Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Wrestling: How The Mighty Have Fallen

Hulk Hogan's "Celebrity Wrestling" debuts on CMT tonight. No it's not the Hulkster trying to make money from his son's prison stay. Hogan's son is currently serving time after he left his friend in a vegetative state after a "drink driving accident" and after Hogan was caught on tape saying he was looking for a reality TV program for his son, some felt that this effort may be it.

Hogan is one of the biggest stars pro-wrestling has ever produced. He is largely responsible for the massive rise in popularity of the sport in the 80's. Numerous factors at the time came together in perfect cohesion to propel wrestling into the main stream. And Hogan was at the epi-centre of it all...

His popularity is without bounds and he has held titles in WWE and WCW as his ability to sell out stadiums is legendary. But Hogan has fallen on rough times. He's too old to wrestle, has too many skeletons to be a viable manager so has he faded away with dignity like other stars of yester-year?

No, this is Hogan training celebrities to wrestle. I use the term celebrity sparingly as I don't think many will have heard of these guys. God the producer's must have really dragged the bottom of the barrel to come up with this motley crew. Actually Eric Bischoff is a producer so that explains a lot...

The "celebrities" include Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Eric Butterbean, Trishelle Cannatella, Dustin Diamond, Erin Murphy, Dennis Rodman, Frank Stallone, Tiffany, and Nikki Ziering. Who?

The trainers are usual Hogan lackeys, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Brian Knobbs from the Nasty Boys and more recently "Hogan Knows Best." The judges are Jimmy Valentine and Eric Bischoff so we're guaranteed the best guy winning...

The program will have celebrities undergoing such tasks as "learning incredible technical wrestling manoeuvres," "learning how to trash talk your opponent," "learning to work a live crowd," (Hopefully they won't go to Philadelphia for this one) and "various other challenges," whatever the hell they are.

The trailer claims the show will be "more than you think it is." Actually we know what to expect right away. Idiot Z-list celebrities moaning and crying, saying no one understands them. A few serious moments as someone inevitably gets injured. Some love or racial tension and Hogan sorting everything out like a big wise lovely Grandad.

Hogan always had a bad reputation back stage while us fans loved him. But ever since the "John Graziano" incident I just can't stomach the man. Hogan tried to assassinate the character of his son's injured friend. And was caught on tape.

And while I hate Big Brother, X-Factor and shows of that ilk, I did like watching the short lived WWE program Tough Enough. Perhaps it was the wrestling fan in me. And while this will be car crash TV I'll probably tune in for a show or two.

You know the show is not going to be up to much when they have to use a comic style drawing to show how buff everybody is. And while Hogan was never the greatest at "selling" during his career he has definitely never had a problem selling out.

And if he is to make a success of this disastrous format of a show he might actually have to "sell" to one of his wannabes. Now that's un-reality TV.