Friend of wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan says he lost feeling in his lower body after back surgery and had to use a cane to get around.
Mr Hogan, 69, whose legal name is Terry Gene Bollea, underwent an unknown procedure in which nerves were removed from his back. Further details of the operation have not been shared and it is unclear if the damage to Hogan’s legs is permanent.
He shared a photo of himself at an event on Monday evening and appeared to be standing unaided, suggesting he was recovering.
WWE legend Kurt Angle, 54, revealed his longtime friend’s illness during Monday’s podcast last week. He said Mr Hogan felt nothing below the waist but was now walking with a cane, suggesting he still had some use of his legs.
The news comes as the WWE world prepares for WrestleMania, its biggest event of the year where many of the wrestling icons – like Hogan and Angle – make frequent appearances.
Hulk Hogan, 69, reportedly had nerves removed from his lower back, leaving him without feeling in his lower body, although it’s unclear whether this was the result of a complication during the procedure or if it was an expected effect.
Wrestling star Kurt Angle said on his podcast that he spoke with Mr. Hogan for about 30 minutes last week on WWE Raw’s 30th anniversary show where they discussed the surgery.
Hogan shared this image of himself in a Florida bar on Monday night, suggesting he’s recovered
“He’s had the nerves severed in his lower body, he can’t feel his lower body. He must therefore use his cane to move around. I thought he was using the cane because he had back pain. He has no pain, he has nothing at all. He can’t feel anything,” Mr. Angle said.
Mr. Hogan has not publicly addressed the issue. DailyMail.com has attempted to contact Mr. Hogan’s representation for comment.
“So now he can’t feel his legs anymore. So he has to walk with a cane, which is, you know, it’s pretty serious, man,’ Mr Angle continued.
The six-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion appeared on WWE Raw’s 30th anniversary show in Philadelphia last week, where Mr Angle said they spoke for half an hour about their various health issues.
Mr. Hogan, who had a 35-year career with WWE, told Angle that he had lost feeling in his lower body despite always appearing on stage without the aid of a cane.
Angle underwent double knee surgery last year, leaving him “almost useless” during a difficult recovery process.
Injuries are not uncommon among WWE Champions, many of whom saw their careers cut short by devastating blows to the back, head and neck, to name a few.
“He put his heart and soul into the business and ate it up,” Mr Angle said.
“He is the name and the face of the company. He’s the guy who revolutionized professional wrestling. I have so much respect for him.
Mr. Hogan has been open about past procedures to repair the damage he suffered in the ring.
As of 2021, his daughter Brooke said he had undergone a total of 25 surgeries.
“My knees are fake, my hips are fake, my back is full of metal, and part of my face is full of metal,” he said.
In 2006, Hogan suffered a minor meniscus tear in his right knee, although he refused to have surgery at the time. It was then that he said he began to come to terms with the fact that he was getting older and his career as a professional athlete was likely coming to an end.
He said, “I kind of freaked out. I’m starting to learn that I’m a lot older… And as I get older, it’s hard to be the same reliable guy I was in the past. I realize that as I get older, I can’t go on forever.
Mr. Hogan had not wrestled since 2013, when he competed in a match for TNA Wrestling. His numerous injuries and surgeries to remedy them forced him to put an end to his wrestling career. But if it were up to him, he would have had one last farewell game.
He said on the Two Man Power Trip podcast last year: “If I was healthy, shoot – yeah, man, all day.”