04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
Hulk Hogan has filed a defamation suit against the World Championship Wrestling, accusing the organization's creative director of berating him on national TV. The incident stems from a bout in Florida on July 9, when Vince Russo reportedly accused Hogan of "playing politics" and implied that he was dishonest. WCW spokesman Alan Sharp had no comment on the legal action, reports the Associated Press, which also went on to say that some observers believe the entire incident is a publicity stunt. Furthermore, it may also be part of a plot that's been hatched to get rid of older wrestlers (such as Hogan) as the WCW attempts to boost its sagging TV ratings. Counters Hogan's attorney, John Taylor Jr.: "This is a real lawsuit." Since filing the suit on Aug. 1, Hogan has been absent from WCW bouts.