Hogan & TNA: Big Questions!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Hogan & TNA: Big Questions!
The Kingfish Arnie tackles the implications and possible ramifications of the year’s biggest wrestling story!

Pro Wrestling is built on hype. Big announcements are more common than silicone at a Las Vegas nude pool. Every story is the biggest” and every card is “the greatest of the year.”

Sometimes, though, the news is big. More than big; monumental. TNA’s signing of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff certainly falls into that category.

This could, in fact, Change Everything.

Let’s plunge into some of the questions that swirl around this headline0grabbing story. And let’s all understand that there are no definitive answers. I claim no “inside knowledge,” and am deeply suspicious toward anyone who does, especially on this topic. Frankly, I’m not sire even TNA management could say for sure.

Question #1: Why did TNA sign Hulk Hogan?
TNA is stick in its niche. It has not increased its TV ratings and the pay per views are losing subscribers. The company obviously hopes that Hulk Hogan can create break-through excitement.

Question #2: Why did Hulk Hogan sign with TNA
Did you see The Wrestler? If so, you already know the answer. I’ll spell it out for those who have not: Hulk Hogan is addicted to the spotlight and the roar of the crowd. He is neither the first nor the last athlete to make a comeback after a few years away from the noise and celebrity.

My best guess is that Hulk signed with TNA, because WWE would not offer him anything close to what he wants. TNA has a weekly TV show and monthly pay per views. And the promotion was troubled enough that he could get a very favorable deal.

Is this a good idea
This is one of the best ideas in wrestling – for 1985. Hulk Hogan is 53 years old, his knees are shot and he wasn’t a very good wrestler when he was young.

How good an idea it is will depend on what Hogan’s role will be. If they let him book himself into the TNA world heavyweight championship, it will be an unmitigated disaster, because Hulk can’t wrestle up to TNA standards for main event matches.

Even if he doesn’t become the champ, letting him book his friends into prominent positions in the TNA show won’t solve the company’s problems, either.

Is Hulk still a marquee attraction?
Hulks recent forays into pro wrestling have all followed a pattern. The initial reaction is tremendously favorable – and then rapidly declines week by week until no one seems to care by the time he has been around for a month or two.

Hulk is sure of his worth and is a hard bargainer. This often results in him getting overbooked into positions in the show that he can’t carry anymore.

Hulk Hogan can help TNA immensely if he knows his role; he can dominate it into oblivion if he doesn’t.

What should be Hulk Hogan’s Role?
There are certainly a variety of viable possibilities. The one that I think has the best potential would be to make Hogan Legends Champion.

He is certainly qualified for that slot. He is the ultimate pro wrestling icon to many, many people.

As Legends Champion, Hogan could fight other superannuated wrestlers such as Kevin Nash and Ric Flair. These would be “featured attractions” or something like that on the pay per views. Hulk could make his presence felt on iMPACT through interviews and out-of-the-ring scenes.

This would keep Hulk’s wrestling to a minimum while getting the most out of his fame. The light schedule will help preserve him physically and annoy fans who like good ring action a lot less.

What is the worst-case scenario for Hulk in TNA?
The greatest danger to TNA would be to give Hulk Hogan too much behind-the-scenes power and let him feed all the young stars to the oldsters including himself. TNA might not recover from that approach.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(10/30/09)

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