For those of you still watching, TNA President Dixie Carter is now the evil “authority” of the company who attempted to stop the beloved AJ Styles from becoming TNA World Heavyweight champion. As each week passes by, IMPACT Wrestling is starting to feel like a lazy remake of Monday Night RAW.
While over in Titan Towers the next generation of McMahon-Helmsly is taking over, Dixie Carter is trying to reinvent herself as the most powerful figure in the wrestling business. With a company on the verge of extinction–as evidence of the multitude of releases both on-screen talents and backstage help–Dixie’s pipe dream is just that, a dream.
How does making Dixie Carter evil help with the ratings? She clearly doesn’t have the mic skills to pull off a convincing character. And she certainly doesn’t have much knowledge in running a wrestling company, let alone understand the concept of developing a proper gimmick.
Heck, even the concept of having Dixie Carter’s nephew Ethan Carter III has met minimal to no reception at all. There is no question that the former WWE superstar Derrick Bateman could pull off the role of a spoiled rich kid whose aunt happens to own her own wrestling company; but what gravely hinders the character is that the vignettes prior to his arrival and the character we see wrestling in the ring doesn’t connect. In the vignettes, EC3 was a comedic snob, but now when we see him in the ring he’s arrogant and silent.
What would make EC3 play off better would be to have Dixie come out to the ring with him. Perhaps lend a voice to the broadcast booth during his matches raving about how talented her nephew is, or have him in the mix of any controversies she needs settled. There is so much potential with Ethan Carter III that it is sad how they are just letting him fend for himself with no direction.
But enough of the Carters, how about the poor execution of the brawling factions? Aces & Eights didn’t fall victim to The Main Event Mafia, but of TNA’s financial strife. Sure, the creative team did their best to keep the releases connected to the main storyline, but what happened to the mantra, “When you ride with the Aces & Eights, you never walk alone?”
Seems like President Bully Ray let the vivacious Brooke Tessmacher cloud his judgement, eventually leading him to oust everyone from the club except for Knux, Garrett, and of course play-by-play correspondent Taz. The whole point of the Aces & Eights name was because there was eight members. Sorry for the expression, but the deck was cut and Bully Ray lost the Dead Man’s hand.
Then there’s the Main Event Mafia who had two agendas: Make sure Bully Ray was no longer the champion; and to disband the Aces & Eights forever. How successful were they? Well they played a vital role in Bully Ray losing the title at Destination X to Chris Sabin. However, that was short-term because Bully won it back shortly afterwards in a Steel Cage match at a special IMPACT Wrestling edition of Hardcore Justice.
As for disbanding the gang forever… the returning, face-turned, AJ Styles cost Devon his kutte and captured the TNA World title at Bound for Glory. So as far as M.E.M.’s agenda is concerned, The Phenomenal One did all the work.
Now how about AJ Styles’ face-turn, if we could even call it that? At first he reverted back to the Phenomenal One we all knew and loved; then, after winning the Bound for Glory series, he cut a strange promo targeted at Dixie Carter. She hadn’t even turned heel yet and Styles was pegging her as the villain. Talking about how he was going to make her pay, and have her get on her knees and beg. Very dark and ominous words from the supposed babyface by attempting to channel the rebellious CM Punk of 2011.
Although by 2011 when CM Punk dropped the pipe bomb heard around the world, Vince McMahon had already been an established tyrant for many years. So for Styles to drop his “pipe bomb” on the unsuspecting Dixie, well we just considered her incompetent. But alas, out of the ashes of Styles rant led to the mediocre rise of Dixie Carter who attempted to keep Styles from reaching Bound for Glory.
She even withdrew $50,000 of phony money–note to Dixie, don’t show money on TV that is clearly fake, but if you must at least get the face of the president right–and paraded it around to any wrestler for hire that would take Styles out. She even changed the Bound for Glory championship match to a No-DQ stipulation hoping that it would favor Bully Ray. However, instead of bringing back former members of the Aces & Eights to assist Bully, the big reveal was Dixie coming out to the ring and stopping senior referee Earl Hebner from a sure-fire three-count. Let the fans revel in her dastardly ways…
The IMPACT following Bound for Glory, Dixie rapidly changed her attitude and attempted to kiss up to AJ Styles by throwing him a celebration party; getting him his own dressing room and a brand new car; and the piece de resistance… a new contract. All these things, while that would’ve enticed someone like Hulk Hogan back in Ted Turner’s day, Styles rejected it all and, after successfully defending his title in a rematch against Bully Ray, walked out of the company with the World title.
Unless he appears on an episode of Monday Night RAW and dumps the championship in the trash bin, Styles will find his way back to TNA. In the wake of Styles’ departure, Dixie will undoubtedly “erase” him from the record books as she has with a certain General Manager, brother… Also, expect a championship tournament to “crown” a new champion. More than likely Styles will be back before or after the tourney ends.
Is IMPACT now as bad as when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff reigned as the WCW-has-been-supreme? Well at least at the time the roster was filled with talents–both good and bad–to make each week like a bad train wreck that you couldn’t help but tune in. But for the past two-three months, IMPACT Wrestling has been really hard to watch because Dixie has zero mic skills or charisma, and the roster is so depleted that it is just plain sad at this point.
Answer the Questions: What are your thoughts on IMPACT Wrestling? Are you still a fan? Do you still even watch it?
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UPCOMING: I still haven’t gotten a chance but look out for the video mash-up of the two exhibitions from Anderson and Beefcake from NYCC 2013.