Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil will co-host WrestleMania 37 this weekend. On a recent episode of WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves, Hulk Hogan spoke about WrestleMania this year being the 37th anniversary of the show. Hogan said being a co-host of the show is something that he’s looking forward to and will top off his career the right way.
“It doesn’t seem real, Corey,” Hogan said. “I started here in Tampa, huge wrestling fan. To comeback to Tampa where this all started, WrestleMania 37. I started in 1977 and to come back here in my hometown with Titus with me, hopefully the new Mayor of Florida, we’re coming in wide open, guns blazing to show everybody the SuperBowl was cool, but WrestleMania is the greatest show in the world.
“For me in my hometown, this tops my career off like I never thought it would be topped off.”
This year’s show is expected to have 25,000 fans in attendance for each night and will be the first WWE main roster show with a crowd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hogan spoke about WWE being the first major company to host a live event in North America with thousands of fans, noting he’s not surprised that they are the first.
“This is a huge statement,” Hogan said. “WWE once again raises the bar for how things should be played out from this point on. I was devastated last year. I talked to the hierarchy in WWE and they asked me to host WrestleMania last year, but everything went awry. Gronk did a great job but as I watched it there was a whole in my heart, there was no crowd, it was so different.
“I prayed it would never happen again and all of a sudden to be back out there in front of this crowd? That was my thing, to listen to the crowd, to feed off the crowd. That crowd just makes Hulk Hogan go crazy, the WWE superstars raise the bar on their performance once they get in that ring in front of that crowd. This is going to be off the charts this WrestleMania.”
Being a resident of Tampa for over 60 years, Hogan said being a co-host of WrestleMania in his hometown is one of the biggest accomplishments of his career. He also said the people in Tampa know him and he hopes WrestleMania blows everyone away this year.
“This is the ultimate high for me,” Hogan said. “I’ve lived here 67 years. I’m not some newcomer that just moved here 20 years ago, I’ve been here and seen all the changes.
“These people know me, they know my history. They know the good and they know the bad. They know that I’m just a normal guy here running around Tampa. These people in Tampa know me. I hope it’s just so intense that it blows everybody away including Vince McMahon.”
This year, Titus O’Neil was honored as the recipient of the Warrior Award for the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame Class. Hogan held Titus in the highest regard, saying he really is a great person who wants the best for the community.
“It’s more than stroke, he is the bomb dot com,” Hogan said. “This is for real. I started in the Boys Club when I was a kid, when I started working with the Boys Club again through the WWE, I got to work hand and hand with Titus. This brother is for real, there’s no holes in his boat, there’s no agenda, he’s straight up and actually cares about these kids and people. I live here, this is 24/7, he’s not messing around.
“He works with the community, he works with the town, he’s involved in every aspect of making life better in the Tampa Bay area. For me to live here and see the local news and see the stuff he does, it’s just amazing. I wish we had 10,000 more just like him, the world would be a much better place.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.