The main promotional point for this week's episode of Monday Night Raw is the "birthday bash" for Hulk Hogan, who legitimately turned 61 years old on Monday. We have confirmed that Hogan is in Portland, where this week's show will emanate from.
Going back to last week, Hogan has been angling for physical involvement on this week's show. A premise mentioned to us was Lesnar taking out Hogan in 2002, so to have Lesnar work some type of angle with him on Raw.
At this point such an angle hinges completely on WWE clearing Hogan for physical contact. Hogan is "selling hard" that he's fine for physical contact but WWE officials have been ultra hesitate about booking him in any such role. As I've reported over and over, neither Vince McMahon nor Triple H wanted Hogan's return to WWE to be contingent on another match and it is not.
Recently, Hogan has been going out of his way to pitch a final match in WWE. He stated in a promotional interview with Matthew Aaron of The Matthew Aaron Show that his goal in life is to compete in the ring again. Hogan said it's not a case of if it's a case of when.
Furthering speculation about Hogan getting involved with Brock Lesnar -- who will challenge John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam on Sunday -- WWE just released red and yellow Cena merchandise. Obviously it could be nothing more than a coincidence but it would be remiss for us to not mention it.
Richard Reacts: I've been heavily critical of the build to John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar and the fact that this week's go-home episode of Raw focuses on Hogan and not SummerSlam. However, the company could help things if they found a way to tie Hogan into the pay-per-view, without him overshadowing it. Even if they decide against Hogan bumping on Raw, they could align Hogan with Cena to create another promotional element and tie-in the heavy Hogan promotion.