Six years prior to WrestleMania X8, WWE undertook a lengthy series of swipes against arch-nemesis WCW. With Monday Nitro a painful thorn in stale WWE's side, Vince McMahon commissioned a series of vignettes that not only painted Ted Turner as a thieving, lithium-addicted anti-trustee, but also portrayed some ex-WWE stars now working for Turner as old and haggard. One of those lampooned was then-42-year-old Hulk Hogan.
WCW was vanquished in 2001, and WWE was king of the wrestling world, but found that the squared circle bubble was gradually deflating. By year's end, ratings were sinking at a noticeable rate, and the television product was angering viewers, largely due to the mishandling of the WCW invasion.
After openly rationalizing Hogan, a star he no longer controlled, as an enfeebled codger, McMahon welcomed "The Hulkster" back at the dawn of 2002, bringing with him fellow fortysomethings (and noted troublemakers) Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. This flew harshly in the face of the WWE that loudly championed themselves as a hip brand that didn't tread upon yesterday.
However, the fans in Toronto at WrestleMania X8 hailed Hogan's return as that of a conquering hero. WWE's biological clock suddenly began ticking backward in Benjamin Button-like fashion, and the future of McMahon's empire would be filled with more inclination to pluck the fanbase's nostalgic feels.