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Dixie Carter Discusses TNA Departures, Criticism for Signing MMA Stars, Bully Ray and Aces & 8s

– TNA President Dixie Carter recently spoke with The Ministry of Slam. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Signing MMA Fighters such as Quinton Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz:
“I’ve gotten criticism for bringing these guys in but when you’re looking for talent and there’s only two teams, where do you go to get your star players from? You’re going to mostly look to each other and then every once in a while, you’ve got to build your own talent which takes a lot of time.

So here are two guys that are major superstars. Both come from wrestling backgrounds, and both are training their butts off right now to be in the ring. I think it’s a great way of trying to find some superstar talent and not having to take so many years to try to grow somebody’s stardom. Both of these guys are so well-known and they love professional wrestling. They’re committed and they’re training, and I’m excited for people to see their potential. I think it’s a great way of looking for new talent, and talent that have never been seen before in our world.”

Recent releases from the company:
“Well, I think the fact that you let talent go is not any indication whatsoever of any problems. I think part of our problem is that we didn’t turn the roster often enough. We only have one show so if we don’t have people on the show all the time. we are not in the position to have them sitting at home and being paid and not working. I think we have to get some more programming.

We have to be able to do that to where we can shift and make talent appear fresh, but going to another show versus sitting people at home. I think it’s been a long time coming. I know that our competitor lets people go constantly. We had not done it in a long time, and I think because we had not done it in a long time, that it raised some eyebrows.

It’s time for us to bring in some new faces, and we’ve got some exciting faces that will be appearing in the next several months. It’ll freshen things up somewhat. It’ll freshen up the people who are still on the roster and it’ll give the fans new and unique matches that they’ve never seen before. Like always, I’m sure some of the people that are no longer with us will return at some point – I’m hopeful for that. I think it’s a good healthy state of where we’re going and how we need to grow.”

On Bully Ray and Aces & 8s:
“Bully Ray in my opinion has really stepped up and become a formidable singles champion. He’s done outstanding work. A lot of the young guys have come along under the Aces & Eights banner very quickly. I love the reformation of the Main Event Mafia; I love the younger members in there stepping up to represent our company. I think there’s going to be some interesting TV in the coming weeks.”

  • millerj265

    Ken Shamrock was really starting to get good to before wwe just lost all interest in him towards the early part of 99.

  • Orkyboy

    Agreed. The name Kurt Angle springs to mind…

  • millerj265

    I honestly don’t want any of them in the ring doing anything lol. Unless the mma guys are going to be like ken shamrock and put in the effort to get good and become actual pro wrestlers id like them to stick to just talking roles and be media magnets. Are they as big as Tyson was in 98? No not even slightly but they do have star power and if they were going out and doing media and promoting tna like it was a big deal like they should be doing, they could really benefit the company. But there not doing that and there just taking away a spot from a talent that could actually benefit from a top level program.

  • Scott Davies

    Tyson was good in that role. It all comes down to believability Would you as a fan be comfortable with Tyson in the ring as he was a trained boxer who can fight, over Jay Leno doing a armbar on Hogan, with Hogan selling it? MMA guys can get away with it, cause part of their sport is Wrestling. But booking MMA fighter v MMA fighter will be bad, as Pro Wrestling is a different world.

  • CC

    So contradictory. Says that she didnt want people sitting at home, so releasing them makes sense, and then says they need to bring in new talent. Well this has always been the issue I have had with WWE as well. If you have talent sitting on the sidelines, and you have space to bring in new guys, then why are these guys sitting on the sidelines. Fair enough if you have pushed them and pushed them and they just dont get over, but some of the guys released are never given a chance because both WWE and TNA keep throwing the same old faces at us week after week.
    Also, I dont think for a second that Ortiz and Jackson have the star power she claims. Yeah they are not unknowns, but I dont see either of them have the drawing power to justify bringing them in.
    If you want drawing power, you need to go bigger than that.

    You can keep a roster fresh without constantly signing new talent at the expense of others. New angles, and heel/face switches can do that in an instant.
    Look at a guy like Daniel Bryan in WWE, the guy keeps adapting, changing his persona and gimmick, which is what has helped keep him fresh.
    Then you have a guy like Cena who WWE out and out refuses to let adapt, and he is staler than last months loaf of bread.

    And anyway, say all you want about “new stars”, but this will never happen all the time you keep pushing old stars down peoples throats.

  • poko

    Call me crazy but I’m going to wait until I see them wrestle before I judge. There have been guys who came from outside pro wrestling who ended up pretty damn good.

  • millerj265

    agreed! that’s the same problem wcw had, its fine if not great to bring in big names but only if there brought in to enhance and build up your own up and coming stars. perfect example mike Tyson at WrestleMania 14. he wasn’t brought in to be the top guy in a program he was brought in to get more eyeballs on wwes next top guy stone cold steve Austin, and I guess they did alright business because of that, it only led to the biggest most profitable period in wrestling history lol

  • Scott Davies

    Dixie Carter I think is smart by signing these MMA guys, but not against each other. Yeah they bring Star power, but TNA only benefit from it when they are facing Top or up & coming talent. Dixie Carter is TNA’s giant problem

  • Kaizen

    New Guys? Really? What New Guys?

  • Solid

    Sorry, I couldn’t read that, I got too dizzy from all the spin.

  • The Killswitch

    First of all, Middleton doesn’t approve/moderate the comments. Amish and I do. And we try to approve comments as we see them as quickly as possible.

    Second of all, the comment you are referring to is on another article by another writer:

  • ddfindl

    Nice new touch on the reports, Middleton! Verbatim dialogue, match times, you even underli… oh, it’s copy and pasted.

  • Rob ‘Richard Hammond’ Picken

    Wait Darren Young “comes out” and all of a sudden he’s winning matches