Hulk Hogan's career in professional wrestling spanned thirty years before his final WWE match at SummerSlam 2006. Twelve years have passed since Hogan defeated Randy Orton to close their feud leaving one icon the Legend Killer couldn't topple.
Former WWE and current Lucha Underground referee Marty Elias said he will never forget his first SummerSlam and for good reason. He recently wrote an article for The Sports Daily which chronicled his backstage experience before 2006's Biggest Party Of The Summer.
Sgt. Slaughter, who was an agent for WWE at the time pulled Elias to the side on the day of 2006's SummerSlam event. The WWE Hall Of Famer asked Elias, "so what match do you think you have tonight?" Elias replied stating how lucky he was just to get the opportunity to be there and Slaughter replied, "don't start crying on me kid, go make the best of this match and enjoy it. Stuff like this doesn't happen to everyone."
Elias was informed he had the assignment of officiating Hogan's match against Orton and he couldn't believe it. When Elias heard this news, flashbacks and reels playing Hogan's career highlights flashed through his mind. He later found out that John Laurinaitis assigned Hogan vs. Orton to him because Johnny Ace believed in Elias.
Orton was informed that Elias would be officiating his SummerSlam match and all they were doing at that point was waiting for Hogan so they could lay out the match. Once The Hulkster was ready to talk, there was an issue about who would win. They batted around different scenarios until Vince McMahon came into the dressing room and spoke to Hogan. McMahon made it clear that Hogan was going over and that they would discuss things further later.
Hogan demanded a spot where he wanted to get the crowd as Elias counted to three without noticing The Hulkster's foot was on the bottom rope, which eventually became part of the finished product as well.
"Brother, you really need to sell the moment and sympathize with what just happened!" Hogan told Elias as he instructed him how to act during this key moment. Elias couldn't believe he was receiving pointers from a legend like Hogan and he was elated to write his name next to the WWE legend's on the lineup board in the Gorilla Position.
Elias approached Hogan as the show started to make sure everything was still okay and then he went to see Orton. While speaking to The Viper, Elias was told, "have fun, I know what you're feeling! I remember seeing Hulk Hogan wrestle my dad (Cowboy Bob Orton) when I was young, and to be wrestling him today, is surreal man!"
Hogan defeated Orton on August 20th, 2006 inside a packed Boston's TD Garden. This match was Hogan's final contest inside a WWE ring, and he left with his hand held high. Elias said the match went on without a hitch, and Hogan even stopped him later in the night to tell him that he did a good job.