Black and White

Nick Paglino

First, Impact wasn’t sure about Bobby Roode. So James Storm got the “world” title.

Now, Impact isn’t sure about Storm.

Gee, I wonder where all this uncertainty is coming from?

Actually, I think I know.

As long as Impact doesn’t have a signature performer, chaos reigns. As long as chaos reigns, Hulk Hogan can slip through the cracks and be the main figure on TV (with money mark Dixie by his side, of course). Hogan is a "proven commodity." HE WAS ON JAY LENO!

You think I’m being paranoid?

Nope. Been there, seen that.

The nWo invasion was fizzling in WCW, mostly because it was time to move on but in no small part because Hogan had diluted the nWo’s coolness quotient. It was time for a climatic battle between WCW and the nWo, winner gets the promotion.

BTW, Kevin Nash wanted the nWo to win that battle, feeling that the nWo brand was stronger than WCW’s had ever been. Nash was probably right. But the plan was for WCW to win, and for the promotion to move forward under that name.

In order to invigorate the WCW brand, WCW had to get some heat back. Hall & Nash had been holding off the company’s entire roster with baseball bats. It was time for payback. That meant the nWo looking vulnerable and doing jobs. That meant Hogan looking vulnerable and doing jobs.

No way. That was never going to happen.

So Hogan came up with the idea of the nWo split. That pitted Hall vs. Nash, which no one wanted to see. It badly diluted the nWo brand. Remember the Black & White? Yuck.

Most important, it put off the climactic battle between WCW and the nWo – it never did take place – and created chaos.

Con men take advantage of chaos. Con men thrive in chaos. When booking has no clear focus or obvious options, politicking determines position. When there aren’t any stars, a guy like Hogan – the “proven commodity” – takes advantage.

Think about it. Hogan can’t work. Can’t walk. But he has still maneuvered himself to the top of Impact via dirty deals behind the scenes, dirty deals that include the sabotaging of Roode and (no doubt) Storm.

You’ve got to admire the guy. WWE doesn’t want Hogan. There’s nothing he can offer Impact. He’s the de facto head of creative, but he’s never come up with one single idea that benefited somebody besides himself.

Yet somehow Hogan got another contract, even more amazingly entrenching himself not only as the promotion’s face, but as Impact's judge, jury and hangman.

Want proof? Hogan said Roode isn’t the next guy. Roode didn’t get the belt. Long-term planning was derailed by the word of one guy.

Hogan is a locust. He takes and takes and takes and takes and leaves nothing. He couldn’t stop doing that even if he wanted to. It’s in his blood, in his brain, in his soul. Hulk Hogan is everything. Nothing else is even marginally important.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MARKMADDENX.

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