Counterpoint : Bring on the Hulkster
I feel the need to respond to fellow editorialist, Richard Staple. Richard recently wrote his disinterest in the return of WWE Legend Hulk Hogan to Monday night wrestling. While I respect your opinion, I will respectfully disagree.
Hulks heyday is definitely over, he’s a sixty year old man who realistically stopped being able to perform ten years ago. Now I’m not going to fault a sixty year old man for not being able to cut it in the squared circle, and I don’t think you are either. However as I stated in a prior article, WWE needs big names to find success again. I was not, am not, and never will be a fan of him going to TNA, simply because he is a large paycheck for a wrestling personality that can’t even take a bump. TNA made a colossal mistake spending their money on him, when they could have brought in names that could headline shows. And as a result, have lost lots of young talents that have hurt viewership and attendance figures.
On the flip side of the coin, WWE has all the money in the wrestling world. They could pay Hogan the same dollar amount to sell peanuts in the crowd and it wouldn’t hurt them. In fact, I believe that a good amount of fans would be interested in seeing Hogan on WWE TV in a non-wrestling capacity. WWE differs from TNA in the sense that they won’t give Hogan a mic and say go get em tiger. Everyone knows how bad he is on a mic , and sure you are gonna get a few Hogan promos for the nostalgia of it all. But in the end, more can be done story wise with Hulk than what was done in TNA.
One of my larger issues in WWE is that the ceremonial torch passing has become a thing of the past in WWE. I often reference the debut on Chris Jericho in WWE. Y2J’s first promo was against the Rock on Monday Night Raw, and he hung with the great one. It’s small events like this that forge a midcarder (and prior to WWE, don’t kid yourself, Jericho WAS a midcarder) to superstar status. With so few big names from the past in WWE, it becomes hard to separate the good from the bad, as we seen with Cena returning to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. Cena is the biggest name in wrestling, and when he was placed with all the other WHC contenders, no one looked up to par, so now we have a unified title. So the more big names we get back, the easier it becomes to create break out stars.
I would further my point by indicating the unspoken fact of backstage politics. The old time guys never shy to tell “the boss” who’s got it and who’s a wannabe. Now sure sometimes they get it wrong but it doesn’t hurt to have some veterans promote other guys besides your top two or three. And when guys like Hogan bring future stars into the mix, it helps in building their character as more important. Hell look what Evolution did for Randy Orton and Batista.
In closing I will say, most importantly, bigger names help create more stories that you can find interest in outside of the world title. Whatever is going on with the WWE championship is generally the entire focal point of every show. I don’t remember the last time I watched WWE and was watching each week in anticipation of what was going to happen in a story line outside the title. Having the veteran Hogan involved could create some kind of intrigue into something else. WWE has been slowly shifting into exposing real life situations into parts of the show, Hogan and Vince have had some issues over the last five years, it’d be interesting to see if it spills out on screen in a return.
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