Ahead of hosting WrestleMania 37 alongside Titus O’Neil, Hulk Hogan has revealed that taking on the role in his home town of Tampa, Florida, will “top off his career.”
Speaking to WWE After The Bell, Hogan expressed his excitement at returning to where his wrestling career started.
“To come back to Tampa, where this all started, WrestleMania 37 — I started in ’77 and a come back here in my hometown and to have Titus with me, hopefully, the new mayor of Florida, who knows, but to have Titus with me… we’re coming in wide-open, guns a-blazing, to show everybody that the Super Bowl was cool but WrestleMania is the greatest show in the world.
“We are so excited, brother. For me, in my hometown, this tops my career off like I never thought it would be topped off.”
The WWE Hall of Famer then went on to reveal that he had been in discussions with WWE to host event last year. The role was eventually filled by NFL star Rob Gronkowski.
“I mean this is a huge statement. WWE, once again, raising the bar on how things should be played out from this point on. I was devastated last year, you know, I talked to the upper hierarchy at the WWE and they asked me to host WrestleMania last year everything went awry. Gronk did a great job, but I mean, as I watched it, there was like a hole in my heart because there was no crowd and it was so different you know what I prayed that it would never happen again.
“So all of a sudden to be back out there in front of this crowd. that was my thing man to listen to the crowd, to feed off the crowd I mean everything that I ever did had to do with a crowd, you know, I didn’t need to anything else so that crowd just makes Hulk Hogan go crazy, it makes Hollywood Hogan go crazy, and the WWE Superstars just raise the bar on their performance once they get in the ring in front of that crowd so this is going to be off the charts this WrestleMania.”
Hogan continued by saying that the event will be especially important for him on a personal level, due to his connection to the area.
“This is going to be the ultimate high for me because I’ve lived here 67 years. I’m not some newcomer who just moved here 20 years ago. I’ve been here and I’ve seen all the changes and these people know me. They know my history. They know the good, they know the bad. They know I’m just a normal guy running around here in Tampa and at the end of the day, the scars and everything I’ve been through, these people in Tampa know me. So this is really going to be cool for the WWE. That’s what I’m praying for. I hope it’s just so intense that it blows everybody away, including Vince McMahon.”
Hulk Hogan last appeared on WWE television at RAW legends night on January 4th. Meanwhile, Hogan recently paid tribute to his most famous WrestleMania adversary Andre The Giant, commenting that Andre
“taught him to respect the business.”
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.