Hulk versus Hitman (WWE versus TNA this January 4)

Not since WCW versus WWE has been the anticipation for Monday Night wrestling this strong. While UFC has seen growth and the heavyweights failing to draw causes boxing to somewhat plummet, this new development could recreate the 90’s buzz on sports entertainment.

Bret Hart is back in the WWE while TNA will pin its hopes on Hulk Hogan.

Both will appear in their respective shows on January 4.

The pink and black versus the red and yellow! Let’s check out who edges what.

Market: WWE is seen in more countries than TNA. Although Hulk Hogan is the first internationally-acclaimed wrestler, my gut tells me that I don’t want to hear his talk about vitamins and running over people. Canada should go giddy on Hitman’s return and I know that the world would look forward on how the Bret/Shawn/Vince/Hunter storyline would play out.

Storyline: After 12 years (and two months), Hart Attack would return to the ring to face the people that made his life miserable. After WWE, Hart did become a champ in WCW but the bookers had no idea on how to use him. Bret going to NWO twice is stupid and it didn’t help his career (this was when Hogan and the old guys were getting their way). Worse, post-WWE caused Bret to see the downfall of the careers of Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith (Owen died playing the Blue Blazer which was a character Owen buried when he became part of the Hart Foundation quintet and Smith died probably of body enhancing drugs leading to heart attack). Bret also suffered a stroke that temporarily paralyzed his body which promptly ended his wrestling career. Bret blamed Vince, Shawn, Triple H, and ref Earl Hebner for the Montreal Screwjob and this should be an awesome return en route to Wrestlemania. Hulk Hogan meanwhile could create another new blood versus old blood storyline where as a face he’ll favor the youngsters or will be bias to his friends if he’s a heel.

Opportunities: Hart will be important for one thing – The Hart Dynasty. THD is composed of the son of the British Bulldog, the daughter of The Anvil, and the last graduate of the Hart Training Dungeon. It will surely help their careers when they go and hang with Uncle Bret. For Hulk, I can’t see him wrestling the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Desmond Wolfe, Abyss, Beer Money, and the Motor City Machine Guns with Hogan winning. I’ll also be bugged if Hogan faces Ric Flair, Sting, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall for the nth fucking time! Sure, pitting Hulk with the ex-ECW guys like Brother Ray, Devon, Raven, Dr. Stevie, and Rhino could look new but who’ll watch this? As it stands, a heel Kurt Angle and Mick Foley could be the only possibilities of him embarking on an in-ring re-debut. But even that could be hard since the last time Hulk Hogan was in the ring, his act grew stale which prompted him to use the persona Mr. America and even that bombed the crowd.

Setup: This is where I favor TNA. They built this date as if it was a momentous occasion. Well it is actually. Ever since Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan aligned to help Dixie Carter, the buzz it stirred has been unprecedented. TNA Impact will finally face WWE Raw for Monday Night supremacy. For them, this is a hit or miss event. In terms of hype, Mick Foley, the TNA “Director of Authority” or whatever that means is hell-bent to how Hogan’s entry will affect him. Jeff Jarrett, the man that laid down for Hulk Hogan on the Hulkster’s last WCW appearance is also dumbfounded at the happenings. TNA wrestlers are getting interviewed as if their comments matter. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, members of the original NWO were called to recall their characters as Hogan’s lackeys. Back in the WWE, if Bret Hart already agreed to this, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton could have said that another Hitman would return to the WWE at the start of 2010 when he was the guest host of WWE Raw live in UK. Of course, he hasn’t been signed at that point. Looking at it, WWE had to scramble on a big name find to go mano y mano with the Hulkster. They could have courted Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, or even guys like The Ultimate Warrior or Macho Man Randy Savage but I guess Bret Hart is the most awesome thing that could be signed by the WWE at this moment. Unfortunately for TNA, almost six months of Hogan proved futile after two weeks of Bret Hart drew more buzz.

Verdict: I don’t know why but TNA’s bold move needs to work. The problem with the brand is I don’t know if their stars could hang with WWE’s stars. Sure, Raw and Smackdown have a new guy like Sheamus heading the promotion, but surely they have… wait! I don’t think rosters would play a role here for WWE. This is the Road of Wrestlemania season and the big-named guys will definitely have their roles set up for the main dance. I expect guys like Shawn, Hunter, Undertaker, Batista, Cena, Orton, Mysterio, CM Punk, Jericho, Big Show, Christian, Jeff Hardy (?) and even Legacy, Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Hart Dynasty, and the other names to be involved at some point. This means the TNA roster needs to double their efforts to catch up against their WWE counterparts in terms of star power.

OVERALL ADVANTAGE: WWE

I don’t think we have ever seen a Hogan versus Bret Hart match that is worth your money (I think their matches tanked in WCW.

Let see how this plays out in January 4.

Game over.

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