It’s Dixie Carter Appreciation Month here at L.E.W.D.!
After our faithful and horribly underpaid intern Gary finally ordered the balloons and cake, we decided that there was no better way to celebrate the month than to heap our unending thanks and gratitude to this modern era’s greatest pro wrestling promoter by going H.A.M. on her latest talent acquisition, Brooke Hogan!
Brooke Hogan will soon take her rightful place in the hallowed halls of sports entertainment and pro wrestling. The darling daughter of immortality is primed and ready to assume her position in TNA as a director for the Knockouts Division.
For those of you that are just as befuddled by this as our intern Gary, that last statement basically means that Brooke’s role in the company will perhaps be the fourth most ambiguously defined, yet purposefully detailed position in TNA, lagging slightly behind her father’s role, Eric Bischoff’s job, and whatever Dixie Carter thinks she’s doing.
It’s easy for analytical jackasses such as yours truly to stand on soap boxes and declare this signing an epic fail before it even begins; after all, I have no experience in the business whatsoever other than spending an Ivy League college scholarship on wrestling related materials. Seeing as I have no experience in being the president of a company either, who the hell do I think I am to comment on Dixie Carter’s decisions?
So first and foremost, congratulations are in order for Dixie Carter for adding yet another person to TNA’s payroll. The company must be making a profit to do that; maybe one day they’ll have enough to take the show on the road regularly…
On the other hand, however, Brooke Hogan’s experience in “the business,” to the best of my knowledge, is being the daughter of Hulk Hogan. Other than that…well, there is no other than that. I don’t even know whether or not she actually watches pro wrestling. Hell I’m not even 100 percent sold on the idea that she knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
What we fans do know is this: Brooke Hogan will have some sort of major input on the direction of TNA’s Knockouts Division. Meanwhile back in Stamford, Connecticut, Stephanie McMahon is pissing herself silly.
Brooke Hogan made the standard media rounds for this major announcement last week, not only putting over the product and the Knockouts Division but also fielding softball questions that sort of focused on one issue: “What the **** qualifies you for this position?”
Here are just a few of the chestnuts found in this cornucopia of delight:
“I love that I get to prove people wrong, because people think ‘Oh it’s Hulk Hogan’s daughter.’ But I have seen behind the scenes. I have heard the meetings. I have watched the creative process. I mean I am the best intern there is. I’ve been around it for so long. Me and Dixie Carter were throwing around some ideas and as I was doing that, she was like, ‘You know more about this than I thought you would.’”
The very fact that she is Hulk Hogan’s daughter is the reason why she was able to see behind the scenes, hear the meetings, and watch the creative process. Nowhere in that glowing list of qualifications does it say or imply that she has participated in any of those activities as something more than somebody in the room when the s**t hit the fan.
My father has multiple degrees in psychology and I’ve seen him in action, but that doesn’t qualify me for the Sigmund Freud Award for Psychological Excellence now does it?
Being attentive to one’s surroundings is not the best prerequisite for the position we’ve been led to believe that Brooke has in TNA. Has she even booked feuds and matches on WWE ’12? Given the rest of that conversation maybe she has.
Also keep in mind that a D is better than an F, but it’s still not a passing grade in some circumstances. Dixie Carter would be probably sh*t the bed if she found out that Brooke knew the difference between a triple threat match and a three way dance; then again when we look at the source of the “compliment” there…
“We have been working together for the past year and a half on my music…but it would always turn into wrestling, and she would always tell me about what happened on the show that night. I would then throw out an idea and she would say, ‘I had no idea you knew so much about it.’ I’m like, ‘Duh.’ I came from the household that the main plans were going on in. She said, ‘Ever since Karen Jarrett left and isn’t managing the Knockouts any more, we haven’t had anybody to wrangle them in. I’m so busy on focusing on everything else, do you think while you’re recording your album, you can take a day or two out of the week and come help me out the girls?”
There’s something to be said about that last statement, but there’s something else you should hear before going into all of that…
“[Dixie] is bogged down with so much. It’s like where do you find a woman who knows wrestling as much as I do and who has been around it so long, to be able to trust and make decisions that you would make. There is no one out there right now in the business that can kind of take the load off Dixie and trust to make the right decisions.”
I can IMMEDIATELY think of two people in the business right now that can take that load off of Dixie: David “Fit” Finlay and Scott D’Amore.
Finlay was a trainer for the WWE from 2001-2005, and was also largely responsible for training the divas at that time. That period of time is the highly lauded and appreciated era in the WWE where the women wrestlers were actually allowed to wrestle and the goddess-like Trish Stratus made her splash in the business. Yep; that was due in part to Fit Finlay.
Scott D’Amore worked as a creative writer and road agent for TNA for several years, but was brought back into the company in 2009 to work with the Knockouts Division. He parted ways with TNA in February 2010.
We can mull over the hits and misses of his time as a road agent for the Knockouts, but it’s worth mentioning that during his time in this role, ODB and Tara traded the Knockouts Championship, and Sarita and Taylor Wilde became the first ever Knockouts Tag Team Champions.
So there was really no other person qualified for this position other than Brooke Hogan?
Okay let’s play with semantics; to Brooke’s credit she said the following: “It’s like where do you find a woman who knows wrestling as much as I do and who has been around it so long, to be able to trust and make decisions that you would make.” The she at the very beginning eliminates Finlay and D’Amore from the conversation.
It is amazing though to know that out of the millions of unemployed Americans scrounging around for work and begging to be hired by Pet Smart and Arby’s, Brooke Hogan was the ONLY woman around qualified enough to lift this cumbersome burden off the capable but preoccupied shoulders of Dixie Carter.
The next part is even better…
“I think everyone is forgetting that [the Knockouts] have a story and they have drama in their lives. What I admire so much about TNA is right now fans think that they know wrestling. They are like, ‘Oh everything is set up, all the storylines, all the plans, it’s a soap opera for men.’ And true, that’s been happening for years in the wrestling business. What TNA is doing now is, and they couldn’t do it without what’s really going on right now, these girls, they all actually have drama happening.”
Intriguing; let’s hear more…
“What’s great about TNA is that they are going back to real life and these matches are going to be between people who really have something to fight out. If they want to hurt each other, that’s their thing. But as far as I’m concerned we are making this more real. That’s why I’m coming in. There are personal issues behind closed doors that we need to resolve.”
One of THE primary and most important rules of professional wrestling is to protect your opponent at all times. When a wrestler steps in between the ropes, they have to trust that their opponent won’t do anything to intentionally hurt, maim, or kill them. That’s a HUGE amount of trust to place in someone.
When accidents happen inside and around the ring, we fans can only imagine the hell these athletes go through. In the latest DVD on Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart talked briefly about the mental anguish his brother Owen went through the night he slammed Austin head first to the mat with an improperly executed piledriver.
Bret mentioned that Owen felt terrible and could never bring himself to call Austin while he was recuperating, and that’s something Owen will never be able to do. The sad part is Austin and Owen were/are both consummate professionals and never allowed any signs of ill will towards each other before or after the incident to be shown to us fans.
So we’re supposed to applaud the fact that Brooke Hogan desires to place wrestlers who have issue with one another in the ring with one another? That alone sounds like one epic fail waiting to happen.
Remember how pissed off Sting was when Jeff Hardy was allowed to work Victory Road under the influence of something other than the love of the Tooth Fairy?
Good; now do you remember why Sting was pissed?
It’s simple; Hardy could’ve easily half-assed a dangerous move and killed himself and/or Sting in the process. More damning is the fact that some goofball allowed Hardy to meander his way out to the ring.
It’s the same reason why folks get ticked off at Jake Roberts and Scott Hall; if you can barely stand up on your own how in the heck do you expect to execute a collar-and-elbow tie up without poking someone’s eye out?
While the scenarios are vastly different the main idea remains the same: a wrestler cannot let anything cloud his or her better judgment between bells in front of the fans. Whether it is alcohol, prescription drugs, weed, envy, jealousy or anger, it is a wrestler’s duty to protect their opponent/partner in the ring first and put on a good show second.
And of course Brooke Hogan knows this, seeing that she’s been around wrestling long enough to know that and promote the type of “realness” she thinks should continue to happen in TNA.
Here’s the fun part: in the spirit of objectivity and fairness, we won’t be able to comment on Brooke’s presence in TNA until we at least see what she’s capable of bringing to the company.
It could be that Brooke becomes the best thing to happen to TNA since HealthSouth pulled out as a major financial backer for the company, but I seriously doubt that.
For all intents and purposes, Brooke Hogan was hired by TNA to manage a portion of its talent on and off screen. It appears that she was hired out of necessity and not because of potential, and fans can only hope that her noble intentions don’t lead the company’s ratings-boosting division down the dark and treacherous path to Hell.
Good luck with that one, Dixie. We appreciate your efforts in providing the best wrestling product for us, but I can’t ignore the smell of nepotism at its best.