Hogan Doesn’t Know BestBy Drowgoddess · · 7 Comments
Arguing on the internet is like winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, …. Yeah.
This isn’t an argument as much as it is a vent from the side that doesn’t seem to be making itself heard as loudly or as frequently as the other side. You’re here visiting our site and reading this article, so you know who I am. You know what I write. You know what I mean. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have joined TNA. Two schools of thought exist on this matter.
On one side are people who view this as the biggest coup in wrestling history, or fairly close to it. They feel that this is exactly what TNA needed to do in order to eventually become true competition to Vince McMahon and the WWE. Most of them were Hulkamaniacs at some point, or at least view Hogan, and with good reason, as the single greatest icon that professional wrestling has ever produced. They argue that his presence and involvement, in any capacity, will help TNA achieve tv ratings, pay-per-view buys, ticket sales, advertisement revenue, mainstream media coverage, and tv programming time that they would never otherwise achieve. Hulk Hogan will make the world sit up and take notice of TNA, and it will then be on TNA to make those people stick around. All fair enough.
On the other side are people like myself who are terrified that this ill-advised venture spells the end of TNA for good. I’m not being “smarky.” I sincerely believe and fear this. We get shouted down and condescended to by other posters and commentors as though we were mentally deficient children on many sites, and while I certainly don’t claim to speak for anyone other than myself, I will try one more time to make our points in a rational manner.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was never a Hulkamaniac. I liked the guys Hogan fought, like Piper and Savage. I never cared for Hulk Hogan the wrestler, even as a kid. While I don’t know the man personally, the more that I read about his actions and saw of his behavior (both in and out of the wrestling business), the more reprehensible of a human being I decided that he was. I have supported TNA as my wrestling company of choice since 2004, and many of my favorite wrestlers are employed there. I want to see them succeed and become major competition for WWE. These are major personal biases, I admit, but those biases are cast aside in this instance to try and articulate why fans of TNA’s talent are extremely anxious. Yes, it can be done. Try it some time.
Hulk Hogan is not what he once was. Even those who never really liked his shtick very much would have to admit that he was one of the biggest pop culture icons and overall superstars that there was. In 1985. And again in 1996. This is 2009. Most people these days know Hulk Hogan for a trashy reality series, an embarrassingly messy and public divorce, a celebretard daughter with a failed music career and her own spin-off show, and a spoiled and immature son whose reckless driving left another human being a crippled vegetable for life. Is that really the kind of attention that will help build TNA as a company? Will TNA instantly gain respect as an entity due to an association with this particular version of Hulk Hogan? Not really. Pro wrestling is looked down upon enough as it is, without the added stigma of this form of celebrity. If Hulk Hogan were still the hero of our collective wrestling childhoods, that would be one thing. He isn’t. Frankly, he’s a joke. If he’s going to draw mainstream attention that TNA sorely needs, it’s going to be the sort that makes casual fans and mainstream audiences NOT want to associate with TNA.
History is definitely repeating itself, and that may not be good. A major pro wrestling company with a nationwide tv show wants to challenge the monopoly of WWE. Vince Russo and Ed Ferarra are the creative team. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Eric Bischoff are together again. Sting was recently in the World Heavyweight title scene. Does all this sound familiar? It should. However, those of you jonesing for a new chapter in the Monday Night Wars, where TNA gets a Monday night show to go head-to-head with RAW and WWE has to improve its own product to compete, are missing the point. Look at the people now in place. Now think about the complaints that you always read about TNA. “The booking is crap.” “The shows are so stupid.” “The new guys never get pushed properly.” “Too many run-ins and overbooked gimmick matches.” “The booking is crap.” And so on. None of those things will change if TNA gets a Monday night program. Why would any of those things change with Hogan and Bischoff added to the TNA picture? While we’re on the subject of repeats, another rumor is that Ric Flair is right behind Hogan, and could turn up in TNA at any time. After the sorry, sorry way that Flair treated Ring of Honor as a promotion, he should not be invited to use TNA in the same manner, however legendary and revered he may be. Part of being a legend is that you aren’t in your prime anymore.
Hogan is in it for Hogan. He cares nothing whatsoever about the company or the product. He’ll bleed TNA dry of everything that he can get out of it for himself and his friends, and discard the empty shell of a carcass on the side of the road to rot, bailing when there’s nothing left to take. He’s locker room cancer of the worst sort. Politics only get worse when he’s around. Again, look at the man’s track record with this. Bubba the Love Sponge says whatever Hogan wants him to say, so his comments on the subject can’t be trusted, but word is getting around that Hogan is actively recruiting friends and non-wrestlers to join him in TNA, telling them that he basically runs TNA now. How is that good? Who benefits from this? Oh. Right. Hogan’s track record of having power in a wrestling company has been thoroughly documented, and speaks for itself.
The world of professional wrestling has changed greatly. An orange man pushing sixty, sporting a do-rag and saying “Brother” or “Dude” every other word is not impressive or cool. Wrestlers born after 1980 don’t necessarily need his help to function and be successful in the modern pro wrestling landscape. In a recent interview with TIME magazine, Hogan made this claim:
Give back? To whom has Hogan ever really “given back?” Didn’t Booker T say that same thing? We saw how that worked out. Don’t understand the business? What does he plan to teach them? How to help destroy a company and get out ahead? How to play the same character and wrestle the same match for over twenty years? Don’t understand the art form? Wrestling, like any other art form, constantly evolves. Has Hogan even watched any wrestling not involving himself in the past five years? How many names from the TNA roster can he even list? Maybe the young wrestlers would be just fine if they weren’t shackled to bad tv writing and impossible gimmicks, hamstrung by “crash tv” pacing that limits their in-ring work, and forbidden to find their own way on the mic, even if it means failing at first. Just maybe.
TNA’s actual problems that existed prior to Hogan and Bischoff’s joining it will not be solved by having them there. If anything, they may get worse. Those problems include the extremely low morale in the locker room, Dixie Carter’s complete inability to function as a respectable leader, a perceived lack of actual (recent) wrestler influence in both management and on the creative team, writers who don’t really want to write for a wrestling show and don’t seem to know how to make things happen in terms of storytelling, and incredible talent that is consistently wasted. If Hogan and Bischoff use TNA to go to war with Vince and the WWE again, the only losers will be the TNA talent who never had a shot at getting in to WWE to begin with, who will have to find new careers.
Look, I’m not stupid. Very little information has been made clear about what exactly Hogan (and Bischoff) will actually be doing in TNA, how much control they will have, and over whom and what they will have said control. Everything on both sides of the argument is speculation. I know very well what Hogan and Bischoff can theoretically bring to the table. That’s the problem. It’s in theory. In theory, communism is great. In practice, not so much. As others smarter than I have said, those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it. TNA has never looked more like WCW as it does right now. I have never in my life wanted to be proven wrong so badly. Please let me be wrong.
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