HULK Hogan is set to make a return to WWE Raw to celebrate the life of his long-time friend ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund.
The 65-year-old star hasn’t appeared on Raw since he was suspended by the WWE in 2015 after using a series of racial slurs in a recorded conversation, but he’s poised to reappear on the show following the death of Okerlund, who passed away last Wednesday.
The iconic duo were close friends for decades and Okerlund’s backstage interviews and on-screen chemistry with Hogan helped to establish him as a global wrestling star.
As a result, Hogan is set to appear on the next episode of Raw on Monday night as he honours his good friend.
Okerlund – who died aged 76 – passed away one year after he was last seen on TV.
In a statement, WWE said, “WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognisable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76.”
He first joined WWE in 1984 and became a staple of its TV programming through his entertaining skits with the likes of Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior.
Okerlund played a huge part in the company’s expansion around the world when Vince McMahon signed him up after his time in the American Wrestling Alliance, and he went on to host shows like Tuesday Night Titans, Wrestling Challenge and Prime Time Wrestling.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hogan, who responded to news of his death with a simple Twitter post.
He wrote, “Mean Gene I love you my brother HH (sic)” – BANG!