A comeback bigger than Favre’s
Love him or hate him, the icon who filled our childhoods with so many unforgettable moments is back in the spotlight and makes his much-hyped return to the place that brought him fame and cemented his Hall of Fame career.
Yes, we have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.
Hulk Hogan is returning to the squared circle.
Oh yeah, and that football player who used to play in that small town up north is returning, too.
In case you missed it, Hulk Hogan was featured prominently in the news this past week. It was revealed exclusively on “Access Hollywood”…or maybe it was “Entertainment Tonight”…or “TMZ TV”…no matter. On a TV celebrity news show, it was reported that Hogan reveals in his new book, “My Life Outside the Ring,” that he was suicidal after his divorce from wife Linda and was saved only by a phone call from his “American Gladiators” co-host Laila Ali. As a Hulkamaniac, this news obviously shook me up, although being a wrestling fan, I should be used to such controversial storylines, real or scripted.
But as much as the pro wrestling industry is troubled by accusations of misogyny, tales of steroid abuse and painkiller addiction, wrestler comebacks and un-retirements are just as common. So it’s only fitting that Hogan made news again on Tuesday when he announced via a news conference in New York that he was joining the TNA wrestling promotion.
Did you miss that bombshell of an announcement? Most likely you did, only because TNA wrestling isn’t the WWE (the Vince McMahon world beater that TNA can only dream of becoming one day). It’s also possible that you missed the news because a) you stopped watching wrestling when you discovered the opposite sex or b) The Rock retired and you stopped following wrestling.
But for wrestling fans and fans of the legendary pop culture icon, Hogan on TV again is huge. The news a few months ago of a scheduled Hulkamania tour in Australia didn’t resonate in the States because, let’s face it, anything that happens away from U.S. soil is ignored (save for serious events like war). But when Hogan holds a press conference in NYC coming off the heels of a “Today” show appearance, it’s about as big as it gets for a “sport” like wrestling, especially when ratings are lower than ever with a subpar product and the rise of mix-martial arts.
So as we’re just a few days away from Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay on Sunday, the return of Hogan this Thursday night on Spike TV’s “TNA Impact” prompted me to wonder just how comparable these two megastars are.
All right, so I wouldn’t exactly say that the Minnesota Vikings are the “TNA of the NFL,” but because Favre was so synonymous with the Green Bay Packers, seeing him in Vikings purple is still surreal. Just as seeing Hogan in TNA’s six-sided ring will be surreal.
What about Favre’s rendezvous with the New York Jets last season? I’d love to harken back to Hogan’s time in WCW and say that was a flop, but his time in that federation was much more successful than Brett’s time on Broadway. After all, Hogan was a founding member of one of pro wrestling’s biggest heel groups of all-time, the nWo. Advantage, Hogan.
One thing Favre does have on Hogan, however, is the ability to play at a pretty high level. One wonders how Hogan’s surgically repaired back will hold up in regular ring action. Favre’s body? Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it broken down. Football players, young and old, must deal with everyday aches and pains themselves, so Favre is no exception. Yet he’s still been able to bring it every week so far.
Which is the bigger story? Favre or Hogan? One can argue that both are turncoats — Brett to Green Bay residents and Hogan to the entire wrestling world (believe me, no one watches TNA). I guess it depends on how big a wrestling fan you are.
The only thing I can guarantee is that my eyes will be glued to the television Thursday night just, just as they’ll be Sunday afternoon on Fox. Who will have the biggest career-defining moment? Well, Brett’s bound to retire again…only to come back again. Hogan? I’m willing to bet this is his last run, so this is sure to be one of his if not the final big moment.
So whatcha gonna do, brother?
My advice? Ditch the green and gold, or the purple and gold — depending on your rooting interest on Sunday -- and don the red and yellow one last time.
It’ll be a pre-Halloween treat for sure when Hulkamania returns and runs wild on you!
Dave Miller is the Web Manager of the National Football Post and an unfortunate hopeless romantic. After receiving his Masters in Writing from DePaul University in Chicago, he realized that he would never be John Updike so he returned to a sports career. He enjoys coffee at any time of the day, CW teen dramas and has an appreciation for girls in boots. You can follow him on Twitter at Miller_Dave, where he constantly chronicles every moment of his mundane life.