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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hulkamania Comes to TNA

The biggest bombshell in the history of TNA: Total Nonstop Action wrestling hit today: Hulk Hogan has signed with TNA. And with him, Eric Bischoff.

In terms of being able to stake a claim in the general public's minds that they are indeed serious about becoming the kind of powerhouse promotion WWE is (or WCW was when it challenged the WWF in the 1990's), signing Hulk Hogan is the greatest move possible for TNA.

Whatever impact (pun intended) Hogan's presence has, specifically whatever benefit/damage to the status quo (firing Vince Russo is the top of my personal list) or to whatever the elements of TNA are going to be upended by him (will Samoa Joe and AJ Styles be eating the big legdrop, brother?), in terms of public perception - and TNA has very, very little to the general public - Hulk Hogan's name, stature and star power gives TNA instant credence.

There are really only three true free agent megastars that TNA could bring in to give them the kind of recognition they need to be considered a rival - or they hope, an equal - to WWE:

Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock.

Everyone else, including Ric Flair, is a just wrestling star, no matter how big a wrestling star. Those three guys are household names transcending the wrestling business. Rock and Austin are pipe dreams for TNA. Hulk Hogan is the biggest score they'll ever have.

TNA, by the majority of credible accounts I've seen regarding their business, was just not growing. With Hulk Hogan's name and Eric Bischoff working with them, given what they did for WCW (not to WCW, because that's a whole different ball of wax) TNA has the best chance they've ever had to be seen as an equal to WWE. What they do from this point on will be hotly debated, dissected, complained about, but it may also work.

I'd say congratulations to all parties are involved. I would suspect that today, for the first time probably ever, Vince McMahon took some time out of his day to seriously consider what TNA is and what this means to his business.