If you follow TNAStars.com on Twitter, then you’ve probably read a few of my thoughts about how iMPACT Wrestling should be using Brooke Hogan. Since there is only so much that a man can say in 140 characters (or less), I thought I might take a few paragraphs here and explain how the team at TNA could best use Brooke in her role as Executive in Charge of the Knockouts Division.
Before I share some of my thoughts on booking Brooke, I think it would only be right to acknowledge some realities. First, much of the anti-TNA, angry internet media doesn’t like Brooke and won’t even give her a chance to succeed. I vehemently detest that point of view as I believe in allowing each person an opportunity to achieve success. As a long-time fan of professional wrestling, I’m glad to give Brooke an opportunity to hit a homerun as the Executive in Charge of the Knockouts Division.
Second, even though Brooke is a Hogan – she’s not Hulk Hogan. People need to realize that fact and quick. Further, I don’t get the impression that Brooke wants to be to women’s wrestling what Hulk is/was to men’s wrestling.
Can we agree on those two points? Good!
Now to booking Brooke. Up until this past Thursday’s episode of iMPACT Wrestling, I would suggest that Brooke was booked very poorly. The fans aren’t used to Brooke yet – they only really know her as Hulk Hogan’s daughter and some fans may know her as a recording artist. That’s it. They don’t know her as a professional wrestling personality. They don’t know her as an authority figure. They know her from Hogan Knows Best and Brooke Knows Best.
The first thing I would do with Brooke is… not use her on television. That’s right. Sure, she can exist as the Executive in Charge of the Knockouts, but I would not have put her on television for several months. I would have had her out meeting fans in the iMPACT Wrestling Zone, at the live events, around the country. I would have had her “shaking hands and kissing babies” like a politician looking for votes. I would have had her talking to sponsors and promoting iMPACT Wrestling to anyone who would listen. But I would not have had her make any on-screen appearances as an authority figure. Not in the beginning.
After 3 – 4 months of doing the face-to-face work with the fans, then I would have Brooke do some brief, prerecorded appearances on iMPACT Wrestling solely with the purpose to make authoritative decisions regarding the Knockouts Division. And when I write “brief” appearances, I mean brief! At most, I’d have these prerecorded segments last 30 – 45 seconds. No more! All these segments need to consist of is Brooke sitting in the executive offices of iMPACT Wrestling announcing to the crowd which women will be fighting on that night’s show. That’s it – no need to go into detail or give Brooke too much of a personality yet. Remember, Brooke isn’t a known quantity to many of the fans (yet!) so if she is going to be the Executive in Charge of the Knockouts, then she needs to be the type of executive that most fans have set as the default in their mind – fair, balanced, and authoritative.
Imagine this period of the slow and steady build in terms of the former WWF President Jack Tunney. The fans rarely saw Tunney in any capacity outside of very brief, prerecorded segments. He showed no personality – he just laid down the law quickly and efficiently.
In my booking world, these prerecorded segments with Brooke would last for at least 6 – 9 months. Combined with the off camera period, Brooke would have been employed by iMPACT Wrestling and in charge of the Knockouts for approximately one year before I’d get her out on camera. However, after the first year of Brooke making these decisions, I still wouldn’t have her show much of a personality. Instead, I would have used the same type of program that we saw the writers use on this past week’s episode of iMPACT Wrestling. In other words, after one year of the fans getting used to her, I would have Brooke appear on live television only to be put in a compromising position. When the Aces and Eights cornered Brooke, every fan in the iMPACT Wrestling Zone wanted to see those guys get knocked out for threatening a woman. By showing that vulnerability, the fans showed a modicum of concern about Brooke. That’s great!
However, the concern that we saw the fans show on Thursday’s episode of the show was fleeting. It was a creature of circumstance. If Brooke had been booked with a slow introduction to the fan base, then the concern would have been more permanent, more real.
I’m not sure what the fans will think if/when we see Brooke on this week’s episode of iMPACT Wrestling. I know that this fan is willing to give her a shot to succeed, even if I would have booked her debut and buildup differently.
joe1897 [at] gmail [dot] com