Written by: Bob Colling
Kayfabe Commentaries presents YouShoot LIVE with Dixie Carter
Hosted by: Sean Oliver
Sean Oliver welcomes Dixie Carter to the audience, with there being a few boos but they are drowned out by modest applause.
Question: Did you become tired of Designing Women jokes that ran their course a long time ago?
Answer: She has gotten them for a long time and says she has been confused with her several times.
Question: Were you a wrestling fan growing up?
Answer: Yes, she was a fan of the Von Erichs and was a Hulk Hogan fan.
Question: Before taking a leadership role in TNA, how familiar were you with the professional wrestling business? Were you a fan of WWE/WCW programming, if so when?
Answer: She watched some on occasion and would watch Lawler in Memphis when she was in college.
Question: What made her get into wrestling?
Answer: Several months before TNA got running she took the company under her control as her project and got more and more power and eventually got the title of TNA President six years ago.
Question: Please describe your relationship with Jeff and Jerry Jarrett. When did you meet the Jarrett’s? How has your relationship progressed since then? What is your relationship with Jeff and Jerry now?
Answer: When she was in Dallas, her next door neighbor was Jeff and Jerry Jarrett. Jeff talked to Dixie and mentioned she was a professional wrestler but Dixie didn’t believe him. She is very close to Jeff but doesn’t see Jerry much.
Question: How would you verbally describe pro wrestling to someone who has never seen it?
Answer: It’s kind of like a male rope opera. It’s full of action and storylines are told in the ring and backstage.
Question: What is TNA’s mission statement?
Answer: Part of it is to become the top wrestling company in the world and do so with professionalism and integrity.
Question: Can you explain the organization structure of TNA excluding the talent, department such as finance, marketing/advertising and public relations?
Answer: The company is divided in revenue streams. She names the various groups such as live events and toys to name a couple.
Question: What influence does Panda Energy have on the day of day of TNA? What influence does Panda Energy have on the on screen product?
Answer: Panda Energy is a good money making business that gives good advice for direction. She is excited that they can turn a profit nowadays.
Question: You must change the business in order to create business and bring fans to your product, how do you intend to change and/or reinvent wrestling for the next generation?
Answer: She says they have been discussing this question around the office and says that they came in the downward cycle of wrestling. She says they have been trying to create new things on their show and try new things that make wrestling more real.
Question: If you could model TNA after any wrestling company which would serve as the perfect model?
Answer: She wouldn’t model it after any company and think it’s important to model it after your own company. She talks about television changing in recent memory and is interested to see how it develops.
Question: Why did you take TNA out of Nashville? Who is your favorite wrestler? The guy asking the question is on a toilet!
Answer: They do go back there with their show being a charity show. She calls the wrestling shows a “play”. She says that Nashville was really great to them and the times were challenging at the time. Jeremy Borash is obsessed with makeup, apparently. She didn’t believe that TNA could grow in Nashville.
Question: How badly do you want to become the number one wrestling company?
Answer: She is really competitive but knows that her competitior has a twenty year plus head start on her. TNA is winning the ratings war in other countries but they will not be happy until they are successful globally.
Question: What is the nicest thing a fan has ever said to you and how does it feel to be lied to?
Answer: She has heard a lot of nice things and talks about how people can sit behind a computer to put down TNA. She estimates that on a weekend of a pay per view she would meet 3-4,000 people.
Quesiton: Why should fans watch TNA over WWE?
Answer: She thinks the in-ring wrestling is better than WWE and puts over the roster. She acknowledges that they have made some mistakes with TNA but they are in a really good place now and are trying new things that will hopefully bring them to a higher level.
Question: Do you watch WWE programming weekly? If so, how do you believe it compares to the TNA product? If not, how can you justify ignoring your biggest competition?
Answer: She does watch it and praises their production quality. She hopes to have TNA be at that level for production.
Question: From the current WWE roster who would you like to see work for TNA?
Answer: Jeff Hardy, but she thinks she has all the guys she would want from the WWE. She believes that Rob Van Dam will be a huge star for TNA.
Question: As a fan of professional wrestling, how can TNA give me the most bang for my buck?
Answer: TNA wrestlers always give 100% no matter what the show is. She talks about the internet shows and says that those shows are just like the weekly pay per views they used to put on.
Question: What is missing in your mind from the TNA product?
Answer: She thinks for a long time they didn’t have young superstars but they had old superstars and a lot of potential stars. She believes in the past five or six months several guys like Styles and Joe really upped their game to become superstars.
Question: Why is there no TNA magazine?
Answer: She thinks they are obsolete and doesn’t think it’s a good business decision.
Question: If you could have any of these people in TNA who would you pick and why, Steve Austin, the Rock, Goldberg, HHH, the Undertaker and Vince McMahon. Who would you like the least?
Answer: The Rock. She would take any of them so she doesn’t have a least favorite.
Question: What is TNA’s relationship with other wrestling promotions and which wrestling promotions do TNA have a working relationship with?
Answer: She feels that they do a great job making relationships with indy promotions like NJPW, CMLL and AAA.
Question: Will TNA be broadcast in Spain?
Answer: Soon, hopefully.
Question: As TNA’s roster continually grows, could you ever see the company doing brand split with two TV time slots?
Answer: She thinks they have enough to make one brand, while they are looking for more programming. They have Xplosion airing in other countries but not in America. TNA Reaction is mentioned as being a show focusing on the backstage advancements of feuds and whatnot.
Question: Are you with TNA for the long haul?
Answer: She will be with TNA for as long as they let her be with the company.
Question: Will TNA ever go public?
Answer: I don’t know. TNA will explore possibly going public but they have advantages being a private company.
Question: How much would Vince McMahon have to offer to buy TNA?
Answer: I don’t know, how much would it take to buy his? It wouldn’t benefit anyone if Vince bought TNA or Ring of Honor.
Question: How do you deal with the stress from running a wrestling promotion?
Answer: I just handle stress well. Today is not stressful but rather fun compared to the early days.
Question: If one day TNA would ever go under, would you leave the wrestling business, invest in another company or go work for someone else?
Answer: I wouldn’t work for someone else, most likely invest in another company and would like to remain in the wrestling company in some capacity.
Question: Do you have any regrets as far as TNA is concerned thus far?
Answer: Yes, and talks about how she looks back at how they could have done something differently and learn from it.
Question: Where do you see TNA in a year?
Answer: More programming and internationally to continue success.
Question: What is your opinion of the name of your company TNA? Please explain the meaning of the phrase “Total Non-Stop Action.” Could you also share your views on the initials TNA whether you think it is classy, memorable or appropriate moniker for a wrestling company.
Answer: The meaning of the phrase is, Total Non-Stop Action. She didn’t name the company and believes they have been inconsistent in living up to the name on a weekly basis.
Question: Do you think filming Impact and PPV’s at the Impact Zone makes the show look very generic and have a cookie cutter image?
Answer: The studios at Universal Studios is not as big as she would like but think there are benefits to having the shows there.
Question: Did you notice the steel railing obstructing the hard camera view at the Lockdown pay per view?
Answer: She did see it and has been thinking of making changes to it.
Question: Do you think TNA should start charging tickets in Orlando?
Answer: No. If the fans are going to travel they should get in for free.
Question: Why are fans at the Impact Zone considered extras in the show? Do you think they should be allowed to chant and display signs of their choice? Is addressing them before the show telling them this an insult?
Answer: First, they are not considered extras. 90% of the people each week are new to the product.
Question: How can you have a successful two hour wrestling program that only features twenty to thirty minutes of actual wrestling? Watching two hours of promos leaves the viewers disappointed and cheated, not to mention reluctant to watch Impact again.
Answer: They have been inconsistent on the action they have delivered. She says out of 82 minutes they have provided wrestling for forty minutes. They are working on providing more wrestling but notes that the ratings don’t show that the mass audience necessarily like in-ring wrestling.
Question: What does she feel about the pacing of the show? It seems things happen way to fast and big matches are just thrown out there.
Answer: She asks the live audience and they say they agree with the question. To pace the show properly there have been fewer segments with less people to slow the pace of the show down.
Question: Do you think it would make more sense to have first time matches like Hardy vs. Styles, RVD vs. Sting and a few others with Foley and Angle etc to be built up on Impact and then on PPV not given away for free on Impact?
Answer: The pay per view business that is on a decline. It is important to show stuff on television and not just PPV.
At this point in time, they will be taking questions from the press, exclusively. Bill Apter is in attendance and thanks Dixie for reaching TNA eight years.
Question: Bill Apter asks, what does Dixie say to the people who say “what are you doing?” when Hogan and Bischoff were brought in.
Answer: TNA and WCW are two totally different companies. Hogan has been brought in but not as a talent. The Hulk Hogan she has is the most hard working man in TNA as he does everything for the company. He is all about giving back to the wrestlers.
Question: What have you learned most about the wrestling business?
Answer: She has much respect for the business and the knowledge that Apter and others have. She is always looking to learn and will hire as many people who are smarter than her to help.
Question: If Sean Oliver wasn’t sitting there, but rather Vince McMahon, what question would Dixie ask McMahon?
Answer: She would say she has much respect for what he has accomplished and believes they are different methods of business.
Question: what are the benefits of having Hogan, Flair and even RVD in the locker room?
Answer: Those guys aren’t in the company for themselves but to rather help the younger guys. She puts over Styles as a phenomenal wrestler and says he has really became more than just a wrestler recently.
Question: Was going back to Thursday nights a step backwards?
Answer: No it wasn’t. Television isn’t the same it was so many years ago. Back then there was only forty channels but the times have changed. We can always try again in the future.
Question: Are there any plans to bring in international talent?
Answer: She credits Pro Wrestling Illustrated as a great magazine, since the guy asking works for them. She says that they have some exciting things up their sleeves from Mexico.
Question: Please explain how Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff fit in the organizational structure of TNA, what level of authority does each have and do they directly report to or is this just a on screen angle?
Answer: It is not an on screen angle. They report to her. They work with the wrestlers, and Spike TV. Hogan has stepped up and done everything asked of him. She has great respect for Bischoff and they are developing other television shows.
Question: This is from Jim Cornette and is a video question. Cornette asks why is Vince Russo hired as the booker, why has Russo booked TNA for so long and why does Russo have a job in the wrestling business?
Answer: She thinks that Russo is incredibly creative and he knows what he doesn’t do well. The “Fire Russo” chants are mentioned and she says that each time Russo angles were not happening in the ring. She told the creative members that if there is a Fire Russo chant again, she will fire someone else.
Question: It’s a long winded question, but basically is Vince Russo filtered in TNA?
Answer: She says that Russo listens to everyone on creative and doesn’t think about himself. She likes the idea that good ideas come from anyone.
Question: Who was behind hiring the firm that sent a letter to Jim Cornette, you, Russo or Terry Taylor?
Answer: It was an attorney that works for them.
Question: When creative people come to you with their ideas or a proposed direction for the television product, how do you distinguish between a good idea and a bad idea?
Answer: It doesn’t matter what she likes but rather what the ratings tell you. The minute by minute ratings are showing her what the fans like, she has to listen to what the viewers watch and what they turn away from.
Question: Would you be open to bring in Paul Heyman?
Answer: She would and thinks he would be a great addition to the company.
Question: By what standards do you judge the creative people behind TNA programming? How do you evaluate job performance among your creative department personnel? What types of goals are set for your writers, and have these goals been consistently met? If not, how do you deal with failures to meet goals?
Answer: She thinks they need to look at the revenue and says that they have had significant revenue growth.
Question: Who’s idea was it to get rid of the six sided ring?
Answer: the ring started off as a gimmick to get fans to turn into their product. They went back to the four sided ring to make them look like a wrestling company and show they are proud to be a wrestling company. The wrestlers were trained in a four sided ring and said they had to go back to the four sided ring to be a wrestling company.
Question: What are your thoughts on drugs in wrestling both recreational and performance enhancing, how this is managed in TNA now and in the future?
Answer: She is proud to say that she met with Congress and was subjected to very intense questioning regarding the wellness policy.
Question: How do you feel about WWE’s wellness policy testing for marijuana and if you one day institute a policy would you test for that drug?
Answer: No comment on WWE’s. They do test for marijuana.
Question: Did you evaluate Kurt Angle’s health and determine it was safe for him to perform for your company?
Answer: When she spoke to Kurt the first time, he was a broken man and it was tough talking to him. She told him he could either blame someone else or he could accept responablity. She met with doctors and credits him as an amazing person. He doesn’t know anything less than perfection in the ring.
Question: Why do you not care that Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Pac go on YouTube and post videos about taking somas and not being able to get into Canada because of gun charges?
Answer: She hopes those are old stories and says they like to talk to anyone who will listen to their stories. She isn’t crazy about the stories they share. She says that Scott Hall is doing great and living a great life (at the time).
Question: Do you think that TNA wrestlers health and well being is in good hands or simply being exploited until something happens to change this?
Answer: The precautions were taken by the WWE to become a PG product which is fine for them. She says they have been very blessed with very few injuries.
Question: Do you realize that your company is nearly a mirror image of early 2000 WCW? A company that lost millions of dollars and a regiment that killed a long time tradition on a cable company? (Sean Oliver lists off several questions incredibly quickly since they are the same thing, focusing on how TNA is similar to WCW.)
Answer: She doesn’t think it is right to comment about WCW but knows there is a lot of misinformation regarding the company out there. One of their biggest problems was selfish talent. She looks back at tapes of the people in her company and doesn’t recognize them. She says it takes 5-7 years for the WWE to build a top star with all the resources and they don’t have that.
Question: Can we expect you to come out on Impact and challenge Stephanie to a fight? (in reference to Bischoff challenging Vince to a fight in May 1998.)
Answer: I don’t think that is my style.
Question: When do your pay per view contracts come to an end and do you intend moving beyond PPV into a TV only market plan?
Answer: Pay Per View is not where it used to be but says that the market is something they have made millions of dollars off of. They will continue to air shows that way.
Question: Are Bischoff and Hogan being blamed for the fall in television ratings and pay per view buy-rates?
Answer: She says that the same shows struggling in the USA were doing extremely well in other places around the world.
Question: Why did you disband Team Canada?
Answer: Things run their course and thought that Team Canada had ran its course. She is very proud of Beer Money Inc. and thinks they have done a great job. She hopes to see Petey Williams back in TNA at some point.
Question: Why didn’t you bring back Rocky? It was some kind of cut out cardboard.
Answer: The idea was Mick Foley’s to use a cardboard cut out.
Question: Do you believe or agree that TNA should look for new faces more frequently from this day on to give the entire roster, whether it’s the X-Division, Knockouts, Main Event etc a fresh feel?
Answer: She says that in the past year they have brought in a lot of new faces into TNA and is excited about it.
Question: Have any wrestlers hit on Dixie Carter, if so, who?
Answer: One of the international wrestlers working the World X Cup handed her his room key. They didn’t go over real well.
Question: Are the top talents under guaranteed contracts or do they have to produce to be paid?
Answer: They do different contracts and aren’t a guaranteed contract company, really.
Question: Do you think it is fair that your employees are not offered any kind of health insurance policy? Can TNA talent work for WWE as long as there isn’t a conflict with the date, since there isn’t a guaranteed contract?
Answer: They can work anywhere but WWE and some work for companies like ROH and AAA. They cannot be shown on DVD with mass retail. She would like to see a change in their injury policy.
Question: Why did you air the speech talking down the locker room?
Answer: She talks to the locker room on a regular basis. She doesn’t like being on television and didn’t want to be on television but the writers thought it would be a good idea.
Question: What are you feelings on Booker T leaving TNA?
Answer: She loves Booker T and says that he is a great wrestler when he is motivated.
Question: Who thought of the idea to bring in the Nasty Boys? Can that person be fired, please?
Answer: They were paid on a day to day appearance were part of the highest rated segments on the show.
Question: Who was it that told you brining in Jenna from Survivor and having her compete in wrestling matches was a good idea? Did anyone rightfully lose their job over it?
Answer: Jenna wasn’t brought in to wrestle but rather for publicity. Her match with Sharmell was done for publicity.
Question: What did you talk to Jim Ross about?
Answer: It is just a rumor that she talked to Ross. She would never throw Mike Tenay under the bus.
Question: Thoughts on the Honky Tonk Man and his comments about TNA and employees such as Hogan, Bischoff, Russo, Bubba the Love Sponge and the overall status of TNA?
Answer: Have not heard it and not interested.
Question: Ever have talks with the Ultimate Warrior?
Answer: She has not talked to Warrior.
Question: Ever have talks with Goldberg?
Answer: She has and has had breakfast with him which was interesting.
Question: What are your future plans for the X-Division? Is it going to be just high flying like some wrestlers or is it going to be a mix of high flying with great wrestling or lucha like cruiserweights?
Answer: There have been talks of less X-Division exposure on television and have one great division. She is really excited about the X-Division.
Question: Who’s idea was the Beautiful People?
Answer: Creative came up with it (oh really?).
Question: Why is the focus of the knockouts shifting from being the anti-diva, legit athletes and wrestlers to becoming more of an tits and ass, sex selling objects that you previously were vehemently marketed opposed to?
Answer: If they were selling tits and ass she would still be against it. She is proud of the talent.
Question: Was the Bubba/Kong situation handled poorly? Was it fair to keep Hamada off TV whilst this was happening?
Answer: Hamada has been on TV since that time but it was hard to have her be on television with Kong as her partner. She feels it was handled by the book.
Question: What are your thoughts on wrestling newsletters?
Answer: Anybody that is passionate about wrestling is good in her book. They do not have an influence on their direction.
Question: What are your feelings on Bryan Alvarez?
Answer: She doesn’t know who that is.
Question: Please respond to this quote by Alvarez, “TNA has been the biggest failure of this generation… the story of TNA is the story of a group of people who never earn a thing. They never learn a thing from their failures, and more astoundingly they never learn a thing from their few successes. They’re run by a woman who has no idea what she’s doing and the TV has been written for years by a guy who has no idea what he’s doing. It’s the classic story of doing the same thing over and over and over again and hoping that somehow things will change.”
Answer: To be a company that makes the money they are making through professionalism and loving their fans is not a failure.
Question: Wrestling Observer ran a poll about TNA’s biggest problem. Can you please comment on the result of the poll? 30% is bad storylines, 20% feels like WCW, 12% bad management, 10% too much reliance on old wrestlers, 8% no vision, 5% no ability to connect with fan base, 3% inability to make stars, 2% not enough wrestling on TV show, 2% too many angles, 1% bad pacing of TV show and 1% bad branding.
Answer: She says that slowing down the show and not so many angles is something she can agree with. She says they connect with the fans and agrees with moments of not being consistent. The old wrestlers continue to provide the highest ratings.
Question: A man in Syracuse, NY claims to be a wrestler Killer Kowolla and claims he works for TNA. He goes to the house shows, indy shows and PPVS at Hooters with a TNA shirt telling anyone that he works for them and namedrops Dixie in particular. Is this guy a legit TNA employee?
Answer: Not the last time I checked the payroll.
Question: Would you be open to sit down and watch DGUSA with an open mind?
Answer: They watch plenty of tapes and goes to shows to show their respects and to see what they are doing.
Question: Ever meet Vince McMahon?
Answer: I have not.
Question: What is your response to Vince McMahon calling TNA tawdry?
Answer: she takes that as a compliment to be called tawdry by the king of tawdry.
On that note, that is the end of the interview.
Final Thoughts: Well, I think it’s safe to say that Dixie didn’t answer a lot of questions all that great. She is stuck in the mindset that their company is doing great and the people working for her are the best options. Most of her answers were either the politically correct or she seemingly avoided it. I don’t know why I went into this expecting some earth shattering news, and better yet I don’t know why I typed up eleven pages in a word document to recap this. It’s not worth the money to listen to Dixie think her company is perfectly fine. It’s just an hour and a half of a delusional woman thinking her company is successful. I’ll give this a thumbs down.
Thanks for reading.