The Luscious Truth: Making TNA's Success A Reality
...does Hogan truly know best?
I think I know how to make TNA a winner.
I know how to make them stand out from the pack.
I know how to break away and do what has not yet been done in the industry.
In short, let’s take the fans behind the scenes and make this circus we have called sports entertainment a reality, or at least a reality show. It would be perfect. We could have the clueless Southern belle in Dixie Carter along with megalomaniac Hulk Hogan manipulating every move…and dollar.
Picture Hogan trying to bring in buffoons like Brian Knobbs or Brutus Beefcake while Kevin Nash tries to convince the powers that be that Scott Hall and Sean “Drug-Pac” Waltman are clean and sober.
Now I know what you are thinking, there is so much reality television and we’ve already seen wrestling and reality merged together in shows like Tough Enough, Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling (which I never watched) and flashes of it in Hogan Knows Best. I’ve only seen a handful of Hogan Knows Best episodes, but my favorite by far was the one where Jim Duggan, Knobbs, Greg Valentine and others come over for an impromptu pool party. A highlight was Valentine peeing on the side of the house, drunk, smiling from ear to ear. It was engaging television. Let’s break that wall and see the business for what it is: debauchery, decadence and egos!
I want to see Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo (if still employed) clash over ideas. I want to see Hogan and Jarrett have a power struggle over the direction of the company. Let’s see the antics of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall…along with the partying that ensues. Dixie Carter (stupidity) gave us a glimpse into the inner workings of her shaky company with an uninspired backstage “pep-talk.” We had a glimpse, now let’s see the whole story. You mean to tell me whatever happened with Kurt Angle and Rhaka Kahn would not have been engaging television? My point is that this company has a lot to lose as well as a lot to gain by hiring Hogan and allowing him to have all of the control he does. Wrestling worked as successfully as it did in the late 90s because it went “real.” I even remember as a “smart” adolescent fan thinking this was real (at about the 8:48 mark)…
The announcers were relatively silent, Owen Hart seemed very confused and Shawn Michaels looked like he fainted or had a concussion of sorts. It had looked as if something happened that was not supposed to. It played with our minds as well as our emotions and most importantly could not have been predicted, especially at that time. Point being, you cannot always predict what is real, or at least appears to be real in professional wrestling.
Worked shoots (the original title of this column) were quite common (until Vince Russo overdid it in WCW and early NWA-TNA) and pulled the curtain back just a little for the viewer and let us into that backstage world every diehard fan wants. This company wants to get serious, I say document this new chapter in its history and make a reality show about it. The WWE has way too much to lose to try to pull a stunt like this off, plus say what you will about Vince, he is very protective of the business. The IWC thrives on thinking they know what really happens behind the scenes, what better way to put everyone in their place, than to just show it. Make it a 3 hour block with a behind the scenes sort of show and then Impact (or vice versa). It will generate news and try something WWE will never do. …and if it flops, well then we’ll just be back to where we have been for the past 8 years (one monopoly and one monopoly only).
Luscious Sidenotes: I was very disappointed to see Tommy Dreamer leave the WWE as an old-school ECW mark. Even if he stopped competing, he is a great hand backstage. I felt he was rewarded earlier this summer winning the ECW title (even if it means very little today), but he obviously feels as though he may be going to higher grounds in perhaps (ugh) TNA. The History of ECW on Classics on Demand won’t be the same without him. On to a more mainstream legend…
Bret Hart. How could I not talk about this? TNA, all you have done is wake a sleeping giant in Vince McMahon. While I will always prefer the names Hogan, Flair and Sting, there is an aura about Bret because of all that bad blood from 1997. Personally, I think this mystery would best be left unsolved, but I am glad it is going to happen in the end. I am reserved for a letdown, but I still have hopes this will be pulled off nicely. I can see TNA now…Dixie Carter being very nervous about next week, while Hogan tells her that Bret was never a big star and they will still outdraw Vince, brother. I guess we can thank Hogan for making Vince up his game again. The most interesting factor for me is how Shawn Michaels plays into this (I’m sure Vince and Bret are fine or else that DVD would have never been made a few years back). I know Bret could not stand to have HBK even present at his Hall of Fame induction (to which HBK respectfully obliged). While Bret was a great champion (arguably during the then-WWF’s lowest point), can he beat Hogan and company in the ratings this go around? I think the WWE are too strong to let the ratings slip this time around, but stranger things have happened.
I still think a wrestling reality show would be a gold mine for any cable network. After all, if this country is enjoying MTV’s Jersey Shore meatheads (giving us Italians a really bad name), why can’t the meatheads in the wrestling industry do the same? The club/bar fights would be so much better and in this TMZ crazed era, who doesn’t love a good train wreck?
Anyway, let’s make this fun for a change, post a comment let me know if you think this could work, what TNA needs to do to be different/successful or whatever you want for that matter. There are still smart wrestling fans out there, right??? If the comment forum doesn’t work, try me at email@example.com
Here’s to flipping back and forth between wrestling programs on the old cable box this Monday…for the first time in nearly 9 years!