his rise helping the expansion of the industry.
In the glory days of “Hulkamania”, Hulk Hogan was a multiple winner of the WWE’s top titles, as well as serving a successful stint in rival WCW.
Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE last year for the fourth time after more than six years away from the organization.
Professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior died Tuesday night at the age of 54, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced.
James Brian Hellwig, who officially changed his name to The Ultimate Warrior in 1993, “collapsed outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM on April 8th … while walking to his car with his wife”, TMZ reported.
“Warrior was transported to a nearby hospital … where he was pronounced dead,” the website added.
James Brian Hellwig’s death comes only three days after The Ultimate Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and just one day after Hellwig made an appearance on WWE’s Raw, his first appearance on the show since 1996.
James Brian Hellwig officially changed his name to The Ultimate Warrior in 1993
According to WWE, The Ultimate Warrior was “one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever,” joined the organization in 1987 and three years later was world champion, defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI at SkyDome in Toronto. The match, billed as the Ultimate Challenge, lived up to the billing in the eyes of most, a common staple in lists of greatest wrestling matches of all time.
The WWE’s initial statement on James Brian Hellwig’s death said: “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.”
James Brian Hellwig and WWE had a contentious relationship after he left the company in 1996, battling one another in lawuits over ownership of The Ultimate Warrior copyright.
WWE released a controversial DVD in 2005 titled The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior, which featured many wrestlers giving disparaging remarks about Warrior. That DVD led to yet another lawsuit.
As his wrestling career was over, the man who began his career as a bodybuilder had a brief turn as a motivational speaker.
Along with his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame and return to the ring in Raw, The Ultimate Warrior character is to be included in the WWE 2K14 video game, another sign of his reconciliation with WWE.
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