Should Hulk Hogan become the next TNA World Champion?
Oh come on.
It seems like a simple answer to a simple question would be obvious to everyone but it might not be as obvious as you would think to TNA Wrestling. Word coming out of Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is that there might be pencilled in plans (plans change) to make a Bound For Glory main event between Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray for the TNA World Championship. Hogan at 60 years old would win the title. The other pitched idea would be for Matt Morgan to eventually become the new Hogan protégée like Bully Ray was but this time stay a good guy and be his “big giant” to take on Bully Ray. That one actually has some interesting implications so I guess I’m going to just ignore it for this.
The idea of Hogan becoming a World Champion with all of his injuries and baggage at the age of 60 is absolutely ridiculous on so many levels. That’s what the real purpose of this article is about. How many levels of Inception can we get in explaining why Hogan becoming TNA World Champion is a bad idea? And maybe, just maybe through it all, can we figure out a way it might be a good idea?
Level One: Business
Does Hogan becoming World Champion make sense for business? In many ways Hogan is still the biggest name draw in the company and with his Rent-A-Centre commercials and appearances on Comedy Central B Level celebrity shows, Hogan becoming champion would make headlines. Unfortunately, Hogan is a B level celebrity much more than he is an A level pro wrestler and because of that, it would have the same effect as when David Arquette won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It’s impossible to sell it as the best wrestler winning the title, even with Hogan’s legendary status. Hell, it was hard to do it back in 2002 when he won the belt off Triple H in the WWE! The other problem is that it isn’t anything that’s going to attract new people to the product. Hogan fans are already tuning into TNA. Getting it out to the media that Hogan is champion again isn’t going to do great business. So for a business sense? It just doesn’t hold weight.
Level Two: Storyline
Does it make sense to end the Aces and Eights saga with Hogan becoming World Champion and defeating his son in law Bully Ray? The saga between Hogan, Brooke and Bully does need a conclusion and so far Aces and Eights has been the focal point of the issues. However, it sometimes gets forgotten that even though Austin vs. McMahon was the biggest feud in the history of wrestling, they never actually competed against each other for the WWF World Title at Wrestlemania. Instead, Austin fought McMahon’s number one guy in The Rock. Hogan is still in the role of being the General Manager of Impact Wrestling so having him step out of that role to wrestle Bully Ray isn’t really the way to end things. A big focal point to everything was Hogan was trying to find his guy to beat the Aces and Eights. He backed Bully Ray and that lead to Bully Ray beating Jeff Hardy and becoming TNA Champion. This is where it makes a little more sense for Matt Morgan to be the guy who takes on Bully Ray, but even more that it should be AJ Styles, who the entire TNA roster is hoping comes to their side to fight Aces and Eights. The Bully/Hogan saga needs to end, but it doesn’t need to end with Hogan putting on the wrestling boots and failing to properly execute a leg drop at 60. Storyline sense doesn’t work.
Level Three: Destruction
There are quite a few TNA Wrestling haters out there. People who hates the company from its name (trust me I hate the name too), to the Jarretts, to Russo to today with Hogan and Bischoff. They hate the company and if it’s never going to get good enough to compete with the WWE it might as well shut down. These folks see Hogan getting the title as an opportunity to finally be that nail in the coffin for TNA Wrestling. Their belt legitimacy will be gone and it will alienate TNA Wrestling viewers to the point where there will be no other options but for Panda Energy to stop paying for it and Spike TV will eventually cancel the show. It’s an interesting angle in it all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t recognize what brand of creature a wrestling fan is. It’s a creature of habit and one that possesses zombie like qualities. The regular TV numbers for TNA fans who will tune in no matter what seems to be 800,000. The amount of fans after that tends to fluctuate between 900,000 and 1.1 Million viewers. TNA has recently been taking a bit of hit from their usual 1.1 and 1.0 Neilson ratings since moving to 8PM but not to the point where things are going to make a difference. These same people who kept it around 1.1 during the bad times didn’t leave when they had to deal with Jenna Morasca. They didn’t leave when Pacman Jones became TNA Tag Team Champion. They didn’t leave when Jeff Hardy was showing up on drugs as World Champion and they didn’t leave when it seemed like Hogan was coming in and pushing people’s TV time away for guys like the Nasty Boys and Val Venis. Hulk Hogan as World Champion would not do any significant, irreparable damage that Vince Russo hasn’t already tried and Hogan hasn’t already attempted. He would be champion, he’d vacate or lose the title somehow to officially “retire” and the water would keep flowing. Hogan as Champion isn’t going to destroy anything. It’ll just be another dumb move.
Unfortunately, there is no good that can come to this but isn’t either the megaton bomb some would hope for TNA to finally crumble and close. Hopefully this does end up just being Hogan trying to find who his next “guy” is and not a way for the Hulkster to get back into the ring and embarrass himself. We already dealt with that during the Hulkamania Tour. It wasn’t pretty. Let’s hope Bully Ray and Aces and Eights gets an opponent we’d actually want to see them beat. Let’s hope they get AJ Styles.