Has the Hulk Hogan era in TNA Wrestling ended? This is the question following this week's Impact Wrestling tapings in Little Rock, Arkansas as a segment was taped for next week's show that could be used to write him off television, possibly for good.
Hogan is believed to have fulfilled all of his obligations through his current TNA contract, which expires at the end of the month/beginning of October. We've been reporting that TNA has been trying to sign him to a contract extension but the two sides have been far apart because the company wants him to take a significant pay cut. Sources close to Hogan say he's been unreceptive to the idea of taking less money and is believed to have continued WWE aspirations. This is why Hogan in WWE 2K14 was seen as a big deal, despite Hogan trying to downplay it.
The only thing we can confirm as of this writing is that no deal has been reached for Hogan to continue working for TNA and his current contract is scheduled to lapse. Believe it or not, one source close to Hogan's camp told me specifically that Hogan still believes he could work a match against John Cena. Now whether or not that is even possible remains to be seen but given Hogan's history, that statement shouldn't surprise anyone.
TNA has been in the process of restructuring talent contracts and releasing talent that has been unwilling to re-sign at lower rates. The most recent names to depart after failed negotiations include Mickie James and Ken Anderson.
Hogan's stroke in TNA is possibly at its lowest since agreeing to come to the company in late 2009. In addition to TNA considering pulling Impact off the road (something Hogan pushed for), nothing was more evident of Hogan's declining stock when Brooke Hogan was released. Brooke's release in particular rubbed Hogan the wrong way because he wasn't consulted before it happened. Not only was her release seen as financial in nature but she accumulated a tremendous amount of backstage heat for "ruining" the Bully Ray angle with her public engagement to Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Phil Costa.
As for Eric Bischoff, he's believed to have a contract with TNA that runs through the end of the year. Some have speculated that if Hogan leaves, Bischoff will leave. Who will take their place? Many have noted that Jeff Jarrett has quietly been coming around a lot more lately as he's been working backstage at the last couple of tapings and could absorb some of the roles vacated by the possible departures of Hogan and Bischoff.
We'll continue to follow the story but until then you can read how it is handled on television at this link.