The name Hulk Hogan used to hold a distinct value in the pro wrestling world. He was, at one time, the biggest drawing card in the industry. Wrestlers used to clamor to work on the card if he was the main event because they knew it meant a much bigger paycheck. Hulkamania ran wild for years, drawing great buyrates on pay-per-view (PPV) and even better ratings on television.
But that was some 25 years ago.
Once he left the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) amidst the steroid controversies in 1993, he was damaged goods. Sure, he reinvented himself as a heel and helped create the New World Order (nWo), one of the most successful stables in wrestling history. But his stint in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was ultimately marred by his backstage politics and proclivity for burying up-and-coming talent.
WCW, by the way, went out of business not long after he bailed on the promotion. Or was forced out by Vince Russo, if you believe him.
Ever since then, he's been living off his name and whatever value it has left. The sad reality is that it doesn't have any value left. He drew it out as long as possible with failed runs in WWE, a reality television show that killed his marriage, another failed wrestling promotion, and countless other endeavors that keep his name in the headlines but do nothing to actually rebuild his brand.
In the wrestling world, he's simply a really famous former wrestler who refuses to leave the business, even though it's clear his time has come and gone.
But because there are always money marks out there who gush at the mere mention of his name, he manages to not only find work but retain a prominent role on television. Now he's overrun TNA, using Impact Wrestling on Spike TV as his own vanity show. He's always made sure his name was at the top of the card in the WWF and WCW but it was acceptable then. Why? Because he was an active wrestler.
And he wasn't bringing his kids into it.
That's not the case anymore. Now we get to deal with Brooke Hogan, herself a failed singer and reality star who has found so little success in the entertainment industry she decided to use her last name to keep herself on TV. And because the Hulkster still has a supporter in Dixie Carter, who also lets Eric Bischoff call the shots at TNA, Hulk has a place to feature his daughter in ridiculous storylines where she's having a love affair with Bully Ray -- much to dad's chagrin -- while Austin Aries comes up with new and interesting ways to call her a slut.
This wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Impact wasn't opening and closing its show featuring this hogwash but that's exactly the case. It's the biggest problem with TNA letting Hogan have the run of the place. He'll always put himself and his family first, even to the detriment of far more deserving talent.
The worst part? TNA doesn't have a terrible product. They have some solid talent with plenty of potential who can create compelling television.
I'm just not willing to sit through Hogan's vanity show to see it.