Just Say No To Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena At Wrestlemania XXX

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John Cena & Hulk Hogan

It's not often that I don't write what my sources tell me, however, there was a time several months ago when I refused to put a story to print. Not because I didn't believe the information that was told to me was true but because I felt the information was ridiculous.

Hulk Hogan

Fast forward to today and that very information is starting to go public. Hulk Hogan wants John Cena in a match at Wrestlemania XXX. I know, it sounds like I'm making it up so let me write it again and then pause. Hulk Hogan wants John Cena in a match at Wrestlemania XXX.

Pause.

Jimmy Hart took the unbelievable/ridiculous nugget public in an interview with Arda Ocal while promoting the upcoming DVD release of the "History of WWE: 50 Years of Sports Entertainment." Hart said that Hogan told him if he had to buy a ringside ticket himself, he would be at Wrestlemania next year. However, he didn't stop there. Hart flat out said when he asked fans at Hogan's Beach (the Hulkster's retail shop) a couple months ago who they'd like to see Hogan face, everyone wanted the same thing. A match against John Cena. Click here for The Mouth of The South's full comments.

Oh brother. They really want this to happen and not only do I have to kick myself for not writing this story months ago but I have to explain why I'm not interested. It's not going to be easy because wrestling fans at their core are a very nostalgic bunch. We enjoy reminiscing about the business and are enthralled with the possibilities now that WWE has no viable competitor. Even the most unlikely of situations - Bret Hart returning to WWE to hug Shawn Michaels - have gone from a dream to a true and beautiful reality.

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Unlike in sports, the pro wrestling business allows for performers to work far past their primes. Whether or not they should is another issue but it's possible and it makes us crazy. Sting is going at a high level at 54, The Undertaker still wows us at 48 and readers email me daily about the next world title reign for Kane, who is 46. Fans are still interested in Bill Goldberg despite the fact he hasn't worked for WWE in nearly a decade and the Steve Austin "one last match" question gets asked (and often left unanswered) several times a week in Ask WNW.

Hogan & Flair

And the fact of the matter is I'm just as guilty as any of you. I embraced The Rock's return to WWE and eagerly anticipated his Wrestlemania return match against John Cena. I popped like a 12-year-old mark when Brock Lesnar came back and still ponder the possibilities of CM Punk putting Steve Austin to sleep. We can argue that nostalgia and these very moments are what keep us so passionate about the business. After all, how many of us basketball fans would like to see Michael Jordan square off against LeBron James? What about Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson in a battle of the backs? Unlike its pro sports counterparts, pro wrestling allows for these dreams to be real possibilities. And we're crazy about them.

So, why not? Why not Hulk Hogan vs. John Cena in "one last match" at Wrestlemania XXX next year? It'll be 27 years since the "body slam heard around the world" and WWE just released a video game dedicated to the "30 Years of Wrestlemania." In fact, it's a video game that heavily carries the image of Hulk Hogan and is based around his greatness.

Before I attempt to make my point I feel like I need to clear something up. I am not a Hogan hater. In fact, Hogan played a major part in what I do today. It was Hogan that caused me to fall in love with pro wrestling. It was Hogan that caused me to stop watching the WWF and start following WCW. It was Hogan that worked me, as an 11-year-old, to turn off WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 with a profound disdain for a pro wrestling faction. When I was a kid I was known for idolizing two people - Michael Jordan and Hulk Hogan.

My first Halloween costume was of Hulk Hogan, I carried my Hogan "Brawlin' Buddy" with me everywhere I went. I loved Mr. Nanny and was enthralled with Thunder in Paradise. Come on now, I was just a kid. I was a Hulkamanic. I'll readily admit it. Hello my name is Richard and I am a recovering Hulkamaniac - (hi Richard).

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So if I enjoy the nostalgic part of the business and I'm a former card carrying Hulkamaniac, why do I not want to see Hogan for one last time against John Cena?

The Hogan of today is a far cry from the Hogan that ushered in the two biggest "booms" the pro wrestling business has ever seen. I, along with many of you, was interested to see if he could do it one more time when he signed with TNA Wrestling 4 years ago but sadly, he could not. The fact of the matter is, the Hogan brand isn't what it once was. We can blame it on a divorce so nasty I refused to cover it. We can blame it on a sex tape. We can do what the majority of the IWC does and just blame Dixie Carter. The bottom-line is while Hulkamania will live forever, Hulkamania, in its current form, is no longer running wild.

Hogan Leaves

Hogan's run in TNA came and went and not only is the company no further along in their quest to compete with WWE, one can argue they're in worst shape now then before Hogan signed. Years of prominently featuring Hogan on television, in interviews and re-branding TNA as "the company that has Hogan," they're left in a state that has even the biggest TNA fan wondering about their future. We can't blame all of TNA's problems on Hogan but it is fair to say that Hogan did little to help quell them. It was Hogan that called for massive changes, it was Hogan that pushed for what are the two biggest mistakes in TNA's history and it was Hogan that refused to take a pay cut and used his creative control to embarrass the company on his way out.

Earlier this year I had my first run-in with my childhood idol as Hogan called "wrestlingworldnews" the biggest new mark when I questioned his motives in TNA. It was there I asserted that Hogan cared more about Hogan than TNA. While Hogan could easily deny that then, his case isn't as strong today. Not only did Hogan turn down TNA's offer for a contract extension, he made sure the last time TNA fans saw him featured company president Dixie Carter grabbing his legs like a child who had just had her Christmas presents stolen. Now in promotional interviews Hogan talks about how he quit TNA and is looking for a job. He has nice things to say about Dixie but make no mistake about it, Hogan was looking out for Hogan. And there's nothing wrong with that. I just don't appreciate the naive sentiment that he was there because he loved the business. That's just not true.

Love him or hate him, Hogan didn't move the needle for TNA. Years - literally years - of prominently featuring him and they're no further along than where they were. While I realize that WWE would do a better job of promoting Hogan, is he really worth the time and resources? Is bringing Hogan in for Wrestlemania worth the money it will cost and the opportunity that it's bound to take away from someone else?

And this begs to ask another question. Could Hogan hold his own in even the most basic match? At 60? Would he be medically cleared to compete? Isn't his back one bad bump away from very serious long-term consequences? However, the physical part is only part of the equation. Would a Hogan match draw at a high level in 2014?

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Following a Hogan overdose on TNA television over the last few years, I'll argue fans are as burned out on Hogan as they have ever been. Hogan, while still the "Michael Jordan of wrestling" is no longer a game changer. Hogan is a guy with an iconic legacy that no longer has the ability to draw audiences in droves and skyrocket television ratings. His ship has sailed. He's had his moment. It's time for Hogan to focus on life outside of the ring.

I have no problem with Hogan coming back to WWE for merchandise and licensing opportunities. Using Hogan as the face of "30 Years of Wrestlemania" [for WWE 2K14] is not only necessary but it's genus. Hogan is still the most well-known pro wrestler of all-time. The fact he's still in great shape and has maintained his physique is even better. But there's a difference in being well-known and being someone that people will pay money to see. Hogan's star is not what it once was but that doesn't take away from his legacy.

Hulkamania

Hogan will go down as the name that revolutionized the pro wrestling business. He got his chance to pass the torch to The Rock and The Rock passed that torch to John Cena. There is no reason to undo or redo any of it.

Thank you Hulk for your contributions and we truly do wish you the best in your future endeavors.

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