‘One of the most influential women in American Sports’ is not a tag that everyone gets often. However, for a woman, who oversees the day-to-day operations of a wrestling promotion that produce more than 500 hours of programming viewed across 120 countries presented in 14 different languages, such a tag is well earned.
In case you have not guessed yet, the ‘woman’ referred in the last sentence is none other than the president of Total Nonstop Action (TNA), Dixie Carter. As part of her efforts in growing the reach of TNA globally, Dixie recently visited India.
We managed to get in touch with her for an exclusive interview.
Below is the first part of the interview where she talked about the on-going rumors about TNA, future plans, her roster and much more.
About her visit to India
We’re here meeting with Sony executives about some great future plans that we are going to be doing as partners. We are not here to talk about ownership but it is definitely about how we would like to grow our brands together and how we will invest more in India to grow TNA impact wrestling here.
Upcoming TNA pay-per-views
We’ll have at least one or two live pay-per-views this year and for Slammiversary,we have some incredible matches that are planned. We have some big matches after months and months of buildup and it’s going to be our best Slammiversary that we had in a long time.
About the possibility of signing superstars who were recently released from WWE
Many believe that our actual roster and their wrestling are best in the business. So we are always on the lookout for new talent. In the last few years, we focused on growing home-grown talent. A lot of new talent like EC III, Rock star Spud, Eli Drake, and Bram, there are so many and I could go on.
They’ve grown so much but I think we also did a fantastic job with people like Drew Galloway who was at the WWE and came in and completely relaunched himself. There are definitely some incredibly talented wrestlers on the market right now and some will be available at some part of this year. And I do see ourselves talking to them. I think it would be exciting to bring a few into TNA.
On relationship with Pop TV
They’ve been fantastic partners. Brad Schwartz has been a fantastic leader of the network. He has been great to us. It’s a young network but they have some great distribution.
With 85 Million people being able to see it in the United States, we are growing every week and our DV-R and playback numbers are growing by around 20-30-40 percent every week and I’m looking forward to a long and solid relationship with them as they’ve been a lot of fun to work with.
Reaction on the negativity in Social media and rumors about financial situation of TNA
You can’t react to the rumors about the financial situation. That’s the difficulty about being in my position. There’s so much incorrect information out there about the financial situation of TNA. We are putting out some of the best television our company has ever put out and if you watch it you can tell, great things are happening to our company.
We just announced some associations in the Middle East, we just announced Vietnam and a lot of similar announcements are rolling out. It’s not easy knowing that there is all these negativity. And to be honest, it’s a new thing.
Seven or eight years ago, there wasn’t a social media platform for people to come on and just be negative about your product. But that is the best thing about wrestling. People are so passionate for and against it; they just love talking about it. I’m just excited that some announcements are coming out this week which might urge people to tune in and see how fantastic it is. I truly believe that it is the best wrestling show out there on television today.
Knockout division being best in the business
The one thing I’m proud of especially being the president of this company and a female is our knockouts division. I think the female wrestlers are by far the best women’s wrestling in the world and I think we have given them a platform that no other global wrestling company in the world has given their women.
We treat them as legitimate athletes and let them have their own Pay-per-views and television shows main events. And sometimes, there are multiple matches featuring them on the show. They are a huge priority for the company and they deserve to be. They are the most talented women in wrestling and I love to showcase their athleticism.
Upcoming Hall of Fame induction
We will be announcing the newest inductee into the Hall of Fame in June and I’m very very excited about it.
One wrestler that she would love to add to the roster
The Rock (laughs). There are so many great talents out there. I love Lucha wrestling. Rey Mysterio is amazing. There are some amazing wrestlers on our roster as well and we just want to continue to add it. We recently had five or six new signings and I can tell you that there is more coming up.
Who she thinks is the face of the company.
It’s a hard question because it is not a single person. Jeff Hardy is arguably the most popular wrestler in the business today and has such incredible charisma. I believe Matt Hardy is doing a great job and neither one of them have performed on a level that they are performing now. I think Bobby Lashley is an overall athlete, what he brings to the table is incredible.
EC III for a young talent, we never had a young talent come up so fast could be the face of this company for a decade to come. There are a lot of such names like James Storm, Eli Drake, and Bram and I could go on and on. Mike Bennett has been working with us for a short period but he has managed to make a big impact.
What I love is we have a great roster and what I mean by that is that they are great people. They are all fighting very hard not only for themselves but for the company and most importantly for the fans to give them an incredible product and if you watch, that shows very clearly.