July 15, 2006
Hogan returns to defend daughter's honour
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
The biggest wrestling storyline of the summer is locked and loaded.
It's all part of a massive promotional campaign for Saturday Night's Main Event, a prime-time wrestling special on NBC at 9 p.m. tonight.
The last edition of SNME bombed in the ratings, so WWE is pulling out all the stops to make tonight's show a must-see, including Hogan's first TV angle in almost a year.
The Hulkster is set to appear in the ring with his daughter, Brooke, in what looks to be less of a wrestling plotline and more of a blatant marketing tie-in for her new music video.
But while WWE suggests the pair will simply be doing a wave-and-smile session for the crowd, a more sinister storyline swerve is secretly in the cards.
While Hogan shills his offspring's singing career, Orton is booked to interrupt the proceedings. After a few twists and turns -- WWE bosses are leaning towards either a romantic or stalking angle between Orton and Brooke -- the stage will be set for WWE's Summer Slam main event.
Hulk Hogan, arguably the biggest star in wrestling history, returns to the ring one more time to defend his daughter's honour against Orton, the cocky young heel who calls himself 'The Legend Killer.'
The Hogan-Orton feud was originally talked about for Wrestlemania 23 next April but WWE is still hoping to negotiate an icon vs. icon match for that event between Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
That meant the feud with Orton was pushed forward, which coincided perfectly with the launch of Brooke's CD and the ongoing Hogan family reality show on VH-1.
Many entertainment people behind Brooke's career are reportedly opposed to the wrestling tie-in. While they realize it's free advertising on one of the highest rated shows, they're worried it will forever cast her as Hulk Hogan's daughter, rather than a serious pop diva.
But as of yesterday, it was all systems go for the feud to begin tonight.
Also on SNME tonight, Degeneration X will take on the Spirit Squad, while John Cena will challenge Edge for the WWE championship.
Batista is set to make his long-awaited return from the injured list, in a six-man tag match, which also includes world champion Rey Mysterio and King Booker.
The T&A quota for the evening will be provided in the form of a bikini bull riding contest involving Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle and other WWE ladies.
Rounding out the card is a violent hardcore rules match featuring ECW star Sabu and a mixed tag match, Trish Stratus and Carlito against Johnny Nitro and Melina.
All in all, it's a more loaded lineup than WWE offers on all but the biggest pay-per-views -- a questionable marketing strategy when tonight's free show comes just a week before the mediocre Great American Bash, with its Great American $40 price tag.