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Bracing For Impact: Life After Hulk

By James Guttman

Hulk Hogan quitting as General Manager of TNA would have been a monumental moment no matter when it happened.  With all the (now former) Impact General Manager brings to the table, losing him changes many things.  He's one of a select few major players in a business filled with thousands of people who claim to be one.

But Hulk Hogan's resignation from his position in TNA on last Thursday's Impact couldn’t have come at a worse time.  Never, in the nearly four years he's been here, has Hogan been in the position he's been for the past month.  That's when, out of nowhere, the Hulkster suddenly emerged as the voice of reason in TNA management.

Why?  Well, in case you haven't gotten the memo, our TNA President Dixie Carter has finally put her foot down.  Insubordination is no longer tolerated.  Back talk is no longer allowed.  And, even if you're about to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship on pay-per-view despite not having a contract, you're still not worth the President's time unless you're on "Team Dixie".  It's been mind boggling to see how a single public showing of disrespect by A.J. Styles has sent the once-congenial Miss Carter into a zone that no one thought was possible.

Video: Hulk Hogan quits as General Manager

Since this transformation, stars in the locker room have been counting on Hulk Hogan to make the right choices.  While Dixie Carter was once the person wrestlers felt comfortable with approaching about problems or issues, her new attitude has changed all that.  People are legitimately afraid of what she'll do next and most want to just stay out of her way in order to avoid her wrath.

And now that's impossible.

The irony here is that Dixie's new attitude is what makes Hogan so important and it's also the thing that chased him away.  Fed up with all the "Team Dixie" nonsense, the red and yellow icon finally walked away from his post.  Carter herself never saw it coming and when she grabbed his leg to stop him from leaving, many fans whom she had mocked for being "the bottom 99%", laughed.  They thought, "Good. Now she can see how it feels to not get what you want too."

However, if you ask around the locker room, no one was laughing.  Think about it.  Given how upset the TNA President went over a few unkind words by A.J. Styles, how do you think she'll react to this public humiliation?  We've already learned that her threshold for embarrassment is low and her desire for revenge is high.  Put them together and life is about to get a lot rougher for some people.

Oh, but not Hulk Hogan.  That's another reason why the men and women of TNA are walking on egg shells.  Hulk is no longer General Manager.  Dixie can't extract vengeance on him.  So who's left for her to take it out on?  Yup.  Everyone and anyone.  Whether it's Bobby Roode going into the E.G.O. Hall of Fame or Magnus preparing for his upcoming match against Sting, no one is safe on this Thursday's Impact.  Hell hath no fury like Dixie Carter.

Now that the countdown to Bound For Glory has gone from months to weeks and, soon enough, days, the tensions are high.  Can A.J. Styles be the man to take out World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray at Bound For Glory and finally put an end to the Aces and Eights reign?  According to many, yes.  Yes, he can.  He has the ability, passion, and momentum to get the job done. 

Will he?  That's a different story altogether.  There's a lot more to success than raw talent.  There's also who you know and who's on your "team", so to speak.  Alone, A.J. is heading into the most dangerous match of his career at Bound For Glory.  If things take a brutal and possibly career-ending turn, he won't have the Hulkster to run to.

 All he'll have is Dixie Carter and the charred rubble of a bridge he needlessly burned.