NEWS ANALYSIS: Hogan’s one-man show, Angle’s retirement from ring, ROH’s ratings on Destination America

-Hulk Hogan is following the lead of Mick Foley and Jim Ross, scheduling his first one-man show on Nov. 14 in Sheffield, England (full PWTorch story here). This makes sense as the next step for him. WWE isn’t interested in working with him for now, and perhaps for a long time. His racist comments coming out, I’m told, were more or less the excuse they were looking for to distance themselves from working with him as he just wasn’t popular in key circles of management. Regardless of his racist comments, he is a Celebrity Curiosity of sorts with a big history with a lot of pro wrestling fans, and a chance to sit down in a relatively intimate environment and hear him tell stories is attractive to a lot of fans, I suspect. It also removes him from the realm of being marketed as a kid hero or a role model – which doesn’t match up well anymore with his personal life, statements, and behavior – and cashes in on his Celebrity Curiosity classification.

-Kurt Angle says a lot, and I don’t always believe his word today is his final word on a topic, but he told former PWTorch Newsletter columnist and one-time WCW Nitro cohost Mark Madden that he is stepping away from pro wrestling when his contract expires with TNA. He said he isn’t looking to renew his TNA relationship nor go back to WWE. He is advertised now for TNA’s annual UK tour that runs Jan. 29-31, plus some TNA house show dates in the U.S. in October (full PWTorch story on this here). With all that Angle has been through physically, I am happy to hear he intends to step away from further bump-taking. Seeing him in person in July in Waterloo, Iowa at the Dan Gable Pro Wrestling Museum, he looked like someone who had been through a lot and probably shouldn’t be putting himself through any more wrestling matches. Of course, he was fresh off spinal surgery days earlier, so he was especially ragged looking in terms of his physical movements, but still, I have no doubt it’s time if Angle thinks it’s time. He’s someone who would push himself as hard as anyone to go as long as he can. I also think the Dudley Boyz showing up on Raw indicates WWE wouldn’t harbor needless resentment over his time in TNA when it comes to Angle being a headliner at a WWE Hall of Fame in the next few years. Given WWE’s strong stance against Daniel Bryan returning to the ring so far, I find little chance at all Angle will ever wrestle in WWE again.

-Check out ROH TV tonight on Destination America after TNA Impact to see two title matches – the most noteworthy of which is probably the ROH Tag Title match with Christopher Daniels & Kaz vs. The Young Bucks, but Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong gets co-billing too. You can get a review of the show, which originally aired on Sinclair stations nationwide in syndication, by our ROH TV reporter Mike Metzger at PWTorch here. I remain a bit surprised that ROH hasn’t been able to do better in the ratings on Destination America. There’s a sharper dropoff than I anticipated after Impact airs. I’m curious to hear from any regular TNA Impact viewers if you have made a choice to start watching ROH after Impact, or if not, what about the ROH product doesn’t hook you enough to keep watching after Impact ends on Wednesdays? Email me at kellerwade@gmail.com or comment below. I’m sure part of the issue with ROH viewership on Destination America is that the show already airs on the prior weekend on Sinclair stations, so a lot of ROH fans have already seen it by the time Wednesday rolls around. Are you one of those fans?

-Check out Pat McNeill’s live interview with Disco Inferno at 5:30 ET this afternoon discussing the 20th anniversary of the launch of WCW Nitro along with other topics. Your phone calls are welcome at 646-721-9828. You can also listen on-demand later at www.PWTorchLivecast.com. Check out yesterday’s show with Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net who joined me to talk about Raw with live callers.

-And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check the last three episodes of Steve Austin’s podcast at PodcastOne (and on iTunes). I was the guest of his three shows in a row reviewing Summerslam and NXT Takeover, plus other topics. On yesterday’s show, I had the chance to basically take over the show and interview him on a wide array of topics. It was a fun show. To listen, click here.

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