WWE Crown Jewel recap - Shawn Michaels returns to action

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"It feels good to be out here in front of the whole WWE Universe and to be out here with all my stark raving Hulkamaniacs, brother", Hogan exclaimed in the ring.

Saudi Arabia will host WWE Crown Jewel later today and it looks set to be a great show inside the ring despite the controversy surrounding the event outside of the ring.

That was after plunging 6 percent in the week since WWE confirmed it was staging the event despite the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. Hulk apologized and several African-American wrestlers publicly offered their support for Hogan.

The toxic environment around "Crown Jewel" prompted WWE superstar John Cena to back out of the event, while Daniel Bryan was written out of the show as well after reportedly not wanting to be associated with it. "And in wrestling no one's bigger than Hulk Hogan - even to this day".

Hogan hasn't made a WWE appearance since 2015 after his own contentious exit from the scene.

Hogan was sacked from WWE in July 2015 after using racist language multiple times in a leaked video, but has consistently apologised since.

WWE immediately suspended the Hall of Famer, only to re-instate him this past July.

The WWE star appeared on Raw on Wednesday night, looking much skinnier than usual.

An analyst who follows WWE said Hogan's return may have hurt the shares "simply by reminding investors the Saudi Arabia event is being held at all".

That's a non-descript way to describe a spectacle - headlined by major stars including The Undertaker and Lesnar - that WWE would usually blitz fans with bombastic hype to promote.

Roman Reigns was scheduled to defend his WWE Universal title at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh but he relinquished the title to battle his returning leukaemia.