My Two Cents: The End of Bubba the Love Sponge's Days in TNA

Mr. Ashley MorrisAnalyst IMay 1, 2010

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 12:  Radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge arrives at the 25th annual Adult Video News Awards Show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center January 12, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When I published my first article on Bleacher Report, the editor that carefully combed through the piece submitted his corrections and warned me to stay away from "blog speak."  Essentially, contributions to the site were meant to be crafted and worded in the same fashion as articles you would find in magazines or newspapers.

I took that editor's note to heart.  Ever since that first article, I've attempted to draft pieces that begin with a precise thought and logical, thought provoking supporting facts that justify whatever it was I wanted to share with the faithful Bleacher Report universe.

I reserved my "b/c" and "lol" remarks for the comment section, and attempted to write as if I were submitting articles to the Editor-In-Chief of my part time job.

Then I ran across something pro wrestling related a few moments ago and felt the need to rant as if I were writing a blog post.

Having said all of that, I apologize in advance to Bleacher Report's dutiful editors, and I apologize to all of you who regularly peruse my poorly crafted and moonshine induced thoughts on pro wrestling.  I thank you for your time tonight, and for indulging me momentarily as I release a little tension.

Bubba the Love Sponge is proof enough that Total Non-Stop Action is currently going down the sh***er.

Numerous fans harp endlessly and unceasingly about how great TNA is, how much better than the WWE it is, and how the athletes are so impressive and great.  Although all of those things are subjective, I'll gladly say that with respect to a fan's opinion, those things are true.

Other fans willfully disregard the fact that TNA's ratings have dipped well below the average they had before the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, and will comfort themselves by claiming that the ratings are outdated and inaccurate.  Although this is a dangerously illogical line of thinking, I'll say that this rationale has an element of truth in it as well.

Even more fans will blatantly ignore the obvious comparisons of TNA and WCW during its dying days.  These fans are cheerfully satisfied with the company's superstars, even though they won't admit that with every newly signed ex-WWE superstar, an extremely gifted TNA wrestler prepares to leave the company.  There's a bit of truth in the midst of even ignoring this fact.

But for the life of me and everything that we fans hold sacred in regard to professional wrestling, I cannot and will not understand how anyone can speak highly of a company that continues to keep Bubba the Love Sponge on their payroll.

Click here and just listen to Hulk Hogan's best friend forever.

Basically, Bubba the Love Sponge uses another radio show to verbally assault Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong).  Not only did Bubba and his friends from the show pull Kia onto the show using deceptive tactics, the "well-renowned" radio host spews vicious insults at her and even launches a few racially insensitive terms towards her.

At one point, Bubba even shows his contempt for the people and nation of Haiti while egging on an obviously irate Kia Stevens.

If you listened to the link posted above, you'll understand why I chose to refer to her as Kia Stevens and not Awesome Kong.

I was initially moved by this link to write here on Bleacher Report to vent my anger and displeasure with Bubba.  However, with Bleacher Report being everything except one's personal blog, my thoughts on the manner have shifted a bit.

I'm still very pissed with the callous remarks Bubba made, and I'm even more of a Bubba detractor than I was before, but there has to be a wrestling related reason for all of that if we're going to discuss it here.

Bubba the Love Sponge is a shock jock, much like Don Imus, Howard Stern, and a few others that I've failed to mention here.  Shock jocks, by an uninformed definition, are jerks and a**holes by nature.  They exist to say controversial things aimed to draw listeners to the station.

In my opinion, shock jocks say those things that the average person would think.  These men and women have the balls to say everything you and I wish we could say in public without instigating a fist fight or murder.

Eric Bischoff is a firm believer in the idea that "controversy creates cash."  People seem to be drawn to things that would make your great grandmother and Fr. O'Reilly blush.  Every nipple slip, every f-bomb, and every bare butt cheek by today's standards has become "Must See TV."

I guess this is why some fans yearn for the return of the Attitude Era, but I digress.

With Bubba being such a controversial figure, it's no wonder the company elected to hire him.  I realize that he is Hulk Hogan's best friend, but that's besides...actually, it isn't besides the point.  That's exactly why he had a job with TNA in the first place.

The man has a cult following, he causes a stir amongst the average fan, and Hogan will always go to bat for him.  Why not keep him on the payroll?

Let's face it: Bubba was useless in TNA and they elected to continue to pay him.  As I said earlier, this is why the company is headed in the wrong direction...down the sh****r.

TNA lost Awesome Kong, arguably THE BEST Knockout in the division after the departure of Gail Kim, due in part to a run-in with Bubba.  Yet, they kept him and even gave him a prominent role in two main event storylines (Hogan and Sting, and The Band versus...whoever).

All the while, Bubba continues to be himself.  He picks a fight with Jeff Jarrett over the air after the stuff with Kurt Angle and his ex-wife, Karen.  Bubba still has a job with TNA.

And now, he provokes Kia Stevens unnecessarily over the air and precedes to spew racial insinuations while swearing viciously at her?

TNA spends too much time attracting fans through storylines, writing, booking, and talent that bring instant gratification but not lasting satisfaction. 

The company is quite adept at getting our attention, but retaining our attention seems to be one of their biggest problems.

There are a lot of cancerous entities within the company, entities that at one point in time brought a lot of attention to TNA.  For the most part, these entities were novelties that merely operated to get fans to change the channel.

But once they had our attention, the quality and logic behind a lot of the companies' intended goals and creative direction was severely lacking everything except those novel entities. 

Once the novelty wore thin, however, fans were left with the same old mess they were growing weary of seeing in pro wrestling.

That's where Bubba comes in.  I can even see various people justifying his presence in the company: "Bubba's got this gift; he can piss people off in a heartbeat!  He's a magnet for trouble, and that'll get those rebellious diehard fans over to the show, if he just starts mess for no reason and it 'leaks' out, you know?"

But I'm at TNA to watch wrestling, not wax poetically over drama.  If I wanted crappy drama, I'd watch the WWE.  Why do I have to deal with that when tuning in to iMPACT ?

This is America, however, and there is a such thing as freedom of speech.  Bubba's opinions on Black people are inconsequential to me.  Even his feelings about the people and nation of Haiti are of very little importance to me.

What really pissed me off, and should piss you off, is that TNA continued to shovel money into his pockets while he continued to bring severely negative press to a young company that is in desperate need of appealing to a much larger audience.

Not only that, TNA continued to employ him at the expense of the best performer in their women's division at the time, as well as at the expense of all the athletes in the company that received piss poor paychecks because TNA had to have Bubba on the payroll.

When TNA was taking great strides to take one step forward, Bubba opened his mouth and hurled the company back six months.

Truthfully, there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Anything that gets people talking about your product is good, even if the attention is not necessarily positive.

But how damaging to a company is bad publicity? How many fires will TNA have to put out because of the bad press that follows Bubba?  The WWE has banned chair shots to the head due to all the bad press that accompanied the Benoit murders/suicide and the studies on concussions.

Is TNA really that bold to continue walking down the same aisle with Bubba hoping for something other than his crap?  That, my friends, is the definition of insane : doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result each time.

Does TNA want to be associated with one of their paid "actors" who seems to quietly dislike people of color? 

Does TNA want to be associated with a man who looks with contempt upon the people of a nation decimated by a major earthquake and almost two centuries of external systematic economic ruin that's not even present in countries we deem "third world?"

Does TNA want to be associated with a man who, unprovoked, calls a woman whom he no longer has to publicly interact with on the phone, refers to her as a "p***y, Black b***h," and challenges her to a fight over live airwaves?

This is especially important seeing as Awesome Kong was released from the company in part after attacking Bubba in the first place.

More importantly, is TNA trying to attract an audience of fans that religiously follow this type of person?

After venting here on Bleacher Report, and after reading this bit of news, it seems as if TNA has reached their breaking point with this unnecessary acquisition.

To date, this is the best thing that TNA has done and will ever do for their company.

Good riddance to Bubba the Love Sponge and all of his future endeavors.


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