The controversial Dixie Carter heel authority figure character is gone from TNA, after she was written out of storylines at the recent NYC IMPACT tapings. Her departure from the on air role culminated in a devastating “Bubba Bomb” through a table at the hands of a reunited Team 3D. The spot has been teased several times over the past few months, but to the untrained 49 year old’s credit, nobody thought she’d actually have the “grapefruits” to go through with it.
In hindsight she might have some regrets, as numerous online sources claim the bump literally damaged some of the bones in her back. Even though Mae Young was in her 70s when she took the the same spot, perhaps her years of experience still helped to protect her. That or it’s just a work – you never can tell with these things.
Credit where credit is due however. She definitely put in the effort!
TNA Really Rebooted?
The concept of the wrestling authority figure has been hotly debated since WWE reworked the Mr. McMahon formula, and applied it to his daughter and “doofus son in-law”. Why does wrestling always have to fall back on this Attitude Era trope? Then a couple of months later Dixie Carter began to mirror the exact same persona, and the whole of mainstream wrestling became about how they have terrible management.
Of course the glaring difference was that Steph and Trips really are figureheads in a successful publicly traded corporation, TNA was and still is covered in a “death of WCW” like stench, that simply won’t go away. Telling the story of how the company is being ran poorly, during a time when everyone thinks it’s being ran poorly, is not the way to build stars and make the show feel important.
While WWE has had some successes with the Authority – mainly the rise of Daniel Bryan, which may be mirrored with Roman Reigns – TNA’s version saw AJ Styles leave the company, Magnus end right back where he started at the middle of the card, and one of the worst TV rated Champions in years, Eric Young. The only real success emerging from the Dixie Carter mess was Rockstar Spud, a legitimately funny character who will now probably get lost in the shuffle without “Madame” by his side.
On the latest episode of Impact on Spike TV we were introduced to yet another authority figure – Kurt Angle.
While he claimed this was TNA “rebooting”, he’s still in an authority role, which still means plot holes, manipulation and power struggles. And after MVP was supposed to be a man of the people, why should fans believe Angle? A real reboot would be for the promotion to operate like any other sports league. Professionally.
There are rules in life, that don’t need somebody cutting promos every week to remind us they exist. And let’s not pretend Kurt Angle is good on the mic anymore, with his beet red, possibly medicated, passionless recitals.
That’s not to take anything away from the guy, but what was the decision process behind putting him in this role?
1) He’s injured so this is a way to get him on TV.
2) His contract is expiring so let’s make him feel important.
3) We watched some of his old WWF stuff on Youtube and are delusional.
4) Wrestling doesn’t work without authority figures so let’s use Angle.
The list can go on, but none of these possibilities suggest they’ve really sat down and thought about it.
TNA going in different direction is not the same as TNA getting better.
We have an ex-WWE guy as champion who was barely around long enough to register in the fans’ minds, who despite being jacked to the gills looks like a baby, and needs MVP to do the talking.
We have Jeff Hardy, the biggest money draw for the company hidden behind a mask with no explanation or backstory.
And the X-Division has a handful of competitors, who have half the talent of Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville …
From all accounts the NYC tapings were good, but it’s going to take a lot more for TNA to re-earn the respect of the fans and begin to offer a credible alternative.