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October 27, 2009

Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff sign with TNA

There’s no denying that TNA will be a different company now that it has signed Hulk Hogan and partnered with Eric Bischoff. Only time will tell, however, if TNA will be better off.

The shocking news that Hogan and Bischoff are going into business with TNA, which was announced today at a news conference in New York, raises questions about what their specific roles will be and what it all means for the creative direction of TNA moving forward.

Even though Hogan’s name doesn’t mean what it used to, just having him on the roster instantly raises TNA’s profile, and he’ll likely be able to open doors for the company that otherwise couldn’t be opened.

However, Hogan’s presence could alienate the segment of the TNA fan base that is seeking an edgy alternative to WWE. They’re not going to be too thrilled if TNA becomes a Hulkamania nostalgia show.

The best way to use Hogan from a creative standpoint would be as an on-air character who wrestles a few times a year in big angles. Hopefully, Hogan, who’s 56 and hobbled, doesn’t have his sights set on being world champion again.

TNA’s mission as of late has been to push younger talent such as A.J. Styles, Matt Morgan, Hernandez, Eric Young and others. The worst thing TNA could do as far as growing the company is abandon the youth movement. My fear is that – just as he did when he joined WCW 15 years ago – Hogan will get jobs for his cronies and we’ll have The Nasty Boys as TNA tag team champions and Brutus Beefcake as the TNA Legends champ.

It will be interesting to say the least to see how long Hogan and Bischoff can co-exist with TNA creative leader Vince Russo. Let’s just say that they’re not big fans of Vinny-Ru.

According to a report on pwinsider.com, Bischoff will not be involved in the day-to-day creative process. His focus will be on creating new television entities for TNA and securing deals for them. The report also said that he could end up having a role on TV at some point, which would be great because I always thought that he was a talented performer.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 6:07 PM | | Comments (50)
        

Comments

While I'm not a fan of either , and I know the reality is it may be a step backward . .... I curiously like the move !

I wonder if he has complete creative control like he had in WCW. If so, beware.

This makes me very unhappy. Just when I thought TNA would turn things around by pushing the younger stars, they go and sign another dinosaur from the old days. Like you said Kev, if he has an on air role, i would much rather see him cutting promos and the like but not wrestling more than a couple times a year. I'm happy with Styles as champ and hope he has a lengthy reign as champ. if Hogan wins the title while with TNA, I riot.

I don't really pay close attention to TNA, but I'll be tuning in to see how it plays out.

I don't like the looks of this signing. If TNA can pull this off though we will be headed for a new wrestling wars and the winners of that will be the fans.

And the other shoe drops. I can see it now, about 5 years from now there will be a Rise and Fall of TNA disc. And what happened today will be the 3rd disc of the set entitled The Beginning of The End. Some former TNA talent will give an interview and talk about how Carter put all her egg in one basket with a guy who told his son while in jail how they were going to try to spin a tragic accident in their favor to make money. A guy who stalked his wife. A washed up has been who limped around the ring, while putting over his washed up friends. Someone who had a failed hosting gig on American Gladiators and with his good bud Eric had a failed Celebrity Wrestling show. I'll admit they'll probally have a jump in rating for a while, but after the short term effect wears off and they're stuck with Hogan, it will be a straight drop off from there

Bret Hart and Shawn Micheals would have a better chance of working well together than Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo.

I don't watch TNA, despite being a 25 year fan of wrestling, and now I definetly won't - at least until Hogan is gone. Would never want to see him as TNA champ, even though it is most certainly going to be the case for a while. I hope they give some of the new guys the chance to knock the snot out of Hogan.

Eck, you're kidding yourself if you don't think Hogan has his sights set on being TNA champion.

This is bad news. Sounds like the New World Order all over again. I thought we just rid of the MEM which was similiar. Now we got to put with Hogan's and Bischoff's egos clashing with Russo's.

Kev,

I agree with your comments. I was initially confused by the news that they signed with TNA, but the more I think about it, it makes no sense to me. It couldn't come at a worse time either, especially with the emergence of some of the younger guys as main event caliber stars. I just worry that in six months we could see Hulk Hogan fighting Kevin Nash for the TNA title as opposed to AJ Styles defending against a Matt Morgan or Hernandez. Needless to say, I'm sure Hulk and Eric won't sit by and let main events like Styles v. Joe v. Daniels really happen on a consistent basis. How long before Steiner ends up in a heavyweight title match?

In an ideal world, I'd love to see the two act more like good-will ambassadors for the company. A name like Hulk Hogan, like you said, does bring instant credibility to an organization looking to compete with the big dogs. I think that as long as they stay away from the product itself, this could be a wise move from both sides.

I think many of us are tired of the familiar WWE World Championship matches. I still question why John Cena will be defending the title against HHH and HBK at Survivor Series. This is one reason that a lot of hardcore wrestling fans have been noticing TNA. Now, I do feel that TNA still has a LONG way to go before they can remotely consider themselves in the same discussion of the WWE, but at least in TNA we have the opportunity to see rising young talent. Guys like MVP (who I know we are both fans of) and Dolph Ziggler are dying for a rub, but with the same three superstars fighting for the gold, they stand no chance.

In TNA at least, we can see AJ Styles as the Heavyweight Champion. Eric Young has come a long way and the company has rewarded him for that. And I see nothing but big things in the future for guys like Hernandez, Matt Morgan and Samoa Joe. The company has the right idea mixing younger guys with the old workhorses. I just worry about the Hogan decision and wonder what exactly the plan is.

Thanks Kev, keep up the good work! You do an unbelievable job with the blog, it's nice to see someone dedicated to the world of wrestling.

I'm sure the Hogan Haters will be out in full force, but there's no arguing against this being huge for TNA's relevance. Hogan is the biggest star in the history of the industry and was the foundation of everything WWE became. There's no way he could physically be a title wrestler, aside from occasional transition champion times.

they won't be able to say "What's TNA?" anymore. I'm a much bigger fan of the great technical wrestlers, and I hoped Kurt Angle would be TNA's "Hogan joins WCW" but he's just not THAT big of a star. Even with Sting, as appreciated as he was to WCW fans, at no point was he ever the biggest star in his company.

I have never been able to watch more than 10 minutes of an given TNA show and now I will NEVER watch TNA ever if Hogan is on ... Hogan needs to hang it up .. he is going to run TNA into the ground

I'm strangely bullish on this one. The obvious point of joy is the BYE BYE RUSSO piece of business, which has to happen. I also think you can now make favorable comparisons to late 99 WCW. They probably have a better roster of stars, let's see...

WCW bigs: Hogan, Goldberg, Sid, Flair, Lex, Bret, Benoit, Sting, Hall/Nash and DDP.
TNA bigs: Hogan, Styles, Lashley, Angle, Joe, Morgan, and Scotty Steiner, and Foley.

WCW underlings: Saturn, Eddie, Dean, Mysterio, Disco, Hugh Morris, Hennig, Kidman, Juvi, Booker, Vampiro, and Buff.
TNA unders: MCMG, Wolfe, Daniels, Beer Money, Rhino, Abyss, EY, Suicide, Homicide, and Hernandez

I'll tell you, I feel they can really make a go for it, and it will be interesting to see what Hogan and Eric can do with a pretty good roster and a tighter budget. There's about 3 or 4 wrestlers in TNA's "mid-card" that can really heat up with the right writing. I'm looking at Wolfe, Shelley, Hernandez, and Amazing Red to EXPLODE.

Bonus question: Is this the first time Bischoff and FOley have crossed paths in 15 years or so, or were they both around during the Foley/Orton wars?

BONUS bonus question: Should there be a death watch for the six-sided ring?


A sad day for TNA fans. TNA was slowing moving in the right direction by pushing younger talent but that will come to an end. I think I speak for all wrestling fans when I say we want TNA to be a more athletic alternative to WWE ( more like a sport compared to entertainment) but now we get wcw vol. 2. Hey why have a cheap NWO knock off cough MEM cough when you can have Hogan and Nash bring back the black and white. Kevin how do you see this playing out in the long run?

Hogan should definitely be able to open up some more business opportunities for TNA.

Just take a look at Sting.

Executives at Spike were so enamored with him that they were willing to help TNA pay for his contract. I'm a bigger Sting fan, but it would be foolish of me to think that he has more star power than Hogan. If Spike was that excited about Sting, imagine how they're reacting right now to Hogan.

Hulk is on Larry King right now pimping his book and trying to earn another buck. It's all about him.

Now , If TNA will only give SCOTT HALL another chance .... I'm serious !

I don't usually watch TNA, but I have already set my DVR to record this week's show.

WWE needs to learn how to find on-air roles for retirees. It's a reverse carrot-&-stick, for the company. Fans like seeing the established guys, who can help by putting over younger talent. And on the other side, by building up stars and then just releasing them onto the open market, WWE is essentially handing a leg up to its competition.

I'm betting TNA wants to attract new fans who are intrigued by the prospect of seeing Hogan back in the industry. It will work. If they're smart, they will spend the next 48 hours completely recutting this week's show to make it the absolute best they've ever aired, in order to keep this week's "intriguees" into next week's audience.

Kevin,

Since all of your former co-workers from WCW are finding new life in TNA, have you been contacted to come in and create "TNA Magazine".

;)

Will the Hulkster be pushing his new book and/or a new reality show? Like Flair, he must need the money to support the ex-wife. With TNA's testing policy he can start taking his 'vitamins' again. Watcha gonna do, BROTHER, when Hulkamania runs wild on you?

WHOA! Did Bradley say that Hulk Hogan's appearance on Larry King Live tonight did not make mention of TNA?!?!?!

If so, that is soooo wrong!

TNA needs Hogan and Eric. It's just the way it is. If this is done right the young stars that TNA has will be made bottom line. Just think back to Bischoff's track record with WCW. Remember the cruiserweights? Lets just sit back and enjoy this.

I think this is a huge move by TNA Wrestling. I know that there are wrestling fans who are bashing this move, because young stars will be pushed back again plus TNA's style and fanbase will conflict with Hogan. Well, here's my say, TNA will forever be the SECOND best company in pro wrestling even if they choose to push their young stars which I think is the right decision. But reading web news right now, I found out that the writers are not aware of TNA until this signing. Getting Hogan will help TNA break in to the mainstream. I hope that they push both Hogan and the younger stars similar to what they did in WCW when they pushed Goldberg along with Hogan. That will work.

Goodbye everyone. Nice chatting with you. It was fun commenting on TNA while it still resembled wrestling but watching an over the hill Terry Bollea squash far more talented wrestlers is a wee bit too much for me to stomach.

Hulk Hogan has betrayed his loyal Hulkamania by signing for TNA. I don't know what he was thinking, he belongs to WWE.

(sigh) I hate this idea. I have loved the TNA direction lately of pushing the young guys. I was ecstatic when I heard Booker T was done, and I look forward to Nash and Steiner being done, too. Surely there is 'veteran talent' from the years since WCW to help elevate the younger stars? I honestly don't care to see Hogan or Bischoff anymore.

Can't you see Vince McMahon sitting by the front doors of Titan Tower with a torn copy of the Observer on the ground by his patent leather shoes. In between sobs, he moans out the lines to a song he just heard on someone's iPod:

"You didn't stand by me. No not at all. You didn't stand by me. No way..."
(The Clash)

Oh wait, that will likely be Dixie Carter and Spike TV reps in a few months.

If Hogan becomes an authority figure, then I guess that is TNA's answer to Raw's ever changing guest host scheme.

So Dix Bag Carter has enough money to sign on Hulk Hogan a 56 year old crock but not Sting who can actually go!

TNA needs Hogan and Eric. It's just the way it is. If this is done right the young stars that TNA has will be made bottom line. Just think back to Bischoff's track record with WCW. Remember the cruiserweights? Lets just sit back and enjoy this.

Posted by: adam


excellent point, I believe Bischoff is "unfairly" remembered as burying the young talent. They were there because he wanted them to carry the wrestling portion of the show. The contracts of the guys like Nash, etc gave them too much power and eventually the inmates were running the asylum. Its still Eric's fault in part for GIVING those contracts, but people make it sound like he had Jericho, Guerrero, (THE WRESTLER WHO CANNOT BE NAMED), and Mysterio doing laundry backstage.

Anytime I feel down I just watch Shawn Michaels overselling vs. Hogan at Summerslam....brings an instant smile to my face.

Hogan is a meglomaniac, wait until he pulls a "super cena" er.....I mean "Hulks Up" and buries half of the TNA roster en route to his inevitable TNA title reign.....Bischoff will be his manager and I'm sure he will have a couple "TNA Turncoats" for his stooges......not the direction I was hoping TNA would go but it is what it is.

Super Shane to answer your bonus question....Foley and Eric Bischoff paths have crossed in the last 15 years.

In 2003, Bischoff was gloating about his Survivor Series team victory over Stone Cold Steve Austin team. The stipulation was whoever team lost was gone as Co-GM of RAW. Mick Foley came out leading a petition to bring back Stone Cold as Co-GM. Bischoff told Foley the fans wanted to see the old Hardcore Legend. He proposed that Foley face Randy Orton that night - if he loses, he quits, if he wins, Bischoff quits..Foley agreed and wanted to make it an IC Title match. Foley later walked out during the scheduled match against Orton. That is when Orton famously spit in Foley face.

Time to brew up a big ol' batch of popcorn so I can watch this trainwreck unfold. There's no way you can write the formula of Hulk Hogan + Full Creative Control over his storylines without it leaving him with all the glory and all the people who should be getting the rub out in the cold, given all the inadequacies already in full display at TNA.

Knowing how people who come from TNA get treated when they jump ship to the WWE (see Gail Kim), the fact that Booker T is more than likely on his way back speaks volumes to the problems there. Adding the uber-glory hound Hogan to the mix isn't going to help. Yeah, the product will get some attention, but I don't really see the new up and comers getting the proper attention they need once he arrives.

Just when the young guys were getting a great push here comes Hogan to take it away from them. Granted it is possibly TNA's biggest signing ever but I just cant see Hogan performing at the high level with the likes of AJ, Daniels, or even Matt Morgan.

I don't agree with bringing in "has beens" and lets face it, Hogan and Bishoff have had their day. I hope they both stay in the background but I fear Hogan's ego won't allow that and it is only a matter of time before we have Hulk Hogan TNA world champion , which is a shame because TNA is excellent at the moment and this is due to the younger guys getting a decent push. I am not getting good vibes from this move from TNA management.

I think it's safe to say that none of us wants to see Hogan wrestle, and def don't want to see him as champion. However, it's hard to deny his star power, which is a good thing for TNA. What I'm hoping for though, is that Bischoff will be able to work his magic and get them to a better night...Tuesday or Wednesday...that move alone should help the ratings. Right now, in many markets, they're competing with Survivor, Grey's Anatomy and such...and while the typical wrestling fan may not watch those shows, a lot of households still have just one tv, and those shows win out. Plus, Bischoff marketted WCW well to a point...so if we got that Erik back, even more of a plus. Wasn't he the one behind the great Booker T vs Benoit matches? Actual wrestling! Something TNA actually supports! So, I'm shooting for a positive on this one, especially if it's more from Bischoff than Hogan.

I thin at a minimum, it would make people who wouldn't normally tune in, tune in.
What direction TNA goes in is up in the air, but at least more people would watch to see what the Hulkster or "Hollywood" Hogan is going to do.

Hey Kevin-have you seen any ticket numbers for Hogan's Australia tour?

"Is this the first time Bischoff and FOley have crossed paths in 15 years or so, or were they both around during the Foley/Orton wars?"

____________________________

Foley was the prosecutor when Bischoff was on trial for being a bad general manager of Raw.

Kev
What does this deal with TNA due to Hogan and his relationship with Bubba the Love Sponge. Those two guys are tight and I know Dixie put the Kabosh on TNA stars on his show after some incident earlier this year. I always loved Hogan on that show because it showed a side where he was trying to be real but also into his gimmick.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I''m sure Hogan is going to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to go the show, he will. And if he thinks it's a good idea to have other TNA stars go on the show, he'll make that happen, too.

(sigh) I hate this idea. I have loved the TNA direction lately of pushing the young guys. I was ecstatic when I heard Booker T was done, and I look forward to Nash and Steiner being done, too. Surely there is 'veteran talent' from the years since WCW to help elevate the younger stars? I honestly don't care to see Hogan or Bischoff anymore.

Posted by: jon in bradenton, florida


I think its important as fans to remember the things we WANT to happen aren't necessarily the best thing for the company. Its pretty common knowledge that most fans over the age of 10 don't like John Cena, however a loyal audience of kids will tune in to RAW for Cena no matter how bad the show sucks. There was a kick a-- sandwich shop on the corner of my block for 2 years but the guy turned it into a crappy tea house because he wasn't selling enough sandwiches. So simply put, not enough fans are tuning into Impact to watch Matt Morgan vs AJ Styles in a main event so TNA is hoping Hogan still can draw fans in the hope that they'll stick around after Hogan leaves.

A truly horrible day for TNA. The rumor is TNA will be starting a second show, so I guess they decided to sell out and sign a "big star" like Hogan to get it going. I think signing a versatile guy like RVD would go much better since is a known name and has a good following. He is also exciting which can potentially capture the casual audience.

Hopefully TNA doesn't change much of what they are doing now, but I don't have a good feeling about this. Poor Jeff Jarrett; starts a company and loses out to his enemies.

I think i understand TNA's move on this. they basically sold out the loyal yet small fanbase that watches their show but doesnt spend money on PPV.
Much like McMahon told the original ECW fans" get lost, im redoing this whole ECW thing my way the way i want" and it was his right to do this. I think TNA has decided the young stars werent getting over, they didnt have enough patience to develop talent,.. so they get the Hulk,
Think about it, Hogan shows up, gets cheered, does a promo and Samoa Joe interupps, challenges him, Joe vs Hogan on PPV, Huge buyrate probably, who will win? Of course Hogan, but it doesnt matter to TNA, u already bought to show,
Note to Hardcore Wrestling fans,
its A BUSINESS. TO MAKE $$$$ you do what you need to do,
Good luck TNA, ill enjoy watching you on wwe 24/7

a few comments here firstly EB is a very intelligent man I think tha the learned from his mistakes and learned a lot working for VKM and Hulk knows he can't wrestle a full schedule anymore so i think another title reign for him is over.secondly isn't WWE coming out with a new DVD for Hogan do you think they will scrap it after this just going down. How long do you think VR will be around with Hogan & Bischoff around and what do you think old jeff is thinking about these moves.

What I want to see is how Bischoff and Russo get along. According to Bischoff's book, he did everything he could to get Russo out of WCW but he left because Russo didn't leave at the time. I wouldn't be surprised to see Russo make a return as an on-screen character, and not just one cameo appearance.

What most commenters fail to realize, is that pro wrestling is, and always has been, formost an ENTERTAINMENT medium more than a SPORTS medium. The colorful characters and charasmatic individuals have always been the ones who sell the tickets, not the ones who only have scientific skills but no mic skills. Hulk will never use innovative counters or high flying moves, not just because he can't but he never HAS to.

I'm done with TNA I had high hopes for them after the past month. Now they have all gone away. I have zero interest in Hogan on screen ot he politics he brings in.

TNA might make WWE look good again.

Dammit I was just starting to like TNA too. I can not stand Hogan either in the ring or on the mic he just makes me want to change channels or hit the skip button on the DVD.

I started watching TNA Wrestling when they first appeared on Spike TV several years ago. It was a welcome fresh exciting show that I really enjoyed. As the years went on and more to the present I started seeing the same recycled characters and non-action of the other companies IE: WWE, WCW. The biggest thing I liked about TNA was it was new and innovative, the ring was a big change but I embraced it as it made for better action. Now Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff join the group. What has TNA done!? They are on the fast track to mediocrity, turning into another WWE rip off instead of the unique show it once was that focused on new young talented wrestlers. It was a Wrestling show not a Sports Entertainment show. Now I fear Hogan will become a Cancer that eventually spreads and ultimately will doom the once Innovative and unique TNA.

I find it hard to believe that Hulk Hogan can really bring any Long Term ratings to the show. Sure he will bring some of the Hulkamaniacs from the Jurassic days of his glory but most wont be in it for the love of TNA.

Booker T, Bobby Lashley, Scott Steiner, Sting, Kurt Angle, and now-Flair + Hogan????????????
I love watching these guys, but it's something about the whole TNA concept that turns me away from tuning in. I don't want to see Hogan as champion again, but I'm tired of watching the WWE with the same story lines each year. Anytime Ray Masterio beats up on the Big Show night after night, something is wring with the business. Maybe it's now 100% entertainment.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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