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TNA's pay issues should shame Dixie Carter and the rest of her family

There's simply no excuse for a wrestling promotion bankrolled by a major corporation to ever be late paying their performers. But that hasn't stopped TNA sources from excusing exactly that.

Dixie Carter: "Oops I did it again! I played with your pay, I'm just not that innocent."
Dixie Carter: "Oops I did it again! I played with your pay, I'm just not that innocent."
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

As was mentioned in our rumor roundup earlier today, Mike Johnson of reported yesterday that TNA "is well behind on pay to their wrestlers" again, with some talent being owed money dating back to February.

This isn't the first time the company has faced this problem, as stories emerged of TNA talent being paid late in the summer of 2013, coinciding with the period where TNA underwent a series of aggressive budgetary cuts in a bid to turn around their flagging finances. Although these issues were sorted out shortly after they became public, in the spring of 2014 a large group of TNA production staffers threatened to walk out before an Impact television taping over being owed pay, which led to Dixie Carter writing checks on the spot for the amounts due everyone to prevent a PR nightmare from occurring.

Johnson's sources within TNA's office in Nashville had a laundry list of excuses and rationalisations for the admittedly legitimate problems:

  1. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill: It's not as bad as being made out, as at least one source denied that wrestlers were behind two pay periods.
  2. Bureaucracy: Talent payment is actually handled by TNA's parent company Panda Energy in Dallas, Texas, so we're not to blame for the late pay.
  3. Logistical failings: Panda Energy recently moved offices and during the move, the department that handles pay for TNA was completely closed, creating a backlog of checks that needed to be issued upon the department's reopening.
  4. Oops, we did it again: The expense of taping their One Night Only pay-per-view series in advance, which takes time to generate the company revenue, was blamed just like it was two years ago.
  5. Empathy: We're as frustrated as you are and we're working as hard as we possibly can to rectify the situation, but our hands are tied.
This could all very well be true (indeed, Dave Meltzer noted on his message board that at least some wrestlers had already got their paychecks, but they still arrived several days late), but we have to call BS, BS here. There's simply no excuse for a wrestling promotion bankrolled by a major corporation to ever be late paying their performers.

Let's respond to each of the excuses, one by one:
  1. It doesn't matter how late the pay is, the wrestlers who put their bodies on the line should always be paid on time. At least show them that respect. It's bad enough that TNA's talent, most of whom are paid per appearance, were misled that everything would be OK after the company signed their new television deal with Destination America last year. They've had to slowly find out for themselves that they'd make substantially less money in 2015 because TNA decided to stop running house shows and didn't tell them about it. Don't rub salt into their wounds by mailing their smaller paychecks out late too!
  2. It doesn't matter who handles the pay, make sure the checks are sent out on time!
  3. There's this strategy called planning in advance. You should try it. Surely, you knew that the offices would be moving many months beforehand. You could have issued the checks early or put a plan in place to ensure that the checks were mailed on time or at the very least notified the TNA talent affected that their pay would be delayed immediately when you knew this would be an issue.
  4. Shouldn't you learn from your past mistakes and budget accordingly? The wrestlers should get paid their per appearance guarantee at the end of the month those appearances occurred, not be forced to wait until TNA's cash flow improves, because Panda Energy is perfectly able to loan money to their subsidiary that can be paid back when the pay-per-view income starts coming in.
  5. It's hard to believe that the Carter family really cares about their wrestlers or TNA staff when late pay has become such a frequent problem. They should be ashamed at running such a Mickey Mouse organisation that can't pay their workers on time.

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