Former pro wrestlers say they support their friend Terry Bollea – known as Hulk Hogan. On Friday World Wrestling Entertainment severed ties with Bollea, arguably the biggest name in pro wrestling. The Tampa Bay native was fired because of racist remarks he made.
The racist language was used during an unauthorized sex tape involving Bollea. A transcript surfaced, which revealed Bollea used the N-word about a man dating his daughter. Bollea also proclaimed himself a racist.
The WWE released a statement saying in part, “WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”
In a statement to People Magazine, Bollea said, “It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it.”
Inside Crazy Dave’s Sports Bar in Largo lives a shrine to wrestling’s golden age. Autographed photos line the walls. The pictures showcase pro wrestling greats from the 1980s and 1990s. Bar owner David Sierra is one of those wrestlers. He goes by the name, Fidel Sierra the Cuban Assassin.
Sierra and his wife, former wrestler Fantasy, have the utmost respect for their friend, Bollea. “Hulk Hogan is the man and always will be the legend of all time,” Sierra said. “He is definitely not a racist.”
“He has put wrestling into a whole different orbit,” Fantasy added.
These former wrestlers feel Bollea’s treatment has been unfair. They hope for the best. “Hulk Hogan’s name will be cleared of all this,” Sierra said. “You don’t want to mess with [Bollea] because he has a way of coming out on top,” Fantasy added.
Tampa Tribune reporter Paul Guzzo covered pro wrestling for years and provided an interesting perspective. He pointed out the only other time the WWE blotted out the history of a wrestler was in the case of Chris Benoit. Benoit murdered his wife and son and then committed suicide.