In something that my ten year old self would have never expected, Hulk Hogan is actually a fallible human being. Actually, my ten year old self, had he seen what Hogan did in WCW and beyond, would have probably stroked out, what with the nWo turn, the tattoos, TNA, Hogan Knows Best. But he apparently saved the best for last-word leaked that Hogan, following his nasty divorce, got really cozy with his buddy Bubba the Love Sponge’s Mrs., apparently with Bubba’s blessing. Bad enough, right?
Sure. Except that they taped it. And then someone decided to sell it, and Gawker got involved and things got ugly. And now Hogan, someone who has seen his personal wealth depleted in recent years, between the aforementioned divorce and his son Nick’s issues, is suing Gawker for publishing the sex tape, which it received anonymously. His quest? Say this in your best Doctor Evil voice….$100 million dollars.
Now, right off the bat, lets say this as a general rule. If you don’t want the world to see it? Don’t take it, don’t make it. Looking at you, Mister Rollins…
Not saying that people don’t have a right to privacy, but in the digital age, things are a lot less secure or private than you’d think.
With that out of the way, we do await the actual court date. Gawker, based in New York, is expected to be at a disadvantage while the case is tried in Hogan’s Florida back yard. But the case was supposed to start in early July and was delayed on a technicality. And while the delay came about, news has recently broken that the FBI has in their possession as many as three more Hogan sex tapes, made with the former Mrs. Clem. Gawker is alleging that the FBI may even be helping Hogan, as they only recently turned them over but Gawker had been seeking them since at least last year. How things turn out in the case is really anyone’s guess-Hogan is going after invasion of privacy, while Gawker is relying on the 1st Amendment.
So what does it all mean for the WWE Hall of Famer? It may mean nothing at all. At this point in his career, he’s known by millions, but the kids are all more about John Cena-though WWE does keep Hogan relatively tame when he does come on air to make appearances. That the lawsuit was very much known to WWE is without a doubt, and yet Hulk was allowed to be a judge on Tough Enough. Which tells me Vince and/or the decision makers up in Connecticut are ambivalent about it. Hogan cannot deny it was him on the tapes, nor has he ever done so. So I gather, just as Rollins maintained he was a victim of a hack, Hogan sees himself as a victim of someone handing Gawker the goods. Within WWE, I would say the case doesn’t harm his ability to earn, or restrict any future opportunities he thought he might have.
What it does do, is perhaps color him in a different light for those fans who remember the clean living, do-good American icon. Yes, most all wrestlers grow old, and aren’t quite what we remembered them to be when we saw them as kids. It’s sometimes painful watching the stars age. I can’t say this latest chapter in Hogan’s storied life and times is painful, but it’s a reminder for all of us to be careful of just who we put onto a pedestal. Some practice what they preach and really are great role models. Others talk the talk but don’t always walk the walk. I won’t judge Hogan, I am in no position to do so. It’s just another reminder to be careful who our kids look up to, because even the really good ones, aren’t always so good. And when you think they are so good? Everyone is dying to knock them down a few pegs, or worse. I have to imagine that both Hogan and WWE are hoping things get resolved quickly. If Hogan ever seriously wants to wrestle again, I can’t believe Vince would be giving him that “one final ‘Mania match” if this was still hanging over his head.
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