In a rare podcast interview, Hulk Hogan gave a first-person account of his backstage meeting with the locker room of the current WWE main roster at Extreme Rules, in what he described as a complete apology for the past racist remarks that led WWE in 2015 to cut all ties with him.
Hogan was appearing on The Apter Chat, the first episode of a new podcast hosted by longtime wrestling reporter and photographer Bill Apter. In the first installment of a two-part conversation, Hogan spoke at length about the controversy surrounding his comments, which led to him essentially being erased from the WWE Hall of Fame until he was reinstated to the Hall and the good graces of the company on July.
Hogan noted that, after WWE severed ties in the summer of 2015, he didn't hear from anyone associated with company management until about 18 months later when he got a text from Triple H. Hogan said that several conversations with Triple H followed over the ensuing months before Hogan finally got to discuss things with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in their first substantial talk since the controversy.
Hogan said, "One of the things that we agreed upon was, Triple H and Vince, I talked to both of them, and they said, 'The first thing we want to do is bring you back and want you to talk to the black athletes.' I said, 'No. I'm not going to do it. If I come back I want you to get everybody. Because what I did not only hurt the business, it hurt black, white, every athlete that you have.' "
That meeting happened last month, prior to the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, and saw Hogan address the entire locker room.
Hogan recounted his speech to the WWE roster as follows:
"The first thing I want to do is tell you guys, 12 years ago I said something that, three years ago it just came to light. I want to apologize for everything I said. I could give you the woe-is-me story. I could tell you all the things, all the reasons why I was in the space I was in, a very dark, dark space. Everybody's got a woe-is-me story, everybody's got an excuse, but the truth is, I said these things 12 years ago. And I didn't even know they were said until three years ago, because that's when they came out. I can't remember what I said last weekend much less 12 years ago. Maybe you guys can but I can't."
Hogan went on to say that he told the WWE locker room his racist tirade happened when he was in what he described as "a fit of anger.
"But I did say it, I'm accountable, that's not who I am, that's not how I feel, that's not how I believe but the one thing I will tell you is that when I said it I was very, very mad. Very, very mad at a situation. But I did say it. It was inappropriate, oit was out of context, it was hurtful, it was unacceptable and I did it. I apologize and if you guys could ever forgive me, I would be forever grateful. And I made sure that was my one train of thought."
Later in the interview, Hogan noted that not everyone in wrestling had accepted his apology, which he ascribed to individuals who are unwilling to follow "the brotherhood of wrestling."
During the thus-far published part of the interview, Hogan did not say whether or not his backstage meeting was filmed. He also was not asked if it was filmed by the hosts, Apter and Josh Shernoff.