Hulk Hogan as Mr. America with WWE in 2003.
When Hulk Hogan returned to the World Wrestling Federation in 2002, no one could possibly know the kind of reception he would receive. Fans didn't reject him like some initially thought they would. No, he was welcomed as the returning hero who had conquered the professional wrestling world before returning back home.
The reaction was so good, in fact, that he quickly defeated Triple H for the WWF championship at Backlash 2002. He would hold the title while the company transformed into World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) before losing it to Undertaker at Judgement Day 2002 in a one of the worst main event matches in history.
His nostalgia run continued on for a bit but he quickly wore out his welcome, both with fans and with Vince McMahon. It wasn't long before a storyline was written for Hulk Hogan to be taken off television because McMahon wanted Hulkamania to die once and for. He created it, after all, and now he wanted to kill it. So Hogan was taken off TV for a while.
But suddenly promos started airing for a Mr. America and Stephanie McMahon signed him to Smackdown, "sight unseen." The character debuted during an episode of Piper's Pit and it was clearly Hogan wearing a mask dressed up like Captain America (which would cause WWE legal troubles later on). McMahon immediately called attention to this but Hogan claimed he wasn't Mr. America, despite using Hogan's entrance music and all his mannerisms and catchphrases.
Throughout Mr. America's short run on Smackdown, which lasted from May 1, 2003 until June 26, 2003, Vince did everything he could to prove that Mr. America was, in fact, Hulk Hogan. And it was on this date in WWE history (May 29, 2003) that McMahon thought he had his ace in the hole.
A lie detector test.
The stipulation was that if Mr. America failed the test and it was proven he was actually Hulk Hogan, his contract would be null and void and Hogan would be gone from WWE forever. Unfortunately for him, Mr. America passed with flying colors. McMahon tried to disprove the effectiveness of the test after the fact by strapping in himself, but he ended up getting embarrassed with a series of questions like, "Isn't it true you're a perverted asshole?" Vince would say, "no," the lie detector would beep that it was a lie and the audience would get its kicks.
Finally, McMahon got pissed, tried to punch Mr. America, and ended up on his ass to close the segment.
Eventually, Hogan got tired of being made to do such a silly gimmick and when he felt the money wasn't good enough for him to do so he quit. McMahon, ready to be rid of him as his heat had cooled considerably since his return in 2002, let him go without a fight.
Watch Mr. America pass the lie detector test and McMahon embarrass himself after the jump.