"WTF Was That?!?!": Hulk Hogan Murders TNA On 12/10 Impact!

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Warning: The following is a patented Ashley Morris rant, subject to mini-tirades, random acts of involuntary swearing, and copious amounts of off-beat shenanigans.  You are advised to warn the villagers, hide your children, cover your ears, and buckle up for the rant of your life.

In case you missed the memo, TNA Wrestling has inked a landmark deal with Mr. Wrestling himself, Hulk "Don't Call Me Terry" Hogan.  In fact, the wrestling community has been on fire since the announcement of such a momentous paring.  Without appearing on TNA television, Hulk Hogan has already generated quite the buzz just from mentioning his name and the letters tee-in-aye whenever he makes his media rounds.

Along with The Hulkster's braggadocio, TNA President Dixie Carter has pumped her programming with vignettes, shoot promos, and ring aprons promoting the eventual arrival of Hogan, and she's also made sure to have all of TNA's athletes use the word "Hogan" on television at least once since the major announcement.  Carter's hopes and dreams rest on the idea that her unholy alliance with Hogan will catapult her company to the top of the pro wrestling food chain.

Not to be outdone by TNA's shameless promotion, Hogan broke the news that on Monday, January 4th, 2010, TNA will go send out the inaugural shots in what many are claiming to be the new Monday Night Wars.  On this night, TNA will go head to head on this night with Vince McMahon and his WWE Machine.  Hogan was even bold enough to predict that this blockbuster episode of TNA television will bring in a 3.0 Nielson rating, something the company has never EVER seen before, and probably never will.

By the way, did you hear that Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA?

Several articles have been written here on B/R regarding this news, and I make no claim that mine will be any different.  Truth be told, and regardless of how you feel about it all, this announcement is pretty big and exciting.  Given the current state of national televised pro wrestling, a Tuxedo Match between The Brooklyn Brawler and Barry Horowitz would be blockbuster news, so one really can't complain about the Hogan-TNA merger.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, the news of Hogan's arrival to the seven year old company has effectively, in my humble opinion, killed off anything and everything TNA has worked to accomplish since 2002.  In fact, I'm two signatures away from turning in my petition to authorities in Orlando, FL to have Hulk Hogan arrested for murder . 

Who, or what, did Hulk Hogan kill?  If you didn't catch last night's episode of iMPACT, click here to read the recap.

Please note that I'm saying this as objectively and mildly as I can: last night's episode of iMPACT was terrible.  Mind you, I've lived through the Katie Vick storyline, Mae Young giving birth to a hand, and the rise and fall of Salvatore Sincere.  TNA has managed the impossible and produced the worst episode of pro wrestling ever.  My God, there are shows on FOX that have been cancelled and were more appealing than what I saw on SpikeTV last night at 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

My ranting doesn't stop there folks.  I'm even madder at myself because not only did I read the spoilers for the show, but I still tuned in to witness the train wreck!  Perhaps I did something a few years ago and I felt that my penance was to sit through the farce of a program that was offered last night.  Hell, maybe I'm just stupid.

At either rate, two cases of Guinness and a pilsner glass of Everclear wouldn't make that episode attractive to the eyes, and I for one place the blame solely on Hulk Hogan.  As another columnist mentioned in a piece, TNA has spent the past few weeks focused on delivering a sound beating to their "competition," the WWE.  It's too bad that they've done so at the expense of delivering a quality product that separates them from the "competition."  If anything, last night's iMPACT! has given me more reason to watch the WWE...at least their crap is entertaining.

I wrote a ton of notes regarding what really pissed me off about last night's show, but those notes are in my car and it' cold outside.  So, I'll just mention briefly a few of the things that had me stapling my eyelids shut.

Is this WWE Light: Attitude Era?
Once I read the spoiler that Kevin Nash was booking the show, I immediately looked out the window to see if pigs were flying, and I borrowed my friend's Ouijja Board to communicate with someone who could tell me whether or not Hell had frozen over.  But, when I read the matches that were lined up for the show, I had a nifty little thought.

I wondered if TNA's creative team were taking a subtle stab at the WWE's former creative direction.  If you saw the show or read the spoilers, you can see that everything Nash booked was reminiscent of matches that were once staples in WWF/E television.  For a minute while watching the show, I was positively sure that was their intended direction.

The show featured the following: a women's mud-wrestling match, an inter-gender singles match for a upper-midcard title (Global = Intercontinental), as well as an 4-on-3 tag team match with a ridiculous stipulation regarding a similar match taking place on an upcoming pay-per-view.  The show also featured a Trailer Park Brawl between two women wrestlers, where the contestants were forced to drink a case of beer before the start of the match.

Who in the hell wrote this crap?!  Seriously, you'd think with a big name like Hogan coming through, you'd want to put on your best to show not only your fans, but Hogan himself, that his money and time are being invested properly.  But no, that would be too much like right.  Instead, TNA decides to either pull a risky stunt in subtly mocking their "competition," or the writers actually thought that the show would be spectacular.

At either rate, they lost miserably.  Imitation can be seen as the sincerest form of flattery, but if you've got the balls to openly challenge your competition in a month, the time for forplay has come and gone.  If anything, TNA should be primed to ask the WWE on Tuesday morning, "Why are you still here?"  

By the way, did you hear that Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA?

Foley Searches for True Love
When we weren't graced with seven minutes of in-ring action, we had to sit through Mick Foley's incessant search for Jeff Jarrett.  He eventually finds Jarrett, and I was instantly reminded of why Passions is no longer on television.

And mind you, Foley is searching for Jarrett to help him gather some sort of understanding on the arrival of who....HULK FRICKIN' HOGAN!

You mean to tell me you spent at least thirty minutes of television time on this crap rather than showcasing wrestlers wrestling?!  And then you have the unmitigated gall to convince me that you plan on beating the WWE on January 4th?!  Remember back when TNA's tagline was, "We Are Wrestling"?  I sure as hell don't.

Last night's show was heavy on promos and people talking about this, that, or the other.  I feel sorry for Dixie Carter if she is convinced that this alternative to WWE will bring her company instant notoriety.  Fans have already bashed the WWE for not providing enough in-ring action and TNA chooses to answer those responses with...MORE TALKING!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the only reason Foley was able to go on this mythical quest was because he gave those duties to Nash, who arranged a meeting between Foley and...HULK FRICKIN' HOGAN!!!

By the way, did you hear that Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA?

Samoa Joe - That Just Proves My Point
So, Samoa Joe goes from being in a title match against AJ Styles and Daniels at last month's pay-per-view in a showing that most fans will easily agree was the highlight of the evening (next to the Desmond Wolfe/Kurt Angle bout), to being in TNA's "Money In the Bank" match, the Feast or Fired Match.

I don't even have to tell you how much bull that is for you to get the picture.

Say what you will about the Samoan Submission Machine, the fact is that the man can go once he's properly motivated, and it seems he clicks when he's facing Styles, Daniels, or Angle.  To drop him from the title hunt so soon is a travesty, and then to have him disappear from television for two weeks is damn near criminal.

Dare I say it...Samoa Joe is TNA's Carlito.  The man can perform when he wants, but if Creative has nothing for him, the man flops around the ring like a dirty dishrag.  Hell, why bother having him on television when you can just let him sit at home and collect CPCs (Chuck Palumbo Checks)?  Oh, that's right...since he's not in the main event, he only gets paid when he works. 

And Joe is just one instance of the total neglect of the talent on the show.  Remember the X-Division?  Amazing Red?  Homicide?  What about the outstanding Knockouts Division?  Hell, where's Shark Boy 3:16?!?!  I'd take Cody Deaner over this crap!

TNA has spent so much time pushing their younger stars only to have them thrown right back to square one by the arrival of a man whose hips and knees are almost as useful as Prince's.  Again, I would hope that no one in the company believes they stand a chance at rivaling the WWE's Monday night ratings when Samoa Joe can't even get airtime.  Speaking of which, I vaguely remember the TNA Heavyweight Champ having anything to say last night...even after he won his match.  That's a damn shame.

Let me be the first to call Samoa Joe's bluff: Hey Joe, are you still interested in a WWE curtain puller position?  Gail Kim could use the company.

By the way, Joe, did you hear that Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA?

Conclusion
I could go on and on about TNA's current state, but to end this tirade, the news of Hogan's arrival has effectively generated great publicity for the company AND killed its momentum all at the same time.  My personal theory is that TNA will fail miserably on January 4th, that Hogan's arrival has more fluff to it than a pornographic film scene in a Downy commercial, and there is no possible way that anything good will come from TNA in 2010 outside of Vince Russo being shot out of a cannon and Gabe Sapolsky taking the helm of the company, successfully convincing us that the last seven years were nothing but a crazy, LSD-laced dream.

One can only hope and pray for such a thing.

By the way, did you hear that Hulk Hogan was coming to TNA?

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