Friday, 3 May 2013

Hulk Hogan as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion?

By Ben Woodburn (@Wrestlebox1)

(This was written before the May 2nd Edition of Impact but the unfortunate spectre of Hulk Hogan challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Title is still looming over us).

Anyone who was tweeting along to last week’s edition of IMPACT (April 25th) will know how badly the IWC reacted to the suggestion that Hulk Hogan may be World Heavyweight Champion at some point. However there remains a fairly numerable section of wrestling fans who it seems would actually want the ‘Immortal One’ to hold the belt and it is this debate which holds my attention this month.

Now with the utmost respect for everyone’s right to an opinion it is important not to overlook the positives of having The Hulkster as the champ. One of the most obvious advantages to having someone who many call the greatest of all time as the World Heavyweight Champion is that it would bring in a lot more casual viewers who may also see other good things that TNA is doing who before may not have been tempted to tune in. Another way in which Hulk Hogan winning the title would be a positive thing is the amount of nostalgia in watching him compete, it is no secret that at one time he was the single biggest draw in professional wrestling and he still has millions of fans. I cannot be the only one who got a kick out of watching him rip his shirt off and do his signature poses. One of the biggest upsides to Hogan winning the title is the fact that a short title run, even only a month or two, would do wonders for the career of the person that took it from him. Winning the title from one of the greatest of all time, even if he is pushing 60, could add fire to Matt Morgan’s already hugely fueled return or even push the likes of Magnus to real main-event status.

There are worries about how much punishment Hogan can take
However in my opinion in this case the negatives far out-weigh the positives were Hogan to win the title. Age is a large factor here, the fact that Hogan is pushing 60, and having a sexagenarian as the man who is better than anyone else in the entire company and the man to potentially put away Aces ‘N Eights forever is utterly ridiculous. To put it into context this would mean that a 60 year old Hogan could do what Kurt Angle, Sting, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, Magnus and Eric Young could not do. Expanding upon that, should Hogan win the World Heavyweight Championship that would mean he is portrayed as the best wrestler in the company, better than AJ Styles, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Matt Morgan, Austin Aries, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and even Christopher Daniels. Furthermore Hogan hasn’t wrestled a match since his match at Bound for Glory with Sting nearly two years ago and although he claims he’s healthier now than he was then it’s still a fairly safe assumption that he isn’t in suitable ring shape. Herein lies the main problem, not being in ring shape he wouldn’t be able to defend his title or even wrestle on a regular basis which leads me to believe that him winning the title would be to feed his ego rather than what’s in the best interests of the company.

Magnus is one of those overdue for a title shot
Additionally times change, Hogan’s style of wrestling may not fit in to the modern game given that he only had about two moves in his prime anyway. People often tell me that John Cena can’t wrestle but I always say that people have done more with less and Hogan is a prime example. With the widely reported multiple surgeries movement may well be limited leading to him wrestling like an action figure of himself with karate chop action and only being able to use his arms. Furthermore with Aces ‘N Eights running riot at the moment Hogan would have to be able to take a beating or they would have to disband neither of which is really possible. Whilst the Aces ‘N Eights could disband it would have to be at the hands of a returning Jeff Jarrett or Abyss to save the rest of the roster looking totally weak. We saw last week that Aces ‘N Eights ran away from Hogan and Sting, a group of big, strong guys ran away from two senior citizens, not the best when the bookers are trying to make the Aces ‘N Eights look like a terrifying ruthless faction. Simply stated Hogan may be able to deliver enough moves to deliver a decent offense but the fact that he couldn’t realistically take any kind of offense himself really proves that putting the title on him would be a mistake.

And Finally
With John Cena’s injury looking fairly legitimate and CM Punk taking a well deserved rest WWE has a huge void to fill, largely of its own making due to their reluctance to push anyone into the Main Event scene. My top candidates to receive the big push whilst Cena is out are Sheamus, Mark Henry or Brock Lesnar if a deal for fairly regular appearances could be brokered. But knowing Cena’s injury history he may well return ahead of schedule and in time for Extreme Rules, if not however it’s a fantastic chance for WWE to rebuild the rather deflated World Heavyweight Championship and have Swagger/ADR/Ziggler as the main event.