Thought of the Day: Hulk Hogan Is TNA’s Gorilla Monsoon

This makes sense when you think about it.I’m 25 years old, meaning I grew up watching Hulk Hogan in the WWF and later in WCW as Hollywood Hogan.  Hogan retired from full time competition when I was about 15 years old.

 

Now let’s flash back to my childhood and a few years before.  The voice of the WWF was Gorilla Monsoon, a play by play announcer who would later become Commissioner.  Monsoon had been a wrestler in the 70s but retired in 1981, several years before I was born.  I never saw Monsoon wrestle and to the best of my knowledge his last match was in 1987 in an old timers battle royal.

 

This brings us to modern TNA.  Hulk Hogan is now retired and the GM of Impact.  He’s wrestled two matches in TNA but is far from an active competitor.  As mentioned, Hogan last wrestled in 2003 and to call him a regular back then is a stretch.  For all intents and purposes, Hogan’s last full year as an active wrestler was in 1999.

 

Therefore, unless you’re about 17 or older, you probably don’t remember Hogan as an active wrestler.  I’m sure you’ve heard of him and know who he is, but there’s no direct connection to him.  Growing up, I knew who Monsoon was and that he used to be a wrestler but I knew nothing about his career other than a few Coliseum Video matches.  In other words, Monsoon was an old guy who used to be a wrestler apparently.

 

For younger fans, that’s what Hulk Hogan is in TNA.  He’s like Jack Brisco or Dory Funk Jr. to someone my age.  I know of their work and I respect what they did, but there’s nothing that ties me to them, much like younger fans with Hogan today.

 

Yet in TNA, Hogan is the focal point of the show a lot of the time.  The portion of the audience that has a connection to him as a wrestler is shrinking and the portion of the audience that knows him as that guy who used to wrestle is growing.  To them, Hogan is a guy they’ve never seen wrestle other than on DVD.

 

And they wonder why their audience barely grows.

2 comments

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    I wonder if there are two things that impact this:

    1. It’s a lot easier for young people now to see Hulk Hogan wrestle than it was for people of our generation (I’m about the same age as you, a little older) to have watched Gorilla Monsoon wrestle. There are several Hulk Hogan DVD sets, not to mention all of his Mania, etc. sets. Plus YouTube.

    2. Young people would have at least seen Hulk in other media contexts (not good contexts, but the reality show stuff).

    On the other hand, can any of this awareness, even the ability to see a dude wrestle through video, replicate the connection you have growing up and watching someone? Probably not. And your central point about TNA moving Hogan out of the central plot role is good.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The last part is what I’m talking about. I watched a TON of wrestling tapes from before 1990 (my first memories of watching live) and could recite Wrestlemania II’s card when I was about 5 years old. However, all that stuff was several steps below whatever Hulk Hogan and Sting were doing right then. It was MY wrestling in 1990 and 1991, not an old tape.