Dixie Carter Opens Up About Her Career Goal, Discusses TNA’s Decline In Growth, The Recession & Pro Wrestling, More

The Tennessean has a new feature article online on TNA president Dixie Carter.

“If I walk away at the end of my career, I hope people will say, ‘Well, at least she tried to do things differently,’ ” Carter told the publication. “ ‘At least she tried to change the way wrestling is perceived.’ ”

Below is an excerpt of a Q & A that is included in the piece:

You didn’t originally come to Nashville for a career in professional wrestling, right?

Like a bad country song, I packed up a U-Haul and moved to Nashville to be in the music business and started my own company. I was here in the ’90s when things were on fire. Music is still with us. My CEO is a former Sony executive. And we have a lot of other people on board who have music in their background.

How has TNA been able to keep up with WWE?

I don’t care who you are, competition makes you better. There’s a reason there’s a Lowe’s across the street from every Home Depot and a CVS across the street from every Walgreens. I think we’ve made WWE better, just as they’ve improved us.

Isn’t this a tough time to be in the broadcast entertainment industry?

It’s a challenging time for the television industry as advertising dollars are dwindling. But it’s the best time to focus on fans. I try to be out in the crowds shaking hands, hugging people and holding babies and saying, “Thank you for being here.” We’ve grown this company one fan at a time. I’ve been there as a small-business startup. I know what it’s like. But we just happened to beat the odds.

What’s one of TNA’s ongoing challenges?

When a company first starts out, you have to do whatever you can to get into the business. Then, once you’re established, you spend a lot of time getting out of all the bad contracts that got you into the business. Deals with companies, bad partnerships or licensing deals. We’re still working through some of those now that we’ve found our footing.

Did the recession hit professional wrestling?

We went from double-digit growth for a couple years to single-digit growth. I call that a major victory. But the biggest challenge we had during the recession was so many of our partners were going out of business. Our TV partner in Africa went out of business. Our DVD partner in the United Kingdom went out of business. Our Australian DVD partner went out of business. Weeks after our video game publisher, Midway Games, put out our video game, they filed for bankruptcy. (The game still sold 1.5 million units.) After the recession, we just worked hard to plug all the holes fast.

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  • Chapel Of Ghouls

    I want to focus on the 2nd question.

    What competition? TNA made WWE better? I have been thinking about this, and my only reply is Christian. They let Christian leave TNA, and after a few years, Christian became world champion and delivered amazing matches in 2011.

    Competition? I'm just at awe she said that. The closest thing to competition was that Monday Night War rehash that didn't help TNA at all in the long run. I guess she's trying to put her company over as more than what it truly is. Without getting into TNA's problems, I just interpret what she said as completely wrong. Just plain wrong. If I can try something, WWE is Pizza Hut; TNA is Nicco's Pizza. As far as I know, where I live, there's only one Nicco's pizza, and a bunch of Pizza Huts.

    WWE is an empire, TNA is nowhere near that size, and I don't feel they will grow exponentially unless they fix their internal structure, booking, authority, etc.

    • Alex

      I love how she still hasn't mention Marketing. I would say that's their biggest problem even all the old has-beens they keep hiring. Other than the IWC, no one knows what TNA is. I've seen more WWE advertisements on Spike than I have seen TNA ads. They can't count all the rounds Hogan keeps making cause he never mentions TNA. Even on American Idol, he never mentioned TNA and to make matters worse all the contestants on the show kept making references to matches he had in WWE. So in a way, Hogan help put WWE over while he was on Idol. That makes Dixie and her clubhouse (I refuse to say company) look terrible.

      • Chapel Of Ghouls

        I was just thinking on how the IWC is a major portion of TNA viewers, and how ignorant Bischoff was for running down internet fans. I was thinking either the internet or just random channel surfing would be two popular ways to even discover TNA. I'm the latter actually, random channel surfing, and I saw Kurt Angle have a Thanksgiving dinner. Then I changed the channel.

        I am going further into comparisons. WWE has a relationship with THQ. WWE '12 is gaining popularity, and WWE could be set for a boom in revenue with Wrestlemania XXVIII. Now TNA had a relationship with Midway games, which resulted in their own video game….

        uhm, last I checked, Midway is heading to bankruptcy, they are closing shop. It's kind of sad though, like it would be if, I said if, TNA goes out of business. Midway happened to be the same company that licensed and distributed so many Mortal Kombat games, and NBA Hangtime. Like TNA, if they went out of business, there goes guys with so much talent like AJ Styles, Robert Roode, James Storm, etc.

        I'm trying to think of how WWE helped TNA. All I can think of is how they let their guys go, and the company went nowhere in the long run. So I just don't understand what she's trying to say in response to that second question. I don't want to say she's delusional, that's kind of mean.

        • Alex

          Yeah, I noticed when I read near the end of Dixie's statements. Companies that go into business with TNA keep going out of business. I wouldn't go near them with a 20ft pole. As for the 2nd question, you're too kind of a person and I respect that so I'll say it for you. Dixie Carter is delusional!!! lol

    • http://nwaanarchy.net Tim E. D

      I totally agree with your points and thought a similar thing…however at least there is a number 2…oh and thanks a lot now I want some pizza!

    • lukey

      She isn’t talking about superstars drifting from one company from the next, she is talking about in general competition makes the opposition have to raise the bar, while WWE haven’t necessarily been worried about competition, tna have still made the wrestling business (which includes wwe) better. While I know that there are no where bear as many fans in TNA as there are in wwe they are still number 2, which is a pretty good effort, I know there creative direction needs leaves a lot to be desired and while I am currently not the biggest tna fan, they will gradually get bigger if a few changes were made. (get rid of hogan and bischoff for one). So while they will never be on the same level as WWE people are to quick to think so little of TNA. Remember WWE has been around a whole lot longer. Maybe one day TNA will straighten itself out.

  • Josh

    In my personal opinion. They should have never got with eric bischoff. Why try and be Wcw. We seen where that got them

  • Justin

    their booking really needs to be revamped. also they need to get away from wwe's aborted title problems and start pushing more x division matches and tag team matches no reason all the titles can have great storys at once. thats what made wrestling back in the day for me.

  • Adam

    In one way she is right, when TNA made Hulk Hogan's debut compete with Raw, WWE had to respond with the return of Bret Hart so that made WWE's programming better

  • gbdb

    bischoff can do well with here and now if things are right and he has a unlimited blank check but he is the worst at building new talent and that is what tna needs the most, new big draw talent and a hell of a lot of advertising also they need more indians and a lot less cheifs

  • Bob

    Mr. Anderson,Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy are all WWE’s former talent and they are at the top of TNA. Angle is the best in the world, Anderson is well rounded and Hardy is great when he isn’t in rehab. So, should they stop using WWE guys no. They should help their own new talent as well but, established talent is what keeps them in business.

  • Paul w

    I think she has totally lost the plot, I have tried to watch tna but it is just to painfull I agree they have plenty of talent but the way they are booked is a total shambles, there are too many wwe rejects in tna eg dudley boys, matt morgan,jeff re-hab hardy,kurt angle,mickey james and spotted backstage was john morrison.too many ex wwe.