By James Guttman
In last week's column, I wrote about understanding Dixie Carter's point of view as of late. At the time, it made sense. But after seeing her actions on last Thursday's Impact, I've come to a different understanding.
I stand by what I wrote seven days ago. TNA is Dixie Carter's house and the way A.J. Styles called her out accomplished nothing but angry feelings and harsh reactions. As someone who has been in wrestling for his adult life, Styles should have known that provoking a member of management - no matter how even-tempered she appeared to be - was a mistake.
Then came Thursday and we learned that perhaps this thing went deeper than petty differences. Seeing that A.J., with a World Heavyweight Title match set for October 20th's Bound For Glory, was without a contract, Impact General Manager Hulk Hogan stepped in. He knew that Dixie, in her current mindset, was not in any mood to negotiate a new one with someone she felt was phenomenally disrespectful. So, in truly admirable fashion, Hulk did just that. After complimenting A.J. and showing him the support that fans had for him, Hulk handed him a contract. Styles signed and we had our happy ending. Things were going to be good. Cue the doves and orchestra music.
That's when Dixie Carter arrived… and tore the contract into pieces.
Yup. People had to rewind their DVRs just to believe it. Here was Hulk Hogan, in an effort to help TNA, taking the burden of hostile negotiations from Carter only to have her toss away the end result. Mouths hung open. A bewildered Styles simply shook his head in disbelief and left the ring. If getting him to commit to this first contract was tough, getting a second one with his signature is going to be next to impossible now. Everyone was concerned about what this meant for Bound For Glory - everyone, that is, except for Dixie Carter.
Immediately following A.J.'s departure, she turned to Hulk Hogan and gave him an ultimatum. She informed the Hulkster that he has until this Thursday's Impact to decide whether or not he's on "Team Dixie".
That's right. No mention of possibly having Styles win the World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory only to have him leave with it. No worries over Bully Ray's bragging earlier in the show about being the new darling of Dixie. Nothing. Her big concern was about whether or not the Hulkster was on her "team" - a team no one even realized existed until she said it.
Think about that. With Jeff Hardy and Manik facing Kenny King and Chris Sabin along with Magnus in a Gauntlet Match against E.G.O., this Thursday's Impact shows exactly the type of heart and dedication that TNA's wrestlers have. Any President would be proud of what these men can and will do - but not our President. Her main concern is if Hulk Hogan is on #TeamDixie.
We have to address the irony here too. Dixie Carter, angered over her treatment by Styles is now separating herself from what's right for TNA. Sound familiar? It should. A.J. Styles, angered over his treatment by TNA, did just that over the past year. Although he's started to come around in recent months, some are pointing out how karma has come back around in a phenomenal way.
With everyone talking about “#TeamDixie” I have to ask one question. What happened to #TeamTNA? How does Dixie Carter forget the hell that World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray has put the company through? What about all those who have shed bled in their battles with Aces and Eights? What about men like Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, and all the rest? Don't they count for anything? Are their sacrifices to save the company cast aside because Dixie Carter has hurt feelings? For the love of TNA, can't she just put personal feeling aside?
Sadly, that statement gives us our answer. If she really loved TNA as much as she says she does, this wouldn't be happening.