Hulk Hogan has previously been caught out making racist comments on tape. Picture: AFP
Hulk Hogan has previously been caught out making racist comments on tape. Picture: AFP

Tone-deaf WWE recalls Hulk Hogan for show in Saudi Arabia

HULK Hogan is making a shock return to WWE after three years out - to host the controversial Crown Jewel pay-per-view event in Saudi Arabia.

Big-name wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan and John Cena have refused to attend following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

But despite a worldwide outcry over the killing - and question marks over the Saudi Government's involvement - the WWE has decided it's time to end the three-year exile of one of its biggest names at Friday's event in Riyadh.

SmackDown hero Bryan and Cena, a huge name in both Raw and SmackDown, were written out of their Crown Jewel matches after taking a stand over Khashoggi's death.

But it is legend Hogan's comeback that will attract most attention.

His last appearance in WWE was back in the summer of 2015. He was banned by the company after being caught making racist comments on tape.

Hogan told the Orlando Sentinel how keen he was to join the WWE in Saudi Arabia.

"We're moving forward at a rapid pace," he said.

"It's exciting to have this opportunity again after all these years where I was there and gone."

But his inclusion has been slammed on social media and in a scathing piece by Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina.

"Hogan should not have been brought back to the company ever," Traina wrote.

"Bringing him back to host a show in Saudi Arabia is an epic case of tone deafness and reeks of total desperation after Cena and Bryan bailed on participating in the event."

Another intriguing addition to the show is Canadian sports broadcaster Renee Young, well known for her WWE work behind the mike.

Many believe Saudi Arabia's dubious record on women's rights makes it an inappropriate choice, given the WWE claims to be in favour of empowering women.

This article was originally published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.