As previously reported, a press conference was held today in Memphis, TN, to announce the Hulk Hogan vs. Jerry Lawler main event at an upcoming April 27 show at Fed Ex Forum. Well… the match isn’t happening.
Lawler announced that he was told on Monday night by WWE that he wasn’t able to fight, with one reason being that footage will appear on VH-1’s Hogan Knows Best, and WWE didn’t want their on-air talent appearing on a competing network. Of course, Vince has even appeared on the show, but that was when WWE and Hogan were on good terms.
Replacing Lawler to take on Hogan in the show’s main event will be former WWE and WCW Champion Paul Wight (a.k.a. The Big Show/The Giant).
At the press conference, Hogan said he was dissappointed and that it was a personal shot against him. He went on to say that he had a feeling it would happen, but that Lawler told him he’d leave WWE if they got in the way. The jury’s still out on that one. Wight went on to say that “Big Show” was his slave name and he’s going to be himself. He’s lost about 60 pounds, by all accounts, and has been working hard to get in shape for what Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com calls “a non-wrestling sports venture.”
The match is being promoted as the one that SHOULD have taken place at Wrestlemania. A Hogan/Wight bout had been rumored up until Wight’s WWE contract expired and he decided to leave the promotion to heel up. The Great Khali was at one point slated to face Hogan at Mania, but that fell through when Hogan and WWE had a falling out. He went on to get knee surger, and his only appearance at Mania was in video footage of him bodyslamming Andre The Giant 20 years ago at Wrestlemania III.