Voice Of Reason 4.23.02: Hulkamaniacs Lash Out

It’s incredible sometimes how people react to various things I write on 411. What amazed me about the overwhelmingly negative reaction to my last column is how skewed the responses were.

I was very clear in stating that the Hogan stuff was rushed, not that I hated Hogan. That didn’t stop this kind of response. I present you with the first ever Voice of Reason Feedback Edition:

Raymond Miller writes:

I guess that’s what seperates you “smarts” from us lowly “marks”. Smarts constantly feel the need to second-guess Vince and co. in favor of what is “best for business”. Marks are willing and able to cheer for their favorites and enjoy it when they win. I’ll worry about next month later (actually, no I won’t, because I’m looking forward to the story that goes into ‘Taker and Hogan), I’m going to relish this win for some time.

Yes, and because you’re a “mark” you don’t realize that if you rush everything, then there will be nothing to cheer for in the future. I’d like to hear from you in 2 months, and see if you’re still “relishing the win”.

Jay writes:

Dude, your entire article was bias and anti-Hogan. It’s obvious that you are so against Hogan, that people will even view some of your more relative points as bias. I understand what you’re saying about Hogan being rushed, but at the same time, I agree with the WWF doing what they are doing. The fact is, Hogan is hot money now!!! Nothing is guaranteed, and that’s why the WWF made the decision they made. Now what if the WWF kept the title on HHH; wouldn’t that be less attractive? Who wants to see HHH vs. Taker? Nobody! That’s why the WWF scrapped that match in the first place. And correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a HHH vs. Austin match seem tired? In fact, I agree by the WWF giving the title to Hogan. Hogan generates a host of new Championship matches, meaning newer and fresher storylines, which the WWF so badly needs right now. A Hogan vs. Austin, Taker, Angle, Lesner, Angle etc would generate more interest right now because he hasn’t faced any of the wrestler’s with the exception of Taker. This will drive the WWF product value and generate more ratings. The fan’s love Hogan right now and that’s the bottom line. I hate to sound like and ass when sending feedback but dude, you sound very dumb by saying Hogan’s Championship devalues the championship…That comment sounded very stupid!! Hogan is the man that made wrestling what it is today. I say the WWF should give Hogan a LONG title run. Give HHH/Rock/Austin some rest and time away from being the champ, so that way, when Hogan steps down, they will have a fresh champion again…I like HHH, but to me, it seem like he was just Champion last year….The people wanted something newer. I think Hogan vs. Big Show, or Hogan vs. Lesner, would generate more money than HHH if he was the Champion, and obviously, you are too dumb to see that….Dude, you are an ass and should be fired as a columnist on the spot.

Who wants to see HHH vs. UT? Well if the choice is between HHH/UT and Hogan/UT I’ll take HHH any day. And someone explain to me how a 50+ year old man who can barely move doesn’t devalue the title?

ElliCr writes:

No way. I have to totally disagree with you on this. If hogan wouldnt have won the belt last night they might as well have ended his career. He comes back and loses to the Rock at Wrestlemania and you expect him to job again at the ppv after. HHH does not need the belt. They are keeping it fresh. they could nt let Hogan job the first 2 major PPV’s of his return. As far as Red and Yellow, that is cool too. He is only gonna wrestle for the next year so it doesnt matter if they burn himout. You cant burn hogan out.

You’re right that two straight jobs would have been bad for Hogan, but that’s another reason to have postponed his title match until May or June. You can’t burn Hogan out? Well brother, just wait until July.

Katheryne Stripling writes:

I have to say, that I disagree with some of what you said in your column.

What is it about Hulk Hogan that guys like you just don’t get? Much like the republicans and their heated war with President Clinton, virtually every knee jerk writer on the internet loves to bash Hulk Hogan. However, much like the repubs vs Clinton, you guys just don’t get it.

Why give Hogan the Title? Why not.

Right now, the fans are eating him up, much like they did before he left for WCW. THAT is the reason why. After all, if a guy is that red hot, and the fas are popping over every word he says, and everything he does, isn’t that person right to be crowned champ?

Now, just for a moment, pretend that the guy getting all those pops isn’t Hogan, but someone else. Now, wouldn’t you say that said person should be crowned world champ?

I mean, if say, Austin, The Rock, Jericho, Angle or anyone else was getting THAT kind of crowd response, the WWF would crown them champs, and you would be right there cheering them on. However, just because it’s Hulk Hogan, you back the crap out fo the decision.

As I said, you just don’t get it.

As for the fans response, I think it’s something more then just nostalgia. Hulk Hogan is, and this is a pure guess, looked upon as the Babe Ruth of wrestling. When he left, it was shocking, and hurtful. While his WCW years were okay, they were nothing like his WWF years. Why? Well, there are a whole list of reasons, ranging from bad writing, to having no idea what to do with him, to WCW fans simply not caring about him.

Hogan is a ‘product’ of the WWF. And, as such, was welcomed back with open arms. Why did fans react to him the way they did? Maybe because they see him as the wayward brother who has finally ‘come home’. After all, this is THE GUY who, basically, put pro wrestling on the map. There is some of the nostalgia factor as well. Much like Babe Ruth, when he returned to boston. Even though he was well past his prime, fans still flocked to see him. Why? Because he was Babe Ruth.

Maybe that is why fans reacted the way they did, and demanded that he turn face. Because he’s Hulk Hogan, and in the fans of the WWF, there is no way in hell, Hulk Hogan is a heel.

Again you didn’t really read the column. I never said I was anti-Hogan or that he shouldn’t have been pushed. I think it all should have been taken slower and more carefully thought out. You talked about several scenarios that you interpreted from his return. However, wrestling booking is about making these themes clear to all viewers, instead of having to imply them.

“Maybe because they see him as the wayward brother who has finally ‘come home’.” There should be no maybe, if that’s the emotion McMahon wanted from the fans, it should have been promoted as such, instead of a whimisical “reaction to what the fans want”.

And just to finish off this mailbag edition of the VOR, someone who DOES get it:

captaing3000 wrote:

Just a note to your column. Did you see Raw last night? Did you hear Hogan rejoicing in the rebirth of Hulkamania? Did you hear way in the back of the crowd, people booing? I did.

The nostaligia trip is just about over.

A thought to leave you with: I’m sure HHH was assured a pinfall victory over Hogan to repay him for him jobbing the title last night. Who wants to take bets that Hogan never lets that happen?