Source: Paul Heyman of The Sun (UK)
HULKAMANIA is about to run wild, again, brother, and the timing couldn’t be better.
Hogan and Eric Bischoff have teamed up to create “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling,” and no matter what, the Hulkster will emerge as a big time winner on television.
This guy could fall into an ocean of manure and find the one diamond at the bottom of the heap.
With all the controversy surrounding Hogan’s personal life – from his son Nick’s incarceration and imminent release from jail … to daughter Brooke’s barely clothed body popping up and out on every Hollywood blog … to The Hulkster’s divorce from wife Linda and her public antics with a teenage paramour – Hogan has been in the headlines in ways he could have never imagined two years ago.
But now, Hogan has an entire advertising and marketing campaign built around the “Hulk Hogan” brand.
His name goes above the title “Celebrity Championship Wrestling,” and the focal point of all the advertising is on the WWE Hall of Famer himself.
Do I think the show will be successful? I have no idea. I can see some fans, turned off by the stale, plodding, bordering-on-retro WWE product actually saying “hey, here’s a new, different wrestling product.”
All new characters, real life stories, noticeable personalities in Butterbean and Dennis Rodman and Danny Bonaduce.
I can see the TNA audience, tired of the bad booking and insulting finishes that ruin even a very hot pay per view like Bound for Glory, turning on this program and giving it a chance.
When wrestling fans are not getting the product they want, they tend to seek their sports entertainment fix elsewhere. Some have migrated to UFC. Some have just gone away. But for those who really want to “get into it,” there’s now a new alternative.
And it’s being presented in format that hasn’t been done before. I’ll give Hogan and Bischoff credit for originality.
For my old buddy Eric Bischoff – cough cough wink wink – this is a both an easy and quite ballsy move.
Easy, because Bischoff and production partner Jason Hervey have made some headway in Hollywood with their reality shows featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and Scott Baio.
Bischoff bringing a brand name like “Hulk Hogan” to Country Music Television is a very easy sell.
But this is a risky venture for Eric as well, because when you’re primarily known for your work in the world of professional wrestling, you can get labelled in show business very quickly.
Wrestling, in many ways, is like porn.
Once you do it, you’re branded for life. Think Jenna Jameson will ever escape the label “porn star” no matter what she accomplishes as an actress or businesswoman?
Jesse Ventura was elected the Governor of the State of Minnesota, but he’s still “Former Governor and ex-wrestler Jesse Ventura.”
If Bischoff had elected to stay behind the scenes, Executive Produce the program, and rake in the money, I would say “that was a smart move.”
But to appear on camera as one of the judges, and publicly put himself out there as “Eric Bischoff, former President of WCW, co-creator of Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” might be looked at as an ego play by some, but to me it’s a very interesting move by someone who has obviously worked very hard to establish a name for himself in mainstream entertainment.
I think both WWE and TNA need to revamp their television formats.
Well, let me rephrase that. WWE needs to revamp its television format, and the copycat WWE-Lite mentality that prevails in TNA will simply follow suit.
The formula still being used has worked wonders for the billion dollar warchest owned by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, but Vince needs to change his product with the times.
The audience is screaming not only for new characters and new storylines, but simply a new way of presenting the product.
Is “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” the next big concept in sports entertainment? I doubt it.
But it’s different. It’s new. It’s an alternative that’s not trying to be WWE, or WWE-Lite, or the next ECW, or some storyline-driven version of UFC.
With his personal life being thrown into that ocean of manure, Hulk Hogan may have just stumbled on another diamond.
Click here for the original report.
Visit The All New TBLWrestling.com with 1000’s of Pages of Wrestling Information! ›››
Source: Paul Heyman of The Sun (UK)