Booking Hulk Hogan
December 10, 2009
After watching Hulk Hogan make the announcement about TNA going to Monday night on January 4th at the UFC Fight Night Finally show, I started to wonder about Hulk Hogan and what kind of Impact he can really make in 2009. As I watched his interview with Joe Rogan I got the impression that Rogan did not want to be doing the interview and he thought Hulk Hogan and all of his “Brother” this and “Brother” that was a bit silly. Maybe I was reading Joe wrong or maybe he’s just not a pro-wrestling fan but I started wondering if Hogan might not be better served, at this point in his life, to ditch the Hulk Hogan shtick altogether.
Now I’m not saying he should shave his mustache off and cut his hair, I’m just suggesting he might be able to make a bigger impact in TNA if he reinvented himself and dropped the Hulk Hogan character and present himself as more of a real person.
Let’s be honest, the Hulk Hogan character with his “What you gonna do…” and “Let me tell you something Brother” is 25 years old. It was the hottest act in town for a long, long time, and resulted in the first big boom in wrestling history. After his near decade long run, as the Hulkster, it had run its course, and was losing popularity. Hogan then made another huge impact in the business when he reinvented himself by turning heel and forming the NWO in WCW. This led into the Monday Night Wars and another monster boom in the wrestling business.
After the NWO and Hogan’s heel run, ran its course and WCW lost the Monday Night War to Vince McMahon, Hogan made one more major comeback run in WWE. This was when I got to work with the Hulkster and it was a lot of fun and the guy was still crazy over. I think this return was a success because fans viewed it as a bit of a reunion tour. It was the Hulkster back in the WWE where he belonged, back in the Red and Yellow, and a chance for everyone to see the Baby Face Hogan we all knew and loved one more time.
So fast forward now to January 2010, Hulk Hogan is in his later 50 and trying to make another impact. What can you possibly do with Hulk Hogan in 2010 that will seem fresh and exciting especially when you consider the fact that he can’t physically wrestle much anymore. That’s when I got the idea of Hulk Hogan reinventing himself, one more time, by dropping the Hulk Hogan shtick and presenting himself as real person.
This would be a Hulk Hogan we have never seen before, and presenting him in a serious role would add credibility and realism to the TNA vs WWE war they are trying to present to us. So far all the media he has done has been focusing on his “partnership” with TNA and the fact that he is being brought in to “Run the Company”. So if he isn’t going to be an in ring performer, why keep the in ring character? Hogan coming to TNA will make a much bigger impact if it feels different and new, and dropping the Hulk Hogan shtick would be monumental. It will be a brand new, never seen before, Hulk Hogan.
If he drops the in ring character it should also relieve some of the pressure he is going to be under to wrestle again. If it’s the same old Hogan, the question everyone is going to be asking is when is he going to wrestle? Everything he does is going to be over shadowed by, “When is the Hulkster stepping back in the ring?” If they present a serious business man side to the Hulkster who is in TNA to lend his 30 years of experience to the company, fans may accept him in that role and not immediately expect him to wrestle.
Even more so, when the time does comes for him to step back in the ring (and we all know he is going to) his return will mean so much more because not only will he be stepping back in the ring, it will be the return of the old Hulk Hogan character, which we haven’t seen in while. When he finally takes off the suit and becomes the Hulkster again and starts taking about his Hulkamaniacs and running wide on people, it will stand out and be different from the Hulk Hogan we’ve seen on the show the last 6 – 12 months.
Hogan’s return to the ring needs to be on PPV so this would be a way to make the Impact shows building to the PPV seem like a big deal. They could be the return of the Hulkster, the return of Hulkamania, the return of the whacky and crazy Hulk Hogan promos we all know and love and remember fondly. This way we get the addition of the NEW Hulk Hogan to TNA, which might make an impact, the return of the Hulkster and his trademark promos when the time is right, along with his eventual return to the ring on PPV. Three potential impacts for the price of one!
That’s my two cents, and what I would do if I was booking Hulk Hogan. I ‘m not saying it would work, but I think it stands as good a chance as anything else.