Impact Wrestling – 2013
I remember years ago when TNA was in its infancy, folks would email asking if I thought there would come a day when they might ever nab the ‘coveted’ Gooker award. I found it unlikely at the time, but not for the reason you may think. I mean, it wasn’t that the company never put forth any Crap. Hunt down TNA: Year One in the archives and you’ll see what I am talking about. Flying Elvises, fat guys named Cheex, and a midget, ummm, ‘pleasuring’ himself in a trash can. How much crappier could it get? So while the Crap was sometimes bountiful, I wasn’t sure they’d ever get the number of eyeballs on them that would garner enough support to give them the nod.
Back to back winner. In fact, they’ve won three of the last four years.
So I no longer question IF they’ll win; I wonder when the next time will be that they WON’T.
Hey Freepolls.com – you didn’t have to watch months and months of atrocious shows wherein a promotion decided that men such as Kurt Angle, Sting, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Robert Roode were unworthy of the spotlight.
You didn’t have to try to make it through never ending promos that went nowhere or maybe the company you were watching look like the stupidest, most rinky dink promotion ever to somehow have a TV contract.
You didn’t have to spend hours and hours watching this:
Dixie Carter, TNA Impact President/Owner/Whatever.
Dixie Carter: HEEL!
There was once a simpler time in TNA, a time when Dixie would show up randomly on television, in some vague capacity wherein you knew she ran things behind the scenes. She’d show up when they signed big names like Hulk Hogan, flex with him, say something inane, look kinda goofy, and then vanish for another couple of months until there was another opportunity to show/flex/inane/goofy/vanish.
It was fine.
I knew the drill; every wrestling promotion needs money, so you find someone who can foot the bills. In return, once in a while, you’d give them some screen time. Why I remember the good old days of Jeff Cohen’s Championship Wrestling of America when our main money man, the late, great Superstar Junior Carr, who owned six dozen pizza places would get his 60 seconds of show/flex/inane/goofy/vanish time every couple weeks.
Yeah, “Send that dollar to CWA!”
That’s what Jeff would always say. The theory is that you’d send a dollar, and we’d send you a ‘catalog’ of CWA merchandise I am pretty sure was just a single sided black and white copy of something with two shirts and a poster on it. I wonder if Jeff ever got a single person to send him that dollar.
I bet the answer is no. I really need to ask him about that the next time I see him.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, heel Dixie Carter.
To be fair, she wasn’t a full fledged heel until late in the year. Sure, she was in some horrific backstage skits now and again, and was a key cog in the square wheel that was the Claire Lynch project. But her heel turn started in ernest September 19. That was the day when she turned on a guy who had been with TNA since the very beginning, that being one AJ Styles.
The story went that AJ was annoyed that Dixie was in charge of the company he worked for. Why? “No blood, no sweat, and no experience in wrestling at all!” True dat. (Do the kids still say that? I sure hope not.) Anyway, he brought up that Dixie cut all the talented guys in the promotion so that she could bring in MMA stars and old washed up WWE dudes who were looking for a paid vacation. As you may expect, Ms. Carter wasn’t thrilled about such things being said. How did she respond, you ask? She responded by saying…
WHAT ON EARTH IS SHE WEARING?
Is it a poncho?
A table cloth?
Maybe a teenage girl’s bed sheet?
Her coming out wearing that should have told us, from day one, what kind of nefarious nogoodnik she was about to become.
And if her wacky wardrobe didn’t, her lambasting of AJ sure did. Why, she said he was nothing more than, and I am quoting here, “An average fish in any pond!”
If folks ever get tired of screaming “Daniel Bryan” at WWE shows, “AVERAGE FISH! ANY POND!” would be a great chant.
Also – AJ was no longer the PHENOMENAL ONE. No, he was now THE MARGINAL ONE! Oh yeah, and AJ didn’t build this house – DIXIE CARTER did.
At least two ways to go with the punchline here. Do I talk about how I wouldn’t be proud of to have put together such a dilapidated shanty? Do I talk about how the house got foreclosed when she got evicted from the Impact Zone?
Yeah, I don’t know either, dude.
But it wasn’t just AJ facing her wrath. Soon no less than Hulk Hogan was in her sights! I mean, the legendary, iconic, IMMORTAL HULK HOGAN.
I know what you are asking.
The same thing I am.
WHAT ON EARTH IS SHE WEARING?
To be fair, I’ve spent a lot of the last 14 years watching terrible Hulk Hogan movies and mocking them for your amusement. (In fact, my next induction is going to be me going back and doing just that with one I’ve never seen.) It’s no secret that I think Hogan is a completely horrible actor. But anytime he was in the ring with Dixie?
Sadly, it all came to a head between these two very quickly, as Dixie wanted Hogan to join forces with her, to be on her side. To the point, she was looking for the Hulkster to ride…and I can’t even believe I am typing this…THE DIXIE TRAIN.
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that was innuendo.
Some lewd, vomit inducing innuendo.
So what was Hulk’s decision going to be?
Would he ride the Dixie Train?
And if he did, would he be the engine or the caboose?!
The world (or at least a 1.1 TV rating of it!) wanted to know!
Shockingly, the Hulkster decided he wanted no part of the Dixie Train. In fact, it would be his last night ever with the company. How did Dixie save face for the company as it lost the largest star it ever had?
Yep! By grabbing onto his leg and begging him to stay.
If you ever wanted to explain to your friends why TNA will always be the laughingstock of the wrestling world, that image right there should be your first piece of evidence.
Note I said first – we’ve got over 10 years of nearly equal stupidity to cover when Bryan & I pen the inevitable “Death of TNA”.
With Hogan gone, Dixie was now free to turn her attention back to AJ, who had now become her company’s world champion. He had done this somehow without being under contract, which was either a shoot or a storyline that no one could have possibly cared about, take your pick.
But now that he was champ, she wanted him around. So she offered him money!
A fancy dressing room that was almost as nice as her own!
And a brand new convertible!
AJ did what anyone in his position would do: promptly tore up the contract and drove away in the convertible, leaving the company for months.
Seriously, that was their idea to get you to keep watching – have their champion drive away, with the title, and promise to never, ever return.
With AJ gone, she made the decision to crown a new champ and introduced her latest bombshell: THE WHEEL OF DIXIE! It was exactly what you would imagine a TNA made wheel would look like: a wobbly, poorly painted and labeled contraption barely capable of making a complete rotation.
Probably purchased at a garage sale.
And it had goofy matches that she would dictate with a single spin, usually while some overblown announcer told us about how FATE LIES IN THE WHEEL OF DIXIE.
But hey, if you thought carnival games and top stars getting the hell out of dodge as quickly as possible was all Dixie Carter had up her sleeve, you gotta another think coming!
She actually brought back Pac-Man Jones! Yes, the legendary WrestleCrap inductee himself. Long story short, he’s a football player and convicted felon that TNA brought in because they thought it would bring them some much needed pub. Which it did, but it was negative pub. But said negative pub wasn’t that TNA was bringing in a felon, it was that the FELON LOWERED HIMSELF BY GOING TO TNA.
I could blather on about Pac-Man, but instead I will simply note you can read all about it, and 10 billion other things, in the archives. If that tease there isn’t enough to get you to plunk down the $14.95 to gain access, maybe this fantastic photo of me playing Pac-Man as a grade schooler is.
SEND THAT DOLLAR (AND $13.95 MORE) TO WRESTLECRAP.COM!
Let’s see, what else did Dixie do?
She brought in her ‘nephew’, Ethan Carter the Third! EC3! See, it’s like RG3, except…well, pretty much everything save for the fact that he has the number 3 in his name. He was around to beat up scrawny jobbers the likes of which would make Dwayne Gill shake his head. Other than that, for no reason really, other than as Dixie noted, because “We’re the Carters, and the world needs us!”
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up Dixie’s Thanksgiving extravaganza! Apparently, in her family’s company (err, MANY companies), they take the entire work force and have them compete against each other. Those that are victorious are given a feast. And it’s called…WINNER WINNER TURKEY DINNER!
That is so delightfully idiotic I may pit the WrestleCrap crew against each other this November. Blade vs. Justin vs. Jordan vs. Art vs. Cheese vs. Emerson vs. Jed vs. Sean vs. Troy in a battle for giblets for my amusement is just too enticing an idea to let slide.
I just hope I can twang my voice just as much as Dixie did during her heel turn. Seriously, she started out with a normal voice, and the more evil she became, the more hillbilly redneck sounding she got.
In addition to all the other goofiness I’ve mentioned, she also came up with her very own wrestling encounter: THE DIXIELAND MATCH. It takes place in a cage, then out of a cage, then on a ladder, then in the crowd, or something. I don’t know. To be honest, I gave up years ago on trying to figure out TNA stipulation matches. Remember back when Mike Tenay told us something was “quite simple” then showed us three pages of rules?
That was when I broke.
I’m convinced I’m not the only one. Look:
I’ve never been the biggest Jeff Hardy fan, but his facial reaction upon hearing the rules to this fiasco kinda sums it all up.
The year ended with Dixie finally ridding herself of AJ as champ, Hulk Hogan altogether, and getting herself a new champ, Magnus, a guy who no one outside of England even knows, let alone takes seriously.
Or should it be Hee Haw?
So as 2013 ground to a halt, with the HMS Impact ramming right into an iceberg, how will TNA keep us tuning in?
Here’s a hint:
Yep. More Dixie Carter.
Sing it with me, won’t you?