With John Cena now being a full-time Hollywood actor and Hulk Hogan now pushing 70 years old, a match between the two of them is almost impossible. However, the dream match is one fans were clamouring for, and Hulk Hogan vs John Cena almost took place in WWE.
There were multiple times when the match between the two could have taken place. Hulk Hogan wrestled up in 2006 with WWE, meaning there were many chances even whilst John Cena was champion to have the dream match between the two top faces of WWE.
Hulk Hogan had his final match in WWE at Summerslam 2006. In a winning effort, he faced Randy Orton. Yes, it wasn’t a great match. It’s not going on any list of Randy Orton’s best matches, but it doesn’t have to. Hulk Hogan was never about incredible in ring quality. He knows how to work a crowd, and so does John Cena. This would have been the basis of Hulk Hogan’s final match in a WWE ring, against the Champ at Wrestlemania 25 most likely.
What are the best Hulk Hogan matches?
Hulk Hogan vs John Cena
Prior to his matches with Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan actually teamed with John Cena and Shawn Michaels. In 2005, he made his surprise return to WWE after a brief stint in Japan to partner Shawn Michaels in a tag team match against Khosrow Daivari & Muhammad Hassan at Backlash 2005.
He did the same a month later, joining Michaels along with John Cena in a six man tag team match against Chris Jericho, Christian and Tyson Tomko. This would be the only time John Cena and Hulk Hogan shared a ring, save for a Dark Match on Raw later this year. These matches were used to build the Shawn Michaels vs Hulk Hogan feud, which was due to have their first match at Summerslam 2005 and was meant to have three matches total.
However, Hulk Hogan, after agreeing to win the first match and losing the next two, pulled out of the trilogy shortly before Summerslam. In this, he was booked to win the only match against HBK, which Michaels responded to by overselling completely and ruining the match, making Hogan look ridiculous.
Hogan would leave WWE after that match, only returning one year later for one more match against Randy Orton. However, he saw something in John Cena and, according to Bruce Pritchard, wanted a match with John Cena as he thought he had huge potential in WWE.
In an episode of his podcast Something to Wrestle With, Bruce went into detail about how Hulk Hogan wanted a match with John Cena but ultimately the match never came to fruition.
Bruce Pritchard on Hulk Hogan
“Hulk was always looking for that next mountain to climb, the next Superstar to conquer. So yeah, you are looking at Cena? You are looking at who you want to be in the ring with and play with and have fun. Of course, it’s John Cena. I definitely remember that and I definitely remember Hulk going holy cow, this is going to be good.”
“Hulk was already gone before we could (book the match against John Cena).”
Pritchard is an influential figure behind the scenes in WWE and is known to be close to Vince McMahon. He currently oversees the creative for RAW, Smackdown and NXT in WWE, and has been a known confidant of Vince McMahon for many years.
Due to Hogan’s health and attitude towards the Shawn Michaels matches, he was never brought back to face Cena, only having one match afterwards against Randy Orton. A few years later he would join TNA and have his final matches, but never had the dream match against John Cena.
Hulk Hogan would later claim that he was due to face John Cena, but this time at Wrestlemania 25. During his time in TNA, it was clear that he was past it physically and could not have taken any bumps in the ring nor put out any kind of decent match.
However, according to Hogan, the match was planned for Wrestlemania 25, but sometime prior to the event he was stuck down by injury that caused the match to be scrapped. Back surgery put him out of the show, and instead John Cena wrestled in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship against Edge and The Big Show.
Hulk Hogan said about his match vs John Cena at Wrestlemania 25;
“You know what, I was supposed to wrestle John Cena for the title, and about four weeks ago I had back surgery.
Vince and I were talking about how much involvement I wanted to have in Wrestlemania, and if I wanted to keep wrestling, and out of nowhere my back just got really crazy.
I went in for an MRI and I had to have some emergency surgery that threw me out of the game. I was kind of flipped out about it, I thought I’d be the main event this year.”
What do you think? Would Cena and Hogan have been a dream match you would have liked to see? Was it simply too late for Hulk Hogan and he should have just retired before his disastrous run in TNA?