The High End Of Low: The Hulk Hogan Experiment…

Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan

Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan

2007 was a really interesting year for Marilyn Manson as he made a shift is his musical style with the release of his 6th studio album Eat me, Drink Me.  I think almost everyone knows who is Marilyn Manson, the guy who was a nightmare to almost every parent. Manson is known with his shock rock/industrial style but with Eat Me, Drink Me he decided to shift to a more goth rock-driven style and tried to adopt some elements from the 70s and the 80s. In 2009 with the album High End of Low, Manson mixed between his old industrial sound and alternative rock so the album was different compared to his old albums like Mechanical Animals. 

marilynmanson-highendoflow

The result??? Well, the fans and critics were divided, some liked the direction that Manson took with these two album (like me) because he showed us a more personal side of him and to be honesty, I love when a band/artist try to experiment with his music and try something new. On the other hand, some saw that Manson was suffering from an identity crisis and he is losing his touch. Talking about the reasons behind the changes in his musical style and lyrics isn’t an important thing, I think some of you are asking, “What the hell does this do with TNA and Hogan??” Well, I’ll tell you in a minute but let me first finish the story here. So what did Manson do?? He knew that something was wrong, he knew that he had an identity crisis.  His personal problems got the best of him so he decided to press the reset button.

BornVillain

Manson decided to make a fresh start with the album Born Villain.  He somewhat went back to his classic sound while adding new elements and the result was really great. One of Manson’s most aggressive albums and many considered it his real comeback.

The story above reminded me of TNA’s current situation.  The company decided to press the reset button and begin a fresh start after the Hogan/Bischoff era. The thing is, TNA is trying to delete Hogan.  The company is trying to erase everything that has to do with Hogan. So my question is can TNA do so???

hogantna1

Can you delete a part of your history?? Can you, for example, change the fact that he released (Eat Me, Drink Me and High End of Low)?? It is impossible to do such a thing even if you pretend to ignore a part of your history. Hulk Hogan joined TNA in 2010 and parted way with the company in 2013.  Now how could you delete 4 years out of the history books??? This actually reminds me of Nightmare on Elm Street.  The whole town decided to burn a guy and then they acted as if nothing happened. The town pretended that this didn’t even happen until Freddy decided to haunt their kids down in their dreams. Hulk Hogan stayed with TNA for 4 YEARS!!! From what I heard the company wants to erase the thing that he and Eric did in those four years which is dump, to say the least.

a-nightmare-on-elm-street-original

So what should TNA actually do?? Well, trying to remove this part of the company’s history is impossible.  Instead, the management should sit down and begin to see the results of the experiment. For me, Hogan’s era was an experiment that was really interesting and has its ups and downs.

The Ups

1 - Giving chances to new faces to shine on and rise like Bobby Roode, Austin Airies and Bully Ray. 

2 – Going live and on the road.

3 – Changing the 6 sided ring to the traditional 4 sided ring (imagine playing basketball in a tennis court).

4 – The story lines were planned better in the long run.

5 – The TV production got better.

6 – Invading the UK and expanding TNA into the international market.

7 – Decreasing the PPVs to four thus giving a chance to make a higher quality product to buy.

8 – Well, plus people got the chance to see HULK FREAKING HOGAN ON TV!!! DUHHH :D.

It was great to see TNA try to experiment with different ideas and concepts and I was thrilled to see TNA go away from the Impact Zone and go to different places and see different crowds. But damn, even though I really enjoyed Hogan’s time in TNA a lot of mistakes were done as well.

The Downs

1 – 2010 and 2011 were really awkward and I can say they were the reasons behind bashing on both Hogan and Eric. The Immortal story line started in a great way then things began to get weird and flat, and it shifted from being one of TNA’s best story lines to a lame joke.

2 – Treating TNA like WCW by bringing names that were past their prime and going face to face with RAW on Monday.

3 – Abounded some great gimmick matches like King of the Mountain.

4 – The fact that Hogan didn’t use his star power to promote Impact on big TV shows.

For me those were Hogan and EB’s biggest mistakes.  Wait what?? What about stuff like releasing stars and the other problems that faced TNA?! I will be totally honest, these problems aren’t Hogan’s fault.  Let me explain. Let’s imagine we have this movie that has this massive star as lead, let’s say Bruce Willis, so for the producer this movie is going to be a hit but when it was released it underperformed. When a movie fails this doesn’t mean that it is the star’s fault because there are a lot of components in the process of the film making like the directing, the plot itself, the screen play and maybe the casting itself wasn’t right for the movie.

When you tell me that most of TNA’s shows suffered from half empty seats then it isn’t Hogan’s fault.  It is the management’s fault for booking big arenas for a show that attracts between 2 to 5 thousand people. This alone led the company to release a lot of stars and try to re-design some of the contracts of the key figures in TNA. Okay, what about the KOs?! Well this isn’t Hogan’s fault as well.  From what I heard Bruce Prichard didn’t actually believe in the KOs.  Actually Bruce did a lot of questionable mistakes and decisions that made him one of the most hated figures (by the fans at least). Some thought that Bruce was sent by WWE to destroy TNA . Again this is the management’s fault not Hogan’s.

What about the ratings?? Hogan’s star power??? Well, TNA’s marketing sucks; it is really bad. When you have Hogan and you fail to market the guy then something is wrong with you!! If there is something that the WWE really does right then it’s the marketing.  With a promo they could make Hogan look like gold even if he isn’t there. The latest example is AJ Styles defending his title world wide.  Something that is really unique but the company isn’t marketing it!! I know that the company is trying to sell the idea that AJ left TNA and Dixie wants to ignore him but, hey, be creative!!

To wrap this up, the Hogan experiment was interesting.  He was given a huge influence when he first joined the company but this influence began to diminish after BFG 2011. Hitting the reset button isn’t a bad idea but don’t treat Hogan like a scapegoat. See what went wrong in the last 4 years and see the lessons learned from this experience.  Like Manson, TNA left some of the things that made it a unique show to watch like the gimmick match and having a strong women’s division. So going back to these unique elements and marketing them the right way will help TNA a lot. Regarding the IWC’s reaction towards TNA well, the dirt sheets and TNA haters, allow me top take a page from the Rock’s play book:

itdoesntmatter

TNA’s new direction is good but this doesn’t mean ignoring the past as for Hogan.  He’ll do what is better for Hogan and I will be excited to see him anywhere because he is HOGAN for the love of God.

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  • http://Mobage.com Steven kelly

    Yup i agree sam no way to erase hogan though gut check and open fight night and tv title every week did die b4 he left so that cnt be blamed on tnas erase button

  • kyle

    Imo i think tna relied on hogan too much they tried too use hogan too sell out 7,00 to 10,000 areas in 2013 that was the issue, most ppl knew by the last year bfg sting vs hogan that he was not going to wrestle so why go to a event to see hogan talk when u got a good tv/DVR at home.

  • http://www.tnanews.com/gut-check-didnt-they-see-nexus/ Sean

    Interesting read by my fellow tnanews writer here. But when you talk about the Immortal storyline, you did not mention Jeff Hardy's incident, which played a major role in putting down a lot of things, like TNA's choice to give Jeff Hardy a chance, during his continuous postponed court cases, with drug related issues, with his disgraceful actions that night against Sting. This played a major role in putting down the validity of Immortal.

    There is a lot of hate for Hulk's recent issues of not promoting TNA like in his appearance in Canada, earlier in the year. But he also did do some good publicity, like the opening of his own infamous, beach shop, in which he had his issues with Matt Morgan, in it's grand opening.

  • http://www.tnanews.com/gut-check-didnt-they-see-nexus/ Sean

    Overall, a really good read. A lot of plausible points

  • http://www.tnanews.com/author/cbell/ Christopher Bell

    Your right. Releasing great talent (Amazing Red, Desmond Wolfe, The Pope, Young Bucks, and more) was not Hulk Hogan's fault. It was Eric Bischoff's. We should point the blame where it belongs.

    • http://www.tnanews.com/gut-check-didnt-they-see-nexus/ Sean

      Exactly. A lot of articles won't give Hulk Hogan a fair shot, but Sam does it well here

  • phenomenal1

    Signed I really can’t wait to hear her side. I know people bash her judgement but having come from no wrestling background I think she does great. I live her heel persona its defo more entertaining than crybaby show and best for hunter feud going on up north.