Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Dixie Carter and TNA Impact Wrestling
Dixie Carter is the current president of TNA Impact wrestling. She is not to be confused with the television actress, Dixie Carter who is famous for her starring role in the syndicated television series, “Designing Women”. Dixie was born in Dallas, Texas and graduated from the Hockaday School, a girls’ preparatory school. She went on to the University of Mississippi and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. After her graduation, she worked full time with a marketing and advertisement firm that she interned at while in college. At the age of 27, the marketing firm offered her the job of vice-president. In 1993, she left the firm to start her own business which focused mainly on sports and music marketing. In 2002, she was contacted by a booking agency that told her a new wrestling promotion was looking to have marketing representation.
TNA, Total Non-stop Action wrestling promotion was founded by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett in May of 2002. Originally a member of the National Wrestling Alliance, TNA-NWA wrestling was on its way. Fans were excited about TNA because the WWE had just purchased WCW wrestling in March of 2001 and then they purchased ECW wrestling a month later and the fans were starved for cruiserweight and Southern-style wrestling which the then WWF was not offering. Two months later, after hiring Dixie Carter, TNA told her that the company was in dire financial straits as their partner at the time, HealthSouth Corporation was having its own financial problems as well as being investigated for accounting irregularities. Carter spoke with her parents, the owners of Panda Energy International, a Dallas-based energy company, because she saw the marketing potential of this company with no immediate competitors. In October of 2002, Panda Energy bought seventy-one percent of the wrestling company from HealthSouth and Dixie Carter became the president of the wrestling company with Jeff Jarrett as the vice-president and on October 31, 2002, TNA was renamed TNA Entertainment. It was originally traded as J Sports and Entertainment.
TNA is unique in the fact that they are the only American based wrestling company to use a hexagonal ring instead of the traditional square that the other wrestling companies use and their heel and face wrestlers use two different ring entrances to make it look more realistic to the fans as the faces and heels being true enemies. It is a very unique wrestling company that started out as doing weekly pay-per-view shows and when Dixie Carter took over, she eventually got them a television contract with Spike TV and now has a two hour prime time show with Spike on Thursday nights at 9PM. Carter was also instrumental in signing two more big name wrestlers as Kurt Angle and Booker T. Both are former World champions from the WWE. Thanks to Dixie Carter’s business acumen and foresight to see the potential in this company, she saved the company from ruin and brought them to where they are today, as steady competition for the WWE.