Dixie Carter recently spoke with the Royal Ramblings blog on The Huffington Post website. Below are highlights:
TNA has moved to a new TV network named Destination America in the US. What was the business rationale for that move and what can we expect to see in the new TNA?
I needed to find somebody who wanted not just to licence a two hour show from us but to be a true partner on every level. Anyone who wants to, can get Destination America and add it to their cable line up – they’re part of the Discovery Communications Group which is massive and the number one pay TV programmer in the world and this deal is also a global deal. So I’m just excited about all the different unique opportunities that we’re going to have to help grow our brand. We’re looking at it as a completely fresh start and the timing is perfect. I just can’t wait for everybody to feel what I’m feeling.
There were murmurs that some of the talent weren’t well informed during the transition process, can you put the rumours to bed?
I don’t think it’s true. The talent were the first to hear everything that I could possibly say and they knew that. I had very blunt discussions with them during the process. I told them that I needed them to trust me and that there was more I wanted to share but for the sake of our livelihoods, that it wouldn’t be good business or prudent to do so. I told them I was going to work very hard and that we had interest from several places. However, as I said earlier, I was looking for somebody that wanted to make not just a financial but a time and effort investment into us and into our talent. I wasn’t going to stop until I found that. So the talent were part of the process the entire way, I told them as much as I possibly could and they were the first to hear the news when I could tell them.
Who’s the next breakthrough star for TNA?
I’m a huge Bobby Lashley fan – I think he had an outstanding year. He may not be one of the new guys but he came back so fresh and was a beast in the ring. I’m so proud of the matches he had, we threw every kind of style at him and he had great matches with everybody. Of the young guys, I love what we’re doing with tag-teams right now and the Wolves were a big part of revitalising that. Im really looking forward to exciting changes in the X-Division this year too. I’m a huge EC3 fan – and not just because he’s my nephew but because he has everything it takes to be a superstar. Bram surprised me this year, he was fantastic…. It’s like asking me who’s your favourite child! Everyone contributes and there’s not one of the talents on our roster that I’m not proud of.
You’re the head of the table in TNA. Your opposite number, Vince McMahon said in an interview this week that TNA wasn’t major competition for them. Do you think that is a fair analysis?
Well, I think it’s ridiculous to say that we’re not competition. If we weren’t competition they wouldn’t try to stop our growth at every turn. We’re both wrestling companies and so competing for the same networks internationally and the same ticket sales globally and therefore you are competitors but all we can do is focus on what we do best. My big focus for 2015 is to further distinguish our product from anybody else’s out there. What can we do better and what have we been doing great that we can take to another level. We’re going to be announcing in the coming weeks some realty exciting changes to our show and that’s a big part – trying to make our brand much more distinctive than not just WWE but other wrestling companies around the world.
Pulling a prank on the boss must be a career goal, what’s the best rib that’s been pulled on you?
I don’t think the talent have really ever done anything to me. I had somebody call me once and leave a message to call back Shane McMahon. So I returned his call but he had never called me. We had a conversation and he’s a lovely guy. But don’t give the roster any ideas!