19 August 2013

Hulk Hogan & Sting in TNA: To Stay or Not to Stay?

When taking into account how the average TNA fan feels about Hulk Hogan and Sting being a part of TNA, the full spectrum of reactions usually ensues.  Some people wanted Hulk gone a long time ago, some enjoy the nostalgia that he provides.  Most people love Sting and appreciate his contributions, but there is also a call for him to move on that exists out there. While it's unfair to lump both men into the same question of whether they should stay or leave, there are some obvious similarities.  Both men are in the twilight of their careers, although Sting has been an active wrestler for the company up until Slammiversary in June.  Both men have strong ties to WCW, and many fans still compare TNA to WCW even though they are 2 totally different organizations in 2 totally different eras.  Both Sting and Hulk have been rumored to be headed to WWE sometime after Bound for Glory and before January to be included in WrestleMania 30. (Hell, some fans thought Hulk would appear at SummerSlam yesterday based off of Brooke Hogan's recent departure from TNA.)

Regardless of what the bizarre rumors are surrounding these 2 legends, it is a valid line of thought to question their future with IMPACT Wrestling and its potential effect on TNA.  I have heard numerous interviews in which Sting has named The Undertaker as an opponent that he would like to face before he retires.  Is this the year that Sting finally gives in to the WWE and signs a short term deal to finish his career at WrestleMania?  Sting has done so much for TNA, and as their 1st Hall of Fame inductee will be forever etched into their history as a 5 time World Champion (12 times overall).  I personally would like to see Sting finish his career in TNA and pass the torch to a younger superstar, but I also think his itch to be on a huge stage VS. the Undertaker is legit.  Sting also has taken a non-wrestling role lately with the MEM as his in-ring action has been almost non-existent for over 2 1/2 months.  Bound For Glory in October may truly be his last PPV appearance as he has nothing left to prove. 

Hulk Hogan has not been as appreciated by TNA fans during his tenure in comparison to Sting, and in a lot of ways rightfully so.  Hogan has been there for less than 4 years and hasn't lived up to a lot of people's expectations, whereas Sting has been there for 10 years plus (off and on) and shown extreme loyalty to TNA.  Hulk has had his moments in IMPACT Wrestling and usually receives a great reaction from the LIVE crowds, but essentially has not moved the meter like most expected him to do when he debuted in 2010.  Hogan deserves respect as one of the all-time greats, but his time and contributions with the company may be just about over.  It would be a nice gesture for Hulk to have one final match at Bound For Glory, but it may not be possible with the fragile condition of his body after taking years of punishment and having multiple back surgeries.  A "Street Fight" might be a possibility but we will see how it plays out in the next 2 months.  I think it may be time for Hulkster to move on when taking all things into consideration.  By the start of 2014, TNA may be minus its two most famous icons.  If the promotional posters for the 2014 U.K. Tour are any indicator of things to come, this might just be the case. 

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