By James Guttman
It all used to be Dixie Carter's problem. Wrestlers would show up week after week to complain about her mishandling of situations and bias against them. Through an annoyed smile, she'd endure complaints, insults, and aggravation while firing back with anger of her own.
Then, at Lockdown, that all ended. MVP showed up like the hero of the day and chased Miss Dixie away from sole responsibility in the company. With the TNA President put in her place, we had a new voice of authority. In MVP's mind, things were going to be smooth sailing going forward. It was he himself who proclaimed, "The party is over!"
Weeks later, that statement needs some tweaking. Forget the party, boss. It feels like the honeymoon is over. The once untouchable businessman has learned an important lesson of the wrestling business. No matter how hard you try to be benevolent and understanding, there will always be someone there to challenge the decision-maker. The river of unhappiness in wrestling always flows upwards. And at the top of that ladder sits MVP.
Kenny King sees it that way. Since returning from his hiatus, the King of the Night has been more than vocal about his animosity towards MVP. After all, Kenny was once a "hot free agent". Unfortunately for him, he wasn't MVP's hot free agent. That honor belongs to the Wolves. If King's paranoia seemed misplaced, the fact that he was sitting at home during Impact episodes verified it. Whether accidental or not, one thing was certain. He wasn't there and the man in charge wasn't sending any private jets to pick him up. Video: Kenny King vs. MVP
This may have appeared to be an oversight at first, but Austin Aries wouldn't agree. The former World Heavyweight Champion has been doing the same thing as the mad King ever since Lockdown. As pointed out in this column at the time, Austin was making a risky choice by siding with Team Dixie against MVP. If his team was victorious, he would be showered with glory. If they lost - which they did - he'd be showering at home mostly - which he did. Video: MVP faces another disgruntled superstar
The irony here is that Dixie Carter was vilified when she made life difficult for wrestlers on the roster. Her sneak attacks and angry confrontations were seen as hateful abuses of power. Among those who condemned her most for those actions - MVP himself.
So he went a different route. Rather than start a big problem, why not just leave those he might have a problem be? MVP didn't send any mercenaries for A-Double's head. He just left him alone - where ever he might be.
And all appeared to be working out just fine until MVP's overlooked talent home to roost. His attempts at keeping the peace only served to make his challengers angrier in their absence. Suddenly, he finds himself in the same position as Dixie Carter before him - trading angry words and violence with his employees. Wishing your problem performers away doesn't get the job done and, at the end of the day, some wrestlers will always clash with authority - no matter how "popular" the authority may be.
So on Impact this week when MVP laces up the boots to face Austin Aries, know that it's the last thing the boss wants to be doing. His goal was to govern with grace. Sadly, that has proven impossible for almost everyone in his position and those boots he's lacing are just taking one more step towards becoming the person he fought to dethrone. There's no escaping it. But what's he supposed to do? He's the boss! These people should listen to him!
Ain't that right, darlin'?