November 10, 2003 by Brian Bertrand
On October 11, 2003, Terry Bollea, commonly known as the immortal Hulk Hogan, has traveled to Tokyo, Japan to take on former n.W.o. Japan leader, Masahiro Chono. After winning the match, Hogan pronounced to the Japanese media that the reason why he hasn't retired was because he doesn't feel that he has completed his goal of winning every major world title. He says that he still does not have the NWA World Title. Soon, the current NWA Champion (challenger at the time), Jeff Jarrett, along with Masahiro Chono, attack Hogan from behind and leaving him in a bloody mess from a patented guitar shot delievered by Jarrett. On an episode of NWA-TNA Xplosion, Jimmy Hart has announced that "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan is now coming after Jarrett and after that NWA Championship.
It seems that the NWA has been taking the WCW approach and taking the former WWE, WCW, and ECW talent and taking them under their wing. It's a good approach considering the rapid popularity that TNA has been getting. Even with the older competitors like Sting, Sandman, and Dusty Rhodes, they have been able to utilize them and still give them good matches and storylines. Even with the new comers the higher-ups at TNA have been exposing that talent that Mr. McMahon seems to lose focus of. If you want examples, look at matches involving AJ Styles, America's Most Wanted, Frankie Kazarian, Shark Boy, and Abyss. With the acquiring of Hulk Hogan, I hope Mr. McMahon pays some attention because NWA-TNA might be the last place that he sees the most valuable wrestler actually getting used better, even though he's about 54 years old.
In any case, NWA-TNA is rapidly growing in ratings and popularity, as I've said. They are always showing a great alternative to what everyone is use to from WWE and who can blame them? Hell, they don't even need to keep moving all over the country. The legion of fans that have formed have even got to the WWE talent's heads (especially Bill Goldberg's). TNA is the modern day ECW because they give the fans what they want. They utilize established talent and give the newbies a heads up. The way that the Jarretts have done business for themselves is phenominal and it shows. I have viewed quite a few shows and I can see how good they make it. They have given their own superstars the freedom to also go into other companies like CZW, Ring Of Honor, and numerous independent leagues.
But what about other former WWE superstars on TNA's roster? How do they feel about guys like Hogan jumping ship? I think their spotlights would get a bit shrouded by Hogan's shadow and that might lower the locker room morale. Then you have the WCW and indy talent within TNA. I bet even Shark Boy, being the nicest wrestler I've had the chance on interviewing, would be a little irritated on how Hogan is like KISS, he says he's done but he doesn't stay down.
And that, my friends, is how I feel...
by Brian Bertrand..
Mark Rose writes in with:
First of all I can understand your enthusiasm for NWA TNA providing an alternative to the stale WWE product. My question is can you back up a statement like "NWA TNA is rapidly growing in ratings and popularity". Where are these ratings? the answer...nowhere. NWA TNA has yet to release one single buyrate even though they are available to them. I've personally at times enjoyed NWA TNA's product very much. Over the last month or so I think they've become a bunch of crap like WWE but that's just my opinion. I just don't see how TNA is improving in popularity without advertising. The only thing i'm witnessing more and more with NWA TNA is the growth of it's shows being traded on tape and more pirated on the internet. Neither of which will help the company make money or grow.
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