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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Outside of the WWE, Hulk Hogan is a Failure and TNA Doesn't Realize It
By Mr. Tito
Nov 4, 2012 - 3:59:54 PM
Well you know something brother!?!? Recently, I've been following the Hulk Hogan sex tape controversy and I just have to shake my head. How can the "Babe Ruth of Pro Wrestling" get caught up in controversy? The Hulkster lives off of his brand and certainly, a released sex tape and the surrounding controversy will harm that. After all, Hogan has told wrestling fans to "say their prayers, take their vitamins" when the real guy is releasing a bunch of Hulkamaniacs into his best friend's wife!
Before I go further into my rant this evening, let me make one thing clear... As a pro wrestling fan, I recognize what Hulk Hogan has accomplished in wrestling. Hogan was around and was main eventing for two significant BOOMS in pro wrestling. The 1983 to 1990 World Wrestling Federation boom and the 1996-1997 World Championship Wrestling/New World Order boom were headlined by Hulk Hogan and he deserves credit for his work there. Furthermore, his return to the WWE during 2002 was quite entertaining and it was nice to see him back with the WWE after an 8 year hiatus.
But outside of those timeframes listed above, Hulk Hogan has been problematic and quickly wears out his welcome. That, or he's completely unqualified to provide creative ideas to other wrestlers.
Why does Hulk Hogan struggle outside of proper handling of Vince McMahon and the WWF/WWE? It's quite simple... It's all a matter of Hulk Hogan getting his way and the many "yes men", kiss-asses, and enablers that surround him. Yes, his so-called "friends".
Let's consider the recent Sex Tape incident first. Hulk Hogan was banging one of his best friend's wives in that video. Are you hearing me? Hogan's old friend, Bubba "the Love Sponge", actually offered Hogan his wife for sex. IS THAT NORMAL?!? Hogan was in the thick of Divorce proceedings with his now ex-wife Linda Hogan and Bubba, being a "great friend", allowed Hogan to screw his wife to help him out! Bubba's wife, for the record, went along with it... Gee, how is that marriage going these days? Oh yeah, Bubba is getting divorced to her as we speak...
The point about Bubba is that he's been a Hulk Hogan parasite from day one. He was fortunate enough to have Hulk Hogan repeatedly call into the Bubba "The Love Sponge" radio show often. Hogan needed a sounding board to send out his pro wrestling propaganda and Bubba was a willing accomplice. Bubba "sponged" off of Hogan's celebrity and enjoyed the increased attention to his show whenever Hogan would say something controversial on his show. He owes a great deal to Hulk Hogan for his show's success... Thus, when Hogan was "depressed" during the divorce procedures, Bubba, such the great friend, offered Hogan his wife for a few nights of sex. Who on earth does that? For one, who would ever offer their wife to another man and secondly for Hulk Hogan, why do you accept this offer if you were truly a friend?
And now, thanks to this "friendship", Hulk Hogan has a sex tape fiasco because one of the Bubba wife sessions was video recorded IN Bubba's house. Such a GREAT FRIEND that he bought himself insurance to screw over his best friend and quite possibly his wife at the same time. Even better, Bubba actually accused Hogan of leaking the tape! The Hulkster settled out-of-court with Bubba, but if you listened Hogan's recent Howard Stern appearance, he still considers Bubba a friend! Wow! I guess Hogan knows a kiss ass when he sees it, even if that kiss ass has just cost him financially with future work or advertisements.
Bubba isn't the only leach stuck onto Hulk Hogan. Eric Bischoff is just as bad, if not worse. The guy owes his entire pro wrestling success to Hulk Hogan and from that, he's an absolute enabler of Hulk Hogan's BAD creative decisions from WCW and now in TNA. Go back to WCW in 1993, the first full year of Eric Bischoff running the company. UTTER DISASTER! Bad talent acquisitions (overpaying on Davey Boy Smith), bad booking disasters (the Shockmaster!), and just blowing Ted Turner's money in attempt to defeat the WWF at the time. 1993 has some of the worst angles, Pay Per Views, and match ideas that the industry has seen! But things changed in 1994 when WCW announced the acquisition of Hulk Hogan and actually held a staged parade in honor of Hulkster's arrival.
1994 through early 1996 was an absolute booking mess for WCW. They forced Hulkamania down the throats of Southern WCW fans and they were rejecting it. Go watch Uncensored 1996 if you want to see the height of stupidity regarding an overpushed Hulk Hogan! The infamous "Doomsday Cage Match", if you will... During this period of time, Eric Bischoff bent over backwards for Hulk Hogan and Hogan received all of the major storyline pushes that he desired. Worse yet, Hogan's old WWF friends were acquired by WCW and were pushed above regular WCW mainstays. One guy named Steve Austin had a rough time in 1994 defeating Jim "Hacksaw" Duggan over the United States title and Austin was later released by WCW. Steve Austin would, of course, go onto bigger and better things. Hulk Hogan wonders why Steve Austin REFUSED to wrestle him at Wrestlemania 18 during 2002 and then later when Hogan challenged Steve Austin at the RAW Homecoming show in 2005.
Luckily for Eric Bischoff, in the midst of blowing Ted Turner (or now Time Warner's) money, he actually came up with TWO great ideas. (1) Creation of WCW Nitro during mid-1995 and airing the show LIVE and eventually in 2 hours against the 1 hour TAPED Monday Night RAW. But (2), the New World Order invasion angle where Bischoff brought in Kevin Nash & Scott Hall as if they were actual WWF invaders (WWE filed lawsuit, won, eventually bought WCW in 2001 because of that decision) and turned Hulk Hogan HEEL as the 3rd member of the group.
The New World Order captivated the wrestling world for the rest of 1996 and all of 1997, as WCW Nitro regularly defeated RAW in the ratings. But all things came to an end in Late 1997 when Eric Bischoff LET Hulk Hogan screw up the Starrcade 1997 ending to the Hulk Hogan vs. Sting match. See, the enabling Eric Bischoff, as terms from Hogan's 1994 and beyond contracts with WCW, gave Hogan full creative power over his character. So what did Hogan do for the BIG Starrcade 1997 blowoff match with Sting? Tinkered with the ending and had that screwy "slow count" of referee Nick Patrick. Oh, and who can forget the match's set up which had heel Hogan dominating much of the match. Sting's WCW Title run was a disaster and Hulk Hogan had the belt back around his waist a few months later.
Oh, but we're not done with the Hogan WCW fun... WCW rewarded Hulk Hogan the WCW Title again just as Monday Night RAW began to defeat them in the ratings. Instead of shaking up things with new and innovative booking, we split up the New World Order into 2 different factions, NWO Hollywood and NWO Wolfpac. Eric Bischoff, an NWO member himself (he just HAD to join the fun!), ran the NWO gimmick into the ground. However, there was a rising superstar in 1998 that could not be avoided: Bill Goldberg. For the infamous Georgia Dome Nitro during July 1998, Hulk Hogan actually put over Bill Goldberg... But there was a "catch". Reportedly, Hogan agreed to putting Bill Goldberg IF Hogan would be the man to end Bill Goldberg's undefeated streak and recapture the WCW Title. Hence, why Hogan put over Goldberg cleanly.
But Hogan had a change of heart and actually "retired" during the Fall of 1998, announcing it on the Jay Leno Tonight Show I believe, before being able to cash-in on that Bill Goldberg promised booking. However, Hogan would get that WCW World Title belt back anyway... At Starrcade 1998, Kevin Nash cashed in his own booking favors and was the 1st guy to defeat Bill Goldberg in one of the worst booked finishes of all time that saw Scott Hall giving Bill Goldberg the taser for the win. That finish, however, was topped by Hulk Hogan delivering the "fingerpoke of doom" (© Scott Keith/RSPWFAQ) to Kevin Nash during the first WCW Nitro of 1999 that actually rebooted the New World Order. Hogan was champion/NWO leader again and the WWE grew stronger as a competitor. 1999 was a DISASTER for WCW as the newly rebooted NWO quickly fell apart. Hogan actually returned to the Red & Yellow Hogan at some point to nobody caring.
Do I even need to get into the Vince Russo stupidity from 2000? Nah...
A decade later, Dixie Carter of TNA Wrestling thought it would be a GREAT idea to bring in the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff duo to revamp TNA "Impact Wrestling" to what you see today. Her thinking was that TNA was regularly getting 1.0 ratings and that some additional Hogan star power would "save" the TNA promotion. 2 years later into the experiment, what is the rating? Just barely getting a 1.0 rating and often being under 1.0. Dixie Carter is enabling Hulk Hogan to make bad creative decisions and Eric Bischoff is there agreeing with Hogan every step of the way. Instead of putting Hogan's feet to the fire to perform, Dixie Carter re-signed Hogan for another deal to sink the TNA promotion further.
We could talk about Hogan's friends, particularly Brian Knobbs and Ed Leslie (Brutus the Barber Beefcake, Bootyman, Disciple, etc.). Complete "yes men" for Hulk Hogan. Just watch the Celebrity Championship Wrestling for how much those 2 just nod their heads in agreement for the BAD in-ring advice that Hogan was giving celebrity contestants. Both Knobbs/Leslie have always found work thanks to Hogan and I'm not sure yet what Hogan has received in return other than a polished "Knobb".
Hollywood has fallen for Hogan's star, too... He appeared in Rocky 3 and suddenly, he was a box office draw. Do we need to list these awesome films? No Holds Barred, Mr. Nanny, Suburban Commando, Santa with Muscles, the 4th sequel to the 3 Ninjas franchise (LOL), etc. Certainly, Hogan doing films has opened the door up to other wrestlers getting a shot, such as the Rock now as a full time actor... But Hollywood thought too much of Hogan's Vince McMahon induced star being able to translate to strong box office success. The best part was the recent bullshit Hulk Hogan, himself, said about initially being lured to play the main character in the movie The Wrestler. WRONG. The Director of that movie, himself, has called out Hogan as being wrong.
Hogan will say things that he was almost the bassist for Metallica and the media outlet fawning over the Hulkster didn't even call him out on his bullshit. Thankfully, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich actually refuted the claim. Once again, it's just an alternate reality that Hogan lives in where everybody kisses his ass and says "yes" to everything he desires or says.
And then there's the WWF/WWE... Hulk Hogan was Vince McMahon's crown jewel to dominate the pro wrestling industry during the 1980's. Hogan wrestled for the American Wrestling Association (AWA) where promoter Verne Gagne refused to put the AWA Title on Hogan (even reversing a few match decisions). It kept the Hulkster hungry and his star grew and grew... Then, Vince McMahon acquired Hogan during late 1983 and instantly gave him the WWE Title. This could have been a disaster, but Vince wisely fed Hogan tough opponents to keep him hungry and at his best. Vince sent heels like Mr. Wonderful Paul Ordorf, King Kong Bundy, and later elevated Randy "Macho Man" Savage to challenge Hogan. Vince also made sure that Andre "the Giant" remained a top guy in the WWF and Hogan HAD to accept that through 1988, even after beating him at Wrestlemania 3.
Then, Vince made Hulk Hogan put over a new star for the WWF Title. Hogan did great business with the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6. This was supposed to be Hogan handing off the torch to Warrior. However, Warrior buckled as the promotion's top babyface, possibly victim of the pro wrestling business about to hit a downward cyclical period or Warrior just not being a marketable star as a main eventer. Hogan was called upon to return to his throne by Wrestlemania 7 and suddenly, Hogan was on top again... But the business was fading and Hogan's popularity began to wane. However, Vince kept pushing him... Unfortunately for us, Wrestlemania 8 was headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Sid and 1992's STACKED roster should have had a better main event for its Wrestlemania. And then there's Wrestlemania 9...
Brother, Bret Hart and Yokozuna just aren't cutting it as main eventers through 1993, so what does the WWF do? Why, they put the WWF Title on Hogan to end Wrestlemania 9! A much thinner Hulk Hogan wrestled earlier on that show with his best bud Ed Leslie (Brutus the Barber) against Money Inc (Ted Dibiase/IRS), but to end Wrestlemania 9, Bret Hart lost his WWF Title to Yokozuna and Hogan came out to check on Hart. Yokozuna spotted Hogan, oddly challenged him to an impromptu match, and BANG, new WWF Champion! Vince McMahon caved and tried to spark another Hulkamania era. It failed. Hogan dropped the WWE title and was GONE from the WWE shortly thereafter.
8 years later when Hulk Hogan was finally out of his WCW contract in 2002, along with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, Vince McMahon brought the trio in to reprise the original New World Order to "poison" the WWE (part of Vince's feud with Ric Flair, now part-owner of the WWE). Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE and was supposed to wrestle Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 18. Austin said "NO" and wrestled an unprepared Scott Hall instead. The Rock, however, got the match. Suddenly, longtime WWF fans realized that their hero had returned and at Wrestlemania 18, the fans were heavily rooting for Hogan.
Business was grand for Hogan and the WWE for much of 2002 and 2003. However, creative differences over the Mr. America storyline put Hogan and Vince at odds and thus Hogan was OUT of the WWE before long. That-a-boy, Vince! Don't be one of his enablers! However, the WWE began to notice a rise in the popularity of their WWE Hall of Fame and it occurred to them that they needed Hogan in there. So, for 2005, the Hulkster was brought back but due the WWE's demand of his services, he had leverage this time around. The leverage was quite evident before and after his match with Shawn Michaels for SummerSlam 2005.
We were supposed to have 2 matches between Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels in which the wrestlers would trade wins. Hogan would win SummerSlam and Michaels would win the 2nd match. However, brother, Hogan nixed the 2nd match and held on strong to the result of the SummerSlam match. This infuriated Shawn Michaels, especially provided how much Michaels would have to carry the older and just received-a-hip-replacement Hogan. Things would get worse for the following SummerSlam in 2006 against Randy Orton. For one, Hogan had to win once again, but his criticisms of the WWE for not making Orton vs. Hogan as the main event of SummerSlam. Despite getting his way for back-to-back SummerSlams in defeating Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, Hogan had to complain and Vince McMahon was enabling it... Until Vince let him go in 2007 and Hogan hasn't returned to WWE since.
You can see how Hogan has been pampered by the way he pampers his own kids. Just see the controversial reaction Hogan made regarding his son's wreck, but the way he's tried to PAY for Brooke Hogan to be the next pop sensation has been ridiculous. Most musical acts work their way up through the industry and are hungry to achieve success. Hogan seriously tried to buy it for Brooke and got pissed whenever anyone in the industry would laugh at her talent. Poor Brooke, just like her daddy, believes in her own hype instead of working hard personally to make it on her own.
Aside from his tenure in AWA through 1983, WWF through 1990, and WWE through 2003, everywhere Hogan has been, people have been enamored with his star and repeatedly say "yes, yes, yes" to his wants and desires. Vince McMahon kept trying to push Hogan in 1991, 1992, and 1993 while overbidding on Hogan's star in 2005 and 2006. Eric Bischoff banked his whole career on Hogan and gave Hogan full blown creative freedom over the entire WCW product. Sure, it worked form 1996-1997, but he can't deny 1994-1996's failures while everything after 1997 that led to WCW eventually dying. Dixie Carter in TNA Wrestling isn't providing any accountability for Hogan/Bischoff and apparently must be satisfied by the same exact ratings received with Hogan than before Hogan.
Hogan needs to be in an environment where he isn't allowed to walk over everybody. He should be in the WWE now where Vince McMahon, for the most part, knows how to market Hogan effectively and maximize his starpower to the fullest extent without caving on everything as Bischoff/Carter and Hogan's friends do. And good God, keep Hogan away from any creative decisions of a pro wrestling company. Hogan can't even make good creative decisions for the Hulk Hogan character, let alone for other wrestlers. TNA's 1.0 ratings consistently prove what a failure Hogan is as a creative mind in pro wrestling.
And get better friends, for the love of God. Friends don't film their friends banging their wife, only to purposely use it later for financial gain.
WAKE UP DIXIE CARTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm Mr. Tito and I approve this message...
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