Hulk Hogan addressed the WWE locker room before Extreme Rules where he had an apology in store for everyone following his reinstatement into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Hogan recently discussed those events on The Apter Chat where he described the process of getting him back into WWE once again.
According to Hogan, Triple H kept tabs on him during his time away from WWE, partly thanks to Hogan's participation in the Boys & Girls Club Of America, who accepted him into their own Hall Of Fame in June.
"Triple H knew what I was doing with the Boys & Girls Club and there was a common bond there so he kept a good eye on what I was doing and I kept him aware of when I was doing appearances and what we had going.
"So then we started talking about different things like Saudi Arabia and stuff like that. I said, 'man I'd really just love to talk to Vince.' I'd texted Vince back-and-forth on birthday and he texted me on New Years and stuff like this, but we never really good conversation. So all of a sudden, my phone rings and it's 'hey monster, how you doing?' So we talked and it was like, 'wow man,' we had been texting back and forth but I hadn't heard Vince's voice and it was just so good to hear his voice.
"He hasn't changed a bit, same old intense Vince and we talked and it was a great conversation."
Hogan said he and McMahon spoke back-and-forth for a short time until Triple H called Hogan and said it was time that he have a conversation with himself and ask if he really wanted to do something with professional wrestling.
They agreed to bring Hogan back, but McMahon and Triple H wanted him to speak to the African American Superstars.
"No, I'm not gonna do it," Hogan said as he retold the story. "I want to talk to everybody because what I did not only hurt the business. It hurt white, black, every athlete you have, Japanese, everyone who's involved in this business."
Hogan wanted to speak to the entire roster and flew into Cleveland to make the drive to Pittsburgh thinking he could stop by Extreme Rules and address the locker room, but the fans figured out his plans. Hogan met with Pat Patterson, a man who helped bring Hogan into the professional wrestling during his Florida days and it was good for The Hulkster to see an old friend.
"I get to Pittsburgh, but right before we got to the building my phone was blowing up going 'congratulations, you're back in the Hall Of Fame," Hogan said. "I had no idea they had put me in the Hall Of Fame. I thought we were just gonna go there and talk.
"I thought, 'wow, that's so cool,' it made me grin from ear to ear. I didn't start crying because I had two other men in the car with me [...] I get to the building and they had everybody in a room and I walked in the room and I made it very clear in my head what I wanted to say."
Hogan said there were two plans on what he would say to the locker room. The first idea was to thank everyone for showing up in spite of their hectic travel schedules and then admit to saying something twelve years followed by an apology. He wanted to explain himself, saying he didn't even remember saying those racist remarks over a decade ago.
Then he switched gears to his second plan where he told the WWE locker room that they are in the biggest spotlight in the world and everyone should be ultimately careful not to even "slip on a banana peel," especially if they're a big star. Hogan reminded everyone to be careful because cameras are on everyone's phone at this point while closing with a message to learn from his own mistakes.
Hogan then addressed some members of the WWE locker room who didn't accept his apology in the way it was presented before Extreme Rules.
"A lot of people accepted my apology," Hogan continued. "A lot of them heard what they wanted to hear and a lot of the narrative that came out of the meeting was on point. A lot of the narrative was really different because I was surprised to see some people interpret what I said to say I was sorry I got caught on camera or whatever they interpreted it. I never said that.
"I guess the media and people go with the most negative narrative they can come out of there. But that's pretty much what happened and that's how I got put back into the Hall Of Fame. I was on the way to the meeting and I was put in before I got there which is really, really cool."
Although Hogan says he relayed what he wanted to during his locker room apology, not every member of the WWE roster was willing to accept his public address and plea for another chance. Hogan opened up about those wrestlers who were unwilling to accept him back into the fold saying they don't understand the "brotherhood of wrestling," and they also don't know him very well.
"It is what it is," Hogan admitted. "I said those words, it was totally unacceptable and I just really wanted to get in front of all the talent and apologize because I know I hurt this business. You know I just wanna move forward. I just hope the brotherhood can get back to the way it was because you know, when you're in the ring and somebody is bodyslamming somebody or piledriving somebody you protect your brother and you make sure physically that they're safe.
"Outside the ring you're supposed to protect your brother, you know? In this case it's a situation where you know, 75- 80-90% of the wrestlers are protecting me, they're giving me another chance to move forward. But, you know there's just a few wrestlers that kinda don't understand the bond that the brotherhood of wrestling if someone makes a mistake you need to forgive them and move on and try to let them prove themselves.
"I just feel that I wish I could kinda have one-on-one conversations with people who really don't know me and try to maybe explain myself better. But, you know all in all it was a great day. It's just a highlight of my life to be able to be back in the Hall Of Fame and to be able to move forward. So it's been a great time these last couple of weeks."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit The Apter Chat with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcirption