Hello everyone, I want to apologize for this going up later in the day. But I have some stuff on my mind that I want to get off my chest, if you don’t mind. Last night’s Raw was very polarizing to some for their lack of focus on the SummerSlam card going into this Sunday. Many found strife with the fact that Hulk Hogan’s birthday celebration took the main event segment last night. While I understand some of the grief with a few of the segments I don’t find it as atrocious as some have.

Hulk Hogan may not have the same appeal that he once had in 1984, but he still mean something to a generation of fans. Not to mention on the eve of WWE Network’s international rollout Hulk Hogan was the focus of the show once again. I found it symbolic as Vince making the nod to Hogan’s contributions as they embark on this worldwide journey once again. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m delusional. Maybe I’ve watched too much wrestling finally and I’ve lost my damn mind. But it wasn’t that bad in my eyes.

Keep this in mind if WWE did not have Hulk Hogan during the national expansion that might not of happened. It was the right place at the right time with the right villain (Roddy Piper) that made the company reach the scope that it has. Without the focal point of Hogan at the first Wrestlemania, the event would’ve went bust more than likely and The World Wrestling Federation would’ve never been the same. And guys like John Cena, The Rock and others would not have the ability to cross over into pop culture like has been happening in the last couple of years. He ran wild on Wheaties boxes, cartoons, TV shows, Saturday Night Live, among other things. Some would just give credit to Vince in this situation, but it was a mixture of two parties working together.

I’m not going to disagree that Raw was a terrible show, but it wasn’t because of Hogan. It’s actually because the top star isn’t enough like Hogan. John Cena maybe wearing red and yellow these days, but he’s nothing like Hulk, sure there are similarities in style and charisma, but there’s one key difference. As much as the WCW version of Hogan was notorious for not doing what’s best for the company, the WWF iteration of Hogan really made his nemesis mean more. He was vulnerable whether it was Earthquake, King Kong Bundy, Andre or any other challenger from his heyday. They made you believe that the red and yellow could die from any of the challenges.

That was the real problem of anything on that show is it wasn’t a simple go home show. They made it too complicated The matches were solid, but the overwrought angles to try to save some physicality before the pay-per-view. Hulk really should serve as a reminder more to WWE to keep things easy for the fans to get behind with simple conflict that everyone can understand. Stephanie didn’t need her revenge with Megan Miller. That feud was already built up. Same thing with Paige and AJ/Bray Wyatt and Jericho. These were already ready for consumption this Sunday. They were really needing any more seasoning. it could’ve just been said that all talents involved were training for their showdowns.

The need for characters to appear on every show is not really necessary. As the old saying goes absence does make the heart grow fonder. And it keeps the character fresher as well. I know to the younger crowd, this sounds like blasphemy not seeing their favorite superstar every show. But look at Brock Lesnar he means more because he’s not around as much. And it will give guys time to recoup creative energy and the be seen in a more positive light. Back in the day, this happened all the time.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.