With the risk of giving an issue more attention than it deserves, I want to take a moment to discuss Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and their roles in TNA Impact Wrestling.
Dixie Carter brought the duo in nearly two years ago, promising a monumental change. I'll admit I, like just about every other wrestling fan, was excited about Hogan to TNA and felt like this could be the chip that could finally lure TNA to mainstream significance. After all, Hogan had done it for the WWF in the 80s and again for WCW in the 90s, surely he could at the very least cause some people to give the Jarrett-founded promotion a second look? Right?
Hogan came in and immediately started changing things as he made sure his friends were given TNA contracts and TV time to boot. He nixed the 6-sided ring and initially popped a big number. Carter backed Jeff Jarrett off and let Hogan function as he pleased.
It didn't matter what the workers that had worked their rear ends off since the company's inception thought because this was Hulk Hogan and this was big time. Scrap the two entrance ways, move to Monday nights and let's do it the Hogan way. The momentum built despite the fact morale sunk and confusion ran rampant. Many thought Jarrett would be forced out and Vince Russo would lose the book but the mediating Dixie Carter assured no one was going to lose their job. She continued to leisurely spend on the names Hogan and Bischoff told her to sign and allowed two very strong political camps to form.
I could spend hours writing about why TNA's move to Monday nights failed or how the politics have divided the locker room or how spending got out of control but does it even matter? The bottom line is that TNA Impact Wrestling is the most dysfunctional unprofessional organization I've ever observed. Heck, we don't even know what to call it. Is it TNA or is it Impact Wrestling? TNA Impact Wrestling? We don't know who's in charge. Is it Dixie or is it her mother Janice that stripped her of her spending privileges? We don't know who's got the book. Is it Prichard or is it Russo? What are the roles of Hogan and Bischoff? Who knows and who cares.
Certainly not Hogan and Bischoff as they take their money and don't even bother to show up for a pay-per-view. Bischoff had business in Arizona, Hogan had the Spike TV video game awards (taped on Saturday), Bubba the Love Sponge's Christmas party and a ridiculous defamation suit against his ex-wife to pitch to the gossip rags.
Rather than evaluating the product and at least watching last night's pay-per-view with a careful eye, Bischoff decides it's a perfect time to defame Linda Hogan and tell everyone what we already know. His Tweets were posted as he was traveling to Orlando, where he should have been in the first place. And that brings me to another point. Who taught these guys how to use Facebook and Twitter?
Many use these platforms as opportunities to build their brands and develop loyal followings. Have you heard of free advertising? Not Hogan and Bischoff as Hogan uses his accounts to mock the TNA fan base and his "numbskull" talent while Bischoff enjoys radical right-wing political attacks on the Obama administration. Branding, advertising or trying to make people like you are out as they enjoy their controversy because Controversy Creates Cash, right Eric?
As long as Panda Energy is willing to foot the bills and Spike TV carries their programming, TNA will continue to exist. However, they're always going to be second-rate to WWE and they're going to continue to be irrelevant to the masses. Hogan and Bischoff can arrogantly boast that I'm a stupid Internet mark dirt sheet writer that doesn't see the full picture but I'm calling it - TNA will never compete with WWE.