TNA Wrestling president and head honcho, Dixie Carter addressed the wrestlers last week at the TNA Impact tapings. To the surprise of many, the speech was taped and included in the television show. I had many thoughts as I watched the speech and the looks on the faces of the talent told the story. In the end a great speech does not make a great pro wrestling company, and Dixie Carter is no Paul Heyman.
Back in the days of the real ECW, Paul Heyman was known for his motivational speeches. I had the opportunity to witness and listen to many of Paul’s great speeches. Several wrestlers have said that they felt like running through a wall after a Heyman speech. I don’t know if that was the intent of Dixie Carter but if so, there was one key ingredient missing from Dixie’s speech and that was credibility.
[adinserter block=”1″]Paul always had the same army mentality that Dixie expressed to her crew. The difference was that Paul backed up everything he said. Dixie expects these wrestlers to believe in the company when she hasn’t believed in any of them (unless they came from the WWE of course). In ECW, Paul gave everyone an opportunity and all were rewarded for great work. The top stars were full of guys that reinvented themselves and with the help of Heyman’s genius booking, all became top guys. If someone like a Rick Steiner, Brian Pillman, or Steve Austin came in, they were treated with respect but Paul never took the spotlight off of “his crew” to put this talent over. That is why his crew ran through walls for him and the big difference in a speech from Dixie Carter and a Paul Heyman speech.
Let’s face it. You were looking at a crew of talent that just heard about the signing of HulkHogan on the Internet. Hogan never mentioned any of these guys by name. Any student of the wrestling game is familiar with Hogan’s track record. Hogan likes to bring in his own crew of guys and has done nothing in over twenty years to elevate anyone when he is in charge. One of the first things that Hogan has said is that there will be a lot of changes. What is a wrestler not named Nash, Angle, Foley, Steiner, or Sting supposed to think? I think it takes a heck of a lot of nerve to ask these guys to step it up when some of them have stepped it up for years and have never been rewarded for it.
Dixie Carter goes on in her speech and states that she has put her personal and professional reputation on the line. Exactly what is her reputation? When Paul Heyman or even Vince McMahon makes a speech like that to their crew, you know what their reputations are. These are people that have credibility and deserve the benefit of the doubt due to their reputation. Dixie Carter continues to support Vince Russo, TNA’s buy rates are stagnant, and now she has gone out and hired a guy that has zero credibility when it comes to running a wrestling company. So exactly what is her professional or personal reputation that her crew needs to be so worried about protecting?
As someone that has worked in the wrestling business for many years and has had the honor of working in some great locker rooms, I found her speech almost offensive to the talent. How dare her tell someone who is working hurt or has other issues to “step it up?” What exactly are they supposed to be stepping up? It is easy for Vince McMahon to tell his talent to, step it up but does she know what it’s like to be in a ring? For someone like Dixie Carter to tell someone that is working on bad knees, a hurt neck, or a bad back to “step it up,” just shows out of touch she really is with what goes on in a wrestling ring. This was a speech she should have been giving to her writers and producers, not her wrestlers.
The portion of the speech where she criticized talent for questioning her, speaks volumes. Quite frankly, it came off to me like someone who is paranoid and is in need of some confidence. She is running a pro wrestling company with no experience whatsoever in pro wrestling, yet she is telling someone that may have decades of experience not to question her decisions? A confident CEO would have asked for ideas from the veterans of her company. For her to tell the entire company that questioning her could lead to a dismissal is a sign of an executive who may know what she is doing may not be right, but doesn’t want to hear about it.
[adinserter block=”2″]Dixie Carter is going to learn really fast that a “you’re either me or against me” attitude isn’t going to work in pro wrestling. It may work in a board room, but it won’t work with a group of wrestlers who have constantly gotten the shaft during their tenure in TNA Wrestling. Do the top guys like Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, and Bobby Lashley really care at the end of the day about Dixie’s speech? Hell, Vince Russo would have had more credibility making that speech in all honesty. What makes Dixie think she is different than any other money mark that has tried to start a pro wrestling company is beyond me? She made a great speech, exposed herself as an executive that is scared to death of what the future is going to hold for TNA Wrestling.
At the end of the speech she mentioned that it is time for TNA to “swing for the fences.” How about just getting a base hit?
Check out Dixie’s speech to the roster here!
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