It's finally over. And not a day too soon.
Even the opposing lawyers hugged after the hearing.
The seemingly never-ending nastiness better known as the Hulk and Linda Hogan divorce case reached its merciful conclusion. As is the case in so many bitter divorce battles, even those with substantial assets at stake, there were no winners. But there was a kiss.
"The war is over," Linda Bollea told the Tampa Tribune after a final hearing in Clearwater.
"I still love him. He's the father of my children," she fondly added as she planted one parting kiss to the Hulkster's cheek.
"When you're married to someone for 23 years ... you hope for the best. We just got torn apart," Hulk added.
Both vowed their love for one another, and there were hints that the two might actually behave like a normal family again with their children. There is, of course, the fact that Linda, 49, now gallivants with a 20-year-old boyfriend while Hulk, 55, has taken up with a 34-year-old blonde who looks eerily similar to his daughter.
Linda Bollea filed for divorce in November 2007. Three months earlier the couple's then-teenage son, Nick, was involved in a car crash that critically injured his best friend. The events that have transpired since have been well documented.
Although the terms of the settlement weren't made public, it is believed that Linda walked away with the lion's share of the funds. Her attorney later said that Linda was "extremely happy" with the "outstanding settlement result," adding that the two were relieved to be on the same page and leaving this chapter of their lives behind them.
Of course, as we all know, it's never over when it involves the headline-seeking Hogans and their kids.
But don't feel sorry for the couple. They're just a pair of regular folks like you and me making their way through these troubled economic times.
Linda, as she described herself in court hearings, is an out-of-work actress. Hulk, meanwhile, said he could probably find employment with his shock-jock friend Bubba Clem at the local radio station. Maybe, he joked, as an intern.
Linda told the Tampa Tribune that she believes the two can serve as "better role models for other people in the divorce situation because there is a silver lining to every cloud."
The constant bickering, gossiping and outlandish allegations have made the couple tabloid fodder.
Hulk reportedly was the one who reached out to his wife of 25 years to make peace.
"Hulk is the one that originally came to Linda and said lets try to put this whole case aside and lets resolve this, essentially Hulk was the one that came to us with this peace offering which we gladly accepted," attorney Ray Rafool told the Pop Tarts news outlet. "He said he still loves Linda and he's happy that they're forever getting this resolved. These people are business partners now and will be business partners in the future."
Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed. The couple's net worth was believed to be between $26 million and $32 million. Linda Bollea has said she plans to move to California, while the Hulkster will likely move back into the family home in Clearwater.
--Brian Kendrick was released Thursday by WWE.
Kendrick, a former WWE tag-team champ with the also departed Paul London, had appeared in television as recently as last week's Raw where he lost in nine seconds to Kofi Kingston after knocking commentator Jerry Lawler on the mic.
Kendrick, 30, began teaming with London in 2005, and the high-flying duo held the WWE tag-team belts for nearly a year before dropping the straps to Deuce and Domino (also now gone from WWE).
Kendrick, who was trained by Shawn Michaels and first joined the main roster in 2002, moved to the Smackdown roster in the 2008 draft. Working on that brand as a flamboyant but undersized heel billed as The Brian Kendrick, he picked up a bodyguard, Ezekiel Jackson (Rycklon Stephens), although the two were relegated to mid-card roles.
The former Ring of Honor standout was drafted to Raw earlier this year.
--The Pro Wrestling Torch Web site reported Friday that TNA has released creative team member Dutch Mantel and road agent Savio Vega. Both were allies of Jeff Jarrett, who recently was sent home due to personal issues, in the wake of a report linking Jarrett with Karen Angle, ex-wife of TNA star Kurt Angle.
--Former WWE diva champ Maryse underwent knee surgery Tuesday in Birmingham at Dr. James Andrews' Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. She is expected to be out of action for at least three months.
Maryse initially suffered a dislocated kneecap during a December 2008 house show.
--James Laurinaitis, the son of Road Warrior Animal (Joe Laurinaitis) and nephew of WWE VP John Laurinaitis, has signed a four-year contract with the St. Louis Rams. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
"I'm very excited," Laurinaitis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I can't wait to get into the meetings again and get that playbook back."
--Miles Road Baptist Church, 816 Miles Road, Summerville, will hold Family Fun Day 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature three old-school wrestling matches. Also included will be jump castles, games, food courts, car shows and assorted exhibits.
"The Perfect 10" Baby Doll will return to the area following a lengthy absence to manage The Barbarian in an Exodus Wrestling Alliance title match with George South. Also on the bill will be "Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez and Doink The Clown.
Reach Mike Mooneyham at (843) 937-5517 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For wrestling updates during the week, call The Post and Courier Info Line at (843) 937-6000, ext. 3090.