Hulk Hogan on TNA
By Fred Topel | Image property of Spike
Hulkamania will never die. Long after Hulk Hogan stopped wrestling, we still follow him. Whether it’s on reality TV, American Gladiators or in the news, Hulkamania is still running wild. Now he’s working with Total Nonstop Action wrestling, appearing on their TV programs and helping run things behind the scenes.
Hulk Hogan on TNA
“On the business side of it, the universe is so much bigger now than the ’70s and ’80s when I first blew that Hulkamania thing out of the water,” Hogan said. “There’s so many choices with cable and satellite. People are all over the place. So everything moves at a much faster pace, so story lines instead of me fighting you, like Andre the Giant, we can start a few today, and it would end a year from now. It might start at the top of the hour and end two or three weeks later. So everything moves faster. Even the wrestling in the ring moves quicker. But what I’m trying to do is to not make it like it used to be, but make these young, talented, aggressive guys that have to move very quickly create the drama, the confrontation, that energy, the excitement. The first night I came in the ring with TNA, it’s already there because I’ve been to all of the big shows. I’ve been to the dance. This is really happening. This is going to be not really competing with the WWE. We are going to put out a better product than he has.”
TNA was vague about Hogan’s role when they first signed him, but now it’s playing out in front of the cameras. “I’m plugged in full-time, brother. I’m there all the way across the board. Before I used to wrestle, I mean before I used to lace the yellow boots up, steal the main-event payday and run home, now, I’m in the dressing room with the guys, talking to them about finishes and story lines and stuff like that, but then I’m also partners with Dixie [Carter]. We’ve got a great partner in Spike [TV], and we are doing all kinds of business stuff and moving forward from the licensing, the merchandising. There’s four legs on the table: the live events, the Pay-Per-View, the merchandising like I said, the advertising money. So we need to move forward on all fronts to win, and so I’m involved all the way across the board.”
It may be easier on Hogan’s bones, but his latest role in wrestling might be his most challenging. “It’s so crazy. Instead of showing up and having fun and wrestling, now I’m there with the production meetings with these guys. I’m involved in the wrestling, the creative, and then it just never stops. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving, but you have to be plugged in full-time, you know, creatively with the guys, and you have to have a camaraderie with them, but also, being partners with Dixie, I have to have my main concern moving this thing forward on a business level. So I’m in the mix, brother.”
If any of you wrestlers out there have any doubts about joining TNA, Hulk Hogan has words for you. “It’s just a whole new life. It’s life after death. It’s not the contrived, one-dimensional programming that the audience has had stuffed down their throats. The energy, like I said, I’ve been to the big dance. I’ve been in all of the locker rooms. I’ve been in all of the big wrestling situations with primetime TV with Ebersol and Brandon Tartikoff. I’ve been around the block a couple times. And this is so attractive because it’s a very young company. They are not a public company so Dixie can move on a dime whenever we need to make a quick knee-jerk reaction in a positive way. As far as the energy, the opportunity, and being involved in this, it gives not only the fans a choice, it gives the talent a choice. It really is the place to be. There’s so much energy here and so much excitement. Nobody is locked in. Nobody has had their butts planted in their chair so long they are comfortable. At any given time, organically, things can change, and people can be reassigned, be tested. So this is for the aggressive, young lions, the very talented people to come over and work with us because if you have got what it takes, you are going to get the push. If you’ve got what it takes, you are going to grow with the company. It’s really a no-brainer.”
TNA Impact airs Thursday nights on Spike TV.
Sources: Image property of Spike
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