A settlement worth $31 million was reached between World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media on Wednesday over a sex tape involving the well-known Hollywood celebrity, leaked by the now defunct website, in 2012. It remains to be seen now whether the Hulkster, who has taken pro wrestling to new heights since the late 1970s, makes a much-awaited return to the ring that made him what he is today.
Gawker Media, launched in the early 2000s, made a bad reputation for itself by bringing out intimate details of celebrities to the public domain. In 2012, they attracted the wrath of Hogan, who goes by the real name of Terry Gene Bollea. A footage of the former pro wrestler having sex with Heather Clem, the estranged wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, was recorded and made public by the website.
Hogan ordered the website to pull down the video, but the company, owned by Nick Denton, refused to follow the orders. As a result, the 63-year-old Hogan filed a lawsuit against Gawker and Denton for violating his privacy and asked for $100 million in damages.
On Wednesday, Gawker, who shut down their operations in August following the judgements from the Florida jury, dropped the case and settled it with a $31 million dollar deal with Hogan.
Is he returning to WWE now for yet another stint? Yes, says another WWE legend Scott Hall. "Yes, Hulk will be back," said Hall to Wrestlezone. "After a thirty-three year relationship with the WWE, he had a bad day—and that bad day was nearly ten years ago.
"That sex tape happened during a brutal time in his life. He was going through a divorce, his son Nick was in a car crash, paralyzed his buddy, and was facing jail time. His daughter was starting her hip-hop career, and Hulk was backing that, paying money out of his own pocket for that. The whole world was coming down on him, and he slipped up. He said the wrong thing.
"I've been around Hulk a lot and never seen that side of him. I've only seen a kind, generous guy. If the door is not open for him, it should be," Hall, better known among the pro wrestling aficionados as Razor Ramon, added.