“Without my daddy’s paycheck, you would still be in a trailer and this house that AJ Styles built, that all these people always talk about, guess what? Dixie Carter built that house. She owns it and you are lucky, LUCKY, LUCKY! to have ever played in it.” — Dixie Carter to AJ Styles
It was the kind of moment that will be immediately highlighted in The Death of TNA, should Bryan Alvarez choose to write the book on the company’s eventual demise.
My friendly advice to TNA management: burn the tape from Thursday’s show, never watch it again, finish out the programs on the October PPV, hit the reset button, and get ready for the 2014 campaign with a clean slate. As we wrote in our article listing 10 benchmarks TNA should use to analyze the company’s future, now is the time to stop the bleeding and to forge a new path as a real alternative in the American wrestling space.
Thursday night’s angle between Dixie Carter & AJ Styles was embarrassing. After Styles won the Bound for Glory tournament and became #1 contender for the TNA title, Styles spent his energy calling out Carter rather than Bully Ray. In the process, Carter gave herself more television time in taped and in-ring segments. Unfortunately for TNA supporters, it’s the kind of thing you see from money marks who are on their last legs and pressing the panic button. If the joy ride is going to end then, dammit, here comes the TV time. After all, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan aren’t going to tell her that she can’t be the hero and save her own wrestling company. They need her to be delusional in order to continue drawing paychecks.
The angle was classic Bischoff. Remember when he appeared on camera on a Nitro from Worcester, Massachusetts and challenged Vince McMahon to a fight? Faux shoots with prerequisite name dropping. Tearing down others to the point where the fans are confused about who to cheer for because it’s as appealing as watching two parents fighting each other before getting a divorce. That’s Uncle Eric, for sure.
“Dixie Carter’s daddy bought her a wrestling company. No blood, no sweat, and no experience in wrestling at all. I mean, hey, the problem is that she broke up the chemistry that made TNA what it was.”
There was AJ Styles, put in the unenviable position of explaining why he’s mad about Dixie Carter burying her own company. It’s the “yeah, we know we suck, so give us credit for acknowledging it” type of mentality that drove WCW into the ground.
It’s also the start of yet another lame heel authority angle with the money mark on television being convinced by those milking her for cash that she can really pull this off.
Styles name dropped Jerry Lynn, world traveler Low Ki, Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Petey Williams, and apparently Christian & RVD.
“Dixie Carter traded them in for MMA stars and guys who apparently needed a two-year paid vacation to come down to TNA, do absolutely nothing, and go back where they belong.”
TNA, the league where wrestlers go on vacation. And Eric Bischoff convinced Dixie Carter that having AJ Styles say this on national television would help the company out.
“Am I the only who’s pissed off about this?!?”
Then came the dig at ‘dirt sheets.’
“Your biggest mistake is staring you right in the face. You see, you’ve given me the opportunity to win your world heavyweight title and, despite what the internet says, I don’t have a contract here. And believe you and me when I say this, Dixie, there’s not a contracted wrestler back there that has any respect for you any way.
“And Dixie, I’m going to make you get on your knees and beg and then I’m going to make you pay.”
Oh, there’s a lot of wrestlers who have made her pay (a lot of money) over the years and it’s why TNA is in big trouble.
And then a final message from Team Bischoff & Trixie Dixie to the boys who have gotten screwed over repeatedly by TNA.
“I am so, so, sorry… that I ever, ever, EVER allowed you to think that you were important in this company and I should have told you a long, long time ago that you have never been anything more than a little bit better than an average fish in any pond, and you hear what I mean, any pond you might be in, AJ. And this whole Phenomenal One stuff? It’s an illusion and, by the way, an illusion that I created. A marketing gimmick! For all those wonderful five-star matches that you used to have and I say used to have because I CAN’T FRICKIN’ REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU HAD ONE! Everything about you lately, in front of the camera, behind the camera, in the locker room has been so subpar that you would be lucky if we call you The Marginal One because I swear you are nothing, you are NOTHING like you used to be. Nothing.”
This is what a wrestling company that is dying sounds like. Americans love a winner. They don’t love a loser. You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowing when it comes to the direction TNA is headed as an organization. The train heading south is in the process of derailing.