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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz delves into points raised by the 11/26 iMPACT.

A Whole New Level?
That’s what Hulk Hogan confidently promised fans in a pre-taped interview featured prominently on the 11/26 iMPACT.

Promises are easy to make, but sometimes very hard to keep. Listening to the Hulkster rave on about what a Great Big Man he is prompts the question: Can he lead TNA to “the next level”?

It depends what you call “the next level.” If the next level is a 1.5 rating for iMPACT and a 50% increase in pay per view buys, then Hulk Hogan may be able to redeem his promise within six months of actually becoming part of the TNA show.

Frankly, those gains could prove temporary unless TNA is ready with something when fans tire of seeing men the age of their grandfathers try to recapture ring glory.

And if the increases are achieved by feeding TNA’s young talent to the Over the Hill Gang, TNA could end up worse than before Hogan and company got involved. It’s 2009, not 1989, so Hogan and his cohorts are closer to retirement age, if not actually beyond it in some cases. If the Ancient Ones knock off all the young stars and then leave, TNA would find it very difficult to rebuild.

Hulk Hogan has repeatedly stated that TNA will become the number-one sports entertainment company. That’s way beyond the next level, to say the least. WWE is far, far above TNA in wealth, power and popularity.

Yet it could be done. WCW had two heady years before economic realities burst its bubble; TNA hopes to repeat history. It has good exposure on Spike and a level PPV playing field. The roster has a lot of talent in the ring and some ability with the mic and the announcers do a good job, too.

TNA currently needs effective booking, strong writing and more marquee superstars. The degree to which Hogan and Bischoff can fill those needs will determine how far TNA can rise – and how long it will stay there if it does rise.

This is not the time to pre=judge. It would be better for all of professional wrestling if WWE had some serious competition, so it’s hard not to root for the Big Braggart to fulfill his boasts.

Will he do it? He’s sure going to get a chance to cash the check he wrote with his mouth. Let’s hope it doesn’t bounce.

That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of Turning Point on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]