If you count when the announcement was made Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have been a part of TNA since October. Thanks to a lot of loose lips over that last year many of the details of that contract have slipped out and one of those details is that Hulk Hogan (not sure about Eric Bischoff although I would imagine it’s the same exact contract) signed a contract that is actually just one year in length with a series of mutual rollover options. So in English what does that mean? It means after Bound for Glory Hulk and Eric could be finishing with TNA whether it is by their choice or by the choice of Dixie Carter. So with that being said I ask all of you should Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff be given another year in TNA? You’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
I think people tend to harp on all the bad things that happened in TNA over the last year and forget that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff did do some good. So rather than keep this column on a whole negative note and just bash TNA relentlessly I will start with some of the good things that I think were accomplished so far during the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff era of TNA. I think the biggest thing that was accomplished during that era is that they did procure the services of Ric Flair to TNA. Sure he is not the worker he is and I more than anyone wishes that he would have just left riding high on the sunset with the retirement ceremony he was given by WWE after leaving but I have to admit that he has probably been TNA’s MVP since signing with the company. Is there any other wrestler on that roster who has delivered more entertaining segments than Ric Flair over the past year? Has Hulk Hogan gotten over more wrestlers than Ric Flair? Sure he started something with Abyss but is Abyss really over right now? If he is it’s probably because whatever Hogan started Ric Flair finished. Ric Flair has given rubs to Jay Lethal, AJ Styles, Frankie Kazarian, Beer Money and others, sure some of those guys are not as over as they were in the past but others are probably more over now than at any point in their career. Facts are facts and it is a fact that Ric Flair wouldn’t be in TNA right now if it was not for Hulk Hogan.
Okay we did one good thing, let’s follow it up with a negative and that negative can only be referred to as “The Monday Night Snore”. This probably would have never happened if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff who were pushing for it from day one. Sure sometimes it is good to test yourself and see where you are at but other times you shouldn’t even dare. It was already bad enough that everyone including TNA’s fanbase acknowledged that TNA was indeed number two. TNA running on Monday nights showed everyone just how much of a number two they were and sort of made some of those TNA fans who were supporting the product for so long embarrassed for doing so and abandoning the product in response. If TNA is to go under many fans will point right or wrong to this move as the move that set the ball rolling in that direction and Hulk Hogan was just as responsible for this as anyone.
One of the things that Hulk Hogan got done in TNA that I thought was a positive was he revamped that Impact Zone. The Impact Zone screamed “Indy Show” for years and while it is still extremely small at least it has a better look and production to it that makes it look more major league. I don’t know about him getting rid of the 6 sided ring as I don’t think the ring really makes a difference but at the same time I know a lot of people who were so happy that he did get rid of that ring so I will give Hulk Hogan a bit of credit (Eric Bischoff probably deserves most of it here though) for revamping the look of TNA.
Back to the negative and one of the biggest negatives in TNA is Hulk, Eric and even others in the company appearing on camera and cutting promos about the company needing saving. I thought with Hulk coming to TNA it would’ve been better if he put it over as a company on the rise which is why he wanted to associate his brand with it, instead he put it over as a colossal failure of a company (which many would say that it was, still you don’t say that on TV though) and how he was a savior. I get that Hulk and Eric like to stroke their egos and put themselves over but they shouldn’t have repeatedly done so at the expense of burying t he company.
Okay I have to go back to something positive and I will say that the TNA Reaction show is a positive for TNA. Anytime you can convince anyone to give you an extra hour of TV it has to be considered a positive for a company. What makes this even more positive is that Impact really hasn’t been a quality show in terms of content or ratings on a consistent basis since Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff arrived in TNA and yet they still were able to convince Spike TV to greenlight this show. Having seen the first show it is a very interesting show and I enjoyed it very much; much more than Impact actually so I would have to say that’s a good thing.
Here is where I go on a barrage of negativity so if you guys think that I am a TNA basher just close your browser now because there really isn’t any more positives from Hulk in TNA. Sure he got Jeff Hardy, RVD and Ken Anderson but what have any of those guys really done upon arriving in TNA? RVD’s reign as TNA champion is probably one of the more forgettable world title reigns in the history of any promotion much less TNA’s, Ken Anderson is only over through cursing and I think there are weeks where fans forget Jeff Hardy is part of the company. PPV buyrates have been in the toilet and have done worse under Hulk Hogan then they were pre Hulk Hogan. What happened to the TNA Knockouts division? Gail Kim? Gone. ODB? Gone. Awesome Kong? Gone and what about the Beautiful People? Hulk took what was probably the most interesting thing in TNA and made it the least interesting thing without building up any interest for anything else. How can that possibly be a positive?
It’s been harped on many occasions but how could the Nasty Boys, Jimmy Hart, Orlando Jordan, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Sean Morely, or Bubba The Love Sponge be a positive for TNA? If anything all those individuals did was hold back progress and why were they allowed to impede the success of TNA for so long? Only one answer: Hulk Hogan. Now here we are not even a year into Hulk’s reign in TNA and TNA is already sending out flares for help to Paul Heyman and may settle on Tommy Dreamer who quite honestly cannot steer this ship. Say what you want about Vince Russo but as bad as he has been for TNA things were probably a bit better when it was just him running things than it is now with Hogan and Bischoff in charge. For those who think I am being too hard on Hogan what do we really have to look forward to in TNA over the next six months? One of things I love about being a wrestling fan is trying to figure out where WWE is going for Wrestlemania literally minutes after the previous one finishes. Can you remember the last time a TNA fan tried that with Bound for Glory? It just doesn’t happen.
So what should happen with Hulk and Eric? Again it’s a mutual option and both sides have to agree. To be honest I see TNA wanting Hulk and Eric back for another year. Do I think that’s the best decision for TNA? Absolutely not although with me saying that I am not sure what the post direction should be either as I can armchair quarterback it and say get this guy or get that guy but most of those things are easier said than done. Now what I am about to say may surprise you but if TNA is willing to renew Hulk and Eric’s deal and I am them I would jump to renew it in a heartbeat. Not to make a cash grab and score a few more easy paydays but to maybe try to fix some of the damage that’s been caused. Whether Hulk Hogan or Eric Bischoff realize this or not there legacies in the business are going to be tied to TNA now. They already have the stink of WCW on them and while both of them would tell you it was everyone’s fault but their own having it happen in TNA will disprove that argument in the eyes of many of their previous supporters. They have to make it happen here, they have to make it happen now, and they have to make it happen fast.
So on that note I am gone for the week. Before I go though I have to give you guys something to do and that would be watching Summerslam this Sunday on PPV. I really see it being a better show than years past and this Nexus angle has everyone interested. Have something to say to this column or any other? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org with a email and well that’s it for this week, I’ll try to do better next time and until then I am out.