Thursday, 13 June 2013

TNA Analysed 9 - The curse of Hulkamania


Recently I have been reading the awesome book from the creators of Wrestlecrap "the death of WCW" an amazing read and quite insightful as to the ultimate decline and face palming nature of the world of professional wrestling.  The one thing the book highlights so brilliantly is the complete hypocrisy of one Terry Bollea or Hulk Hogan as the wider world knows him as.  This guy is pretty much cancer for professional wrestling when he has any form of control.

More like Twatamania
I won't deny that when I was about 5 years old Hulk Hogan was awesome, but then he was pitched toward my age group so that isn't shocking really.  He was this big muscular winner who always said nice things, smiled and beat the crap out of ethnic stereotypes for American audiences.  But obviously behind the very thin cloak of Hulkamania lies a complete bastard who not only demands that he be the centre of attention at all times, but actively works to make himself appear to be the reason for his employers success.  WCW was a place he would manipulate often, using a combination of outside factors such as the NBA and booking himself off the shows so that when the ratings went up afterwards, he would claim he was the reason for the spike, when the reality is that when said sporting season is over the crowds usually went back to wrestling so he would return at the same time.

His other major crime is that of talent manipulation.  He is known to book himself and his friends as top dollar in the company while everyone else who isn't a friend or considered too small for the business are kept down in the mid to lower card, never to see the same kind of attention.  TNA is a prime example of this as Hogan purposefully makes sure his old buddy Sting is constantly in the main event, while other old guys like Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and RVD keep getting main event status.  Sure Hardy isn't in his mid forties, but the guy moves like one due to his injuries.  RVD is beyond rescuing as his matches look consistently poor overall and Bully Ray must have wormed his way into Hogans good books to get the titanic push he has recently received from the upper TNA echelons. 

Of course Kurt Angle is something I am not entirely sure about, but it's safe to say that he probably doesn't rock the boat for Terry so long as Terry doesn't mess him around.  TNA's recent hall of fame announcement for Angle certainly proves that a certain amount of backstage favouritism exists for the older washed up wrestlers, while the guys who stuck with the company constantly get held down.

The ageing face of evil
Ever since Hogan arrived in 2010 TNA has been jerking violently from one direction to the next.  Trying to be edgy one minute and PG the next.  Going head to head with RAW on Monday nights, to being live, to being taped again, to cutting PPV shows only to go on the road anyway.  The company is all over the place to say the least.  The problem is that Hogan genuinely thinks he is a draw when he isn't, not even close.  He can't wrestle, walk faster than a Sloth or even throw a punch without requiring back surgery and yet he still makes himself the focal point of entire story lines.

Immortal was almost exclusively built around him and his attempt to rejuvenate NWO despite not having any legal rights to use the name, logo or music.  TNA tried anyway and just like the real NWO it caused massive backlash from dedicated fans.  Immortal basically focused on Hogan being evil and running TNA, then being brought back into the light by Sting.  The rest of the group was purely inconsequential here, as the other members of Immortal could have been dressed as the Power Rangers and no one would give a fuck.  Think back to that Immortal era and think about how many story lines existed that didn't focus on Hogan?  At best there where two, a brief one of Abyss becoming Sun tzu and winning the X-Division title.  The other was AJ Styles and Kazarian becoming frenemies.

Mini hogan on the left there
Now with this Aces and eights story we see a very similar pattern.  Hogan has even drafted in his daughter to further bring the spotlight onto himself.  Who do the evil aces and eights want to mess with?  Hogan of course, forget about all the mystery, masks and random beatings it was all to make Hogan the central hero of the story.  A hero who can't fucking wrestle.  Every other babyface is essentially a Hogan avatar who he possesses to fight for him whether it be Hardy, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Joseph park or Magnus.  They have no input on the plot they just wrestle so Hogan can do another rambling speech for the following week.

It would be ok if the other babyfaces at least had some kind of rhyme or reason for being involved outside of getting to fight the aces for now old beatings.  In fact everyone who has been assaulted by the Aces has beaten them in kind since so their involvement is puzzling.  The Aces and eights worked better as a group who simply wanted to run roughshod over TNA and pick up a few titles, but of course they had to be involved with Hogan because you know........Hulkamania Brother!

God only knows how much longer we will have to suffer Hogan related stories in TNA dominating the main event.  His influence on the company is minimal maybe giving the company a short term boost in ratings.  The fact remains that the fans TNA have are those who were watching well before his ancient ass hobbled back onto screens, thanks to the TNA originals they kept the company alive and still do.  If they left you wouldn't see TNA for very afterwards.  Some fans are still nostalgic of course, but these deluded fools are only watching a shadow, not an icon of the industry.  Eventually these fans will move on and Hogan will be filling exactly zero seats.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.

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