A few weeks ago, I was sitting there watching some old Hulk Hogan matches on the Macho Man DVD set, and realized the feeling was still there. I was the kid who rented those tapes of WrestleMania and SummerSlam growing up on a consistent basis, and would freak out. The Hulk Up. The “Real American” theme song. The whole works. I bought the whole deal. Pro wrestling was as real to me as Santa Claus.
But it’s been such a long time since Hogan was “The Immortal” and Hulkamania ran wild without a second thought of it running out of steam. Hogan had a run of under performing movies, becoming a “traitor” moving to WCW, a major heel turn, and more. But he was always still Hogan in some form. And we were right there when he came back and fought The Rock, and then Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. He still had it (though at a slower pace).
But, in the recent years, we’ve been exposed to Hulk Hogan: Reality TV Star. We were introduced to the Hogan/Bollea family. It wasn’t as interesting as the Osbournes, but boy they tried. We saw Hogan for a dad that spoiled his kids, as he had the means. We then were exposed to story after story of ridiculous things Hogan would say in the media. The tragedy of his son’s car accident, followed by more bonehead moves. All amidst continued appearances of Hogan on American Gladiators and Celebrity Championship Wrestling of Hogan…being Hogan.
Hogan, it will take a lot for many to care for you in TNA. You won’t be coming out to Real American. You can’t do half of your simplified repertoire of moves that make John Cena look like a ring technician. Your charisma can only get you so far. You’re a major “brand” as you’ve been positioned and could be a major help to this fledgling group that has more money than it knows what to do with. But if you don’t position yourself to keep people there for more than what they remembered from 20 year old memories, you’re just collecting a paycheck for showing up regardless of if you wear a shiny belt or not.
Seriously though. I will always be a fan of Hulk Hogan the character, even if, as was pointed out to me lately, the “Say your prayers, eat your vitamins” deal was a load of crock.
But I guess your just a “Real American”, afterall. And you’ve always had real American problems.