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The two wrestling legends were brought in with much fanfare and made big changes in the company, moving Impact to Monday nights opposite WWE Raw and making changes to the look of the product.
The result was an infamous failure, and Impact was moved back to Thursday nights three months later. Hogan’s run in TNA ended in 2013, and Bischoff left in 2014 after being sent home in late 2013 to sit out his contract.
Highlights from the discussion with Bruce Prichard who looked back at and they failed:
On what the goal was in bringing Hogan and Bischoff into the company: “When Hulk and Eric came in, they came in to restart and to jumpstart this company and really take it to the next level. And that was a big catchphrase, ‘Take it to the next level.’
Dixie Carter used to say — which Eric and I used to pull our hair out at — was, ‘Let’s think outside of the box.’ What the **** does that mean? Think outside the box.
So the idea was from Hulk and Eric’s standpoint at this point in time, was that they were coming in to do what Eric had done at WCW early on with the nWo. Completely turning things around in the nWo and WCW with some brand new, different thinking.”
On Hogan and Bischoff’s plans not succeeding: “Unfortunately, the brand new different thinking consisted of bringing in a lot of older talent from WCW or WWE that had previously been stars elsewhere. And let’s just bring them in, like ‘Whoo hoo, the Nasty Boys are coming in!’
And guys like that, that didn’t really make a difference. Because I think that the majority of the audience looked at them as retreads, and looked at them as old, and they weren’t getting anything new. The audience for a long time had been conditioned to look at TNA as, ‘Man, this is where the new stars [are].
This is where the next crop of stars is going to come from.’ There’s a few old stars that were sprinkled in there, but all of a sudden the old guard was coming in and trying to take over in a lot of respects.
So guys that had been there a long time, the younger stars who were continually promised ‘Hey, it’s gonna be your time soon,’ felt that they once again were put on the back burner and now they’re never gonna get a shot, a real shot, at becoming stars.
Because the Nasty Boys are coming in, Rob Van Dam’s coming in. Duggan, I mean there were a lot of guys that were coming in, that were immediately put on top because of their past association with WWE or WCW.”
On AJ Styles saying that Hogan and Bischoff didn’t understand what made TNA work before they got there: “I would say that’s fair to say, and I would also say that I think Hulk and Eric were coming in trying to change it overnight.
And they were trying to — yeah, man, they wanted to spike it, no pun intended, and get it to that level immediately. It’s like, ‘You announce Hulk Hogan and immediately you’re gonna sell out.’ That wasn’t the case in 2010. People wanted more.”
On why their plans failed: “[People] felt that with the two of them coming in, that it was, ‘Okay, we’re gonna get the stuff that put WCW out of business’ vs. what took WCW from a floundering business into a profitable business.
And that’s what Eric and Hulk were looking to try and do. The difference was that in WCW, they had a hell of a bankroll. They have a billionaire behind them and a strong company in CNN.
Over here, you had Panda Energy that didn’t want to put any more money into the company. That wasn’t willing to spend the kind of money you need to spend to be successful sometimes. And you’ve gotta spend money to make money.”