Hulk Hogan and TNA

The big announcement has been made.  Hulk Hogan has signed with TNA.  Are you excited?  Hulkamania will be running wild again!

If you are anything like me, then you have very mixed feelings about this whole thing.  Yes, Hulk Hogan was the first veritable mainstream SUPERSTAR of professional wrestling and carried the business for years.  But that was decades ago.  Now, he’s a 56 year old in rough shape who hasn’t been active full-time in over six years (if you buy that Mr. America actually was Hogan).  So what can a Hulk Hogan return bring to TNA?  What does it mean for the rest of the roster?  Is this a step forward or backward for the upstart promotion?

It’s no secret that I feel that TNA is a mess.  While trying to present itself as a different show altogether than WWE, TNA has defined, redefined, and re-redefined itself time and again.  It seems to lack identity, and it tries a little bit of everything to see what works.  In doing so, it is easily comparable to the late days of WCW, which had the same problem and ended up collapsing on itself.  TNA is not in this position, though.  It has a solid fanbase, a primetime show that was recently renewed, and has numerous stars on the show, some even homegrown.  But despite that, TNA still has problems with consistency and stability.

And now Hulk Hogan comes in.  Notorious for pulling rank backstage, it is not beyond doubt that Hogan will insist he be given a run as TNA champion, despite his age and oft injured body.  How would Hogan work in a program with the current champion, AJ Styles?  What would it say for TNA’s effort to push younger talent like Styles, Daniels and the X-Division when Hogan comes in and runs wild on them?  For that matter, what does it do to the veterans on the upper card like Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and Rhino?  Hogan doesn’t lose often – despite how he performs in the ring.

Of course, this is assuming that Hogan wrestles.  For all we know, he could be coming in as an authority figure.  Earlier in the year, TNA had three figures at the same time in Jeff Jarrett, Jim Cornette and Mick Foley.  Now, Jarrett is MIA, Cornette has been fired, and Foley has gone loopy in a feud with Abyss.  The position would be open for Hogan, and require him to talk a lot, but not actually compete (except for perhaps a spot here and there).

But one also has to consider that TNA’s head writer is Vince Russo – formerly the demolisher of WCW (from within).  Russo and Hogan had a falling out in 2000 when Russo did a work/shoot promo at Bash at the Beach that hurt Hogan’s feelings and ended his relationship with WCW.  This may be where Eric Bischoff plays into, as he too is coming to TNA.  But with both Russo and Bischoff present, doesn’t this make TNA look more and more like WCW?  In fact, rumors are abound that Ric Flair may be coming in as well.

Hulk Hogan will have a massive impact on TNA.  There’s little doubt about that.  Just what it will do to in the long run, however, is something we’ll just have to wait and see.  One thing’s for sure, though – I’m definitely a lot more interested in watching Impact this week.

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