Wednesday, January 10, 2001
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
The WWF needs the Hulkster
Hulk Hogan needs the WWF, and as much as people hate to admit it, the WWF and the fans need Hulk Hogan. The WWF has gotten into a terrible rut in the past few months. The rut is almost as reminiscent as when WCW was complacent with their nWo angle a few years ago. These days in the WWF, do you really enjoy constant three-way, four-way and even last PPV's six-way World Title PPV? How many times are we going to see Kurt Angle and Edge and Christian take on variations of Chris Jericho, The Rock and the Dudley Boys. Let's face it people. The WWF needs a change. They need a big angle!
But the point is Hogan does mean ratings. The fans do care about Hulk Hogan (Pro or Con) not matter who much wrestling gurus hate the idea. Let us remind the public that when Rikishi mentioned Hulk Hogan's name a few months ago (during the Stone Cold run over angle) that Hogan received a HUGE pop! The WWF hasn't, in the least, forgotten about Hulk Hogan.
As for Hulk Hogan, his best days are behind him; specifically in World Championship Wrestling. We've seen Hogan as a face, we've seen Hogan as a heel, we've seen Hogan in various incarnations of himself. Nothing Hogan can do in WCW will be exciting anymore. That's not a shot against Hogan or WCW.
The plain fact is we've seen everything that WCW can do with Hogan. Despite the infamous Hogan vs Russo shoot/angle, if he returns to WCW it will be less than exciting. Especially since Russo will already be gone. Hogan's return will only be exciting if Russo is still with the company when he returns, and as we all know, if we see Hogan we won't see Russo. Now let's think about the possibilities with Hogan in the WWF:
The WWF could have Hogan, as classic Hulk Hogan, feuding with his former arch employer Vince McMahon. He could feud with guys like HHH, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, or other members that the McMahons throw out at him. On the other hand, Hogan could turn heel (but still keep his old Hulk Hogan persona) and associate with Vince McMahon; while feuding with The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and countless other WWF Superstars. Here is the best scenario. How about if Hulk Hogan returns, as his old '80s self, and joins Right To Censor. Wouldn't Hogan fit in perfectly with that faction! Remember to eat your vitamins and say your prayers kids! He would be the perfect member of their faction.
Hogan is mainly disliked because of his age, lack of technical wrestling skills, long time push, and his political power in wrestling. Anti-Hogan fans hate to be reminded that the guy is probably the biggest star in wresting history. Even a Hulk Hogan on his last leg of retirement is HUGE for ratings. People dislike him but he makes angles more interesting and wrestling shows more fun when he is used in the right way. We have been told that WCW went down because the younger talent wasn't used right. It could also be said that WCW went down because ALL OF THE TALENT wasn't used right. That includes long time veterans like Hulk Hogan.
Even though most people hate Hulk Hogan and wish he would retire, could you imagine the angles, ideas, and even the ratings if Hogan joined the WWF? The angles are countless and the fans would be glued to their tubes to see what would perspire. Forget about the possibilities of Kevin Nash, Ultimate Warrior, or even Scott Hall returning to the WWF. Those men would fall in comparison with the chance that Hulk Hogan might appear in the WWF. Yes, many Anti-Hogan fans might hate the idea of Hogan appearing in the WWF (or any federation) again, but that might be the best thing for Hogan, the WWF, and wrestling overall in the long run.
Jim Harper is from Everman, Texas and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.