The dark era of TNA Wrestling according to some fans may have come to an end. All indications are as of today Hulk Hogan is not signed with the company and while negotiations are ongoing, it could be the end of Hulkamania in TNA.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Hogan’s TNA contract has been an annual story around this time of the year since 2011. Hogan signed with the company in October 2010 and his contract has reportedly come up for renewal every year since that time. While rumors are always floating about him leaving, nothing of substance ever seems to materialize. A lot has materialized this time around in 2013.
Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that while this all could be a swerve, all indications he has gotten is that Hogan is done but maybe not for good.
“Right now, the word is that the sides are still in negotiations and TNA does want him back, and it’s going to come down to both sides agreeing on a price. Because of the John Graziano family lawsuit, Hogan needs money and the feeling is that the only thing that would keep him from signing back with TNA is if they decided to walk away from the deal, or if WWE made him a better offer.”
What makes this story even more fascinating is the way that TNA has written out of their storylines. Don’t read any further if you wish to avoid Impact Wrestling spoilers. Okay you have been warned.
In an angle that will air tonight on Impact, Dixie Carter not only begs Hulk Hogan to stay, but reportedly clutches his leg as he is leaving. This is all part of that brilliant “Team Dixie” angle going on these days in TNA. Hogan of course walks making the company look completely ridiculous if indeed he is not coming back. Hogan reportedly has creative control over his angle so any attempt that the company would have had to use him get someone or an angle over on the way out would have probably been vetoed by the WWE Hall of Famer.
While I certainly respect Dave and the reporters who do believe that Hogan is gone (and to their credit they all report that it could be a swerve), I can’t imagine anyone in TNA green-lighting this if he wasn’t re-signed. This all sets the table for Hogan coming back at Bound for Glory and probably turning heel again and joining Team Dixie (I cringe just writing Team Dixie). I understand that TNA had the barriers of Hogan’s creative control but I am sure they could have come up with something else as opposed to Hogan being begged to stay on television when he really is leaving.
Dave also points out in his article the fact that Hogan and Eric Bischoff love working the Internet and they may be getting off on some big swerve. It’s funny because I was thinking the same thing. If you ever take the time to read Bischoff’s tweets or even some past Bischoff interviews you’ll see how much he loves working the Internet. Why, I have no idea! So it’s really hard to put 100% faith into any report when it comes to these two guys.
I have always felt from the second that Hogan was announced as part of the WWE 2K14 video game that he was gone. Not only is Hogan a part of it, he is a huge part of it. My hunch all along is that he signed knowing he’d be free around the time the game is released so he can do promotion for it. Why else would you put such a focus on him in the game? Why else would Hogan even agree to be in the game? If Hogan was staying I can’t imagine either side would make such a deal, especially Vince McMahon giving the thumbs up on it.
The timing will never be better for Hogan to get another WWE deal. The company is coming up on WrestleMania 30, the network will be launching sometime in 2014, and of course they have the nostalgia tribute in the video game. Nostalgia is a big part of the marketing plan for the WWE in 2014 and who better to use than their most recognizable star of all-time? I can’t imagine the timing being this good for both sides past WrestleMania 30.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]How better off would TNA be without Hogan? A lot of his critics think the company would turn around. Maybe it will in the ring but I still think there is a huge value to having him around for corporate sponsors, television deals, and most importantly for a possible TNA sale. The downside of course is that he makes more money than anyone in the company and he hasn’t showed much of a return on it.
Things are going to get very interesting fast. Hogan isn’t a guy to just sit on the sidelines. I have a feeling we’ll all know where he is going to end up sooner than Bound for Glory.
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