It's not hard to see how this could happen. Go back to June of this year and the Hulkster was still the same (more or less) beloved icon he'd been for the past 30+ years. There was a sex tape scandal floating in the ether, some reality TV shows that were about as flattering as reality TV tends to be, and he was obviously getting older, but if you were a Hulkamaniac there weren't a lot of reasons to abandon ship.
So, enter longtime Hulk Hogan fan and UFC lightweight Mitch Clarke, and his really awesome idea to print up a whole bunch of t-shirts riffing on the Hulkamaniac theme.
Shirts are in, kinda wishing I had a different design since the whole Hulk thing went down. pic.twitter.com/QsqeISXVcp— Mitch Clarke (@MitchClarkeMMA) August 17, 2015
Clarke recently spoke to the StarPhoenix about the shirt debacle and how he's been dealing with the fallout from Hogan's recently leaked racist tirade:
"It's like, 'No, man. You're ruining my shirt sales. Think about me. You're letting me down. For two reasons,'" Clarke said, laughing at the gallows humour of it all. "These are racism-free shirts. Oh, man. I unveiled them on Twitter and got ripped into by a couple people. I couldn't anticipate that a hero from my childhood was going to go full-bore crazy racist. I like Hulk Hogan from the '80s: Eat your vitamins, say your prayers. Not the other stuff."
Bloody Elbow spoke to Clarke about what his next apparel move will be and if he's got another figure, pro-wrestling or otherwise, in mind. Clarke says he's going with a Macho Man Randy Savage shirt next because, "He's dead and can't ruin shirt sales. Hopefully."
On the plus side though Clarke says "the people who don't think I'm a racist love the shirts." So, maybe everything's not quite as bad as it could be.
Mitch Clarke was hoping to compete on the UFC's upcoming Saskatoon card, but had a broken acupuncture needle lodged in his forearm during an IMS treatment, causing him to lose sensation in his hand. He's currently looking to test out the injury in grappling competition before he makes his return to the UFC.