Some in the wrestling community today still see Dixie Carter as a punch line to a lot of jokes regarding the state of TNA (now Impact) for much of the 2010's, with many finding time on podcasts to throw Dixie under the bus or the occasional images of a crying or sad Dixie will be thrown up on YouTube or social media before captioning it with a 'LOLTNA'.
However, a large amount of people in the wrestling world tend to forget that Dixie Carter has actually done a lot more good for the company then many would like to remember.
While Dixie wasn't perfect when it came to the ins and outs of running a wrestling company, it's easy to look back now and see the good things that occurred during her time in the company...And today I'll be talking about the 10 best things that happened under the Dixie Carter regime from late 2013-2016.
Matt Hardy Wins The TNA World Championship
British Boot Camp
Jessicka Havok's First Run in Impact
10. Eric Young Becomes TNA World Champion
On the April 10th 2014 edition of Impact, Eric Young won an over the top rope battle royal which saw the former Team Canada member become the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship; Later on that very same episode Eric Young challenged Magnus for the TNA World Championship in the main event and ending with the TNA original finally becoming the face of the company.
E.Y's time as world champion saw him defend the belt successfully against Abyss in a monster's ball match on TV and Magnus in a rematch at that years Sacrifice PPV; During one of the episode in May of 2014, a match between Bobby Roode and Eric Young was looking to take place but authority figure, MVP nixed those ideas and instead revealed at the end of the episode that he himself would face Eric Young for the world title at Slammiversary, until he suffered an injury which ended his world title aspirations and resulted in a three way match for the title involving E.Y., Austin Aries, and Bobby Lashley inside a steel cage with the bearded wonder retaining his title in the main event.
On the June 19th episode, by orders of MVP, Eric Young was forced to defend his belt against Bobby Lashley in the main event and it ended with Lashley winning the first of many TNA world titles during his run with the company. Eric would get his rematch on the July 3rd episode but again he was unsuccessful.
Though his reign at the top only lasted 3 months, Eric Young's world title win was a feel good moment for a man who spent the majority of his tenure in the company as the lovable blonde haired goof who was never given a chance to shine in the main event.
9. Knockouts Knockdown
In 2013, the one night only events began after TNA president, Dixie Carter made an announcement that these events would become a part of the pay per view format and on March the 17th the very first all female event called 'Knockouts Knockdown' was born.
What makes the Knockouts Knockdown events so memorable is the fact that the show had a central focus on women's wrestling, in particular finding the next female stars and allowing some of them to get some exposure before signing with Impact or other promotions.
The decision to have a mostly female PPV event like Knockouts Knockdown further cemented Dixie's and Impact Wrestling's progressive views on women in pro wrestling and it would take until 2018 for another major wrestling promotion (WWE) to have it's own first ever all female PPV in modern times.
If you'd liked to learn about some more stuff regarding Knockouts Knockdown, click the links to the articles below:
8. Rockstar Spud: Impact's Greatest Underdog
After winning the inaugural season of British Boot Camp, Rockstar Spud made his first appearance on Impact in 2013 and oon afterwards, Spud would become the 'Chief of Staff' to the TNA President as well as the assistance, lackey and human shield for both Madam Dixie and Ethan Carter while also being a punching bag for those who feuded with the Carter family.
Spud's farcical antics and over-the-top acting made him into a character that you love to hate as he would constantly prevent the good guys from getting their hands of the Carter Family but soon Spud would go from being someone you hate to love into someone you just couldn't help but root for.
After weeks of bullying and harassment from his so-call friend Rockstar Spud slapped EC3 square in the face in front of a ruckus U.K. crowd, leading to one of the best babyface turns in recent Impact Wrestling History.
Spud would go on to have a feud with EC3 which ended with the nephew of Dixie Carter coming out on top but in the end Spud would come out looking strong in the eyes of the fans thanks to his heart, determination and his amazing matches.
Other highlight involving Spud include:
- Winning one of the Feast or Fired briefcases which gave him a title shot at the X Division championship and he actually won the belt
- Become a two time X Division champion in TNA
- Used "Option C" to get a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle
- Had a short but underrated feud with Austin Aries and shuffle around the mid card up until his departure in October of 2017.
Since then Spud has been seen in the WWE as 'Drake Maverick' where his been an authority figure of WWE's cruiserweight show 205 Live, become the manager of the 'Authors of Pain' (AOP) and was fired like so many others on Black Wednesday only to be brought back and signed to a new contract.
7. The Final Years Of Kurt Angle In TNA/Impact
In the mid 2010's Kurt became the second man to be inducted into TNA/Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame at Slammiversary 2013 and would served as the Director of Wrestling Operations (basically a general manager) for the company before returning the ring in 2015.
Kurt Angle would get involved in feuds with people like AJ Styles, MVP, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, EC3, Drew Galloway and Eric Young in a serious of ultracompetitive matches whilst winning his sixth and final TNA World Title against Bobby Lashley.
In late 2015, Kurt Angle announced that his time with the company would come to an end following the conclusion of TNA's UK tour in 2016. In one of the more memorable moments from the UK tapings, Bobby Roode defeated Kurt in singles competition before grabbing a microphone and giving a passionate farewell speech to his old archenemy before 'The Cowboy' James Storm came out with beer and a carton of milk to celebrate this very special occasion.
Kurt's final match in TNA saw the Olympic Gold Medalist lose to former rival Bobby Lashley before returning the WWE in 2017 where he wrestled his final match against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35.
While set backs like the New Main Event Mafia, an ACL injury, multiple knee problems and a stint in rehab for drug and alcohol usage were seen as some of Kurt's low points, the Olympic Gold Medalist ended his run in TNA/Impact the same way he started it...a beloved hero and icon in professional wrestling.
6. The Wolves
The team of Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards also known as The Wolves took their hard hitting, high flying style of wrestling from Ring of Honor to Impact Wrestling where the duo would become TNA Tag Team champions five different times whilst defending the them in Japan, the U.K. and the United States against teams like Bram and Magnus, Abyss and James Storm, Decay, The Hardy Boys, Team 3D and Beer Money Inc.
Some of their most notably matches would have be their best of five series feud with Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and a best of three series with Team 3D and The Hardys Boys which concluded with the Wolves retaining their titles in a full metal mayhem match on Impact TV (A match that Impact fans and management called one of the best matches of the decade).
Alas, injuries would cause the teams momentum to slow down between 2015 and 2016 eventually leading to the two men having solo careers with Eddie winning the X Division title twice, the TNA World Championship once, and becoming the first American born wrestler to win Japan's prestigious GHC World heavyweight Championship in 2017.
Davey didn't do much during his solo run aside from turning on his former partner after returning from injury, which would lead up to a mix tag team match at Slammiversary 2017 where Eddie Edwards and his wife Alisha defeated Davey and his then significant other, Angelina Love before the pairing of Richards and Love left the company just a few months later.
Regardless, the legacy and matches that Davey and Eddie had together as a team in TNA/Impact will stand the test of time.
5. Bobby Lashley: Main Event Star
There are a lot of former WWE stars who have come to TNA looking to improve their careers after a less than stellar run but aside from a few more names that I'll be mentioning later on this list, perhaps the best example of a failed WWE star becoming a big time player in Impact Wrestling would have to be Bobby Lashley.
Making his return to TNA at Lockdown 2014 following a blink and you'll miss it run with the company in 2009-10, Bobby Lashley turned heel on Eric young and partnered with the likes of MVP and Kenny King to form the Beat Down Clan (BDC).
It was through this association that saw Lashley defeat E.Y. to win his first TNA World heavyweight championship and become the first African American to win the TNA world title. Following that win, Lashley would continue to be treated like a main eventer as he would defend the title against names like Eric Young, Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy before losing the title on two different occasions against Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle.
Lashley would go on to become the world champion again a couple of more times and would even win the X Division and King of The Mountain titles before ending up in feuds with names like Alberto El Patron, Moose, Sami Callihan and Brian Cage before departing from the company in early 2018.
In addition to his championship wins in the ring, Lashley also spent his time fighting in Bellator where his record stands at 15 wins and 2 loses.
Since then Lashley has returned to the WWE and has gone on to win the intercontinental championship and reforming a version of the Beat Down Clan known as The Hurt Business along with fellow BDC member, MVP.
4. Bully Ray Puts Dixie Through A Table
During her time as the evil authority figure, Dixie played a sniveling chickens### heel who thought she was above everyone in the company; Considering how many ex TNA employees have painted Dixie as a spoil rich girl who got everything see wanted by not doing much, it only made sense for her to play into that role and she certainly played it like no one else.
At Lockdown 2014, the main event saw a lethal lockdown where if either MVP or Dixie's team won the match then control over the company would be there's. In a last minute attempt to maintain power, Dixie Carter enlisted Bully Ray as the special guest enforcer and referee for this match but in a shocking turn of events Bully turned babyface after stopping Bobby Roode from putting one of his opponents through a table allowing MVP's team to come out with the win and "control over the company".
At the Sacrifice PPV the following month, Bully Ray took on Bobby Roode in a tables match which saw Roode come out victorious thanks to the interference of Dixie Carter disguised as a cameraman and thus a feud between Bully Ray and Dixie Carter was cemented with Bully Ray continuously pursuing Carter with the aim of putting her through a table and getting rid of her once and for all.
After weeks and weeks of coming close to getting the job done only for Dixie to slip out reach, Bully Ray got his chance on the August 7th 2014 episode of Impact when he proceed to powerbomb Dixie through a table in the middle of the ring (well kind of as Bully really sat and landed on the table while powerbombing Dixie).
The crowd in Manhattan Center had erupted into cheers and applauses seeing this and even the locker room joined in on the celebration; Dixie would be gone for almost a year after this though she would make a few sporadic appearances throughout eventually turning back into a babyface after refusing to use her powers as president of the company to help her nephew, EC3 in his nefarious plans.
While her heel turn was divisive to say the least, it genuinely had some great moments throughout, not the least of which was the image of Bully Ray reliving his old ECW and WWF days of putting women through tables to the pleasure of millions of wrestling fans the world over.
3. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
The mid 2010's saw a downturn in the Knockouts division as the roster mostly saw wrestlers from the past like Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, Tara, Awesome Kong and Gail Kim populate much of title picture while names like Santana Garrett, Marti Belle and Brooke Tessmacher didn't do much of interest...that was until the arrival of Taryn Terrell.
The former Tiffany in WWE's version of ECW came into the company as the official referee for all the matches involving the Knockouts until she snapped and attacked Gail Kim after getting verbally abused by the former Knockouts Champion.
This feud led a last Knockouts/Women's Standing Match at Slammiversary 2013, the first of it's kind; the match has gone into history as one of the best matches of the decade both in and outside of Impact Wrestling.
The two ladies would have a rematch in the form of a ladder match to determine the #1 contender for the Knockouts Championship which saw Gail pick up the win. After taking time away to give birth to a new child, Taryn would return to Impact and eventually become Knockouts Champion (being the longest reigning champion for 291 days until Taya Valkyrie eclipsed her reign in 2019)
The feud between Taryn and Gail would happen on and off over the years until Terrell left the company in 2017. This feud came at a very critical time in the company's history as the issues that surrounded the company were beginning to show and the Knockouts Division became stagnant, so to have a feud that got people positively talking about TNA/Impact Wrestling was a sight to behold.
2. The Rise Of EC3
Without a shadow of a doubt the meteoric success of Ethan Carter The Third is considered by many as one of the all time high points during the Dixie Carter era of TNA in the mid 2010's.
Debuting officially at Bound For Glory 2013 after weeks of vignettes hyping his arrival. The former NXT reject known as Derrick Bateman appeared on one of TNA's biggest pay per views and proved that he had the looks, the cocky attitude and the endorsement from the higher ups as the arrogant and spoiled kayfabe nephew of TNA president, Dixie Carter.
He would then be thrusted into feuds with Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and Matt Hardy with Carter playing a crucial role in Matt Hardy turning heel and winning the World Heavyweight Championship not once but twice before having feuds with Mike Bennett, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake and Bobby Lashley with the latter resulting in EC3 main eventing Bound For Glory 2016 as a newly minted babyface.
On the January 13th 2018 edition of Impact, EC3 opened his briefcase (after winning it in a Feast or Fired Match) with the words fired written inside it and this led to a very passionate rant by EC3 before being demolished by Brian Cage on the way out; EC3 would be underutilized during his second in the WWE after being let go in 2020, Carter would return to Impact and wrestle for Ring of Honor.
1. She Kept The Company Running
It's not a secret that the company was going through hard times from a financial aspect and the loss of key names like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Bobby Roode and Eric Young didn't help it's standing as a viable alternative to the WWE in the mid 2010's, however Dixie managed to keep the faith in the company alive among the fans and wrestlers alike which lead to some amazing moments and matches during a period that began to dip in quality from a creative and drawing stand point.
Let's not forget, if Dixie never convinced her family to pour money into the promotion then the company would've never have gotten the funding it needed to continue to run shows in early 2000's until the mid 2010's.
Many people in Dixie's predicament at the time could of called it quits and discontinued the company, leaving a massive whole in the wrestling business but instead, she kept Impact Wrestling running long enough for more qualified names to take over like Don Callis and Scott D'Amore.
Say what you will about Dixie but if not for her keeping the company operation during their dark times, then the current Impact product wouldn't exist today.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to follow me on Twitter @hakeemfullerton and for more wrestling related content, be sure to follow, Wrestling New World on Twitter @wnwnews.