MAILBAG: Is Hulk Hogan Still a Big Money Draw in 2012?
SEScoops Mailbag for October 26th
(please submit YOUR questions to email@example.com) or via @solomonster!
Q: If WCW [and ECW had each] not gone out of business in 2001, where in your opinion would the wrestling business be right now? – @tommygunner89
A: This is an impossible question to answer. Had Eric Bischoff and his group of investors bought WCW and kept its television slots, I think it would very much be in the same position TNA finds itself in. Had Bischoff’s planned re-launch not been well-received and the investors pulled out, or if TNT decided to boot wrestling off its network, it would have died. But maybe he re-launches the WCW brand with some really creative ideas and it takes off? Who knows. I do believe that ECW wouldn’t be around today either way. It was a style that simply could not keep up at the pace it was going. But more than that, much like with WCW, it comes down to funding and a good cable slot, neither of which I don’t think they would have had.
Q: I know that Stone Cold wasn’t happy about being booked with Scott Hall at WrestleMania 18. Who did he want to face? – @phc_99
A: I don’t know that Austin didn’t like being booked with Scott Hall as much as he disliked being booked in a match that was almost an afterthought. He was, or had been, the biggest star in wrestling and felt he was being pushed down the card. Really, you could argue his match was only the 4th biggest attraction that night, behind Rock/Hogan, Jericho/HHH and Undertaker/Flair. I don’t recall hearing that Austin had any particular opponent in mind other than he was against the idea of facing Hulk Hogan.
Q: How long do you think the lawsuit TNA has on WWE will last? – @TheeScout101
A: WWE could probably pay to make it all go away tomorrow if they wanted to. Should they choose not to do that, the lawsuit could drag on for months or years. That’s a terrible thing for any talent in TNA that wants to leave for WWE because Jerry McDevitt, WWE’s attorney, has stated that they will not sign any TNA performers so long as this lawsuit is ongoing. With rumors of Ric Flair possibly appearing on Raw this Monday as the new GM, he could be the exception, though he hasn’t been under TNA contract since May and his non-compete has already expired.
Q: Who should be the first man to unequivocally defeat Ryback? Undertaker, Cena, or a new rising star? – @LeeWes
A: Anybody but Undertaker or John Cena is fine with me. There is absolutely no reason for either of them to hand Ryback his first loss.
Q: Do you think if Undertaker had faced either Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania that we would be talking about a streak today? – @Mark_A_Dodson
A: I think it is safe to assume we would not.
Q: Traditionally in tag matches, [the babyface] team faces the hard camera while the heels have their backs to hard camera. Any notable exceptions and why? – @deturbulence
A: I’m sure there have been exceptions, but none that I can think of right now. I’d imagine the reason this is done is to make sure the fans at home can see the eventual hot tag when the babyface comes in and cleans house. It kind of ruins it if their back is to the viewing audience and all we can see is the guy’s ass.
Q: My question today is about Hulk Hogan. Do you think he’s still a big money-making draw in the wrestling business? There seem to be contrasting viewpoints as to whether or not his time at Impact Wrestling has been good for the company. I know he costs them a lot of money, but I’m not sure if he really makes money for them. Basically, I’d like your opinion as to whether or not you think Hogan has the capabilities of doing big business today. Furthermore, do you think his ability (or inability) to draw has more to do with his age or the fact that he’s tainted his legacy via family affairs, money problems, and the sex tape? – Matt I.
A: I would argue that Hogan’s value to TNA comes in the form of his name and ability to garner mainstream press for them. With the sex tape and such, that comes with a price, but when Hogan is able to appear on shows like Fox & Friends or Howard Stern and promote the latest pay-per-view, that’s a value to TNA. He’s not just promoting one event, he’s promoting a brand name that may often get confused with WWE. Now, is that worth all of the money they are likely paying him? That’s debatable, and I’m not even sure how much of that money may actually be coming from Spike TV. I think the days of Hogan as a major draw in wrestling are over. He cannot wrestle a match, even a tag match as evidenced by him being kept out of that Aces and Eights match at Bound for Glory. His back is screwed up that badly. If he were in better physical shape, then there would absolutely be money in Hogan against another big name like a Steve Austin or John Cena, but it’s just not possible. To answer your question, it has everything to do with his age and physical condition and little to do with his divorce or the sex tape. Wrestling fans don’t care about that. If they did, he’d be getting catcalls in the Impact Zone, but they still cheer him like a hero.
Q: I have a question for you today involving WWE signing Ric Flair. If WWE signs Ric Flair, would that bring [their dealings with] Bruno Sammartino to a close? I know that Bruno and Flair disagree with each other and if WWE signs Flair, then [Bruno] will not even discuss the Hall of Fame. – Shane Walker
A: Bruno isn’t interesting in discussing the Hall of Fame anyway, so it doesn’t matter. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Q: I have been liking the pairing of Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara lately, and with the way the tag team division is going, I thought they too should get a team name and I have thought of one that could work. What do you think about “The Mysterious Sins” as a team name for them? – Billy from Tennessee
A: I like my idea of “Rey-Sins” better. Because when you say it fast, it sounds like raisins, which is funny. No? Anyone? Oh piss off, all of you.
Keep those questions coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or @solomonster on Twitter!