The era of Hulkamania in TNA Wrestling may be coming to a close. Bully Ray and Sting couldn’t stop it but Dixie Carter has the chance to finally put an end to it. According to a new report Hulk Hogan could be a free agent in less than two weeks.
[adinserter block=”1″]I am not sure if this is breaking news or just a fun reminder. Hogan’s contract comes up in October every year. There are always rumors circulating regarding him leaving but nothing ever seemed to have substance…until now. At a time when the budget is being slashed weekly, could TNA slash the biggest contract of all and move on from Hulk Hogan?
You have to give Hogan a lot of credit for the timing of his annual deals. It isn’t coincidence that they happen to expire days before TNA Wrestling’s biggest event of the year, Bound for Glory. The timing is pure genius and has played out in Hogan’s favor in the past. This year I can’t imagine Hogan’s absence having a big impact on the card.
The news also has the ironic timing of coming during a week where it was reported that TNA were cutting out Impact road tapings. A recent report indicated that TNA and Spike are looking to bring Impact Wrestling back to one location. I’d hate to be the guy looking for a raise at a time when the company is bleeding money. Hogan reportedly makes in the range of $1 million a year. How do you justify renewing that during cutbacks?
It should also be noted that Hogan has distanced himself more from the company in recent weeks than he has in his entire three-year run in TNA. Hogan has recently said in interviews that he isn’t as involved in the creative process as most believe he is. Hogan said that he is only involved in last minute script changes. Most found those statements odd but maybe the timing of them isn’t so odd after all.
Hogan has been criticized lately for his involvement in the WWE 2K14 video game. Hogan is a big part of the game promotion, with his WrestleMania moments being a key factor in promotion. I pointed out right here in a blog that his 2K14 deal made more sense if you took into consideration his contract status. I pointed out in the blog that Hogan could theoretically be done with TNA by the time the video game hit the market and could play a huge part in promotion. I mentioned then that maybe there is a bigger agreement here that is being kept under wraps.
The video game to me was leverage. He has one foot back in the door with the WWE and Dixie Carter knows it. Whether it matters to TNA’s bottom line at this point is another argument altogether. You get a lot of good that comes with the bad with Hogan. His creative choices have not been good for the most part. That said, he is arguably the most recognizable personality in pro wrestling history. Having Hogan on their television program opens up a lot more doors and business opportunities than people want to give him credit for. He would also be critical if the company was put up for sale. What are you buying if you don’t have Hogan? Losing Hogan could be devastating for business.
[adinserter block=”2″]TNA are at a serious crossroads. I would argue that Hogan, Sting, Jeff Hardy, and Kurt Angle are their four most recognizable stars. Everyone but Hardy will have their contracts coming due over the next year at some point. Hogan, Sting, and Angle are reportedly the highest paid stars in the company. AJ Styles, Mickie James, and Ken Anderson are also either coming due or have had their contracts expire. It is conceivable that TNA could lose all three of its big stars (Hogan, Sting, and Angle) by this time next year. If I were to guess I would presume that they wind up keeping Sting. If they are lucky the WWE will pass on Angle otherwise I could easily see him coming back to Monday nights.
So what happens with Hogan? Is there even a spot for him in the WWE? I have read rumors indicating that Triple H doesn’t like him. With a new network on the horizon, the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania looming, and a big video game hitting the market in October, the leverage to negotiate will probably never get better for the Hulkster to return to the WWE. My hunch is you’ll be seeing Hogan pretty soon on Monday night.
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