Hulk Hogan remains one of the most recognisable pro-wrestlers around the world, beloved even by those with little interest in the sport, despite a raft of recent controversies.
But now, the man with “24 inch pythons” for arms could apparently be suffering with some pretty serious medical issues, according to reports from fellow wrestler, Kurt Angle.
Angle claimed on a recent episode of his Kurt Angle Show podcast that the 69-year-old Hogan requires a cane to get around after having back surgery because “he can’t feel his lower body”.
The former-Olympian said he and Hogan chatted about their health and injuries while backstage at WWE’s recent 30th anniversary edition of its Monday Night Raw programme.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What did Kurt Angle say?
Speaking on his Kurt Angle Show podcast, Angle said Hogan had recently undergone back surgery, a procedure which would have been the 11th such operation the former WWE Champion has had to go through.
As part of the surgery, Hogan apparently “had the nerves cut from his lower body,” and now “has to use his cane to walk around”.
“I thought he was using the cane because he has pain in his back,” Angle continued. “He doesn’t have any pain, he has nothing at all. He can’t feel anything. So, now he can’t feel his legs so he has to walk with a cane which is, you know, that’s pretty serious.”
Hogan gained renown as a WWE (then the WWF) wrestler in the 1980s. He first declared his retirement from professional wrestling in 1998, but in 2001, following knee surgery, he returned to the ring and has since made a number of comebacks.
Hogan stated in 2019 that he wanted to compete in one final wrestling match, but the pandemic prevented him from doing so. “I mean, I really feel for Hogan,” said Angle. “He put his heart and soul into the business and it ate him up.”
How has Hogan responded?
In response, a representative of Hogan has told Entertainment Tonight in a statement that he is doing fine and is not paralysed. According to the spokesperson, Hogan can walk without a cane.
Suggesting that Angle’s version of events may have been down to a misunderstood joke, the representative said “Hulk is someone with a lot of humour... everything is OK with him.”
Hogan was seen walking without a cane when he appeared on screen as part of WWE’s 30th anniversary edition of its Monday Night Raw programme on 23 January. He and Jimmy Hart kicked off the show with a celebratory introduction segment.
It is believed that Hogan has endured 10 back surgeries over the course of his career, due to ongoing injuries sustained by decades of taking “bumps” in the pro-wrestling ring. Hogan has not made any public remarks about his health, but did post a picture of a scar from his 10th back operation in 2020.