Associated Press – June 7, 1994
ATLANTA — Ringside excitement hit a fever pitch this weekend when long-standing rumors were confirmed — Hulk Hogan has returned to wrestling!
The world-renowned Hogan signed a deal with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) that would bring him back into the ring early this summer. The historic signing, the biggest acquisition in the history of the wrestling industry, was announced on WCW Saturday Night, seen weekly on TBS Superstation.
“Wrestling fans all over the world can celebrate now that the most exciting presence in the sport has returned to do battle,” said Eric Bischoff, senior vice president and executive producer of WCW Programs, who was instrumental in negotiating the Hulk deal. “Having Hulk in our corner only confirms the fact that WCW is the premiere wrestling organization of the ’90s.”
WCW President Bill Shaw added: “Hulk is the crowning jewel to a glittering array of talent such as Ric Flair, Sting, the Nasty Boys, Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a group who has truly escalated to superstar status this year. I have enjoyed following Hulk’s career and look forward to a long and happy partnership.”
Hogan has always impacted wrestling in a big way. The 6’7″ 275-pound giant exploded into American pop culture with a phenomenon known as “Hulkamania,” which propelled the industry to tremendous popularity in the late ’80s. During his career, Hogan captured five world titles, packed arenas and stadiums around the world and generated some of the largest pay-per-view numbers ever.
His most memorable bout occurred in 1987, when he body-slammed 7’4″, 500-pound Andre the Giant on his way to victory at the Pontiac Silverdome. That event surpassed all indoor attendance records, with over 93,000 fans on hand.
Hulk created intense excitement and brought in a whole new cache of fans to wrestling with his signature bandanna, blond mustache, rippling biceps and his shredded yellow t-shirts. He parlayed his incomparable physique and persona to a motion picture and television career. He currently stars in the syndicated hit, Thunder in Paradise.
Now that Hulk has broken the shackles of retirement, he is ready for action. “What you gonna do WCW, when these 24-inch pythons (biceps) run wild on you!” Hulk Hogan challenges. “It’s gonna be great to strap on those boots and get back to the squared circle. Get ready Hulkamaniacs, because the fun begins soon on WCW!”
Hogan’s agreement with WCW includes participation in select TBS and syndicated television programming, select pay-per-view events and merchandising. His first appearance for WCW could be at the live Clash of the Champions, June 23, at 8:05 (ET). The event will take place in Charleston, S.C., and will be broadcast on TBS Superstation.
Hulk is also expected to participate in the upcoming pay-per-view telecast, WCW’s Bash at the Beach, which will air live on July 17 at 7 p.m. (ET). That telecast will originate from Orlando, Fla., and is being distributed by Viewer’s Choice, Request Television, Viewer’s Choice Canada and Premier Satellite. The “Hulkster” can also be seen weekly on such TBS and syndicated television programming as WCW Worldwide, WCW Saturday Night, WCW Main Event and WCW Pro Wrestling.
World Championship Wrestling is a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. (TBS), which produces and markets television programs featuring wrestlers and live events.