Caught in the Ropes- How Bad is Bad? Hulk Hogan and TNA Bound for Glory 2011

Caught in the Ropes is back and not headed to Tampa, Florida for the third installment in my “Glance at FCW” series. Instead, I thought I’d take a break from the developmental system and discuss a few different topics from the last few weeks in professional wrestling. Yeah, the random thoughts format is a little overdone, but there was no single topic floating around that I felt could be stretched into a full-length article. Plus I wanted to give myself a break from watching a lot of video. I already have 10 Thoughts on Raw on my hands each week, plus TNA and RoH, so the prospect of watching a few more hours of wrestling didn’t tickle my fancy. So screw it, random thoughts it is. If you have anything you’d like me to cover, comment and let me know. There have been a few readers out there asking for some indy highlights, and I have thought about doing a column on PWG or NWA Hollywood down here in Southern California, so you can look forward to those in the future.

Hogan’s Turn

I don’t relish talking about TNA since there seems to be two diametrically opposed factions out there: the camp that will trash writers for being even slightly critical of TNA and the camp that will trash writers for not hating TNA enough (or not hating them the “right way”, as the case may be). But Hogan’s loss at Bound for Glory, followed by his face turn, ought to be discussed. So, the match was awful, both guys bled, and Ric Flair interfered. If you think you might have crossed a ripple in space-time and are now in 1997, don’t worry ’cause you’re not alone. I will say that, at least, this match wasn’t the main-event of the evening. With TNA’s current troubles, the last thing they’d need is another PPV culminating in a disastrous main-event.

But putting the match itself to the side, I have to question Hogan and TNA’s decision to allow Terry to go out in front of an Impact crowd and announce his retirement. His contract was, supposedly, set to expire at BFG, and if the two sides had been unable to come to some kind of agreement at that time then Hogan should have come out the following night and made his announcement. As it stands, it just feels like a cheap publicity stunt to try and drum up support for their biggest PPV of the year. Now it’s been speculated that TNA actually triggered Hogan’s renewal clause, a one-year option, and that Hogan didn’t actually sign a new contract. Even if that’s the case, TNA’s move seems like a low-blow, preying on some fan’s continuing nostalgia for the Hulkster to increase buy-rates.

What role will Hogan play now that he’s out of Immortal? It’s hard to say, considering that it’s TNA, but I would hope that the company would reduce the guy’s face-time on Impact and keep him out of the ring. He’s too old, he’s too banged up, he just shouldn’t be working. He can give interviews and do other promotional work, and TNA should utilize him backstage to help younger guys, but he doesn’t need to be in the penultimate match on any card.

Bobby’s World

So, Bobby Roode lost. It’s not the end of the world. The ending to his match against Kurt Angle has a built-in rematch, and if TNA continues to push him, I think he could make a fine champion. He’d at least be a fresh face, and is a far better choice for champion than guys like Mr. Kennedy, Matt Morgan, Jeff Jarrett, or Jeff Hardy. However, all this hinges on TNA continuing his push, which is also contingent on how well BFG sold. My opinion: even if BFG’s buy-rates dip a little or fail to increase appreciably, TNA is better off continuing their Roode push. With Brian Diamond, Spike’s senior VP of sports, out and the channel facing a possible re-branding, TNA needs to do much better, ratings- and buy-rates-wise, than they have been. Their main-event scene as of late has been pretty woeful, and rolling the dice on Roode is better than sticking with the status quo.

How Bad is Too Bad?

Check out the current poll question on the side-bar. Go ahead, I’ll wait. So, is Raw, as it stands right now, too bad to watch? Obviously that’s subjective. Some people like the Mark Henry push and will watch for that. I haven’t found Henry any more compelling now than he was a year ago. Some people like Cena or Orton or Cody Rhodes or whoever and find something to hold their interest. Really, the only way to answer that question is to answer it personally, and not pretend to speak for anyone else.

My thoughts on last week’s Raw aren’t hard to find. To put it succinctly: I was pissed. I wasn’t happy with the show or any of its twists. The week before, however, I wasn’t feeling well so someone else picked up 10 Thoughts for me. What did I think of the walk-out episode? To be honest, I didn’t watch most of it. You see, occasionally I’ll watch wrestling with my girlfriend, who’s the very epitome of the “casual” wrestling fan. She’s watched wrestling on her own, but her interest wanes when the product overall doesn’t hold her attention. She was in for the Rock n’ Wrestling years of the WWF, as well as the Attitude Era, but dropped out not long after both of those periods.

So, she must have been the reason I didn’t catch the whole show, right? Wrong. There were parts of that show where I became, no kidding, embarrassed to be a wrestling fan. The Divas match for example. Now I don’t hide the fact that I like wrestling, though I’m not the type to wear some piece of wrestling merchandise on any kind of regular basis, but everyone knows that I’m into it. And yet, I couldn’t get through those two hours of Raw with her without flipping to different channels. She had no problem with watching the show, but there were so many lousy promos, bad angles, and shoddy matches that I couldn’t stand to sit through it with someone by my side. It made me feel ashamed. That’s all I have to say. Mark my words, though, it will get better.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Since Halloween is fast approaching, and I’m already revealing personal information, I’d like to recommend some horror movies for any and all. You see, I’m a die-hard horror movie fan, and have been one for nearly all of my life, so October was, naturally, my favorite holiday growing up. So if you’re looking for something good, or at the very least entertaining, then check these out:

1. Audition: Takashi Miike is Japan’s resident mad scientist, a man whose films run the extremes of every genre you can think of. This, in my mind (as someone who has seen a very large portion of his work) is his best. By turns melancholic and completely deranged, this story of a lonely widower falling for a psychotic young woman he doesn’t really know has only become more relevant over the years.

2. Zombie (AKA Zombi 2): Lucio Fulci’s best movie, and possibly the best Italian zombie movie ever made, but that’s damning with faint praise. Though it was sold in Italy as a sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (or Zombi, as it was known there), Zombie has none of Romero’s socio-political commentary. It’s just crazy, gory zombie action set on a sunny tropical island. Oh, and there’s a scene where a zombie fights a shark.

3. Nightmare City: On the opposite end of the Italian zombie movie spectrum, Nightmare City might be the worst zombie movie ever made in any country, with the possible exception of The Blind Dead 3. It’s, however, a triumphantly awful movie that never fails to be entertaining.

4. Wait Until Dark: arguably either a thriller or a horror movie, this 1967 movie stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman who’s terrorized by a pair of crooks looking for a delivery of narcotics hidden inside a child’s doll.

5. Re-Animator: a splat-stick classic that needs no introduction. Funny and ludicrously gory, it still stand as, possibly, the best horror movie of the 1980s.

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