It looks like TNA is really serious about this cost-cutting exercise. After bidding farewell to Madison Rayne, Taeler Hendrix and Tara in July, the company has reportedly let go Brooke Hogan, who was working as an authority figure for the Knockouts and was part of an ongoing storyline involving on-screen husband and TNA Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. The news was revealed by PWInsider yesterday evening, and a similar report was also uploaded to F4W Online soon afterward.
Quite honestly, this is a surprise. It’s not because of Hogan’s usefulness in the promotion – which was minimal as far as a boss lady for the women’s division, or even because of the storyline with Bully Ray – but because of her surname. As Hulk‘s daughter, you would have thought she would have been bulletproof from these releases as part of measures to appease their biggest star. The indication that she is just as susceptible to being cut as anyone else is a real eye-opener. Nobody is safe.
While her departure will not be a loss to the Knockouts portion of the show, she was reportedly going to turn heel to join Aces and Eights and align with her husband against her father, much like Stephanie McMahon did when she turned on dad Vince at Armageddon 1999 to link up with Triple H, who had seemingly tricked her into marriage. While we don’t want to divulge any spoilers about next week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, the loose ends will be tied off somewhat – so it seems that TNA knew that they were going to cut Brooke before this week’s Hardcore Justice episode of Impact, as they show the first episode almost-live and then tape the following week’s show straight afterward.
Curiously, it seems reports of the 25-year old’s release came from inside WWE – as F4W says the rumblings about Brooke going came from there before it was confirmed by people inside TNA. However, the language used in the F4W report is also interesting. While Tara and Taeler Hendrix’s departures were described as releases and Rayne’s contract was allowed to expire, the post says that Hogan was “fired”, which feels very strong.
So will Brooke Hogan be missed? Not really. Despite Dixie Carter saying at the time of her hiring that “Brooke is such a great talent who’s really sharp and will make a great addition to the TNA family”, and it being claimed at the time that she would be helping develop the characters of the Knockouts and help with backstage promos, she was pretty ropey as a character and her promos were nothing to write home about. We were sceptical about the recruitment when it was revealed, and also reported that other female wrestling talent were not happy about the perceived nepotism at work. Considering how she didn’t really garner much mainstream coverage for the company and is unlikely to have sold many tickets or PPV buys, her employment could be chalked up as a failed experiment.
Without trying to sound cold, she contributed little to TNA and is an expense the promotion could do without.
– Lee Burton