Building a story where Hulk Hogan wins the title from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 and retiring on top is not the same as just putting it on another part timer. For one Hogan won't be a part timer. He won't wrestle at all after winning the title (maybe one token 6 man tag on RAW just so the World can see him come to the ring one last time as champion). It won’t be about another title reign, but rather about the build to a match, the classic underdog story (something that everyone enjoys), the ultimate comeback, and seeing the greatest of all time overcome insurmountable odds to get that one last moment of glory to retire on top. More important, it will be a way to keep the World title scene – and the fans – occupied while the young stars heal.
The buildup should be simple so not to drown out any of the fun, but complex enough so that it also reaches us on a number of emotional levels. WWE should continue to build Brock's dominance as champion through the rest of the year. Meanwhile Hogan and Cena should team together for Survivor Series in a traditional elimination match. This way Hogan gets to spend most of his time on the apron doing what he still does better than anyone which is working the crowd. He'll tag in a few to throw some well sold punches, a clothesline or two and then quickly tag out. He’ll remain on the apron for most of the rest of the match before finally getting the hot tag and the winning pin after him and Cena double team (to avoid Hogan having to drop the leg). This kind of match will protect Hogan, hide his weaknesses and leave the audience with just a taste of Hulkamania so that they are left hungry for more. After this there is no more talk of Hogan wrestling again. Fans assume that was his one last big match. Then at the Royal Rumble when #27 (30 would be too obvious) is revealed, Hulk Hogan comes out, wins the Rumble and is guaranteed the main event title shot at WrestleMania.
Now the real fun begins. As they build to the match it will consist mostly of promos between Hogan and Heyman (I've seen them ad lib a short spot at a comic expo. They work well together) seeing as how Brock is part time and silent. Heyman, as cruel and ruthless as he is shows no intimidation of Hogan's legacy. In fact he goes out of his way to talk about Hogan's shortcomings. His age, his 9 back surgeries, his hip replacements, his knee replacements, maybe even talk about Hogan's family falling apart and at one point pointing a gun to his own head. At first these comments enrage Hogan but, the more Heyman talks the more Hogan begins to question himself until it's clear that Heyman is in full control. Later Heyman tries to convince Hogan to back out of the match before he gets hurt. He even brings a legal document for Hogan to sign thus giving up his right to the match. Hogan considers it but, is understandably hesitant. Paul keeps throwing the insults, calling him "old", "has been", "washed up" etc. Hogan still considers signing but is noticeably becoming annoyed. Losing patience, Haymen turns it up a notch. "What are you waiting for? Sign it! Didn't you hear me? Did you lose your hearing aid? I said SIGN IT!" With that last comment he smacks the Hulkster across the face.
Hogan wakes up from his depressive state and his eyes bulge furiously at Heyman who cowers away realizing what he has done. Hogan tears up the papers then grabs Heyman by the Jacket. Just as Hogan is about to let Paul E. have it Lesnar arrives, tackles Hogan and begins throwing multiple MMA style punches. Security tries to intervene but Lesnar clears the ring of them. He returns his attention to Hogan and applies an MMA style choke/submission. Security tries again to stop the violence but Lesnar won't let go. Wrestlers come down and finally manage to pry the champion off of Hogan. The refs order everyone out of the area. (this will be adequately violent, fit Lesnar's demeanor while minimizing any bumps Hogan has to take). Finally it is just Hogan and Heyman in the ring. Paul has regained his cockiness, stands over the fallen Hulk Hogan and says, "You had your chance to back out old man but, you decided to put your hands on me, now... I can't be held responsible for what happens. At WrestleMania 31 you are in for the beating of your life! Oh, and just to be on the save side, you might want to kiss your daughter Brooke good-bye. Or better yet, I'll kiss her for you!" (Isn't that just what Paul E. would say?)
The WWE Universe begins to talk about the match, the possibilities and the predictions. A lot of them reiterate the things Heyman said about Hogan's age and health and the possibility of permanent injury some even saying that Hogan should have backed out (to keep Hogan the underdog). But others (specifically Cena and Bryan) point out that this is Hulk Hogan and if anyone can pull it off, he can. Finally WrestleMania comes. Despite an incredible offensive onslaught by Lesnar including MMA tactics (so that part of the match is spent on the mat to prevent Hogan from bumping) and a series of German suplexes (which protect the lower back and allows Hogan to bump on his shoulders and neck where he is still strong) Hogan manages to Hulk Up, fight his way back, get a few shots in on Heyman and finally drop the leg (he claims, "I've got one left in me") to win the championship in the biggest upset victory of his career.
After the match Hogan's music stops for a moment as he has something to say. He thanks his wife and kids (who are at ringside) for stinking with him through thick and thin. Then he thanks WWE for giving him the opportunity 30 plus years ago. Finally he thanks the fans for supporting him for all of these years. Especially tonight, for only their support could have carried "this old beat up, broken down, bionic body back to where we belong; the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!" He holds up the belt in a Rocky Balboa esq moment and shouts, "YO, HULKAMANIACS - WE DID IT!" His music resumes and we close out one of the great WrestleMania moments (NOTE: I said moments, not matches for all of you looking to hate on this) of all time.
The next day on RAW new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan makes his way to the ring for one last interview (as champion) with Mean Gene. He talks about his career. He talks about his accomplishments in all of the areas he had been in, "All of which can be seen and re-lived over and over again on the WWE Network for just $9.99.” (have to get that in there) He says when he returned to WWE his goal was to just return to the ring once more. He never envisioned winning the championship. "At my age and health?” he says, “It was unheard of!" As a result this championship win will always be his favorite of all. But it also made him realize that this is a young man's game and even though the competitive fire still burns deep within him he can no longer compete at the level fans deserve. Although none of us want to admit it, there comes a day when every athlete must call it quits. “When I look back at what happened last night, I’m still in shock.” he says, “Making the biggest comeback of all time, on the biggest stage of all time, to win the greatest title of all time. Hulkamaniacs we’re back on top of the world!” Pause for dramatic effect. “And brothers, I can’t think of a better way for the greatest career of all time to end then to go out on top. So at this moment I want to officially announce my reti…”
Suddenly music interrupts. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out. Heyman grabs a mic. “Did I just hear what I thought I heard?” are you trying to retire… no, retreat, escape, run away and hide like the coward you are without giving my client the rematch he is entitled to?” Heyman continues, “I understand the desire to get out now. Everyone dreams about retiring on top, and let’s face it, despite the outcome, Brock gave you one hell of an ass whooping last night. It might be six, eight months before you heal up. So I don’t blame you for not wanting to face Brock again. But if he can’t have his rematch he’s at least going to have… REVENGE!”
Lesnar attacks Hogan and begins to beat on him, two other heels join in. Things looks bad until John Cena and Daniel Bryan (if he has returned by then) come down and the three fight off the heels. Cena takes the mic and says that he knows that Hogan had a special announcement that he wanted to make but asks if he could save it for the end of the show while Cena make a proposal: a special 6 man tag featuring Hogan, Cena and Bryan against Lesnar and the other two heels. He then proceeds to get the fans to chant for just “one more match”. Hogan agrees and we have our main event for the night. While it would be just a token encore for the fans, (once again Hogan will not do much in the match itself other than work the crowd) just his presence as champion will be enough to make it fun. Long story short the faces win and Hogan makes his official retirement announcement going out as champion, victorious on national TV.
Afterwards a tournament would be held to crown a new champion. Hopefully WWE will have seen some if not all of their top faces return by then. This will help re-establish the main eventers while giving a few spots to some lower mid carders to give them their first taste of the main event scene to prepare them for the future. While some critics are already saying, “Why give it to Hogan if we are worried about the future?” the answer is simple. Hogan is timeless; he has done more for wrestling than anyone else and deserves this. Furthermore the majority of fans would love it. And most important, WWE doesn’t have a lot of options right now. They need to do something until their top babyfaces return. Timing is everything, and for Hogan the timing is perfect!