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For years, I thought Vince Russo was the cockroach of the pro wrestling industry, somehow finding ways to convince people to pay him to have one more chance to damage another pro wrestling company with his failed booking practices.
I was wrong.
Well, maybe I wasn’t wrong. But Dixie Carter may have supplanted him atop the list.
I came to the realization this week that Dixie Carter will run TNA into the ground before letting someone else take it over. To most, she has already. But this isn’t going to get better. Dixie doesn’t really care about TNA; she doesn’t really care about her roster or her employees. Instead, she cares primarily about herself, and more specifically, about keeping herself in a position of control at the expense of the fans and employees, if that’s what it takes. Maybe that’s natural for human beings, but because of her ego, TNA will continue to take on water before it ultimately sinks, and she is to blame.
Just like the TNA name needs to go in order to give the brand a fresh start, TNA needs a new leader to to turn around public perception. Wrestling fans, TNA’s potential consumers, don’t trust Dixie Carter anymore. Blame the ever-shrinking size of their U.S. cable network all you want, but a show that once drew more than 1 million viewers now considers it a good week when it hits one-third that mark.
If Dixie Carter didn’t have her name on the door, she would have been fired years ago. She’s lost two network deals, her audience is dwindling, she ran the company out of the house show business, and apparently she’s funding the operation on an American Express card.
By the way… the debt collectors are calling for that past-due balance, too.
Earlier this week, Anthem Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of Fight Network, announced that it recently made a working capital loan to TNA Impact Wrestling in order to fund its operations. It appears the press release was issued as an answer to Billy Corgan’s lawsuit against the company he is still currently the president of.
In other words, it seems Anthem Sports was the mystery investor that funded Bound for Glory and the next set of television tapings earlier this month and they wanted that known now, but not two weeks ago.
It’s yet another lifeline for Carter, keeping her in control of a company that, under her leadership, has crumbled slowly but steadily.
Leonard Asper is Anthem’s CEO. Mr. Asper, some friendly advice. You get what you pay for and you’ll get what you deserve when it comes to doing business with Carter.
Carter has a long history of burning bridges with business associates.
Heck, even her own parents stopped funding her wrestling habit once they realized the millions of dollars they had already spent wasn’t going to ever see a return on the investment.
At some point, things will end badly between Anthem and Dixie if history is any indication.
So Mr. Asper, be aware of it happening to you, too. And you should know better. There’s a clear track record here.
“TNA is a strong property for Fight Network and as a licensee and global distribution partner we have a keen interest in seeing the company not only survive but continue to grow and thrive, alongside our own growth,” Asper said in a press release. “We are hopeful that the company can soon get back to doing what it does best, which is to produce great wrestling content.”
The only real chance TNA had to jumpstart things was to sell to Billy Corgan. The roster was behind Corgan and fans were excited about a new direction and new leadership. But Dixie’s ego won’t allow for that. The last thing she wants is Billy being the “savior” of TNA while she sits on the sidelines.
This is a woman who has reportedly pitched for her own reality show. In Dixie’s world, it’s all about her. A year of TV was built around Dixie Carter getting powerbombed through a table by Bully Ray, and it meant nothing more than any other weekly TV show. All that time could have been invested in someone who, you know, actually wrestles.
Anthem also offered to pay off the loans owed to Corgan. Essentially, Fight Network is willing to finance Billy Corgan’s exit from TNA.
Dixie is all done with Billy. If she merely used him to finance a couple of TV tapings because the AMEX was maxed out, and now she’s on to the next money chump, the next money chump should be leery.
Remember, Leonard, I told you so.
Dixie “wins” again, ladies and gentlemen. The TNA wrestlers and employees, what’s left of them, will continue to hope their check clear.
Mike McMahon reviews TNA Impact Wrestling every week for PWTorch.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonPW.