Earlier in the weekend, Hogan appeared on the Sirius Radio show Busted Open and discussed Roode's impending, at the time, TNA World Heavyweight Championship match with Kurt Angle and whether or not he thought Roode was the guy to step up and lead TNA into the future.
"Nah, he's not ready. He's not the next guy. Ya' know, they might think he is. Dixie Carter might think he is. The whole world might think he is. He's not the next guy." Hogan would continue, "I have a very strong feeling Kurt Angle's going to clean his clock performance wise, and carry the match, and basically remains the champion." (Credit: PWInsider.com)
These are hardly the comments any company wants their most recognized star making days before their most prestigious pay-per-view event, on which a young star is slated to compete in his first major main event match. Bobby Roode, to his credit, remained quiet throughout the blossoming controversy but long-time TNA star, and one of the few young stars that broke through the glass ceiling and became a major attraction for the company, AJ Styles, did not. He took to Twitter and indirectly criticized Hogan.
"Frustration setting in when your own guys bury the company that u have worked so hard for...Brother!"
Hogan would respond through his own Twitter account later in the day, claiming his comments were in character. At the same time, indirectly criticizing AJ and the company's younger talent for not hitting the new broadcasts and talk show circuit to hype and advertise Bound For Glory. As Sunday approached, it appeared as though Hogan was doing everything possible to alienate the youth in the locker room. What unfolded did nothing to help the situation.
Hulk Hogan and Sting went on in the semi-final main event position and, to the surprise of many, exceeded expectations. The fans in Philadelphia cheered Sting and Hogan as they stood tall in the center of the ring, having fought off Immortal and the evil Eric Bischoff. Everything was cupcakes and rainbows as the main event approached, a main event that most assumed would end with Bobby Roode leaving Philly as the new TNA World Champion.
That did not happen.
Instead, TNA concluded the biggest show of their year with a controversial finish that saw Kurt Angle retain his title via pin-fall, despite Roode's arm being underneath the bottom rope and Angle, himself, holding onto the middle rope. The finish of the contest was panned by fans and critics across the internet, many echoing the belief that that sort of finish belongs on Impact or one of the other monthly shows, not the biggest event the company has to offer. Sunday night, there was great anger and outrage being voiced by TNA's fanbase.
On Monday morning, PWInsider.com reported that Hulk Hogan lobbied, and was successful, in having the planned Bobby Roode title win changed to a successful title defense by Angle because, as Hogan continually reiterated, Roode "wasn't ready." Also according to the website, resentment of Hogan in the TNA locker room is high and was heightened when Hogan criticized AJ Styles on Twitter, despite knowing that Styles had suffered a death in the family over the weekend.
In one weekend, Hulk Hogan took everything that should have been special about the Bound For Glory event and made it negative. Rather than put the focus on the highly-talented roster and, more importantly, Bobby Roode, Hogan chose to shine the spotlight on himself. Never one to miss out on the opportunity to remind everyone how great he was, and how big of a star he was or is. Hogan proved his ignorance when it comes to what fans in 2011 really want.
Was Hogan wrong about Bobby Roode? Maybe, though not necessarily. But at what point does Dixie Carter and those in control of her company realize that constantly pushing former WWE stars and those far passed their expiration date in the business over younger, more athletic and more exciting stars has done nothing to help business or elevate stagnant TV ratings? At some point, it will be up to Dixie Carter to put her foot down and make a decision to benefit her company, rather than relying on the older and out-of-touch to give her advice which, to this point, has proven worthless.
Until that happens, controversy like we saw this past weekend at Bound For Glory will continue to pop up and those that have proven to be the building blocks of TNA Wrestling will continue to feel alienated and disgruntled.
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