Not literally, of course, but you get the idea.
Recently, one of Hulk Hogan's twitter followers sent him the following message:
@andrewrules613 @HulkHogan4Real hey hulk watch this video and mabye think of hiring this guy as a new booker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQwsQO7j8Q8
The link was to a youtube video made by a man named Doug, who I have been following for several years now, a man whose opinions I greatly respect even if I don't completely agree with them 100% of the time. In this video, Doug took TNA to task for the current state of their product, citing examples of several recent questionable booking decisions, one of which being the conclusion of the 'THEY' angle at Bound For Glory, his main point being that people like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, who were in their prime decades ago don't know what the wrestling fans want in 2010.
We can debate about the things said in this video until we're all blue in the face. Some people will agree with him and some people won't. That's not what I'm here to talk about.
Regardless of what you might think of what Doug said, the fact is that Doug has been a passionate TNA fan, and for several years has ardently defended them on youtube from the haters, the WWE marks et al. He has bought PPVs, gone to shows, stood up for them when many others were bashing them, even when I myself thought what they were doing was stupid. He even worked for the company for a brief time, co-hosting the TNA Addicts show on youtube.
This man has been one of the most loyal TNA supporters you could ever find. Believe me when I say that if he is unhappy with the TNA product, that's really saying something.
As it turns out, Hulk Hogan did actually watch the video. He then responded with the following:
@HulkHogan4Real @andrewrules613 this kid is a ass clown he knows nothing about the inside of the business but he's great mark.this is it
Wow. That's a great representative for your company you've chosen there, Dixie.
Is anyone else as sick and tired of this as I am? It's the same old song and dance we've heard 1,000 times before. TNA always claims that they love their fans and appreciate every single one of them, and I don't doubt that this is true, especially when the fans are saying how awesome TNA is and that everything is great. But it seems like every time the fans try to voice their concern about the show or try to express something they don't like or don't agree with about TNA, the response is always, "This person doesn't know what goes on backstage. They don't understand the business. They don't know what they're talking about."
You're right, TNA. Most fans do not work in the pro wrestling business. Most fans do not know what goes on backstage. But you know what? If the fans know one thing for sure, they know what they like, and it's your job to give the fans what they like because the fans are the ones spending the money that keeps your company in business. If you take the fans' money and then don't give them what they like, they damn well have a right to be upset about it!
Hulk Hogan claims that Doug knows nothing about the wrestling business. Well, to be perfectly honest, in this day and age, I seriously question if Hogan himself knows anything about the business anymore. Hogan was the one saying that he was going to double iMPACT's ratings in just a few months. Hogan was the one saying that he was going to make TNA competitive with WWE. Hogan was the one saying that he was going to take TNA to the next level, brother.
Have ANY of these things happened? No. Hogan's presence has not grown the ratings in any significant way. Outside of those first few shows (the ratings for which I attribute to increased advertising more than anything else), the ratings for iMPACT have not been anything they weren't garnering before Hogan showed up. And as for being competitive with WWE... do I really need to mention the embarrassing Monday Night iMPACT experiment? TNA still has egg on its face over that one.
Hogan hasn't taken a damn thing to the next level, brother. And I find it hilarious that Dixie Carter is constantly singing his praises, saying that he's doing so much for the company, that he attends every agent meeting, every production meeting, etc. That's all well and good, but where are the results? He's supposedly such a genius when it comes to wrestling and giving all this input in meetings, but has the quality of wrestling improved from what it was before? No. Has the quality of the booking and writing improved? God, no! Has the quality of the production improved? Marginally, but from what we've been told, that's Bischoff's area more than Hogan's.
So let's talk about Bischoff now...
Bischoff was in charge of WCW once upon a time and lead the company to 80+ weeks of ratings victories against WWF Raw. An impressive feat, certainly. But has he done anything else worth talking about since then? No. And let's be honest, those ratings victories were mostly because of 2 things: Ted Turner's bottomless pockets and the NWO.
I have been saying this for years -- Eric Bischoff is all talk. He knows how to talk like he knows what he's doing and how to convince the people around him of that, but that's the ONLY thing he knows how to do. The man is a one trick pony and he always has been. The NWO was the only truly great idea he ever had and he's been living off that one success for ages. People always say that the NWO carried WCW to taking the lead in the ratings war with the WWF, but what a lot of people fail to understand is that the NWO was also responsible for those ratings falling back down when the group stuck around long after the novelty had worn off.
Eventually, yes, the NWO did go away. Then they brought it back. And they beat that horse to death again. And again. And again. And again...
And why exactly did they not simply let the NWO mercifully die and move forward to try to find the next big storyline or angle? Because Bischoff had no idea what else to do. And he can throw out any excuses he wants about how the NWO brand name was too strong to get rid of or how the group drew the highest ratings on Nitro or sold the most merchandise or whatever, but when your ratings are a shadow of what they once were and you're getting your ass kicked every week by the show on the other channel, do those facts really mean anything?
To Bischoff's credit, I do genuinely enjoy the ReAction show, which I find to be quite compelling, consistently good and intelligently produced. Hell, it does a better job of selling the TNA product than iMPACT does most of the time. But that ultimately boils down to production. If Bischoff can help TNA in one area, it's in production. But in terms of creative, in terms of the writing, the man is as barren as Betty White (oh yeah, I went there).
I felt mildly nauseas watching the end of Bound For Glory when THEY were predictably revealed to be Hogan, Bischoff and Jarret in a swerve most fans had been predicting for months. The blatant comparisons to WCW Bash At the Beach were far too transparent for anyone to ignore, even going so far as to have plants in the crowd throwing garbage in the ring just like REAL fans were doing on that fateful day. That one segment was all the proof anyone should need; do you really think they're NOT trying to do an NWO type of angle here? I'm sure we'll soon be treated to Mike Tenay constantly comparing the Jeff Hardy heel turn to Hogan's infamous heel turn 14 years ago.
Because if it worked in 1996, it will work in 2010, right? Right...?
Of course! That just what's going to take TNA to the next level, brother -- another NWO angle. And make no mistake, that's what they're going for here. It couldn't be more obvious. The name of the group might change, the faces might change, but it's just the NWO with a different coat of paint. Because God forbid the creative team come up with something new and different, something that today's modern wrestling audience can relate to.
I was there for the NWO. I was there when the NWO was still hot. I was there when it was getting stale. I was there when it was getting so stale that it was driving fans back the the WWF. I don't want to see this again. And I don't think I'm the only one who feels that way either, unless I imagined those fan chants of, "Same old shit!" when the group was introduced on the following iMPACT.
The year is 2010. It's time for something new. This is the point Doug was trying to make. This is the point I'm trying to make. But try telling that to TNA. And I have tried, believe me. I've written letters to Dixie Carter, I've made videos, I've signed petitions, I've sent them tweets and facebook messages. But they've all fallen on deaf ears because I'm just a fan, just some ass clown mark who doesn't understand the business.
Well get this through your head, Hulkster. I am a fan, just like Doug is a fan. We may not know about the inner workings of the business, but we damn sure know what we like and what we don't like. As fans, you want us to support your product, do you not? Do you think people like us are going to continue to support your company when we say we don't like what we're seeing and you insult us for our trouble?
Why is it the fans' fault if they don't like the show? There's a growing number of people out there who think the show is embarrassingly bad right now -- people who have been long time TNA fans and are now being turned off of the product. Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, if this is happening, the fault lies with you? It's your job to make the fans happy. If the fans aren't happy, then who is really to blame here?
And guess what, Hogan? You're right. I may not be lucky enough to get to work in the pro wrestling business like you are. I may not know what goes on backstage...
But I know that it's stupid to have Samoa Joe, one of your supposed top young stars, be made to look like a fool and then get pinned by a 50-year-old Kevin Nash who is 4 days away from leaving the company.
I know it's stupid to go into your biggest PPV of the entire year without bothering to announce the full card.
I know it's stupid to have a 3 hour go-home show and not run down the matches for said PPV even once.
Apparently, you don't know these things. Because if you did, if your hands are all over the product, if you're involved on every level like Dixie Carter claims you are, then surely you would have done something about them, wouldn't you? Surely you would have recognized them as boneheaded moves and put a stop to them before it was too late, right? I guess not...
Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe these things aren't such a big deal. Maybe I'm making something out of nothing. After all, I'm just a fan. I'm just some ass clown mark. I know nothing about the inside of the business, which means I have no idea what I'm talking about.