I'm trying my damnest to think of anything really positive that Hulk Hogan has brought to TNA (either on-camera or behind the scenes) between his on-screen debut and now and I can't think of one single thing.
That's probably not fair to Hogan and I'm sure there are things I've missed; but I'm just at a total loss here. The ratings havn't really improved (on the other hand; they havn't gone down, either as far as I know).
TNA isn't any bigger (media-wise) than it was. The TV angles havn't improved (if anything; I'd say they've gotten worse over the last year).
I mean; the argument for signing him is that Hulk Hogan is a big name sure to get them a lot of attention and exposure in the mainstream media, right? What else did they think he'd bring to the table? Even casual fans don't seem to want to see him on TV anymore.
I just don't understand some of the decisions this company makes.
I can certainly understand making the decision in the first place. Hogan, for better or worse, will always be one of the biggest names in wrestling and has his own dedicated fanbase. Of course, he also has a strong contingent of people who hate his guts and won't watch a show on which he plays a prominent role. It was a calculated risk and created a lot of buzz in the short-term.
The problem, of course, has been that it wasn't nearly as successful as they'd hoped it to be. The initial excitement around it fizzled quickly. He can't actually wrestle anymore, so you can't sell PPVs based on Hogan matches or have him main event Impact to draw in viewers. He's just a mouthpiece and an increasingly stale one at that. Bischoff has probably brought more to the table than Hogan, as he's a very reliable heel and I suspect the Reaction show and some of the more "realistic" backstage segments probably reflect some of his creative input.
At this stage, TNA should probably accept that the big break-through, WWE toppling angle is just not going to happen. The market for wrestling isn't big enough and WWE is too well-established as a brand. Find your niche and do it well. Some of the bigger names should be cut loose, not because they're universally terrible, but because their big contracts cost more money than they probably bring in. Flair's probably been the biggest benefit of all, as the mouthpiece and motivating force behind Fourtune, but it's not like A.J. and Beer Money can't talk very well for themselves. Angle would be better off seeing if he can get a last WWE run, Hardy's a wreck who should be dealing with his personal demons, and RVD is nothing but a mid-carder at this point. If the big names haven't significantly increased ratings or revenue...screw 'em. Use the cheaper homegrown talent, build your fanbase, and be patient.
Of course, that will never happen. In some ways, the NWO and Austin, for all the boom they created and money they made, were bad for the business in the long term. Is it possible that there is some angle or star who could bring wrestling back into the mainstream stratosphere, from either company? Sure, it's -possible-. But it's not that likely. Austin was a lucky accident, with the right man in the right place at the right time. The NWO was more planned, but benefited from a more relevant Hogan doing something unthinkable. He can't do that again. The only guy who potentially could would be Cena, but even he isn't nearly the star that Hogan was in terms of pop culture cache.
I'm not sure how long Hogan's deal with TNA runs, but I relatively doubt that they'd re-up him, certainly not for anything close to the same money. That is, unless he's got Dixie Carter wrapped around his finger. Which he might.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
I'm the kind of person who tends to stick with TV shows until the bitter end regardless of the general consensus on their continued quality. I watched every single episode of Heroes and tend to think people are being over dramatic when they talk about the decline of The Simpsons, Family Guy et al. I stopped watching TNA about 6 weeks ago. Hogan (+Bischoff, etc) has brought to life every single misgiving that everyone had about his involvement in the first place, his legacy will be ruin.
Originally posted by 2P4E his legacy will be ruin.
TNA is so far under the radar for most casual fans, I don't know that I'd actually agree with this.
TNA still being under the radar a year later after signing him is a big example of how uneffective he's been.
Exactly. So if they're still this far under the radar, how much will his legacy really be tarnished? I think people will be more apt to say, "well, Hogan couldn't turn it around, but then again, no one could."
Hogan drew a bit and sold a ton amount of merch in '02 but after that every time he came back he had less of an impact. He hasn't been a huge draw since mid '98. He drew good ratings for TNA his first few appearances but after a Short time they went right back to their old ratings or below. Hogan's quarter hour on January 4th drew over two million people, instead of using TNA guys(like Styles) in that segment to intro them to a new audience they filled the segment with NWO Relics like The Wolfpac.
Originally posted by graves9Hogan drew a bit and sold a ton amount of merch in '02 but after that every time he came back he had less of an impact. He hasn't been a huge draw since mid '98. He drew good ratings for TNA his first few appearances but after a Short time they went right back to their old ratings or below. Hogan's quarter hour on January 4th drew over two million people, instead of using TNA guys in that segment to intro them to a new audience they filled the segment with NWO Relics like The Wolfpac.
(edited by graves9 on 15.12.10 1255)
"How can we miss you if you never go away, Hulk".
I remember watching that 1/4/10 Impact and thinking to myself "Oh my god, they're re-hashing the NWO this soon? They're hopeless".
I was pissed when I first heard the Hogan announcement, but then started reading some different opinions on it, and gave it a chance. I thought it would be different from WCW because Hogan could not wrestle anymore and certainly wouldn't take over the promotion. I also figured with his financial situation, he'd have to be more of a team player.
With Bischoff, I thought he would have learned from WCW and had a chance to be a huge asset. I read most of his book, and he had really good strategies that put WCW on top.
But it all turned out the way the IWC called it. It is about as bad as it could be minus Hogan putting the belt on himself.
The first Hogan appearance became TNA's highest rated show at 1.5, but the ratings quickly fell to lows that hadn't been touched since TNA's first year on Spike. They moved back to Thursday with their tail between their legs and managed to get back to where they were, but was it worth it?
I don't see anything changing though. Dixie does not understand the difference between business and personal feelings. She's friends with Russo and has refused to get rid of him despite nearly everyone saying he's a liability. She resigned 3D when they have nothing left to offer, while letting fresh young talent that cost a fraction of their salary (Creed, Kong, Flash) go.
Hogan has done really nothing, but pop a rating and cause WWE to bust out Bret Hart early. TNA was right to sign him. He had a great name, has fans and if used correctly can still draw. Yet, the using him correctly died when he took over creative. This also includes Bischoff as well. I blame Eric more then I do Hogan for their recent state of affairs mainly, because Hogan is never there. There is no need for Bischoff to be on TV. They can do an out of control stable without having to relay on Bischoff, Flair or Hogan. Instead, Eric feels that they need him on TV mainly due to his massive ego. Hogan has the good sense not to wrestle or keep it to a minimum.
TNA was a great roll prior to the Hogan deal and they made a calculated mistake. They hired people who seem never to watch their product and thought they knew better then those in charge. Sadly, they were wrong. Granted, I am glad the six sided ring is gone. I don't know if Dixie is letting personal friendship steer things the wrong way. Russo was booking when that roll was going on. Granted, they have lost good people like Cornett, Dutch Mantle and other bookers due to Russo and its not heard to believe that it has caused people like Heyman to stay clear. The real problem is they have pissed away the KO and X-Division.
I don't think letting go of Kurt is a great idea either. He is one of the best draws they have and can still go. Also, the WWE schedule would kill him at this point. The other problem is minus Hogan, Bischoff and Flair, who else can you fire? JJ is not an option due to his long standing in the company. You can fire Jeff then watch him get clean and go back to the WWE. They fired most or let go most of their good talent already, they can't afford to let go of more.
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoThe logical guy for this company always seemed like Paul Heyman. For whatever reason that has never happened
Heyman and TNA were talking earlier this year (before the start of ECW storyline.) Heyman wanted full control of hiring/firing, TNA didn't want to give it up, nothing came of it.
In Hogan's defense, if it's possible for anyone to turn it around, they really need the power to use the wrestlers he want and it doesn't seem like he's got it either. There needs to be a singular vision if they're ever going to accomplish anything.
Hogan may have convinced others to sign on, and that's what I consider the biggest mistake TNA made. They didn't need more people on the roster. They barely had time for the folks then on the show. They brought in the ECW guys, Hogan's Australian tour, a slew of recent former WWE castoffs, and a recent WWE world champ. Too many bodies, not enough ringtime.
Including Reaction, TNA has a three-hour Thursday night block, and a third of that is devoted to main-event spillover and no new wrestling action. They have TV time to spread out the stories and lower roster spots, but they don't use it well. But you can't blame Hogan for that.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Originally posted by Matt TrackerHogan may have convinced others to sign on, and that's what I consider the biggest mistake TNA made. They didn't need more people on the roster. They barely had time for the folks then on the show. They brought in the ECW guys, Hogan's Australian tour, a slew of recent former WWE castoffs, and a recent WWE world champ. Too many bodies, not enough ringtime.
You mean to tell me The Nasty Boys didn't equal ratings? :)
Originally posted by lotjx You can fire Jeff then watch him get clean and go back to the WWE. They fired most or let go most of their good talent already, they can't afford to let go of more.
This is the only thing I disagree with. If you do not have the money/time for all of these people, they should be let go.
WWE can afford to let guys stick around for 6 months without really using them. But at some point (usually 2-3 times a year) they too dump people they don't plan on using.
TNA cannot afford that. For lack of money AND since they have less tv-time to use other people. They should work with a semi-limited roster and try to utilize as many of those people.
When Hogan/Bisch came in, they threw contracts at everyone. This immediately pissed off the IWC which probably do make up most of their viewers (unlike WWE)
While I think they were right to spend money on some of the WWE cast-offs, the chaos that was created by the (temporary) contracts for the Hogan friends created too much problems and backlash from fans.
They may not care about the cruisers but they do care about sagging ratings without Taker. They're going to need to develop the talent on the roster and find them gimmicks that will get over with the crowd.