Tuesday, 27 August 2013

TNA Analysed 20 - 2K14 > TNA?


Last week I criticised TNA for using Brooke Hogan as a on screen personality and then firing her because she cost too much money.  This week I thought I would focus on some good old hypocrisy and the master of such in the wrestling industry, Hulk Hogan or Terry Bollea as others know him.

As anyone who has read into the history of the WWE then WWF knows, Hulk Hogan became famous under the McMahon brand in essence becoming one of the most iconic wrestling personalities of all time.  Looking back at his matches today you would wonder why he was so damn popular, but much like John Cena today it isn't about the quality of the matches, it's the cultivation of young fans.  Children loved Hulk Hogan hell even I did when I was 5 years old.  He was huge, always smiling and more importantly to small children, always winning.  His constant success made it very easy to be a fan of the character and as such his memory is somewhat rose tinted for a lot of fans.  If you actually watch the matches he had they all largely sucked because Hogan wasn't a very good wrestler, but he was a very good on screen personality and had a look that was immediately recognisable.

Hogan has coasted on this success for decades now even being somewhat daring with his character by turning heel in WCW.  But ultimately he has always gone back to being the super hero when it best suited him and not the company.  WCW ultimately failed and a good chunk of the blame can be laid at his feet but did Terry care?  Not really, hell he was already an iconic wrestler in the industry so he just waltzed back into WWE and ran there for a year or so before leaving again.  He probably collected a huge pay cheque or two before leaving of course, because Hogan is anything but dumb when it comes to making money.

His stint in TNA hasn't exactly been a money spinner like he used to be.  He can't wrestle anymore after having a ridiculous number of back surgeries along with fighting law suits over sex tapes and promoting his outside interests such as his beach shop.  He is more of a TNA part-timer, showing up on screen when it suits him and making sure a story involves him in some way to justify his reason for being there.  He is on one of the biggest contracts in the company also, estimated to be somewhere around 2 million dollars a year, an obscene amount of money for a guy who can't even wrestle anymore.  Ric Flair dreams of earning that much a year and he still half kills himself to put on a good match for the fans regardless of the company.

But what is most interesting of recent is Hogan's latest signing.  Not in TNA but in the gaming world.  2K sports have signed Hogan to the latest WWE game due out later this year as part of the games 30 years of Wrestlemania mode.  Hogan obviously has a couple of wrestlemania moments so it makes sense for 2K to want to include him in both his iconic yellow and red days along with his later black and white days to face the rock.  Naturally this seems like a massive slap in the face of TNA management who would rightly assume he would stay loyal to the people who are paying him.  Not in Terry's world though, because as I said earlier he isn't dumb when it comes to making money and signing with 2K means more people will see him and he gets more money.

In my opinion Hogan doesn't give a crap about any employer he has worked for, at least on a loyalty level.  He has always been about himself, how he appears to fans and how the media view him.  He has worked hard to maintain his whiter than white image over the decades and makes a fair old living out of shilling merchandise to now grown up fans who remember him as being the best of all time.  TNA have probably benefited a little from his presence but they have also suffered a little because of him.  His influence and control over certain aspects of the company can be seen, especially when he first arrived.  He has damaged the company financially with his huge yearly salary and if WWE asked him to sign a legends contract with a guaranteed Wrestlemania appearance he would run back to WWE so fast you would be able to see a faint outline of him for a few seconds as the dust begins to settle.

Spike nor TNA will actually reprimand him on this of course, in fact they will probably just ignore it or even reward him in some way to try and make him stay with the company.  TNA have had to keep him off the show for a week or two simply because he is too expensive to fly out to the show, notice I said they fly him out, not that he pays for his own transport.  No when you are Hulk Hogan your employer pays for your travel.  Eric Bischoff recently stated that the IWC or Internet wrestling community may say things that are damaging based on half fact or truths, but when you present them with shit they are going to throw it at you and Hogan sometimes gives us the biggest turds of all.  TNA would do better to stop trying to be like WCW or WWE and actually be something unique unto itself.  The influence from guys like Hogan and Bischoff have hurt the company more than they probably know.  Things aren't getting better for TNA they are just getting worse.  Some people used to watch TNA because it was so bad it was good, now it's just bad and we have Hogan to thank in part for this just like WCW. 

But none of this will bother Hogan.  When TNA burns to the ground and all of the staff and wrestlers search for new jobs, the duo of Hogan and Bischoff will simply ride off to the next wrestling promotion or television network to do it all over again.  Hogan can get work anytime he wants due to his status and Bischoff can do what he does best, be Hogans best friend.

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