Are Sting & Hogan WWE Bound, Or Is WWE Simply Toying With TNA?
During WWE’s most recent Night of Champion Pay-Per-View, they rolled out several polls asking fans to vote for various favorite champions. A couple of the polls stood out to me, as I think they were actually quite a bit more important than just a silly time-kill for viewers to mess with in between matches. Both the poll for greatest U.S. Champion and WWE Champion yielded interesting results, with current TNA stars Sting and Hulk Hogan winning each one, handily. Is it little more than fans voting for names they’re most familiar with, or is something a bit more nefarious to be credited for the somewhat surprising results?
While I’m quite sure the results mean very little to most, they certainly mean nothing to me on the surface, I think we all know WWE has a habit of fixing certain polls as a way to control the fanbase, pointing us in the direction their market research and/or creative team has dictated we go. There’s a very good chance fans actually did vote for Sting and Hogan as the two greatest champions for their respective titles, but considering most the WWE fanbase hadn’t even born the last time Sting or Hogan had a really great match, or was involved in a really great storyline, I find this all hard to believe. Which leads me to ask the question: Were the results of the polls fixed in an effort to lure Hogan and Sting to WWE?
It has been said that both Sting and Hogan are nearing the end of their current deals with TNA, and with TNA firmly entrenched in cost cutting mode, could the WWE have looked at the possibility of bringing Hogan back to take advantage of the merchandise dollars, while bringing Sting in for a Hall of Fame induction and possible dream match against Undertaker at the next WrestleMania? Vince McMahon has said in the past that he thinks Hulk Hogan is the Babe Ruth of Professional Wrestling, so it only makes sense for him to be playing for WWE, the Yankees of Professional Wrestling. With Sting, Vince would finally have been able to sign the one guy he was never able to get under contract. For Hogan, it would bring him back home to where he really belongs in the first place. He may well be conning Dixie out of more money on the front end, but the merchandising dollars and overall reach that WWE can throw at him would dwarf anything TNA will ever hope to produce. A cushy legends deal with a nice percentage of his merch might be enough to bring Hulkster back into the fold. As for Sting, he’s clearly in the wind down portion of his career, meaning a legends deal with ‘one more run’ attached to it might be right up his alley. He, much like Undertaker, could be a once or twice a year guy you bring in for a short one month run; just enough to keep his merchandise sells up during the house shows and live broadcasts. It seems like it would be a massive positive for all potential parties.
Having said all that, let me ask a few more questions: What if Sting has his heels dug in against WWE? What if Hulk doesn’t feel like getting back into business with Vince? What if WWE actually has zero plans at any overtures whatsoever towards the legendary wrestlers? What if WWE’s Night of Champions polls were nothing more than a little subtle propaganda aimed at Dixie Carter and TNA, possibly in an effort to make Hogan and Sting seem like bigger deals than they really are to today’s fans? What if the polls were designed to do little more than convince Dixie that TNA can’t exist without the two 50-somethings, thereby upping their price tags, which in turn, stretches TNA’s budget just a little bit thinner? It may all sound very ‘conspiracy theorist’ to you, but one thing everyone has got to know about Vince McMahon by now is that he competes at everything. If he can’t have Hogan and Sting, it is not beyond the realm of comprehension to think he’d look for any way possible to ensure Dixie overpaid to keep them. He may well be able to buy and sell TNA 50 times over, but that hardly means Vince is above taking a jab at them. History has shown that Vince considers all other promotions a threat, even the ones that appear to be sinking lower and lower each and every week.
If we’re casting votes, I’m happily checking the box that has Sting and Hogan moving on to WWE in the coming months, because not only would it benefit them, but most importantly, it would do wonders for TNA. Perhaps it’s unfounded, but I worry about TNA. They, at times, appear to be a rudderless ship, and as nice as she may well be, Dixie Carter hardly inspires a great deal of confidence. Were Hogan and Sting to move on, perhaps not having their collective looming presence backstage and in the locker room would allow certain performers to spread their wings a bit more. I’m interested to see how it all plays out, but however it does, you can be sure WWE is probably 4 or 5 steps ahead of us all, including TNA. That’s just how Vince does things. While others sleep, he’s pondering new ways to rule the world.