Hulk Hogan recently appreared on the Rob Van Dam Radio show responding to criticism that TNA’s current TV product currently looks like “WCW 2000″ by saying TNA management and Spike TV are trying to determine which wrestlers are drawing rating and which wrestlers have no drawing power.
Hogan said they’re “trying to find the bridge” in a so-called transition phase from the old, recognizable names to the new crop of stars by throwing as much against the wall to see what sticks on a minute-by-minute basis.
“What we’re doing is we’ve been at it about a month now and we’re trying to make a transition. I didn’t want to come in as the red and yellow Hulk Hogan doing the clown act. What I tried to do was basically bump the number,” Hogan said in response to a caller who was critical of TNA bringing in old stars. “We’re watching the show minute by minute. We see when A.J. Styles comes on, where it jams. We see where Scott Hall comes on, where it jams. We see where Hulk Hogan’s on and it spikes. We’re going through the learning process. What we need to do with these young guys is breathe life into the characters.”
Hogan continued: “We’re throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall, seeing what spikes the needle minute by minute, and learning as we go along that some guys have no life at all and some guys have a lot of life. We’re already maneuvering all the players around. You’re going to see who we’re going with more than others. You’re going to see who we’re really giving the super rocket up their rear end.”
Asked why he keeps putting himself on TV so much, Hogan played his “aw-shucks” self-deprecation card before basically saying he can’t argue against the ratings jumping when he appears on-camera.
“If I’m on the TV too much, I’m pulling myself off. I don’t need to walk my crippled ass down that ramp,” Hogan said. “I’m not about being on TV, but for some reason, the last four weeks when I’ve been coming out doing the transition stuff, the needle spiked a little bit.”
Hogan also defended TNA’s direction against generalized criticism from hardcore wrestling fans who follow pro wrestling on the Internet or in wrestling newsletters, such as the Torch. Hogan again played the self-deprecation card that he hasn’t been smartened up to the business, especially dealing with a TV network, so how could anyone question what they’re doing in TNA.
“All these people you call the smart marks and I’ve been in the business 30 years and I’m still a mark. I’m not smartened up yet, brother. All of a sudden, people are saying, ‘Why are you doing this and why are you doing that?’ Do the marks know about the network – what Kevin Kay and Brian Diamond at Spike are asking and demanding? There’s a whole ‘nother world out there that all these people have an opinion on who’s on TV too much, but they don’t know what’s happening with the network.
“I’m on a whole ‘nother arena more than dealing with a finish or putting RVD on TV. The network might want RVD on TV less or more. They might want RVD on TV all the time or not at all. There’s a lot of things that I’m having to deal with that I never had to deal with in the past.
“This is a big universe and I’m listening to everyone. She (the caller critical of TNA’s direction) makes a very valid point and believe me I don’t want to be on TV all the time. I like to be in the back and think of stuff and listen to everyone’s ideas. That’s where I’m having fun. I think if I were to drop the leg again, I would never get up again.”
Hogan also gave an explanation for bringing in the Nasty Boys to TNA: “The Nasty Boys – I love them because I believe they can give 3D a run.”