We can debate what the word “bury” means when it’s used as a pro wrestling insider term, but I feel pretty confident in using it to describe how former CEO Dixie Carter is handled by Impact Wrestling’s new management in an interview they gave Newsweek recently, which was posted on Feb. 18, 2017.
Carter’s tenure was frequently fodder for unflattering news about the company then known as TNA. It finally unravelled in 2016, with multiple stories of monies owed to partners, talent and other contractors culminating in a legal battle with investor & one-time President Billy Corgan.
The company was sold to one of those partners, a Canadian media company called Anthem Sports & Entertainment. As part of the sale, Anthem paid off Corgan, installed one of their own as President and brought back TNA founder Jeff Jarrett - who’d left the company years before and was bought out completely by Dixie in 2013 - to run Creative.
Jarrett and new President Ed Nordholm spoke to Newsweek while in London working on, among other things, finding Impact a new television deal in the United Kingdom. They discussed why they think Anthem-owned Impact will succeed, and how they’ll win back fans & compete in a crowded global wrestling marketplace.
And they also placed the blame for the company’s rocky past squarely at Carter’s feet.
It was a black-eye on the industry. It wasn’t fruitful for anyone—whether you’re a fan of, a wrestler, an employee. It was a really ugly, unfortunate situation. It wasn’t good for the industry.
The buck has to stop someplace. The reality is the company got into a dire position and she was CEO. There was never any question [she wouldn’t be involved in the day-to-day operations], but not out of any particular animosity. If we’re going to invest...we’re owner-operators, we’re not passive investors. If we’re going to own it, we’re going to own it.
The new President went on to add that Dixie will be around in a “consultative” role as they “try to keep” relationships she cultivated and institutional knowledge she possesses.
It’s not that this is out-of-line from what most fans and industry observers believed. It also makes sense for Double-J and the new owners to clearly draw a line between Carter’s TNA and their Impact Wrestling.
We’d heard for a long-time, however, that one of the things Dixie was looking for in the sales process was a way to save face. It seems things got bad enough that meant simply not being in charge when the ship went down - not that whoever bought the company from her would refrain from pointing fingers publicly about why it almost went down.
Check out the whole interview at Newsweek.