There are two very different, very major stories making rounds about TNA Wrestling. One is bleak and full of pessimism, while the other is bright and full of optimism. The question is, what is the truth?
That's what many are asking following Dixie Carter's feature article that was published by Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated on Thursday (See also - Welcome to Dixieland: A look at pro wrestling's female boss). The article, which we recapped here, is getting widespread attention from all parties involved.
Some are accusing Carter of lying, while others are praising her for finally addressing what is really going on behind-the-scenes in TNA Wrestling. So who are we supposed to believe? The president of a company trying to rejuvenate her talent roster and grow her business or the pessimists analyzing every move?
As with most stories, I think the truth is found in the middle. There are some points that I want to make note of and just start the discussion. My goal is to analyze the argument and present the facts. I want to inject some opinion but I also want to hear from others. So let's start with what we know.
What we've heard about TNA Wrestling…
None of my sources, not one of them, has told me that TNA Wrestling is for sale. Rather, I've been told that TNA is looking to attract outside investors. TNA wants their bottom-line to look as attractive as possible to entice another party to invest into the company. This shouldn't come as a surprise.
In August 2012, we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Jeff Jarrett was actively trying to bring on new investors to invest into TNA Wrestling. We were told at the time that one of the companies that Jarrett was talking with was Royal Capital Corporation. They're a Georgia-based company that owns the Shoney's restaurant chain. In that same article, we noted that Janice Carter could be tempted to sell if things didn't turn around but that TNA was simply seeking a minority partner.
What Dixie Carter said…
There's no point in me reiterating what I've already recapped, however, the one quote many critics are pointing to is Dixie's claim that TNA has been "cash flow positive for the last four or five years.”
Cash flow positive would indicate there is an excess of income over and above expenses, meaning the company is making money. This is a claim that no one - except for people that have access to TNA's balance sheet - can answer. We can look at some of the decisions that TNA has made and make assumptions but no third party (without access to TNA's financial records) can confirm or deny this statement.
I do find the wording interesting as Carter is careful. She doesn't come right out and say they're generating large amounts of revenue nor does she provide a concrete statement about financial gain. Dixie broadly addresses an issue that indicates they are making money although she gives no specifics. The quote is strategic in nature.
Dixie is also very strategic when addressing the "for sale" rumors. She points more towards those accusing the company is "going out of business" rather than any specific mention of attracting outside financial investors.
Other than that, Dixie seemed fairly transparent. She admitted TNA has caused problems within the Carter family. She praised Spike TV for saving the company (a definitive fact). She owned up to overexposing Hulk Hogan. She was also honest when it came to taking Impact off the road.
I will also agree with Dixie's statement that it's more about the show being shaken up, rather the venue. One horrible mistake that TNA made from a PR standpoint is they allowed talent to speak freely about the move. What happened was a lot of talent spoke negatively about the Impact Zone and its "calloused" audience, which makes it harder to get behind TNA spinning the move as a new creative direction.
What should be ignored…
There are a segment of people that want TNA Wrestling to fail. I believe those same people want WWE to fail. One of the reasons why I started this website and chose this as my career was that I was sick and tired of the barrage of negativity. The ICW by nature is a critical bunch. I'm not distancing myself from it either. I'm very much a part of the IWC and sometimes we get caught up.
We're all guilty of overanalyzing things and problems are much easier solved behind a computer than they are in a locker room. However, it's important that we keep ourselves in check. We need to be asking, what is it we want? Why are we so obsessed with this wacky business? The reason is we want to be entertained.
We know good entertainment when we see it and we want to see it… all the time. Pro wrestling fans are a very passionate group of people. Men, women and children from all over the world are attracted to it and most of us have no shame in enjoying a business that's both sport and entertainment.
When you add in the over analyzation and the passion, criticism is usually generated. I think we need to be careful of what exactly we're criticizing. I don't agree with everything in TNA nor do I agree with everything in WWE. In fact, there are things that both do that I find detestable - and I don't care to call out either when I see it
But I do want WWE and TNA to succeed because I want the business to succeed. I love pro wrestling. I love being entertained and I love what I do for a living.
I'm calling everyone to ignore blatant negativity. Ignore assumptions passed off as fact. And ignore overly critical people.
The fate of TNA Wrestling…
At the end of the day this story will be told… it's playing out right in front of our eyes. I believe the truth of this story is in the middle. Have we reached the climax and are we headed towards the conclusion or are we still very much in the middle? I don't know.
What I do know is there are people on both sides. There are those that feel TNA can do no wrong and is a growing and prosperous company and there are those that feel TNA can do nothing right and is just one move away from bankruptcy.
Regardless of where you land, or if you're in the middle just like me, it's important to remember what's behind the story. And that's people - very hardworking people - that depend on this company to make a living. The lowest form of humanity is on display when people root for the demise of other people
When evaluating this story, or any story, never root for someone's demise. This story will be told and the truth will lie in the middle.