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By Mike Johnson on 2016-09-27 10:06:00

Heavy lies the head that wears the crown, or so the story goes.

If Dixie Carter wears the crown and by definition, is the queen of TNA, she's going to be using both hands to help prop her head up over the next several days, because by October 2nd, whatever her legacy is in professional wrestling, it looks like a major part of it will be written by her actions as the next several days unfold.

That legacy could go a number of ways, but it certainly appears that time is running out for TNA under her ownership and over the last five days, we have heard more and more that Carter has had communications with WWE about a potential sale.  If that is indeed the case, it's the end of TNA, because WWE is not going to buy it to operate it.  They are going to acquire the video library (which is really the only asset the company has), slide a few talents into the WWE locker room and let the rest of it become part of nostalgia for wrestling fans.  That's what happened to WCW and ECW, each of which had a far stronger footprint when they were acquired.

But, even if WWE doesn't end up owning TNA, the reality is this, the fuse on the TNA bomb is close to the end - someone or something is going to give and it's going to be soon.  There's no avoiding it.  Time is running out and while that may upset some in TNA, it's the truth.

It sucks as someone who loves pro wrestling to even write this, but the reality is that it is impossible to ignore the situation TNA currently has themselves in.  Carter didn't go from the sole owner of the company after buying out Jeff Jarrett a few years back and having TNA removed from the Panda Energy umbrella to being one of four owners unless financially, she had no choice but to make deals to try and keep the company operating - and now those decisions are coming back to haunt her.  She may still be the majority owner on paper but she's reliant on all of these moving parts she's created in order to keep the company moving...and now those parts are coming back with their hands out.

It's already well known that Aroluxe has a piece of TNA and got it because they paid for production costs after TNA's previous production company, A-1 Productions, parted ways with TNA on bad terms.  The stories of production staff from the A-1 days being paid late are well known.  So, now Aroluxe has a piece of the company and are still putting their hand out for their hard work - and they aren't going to produce Bound for Glory, much less next week's TNA TV, for free.  What would be in it for them to do that after all this time?  Aroluxe are going to want something for their time - and the word is that in recent weeks, they have made it clear that they still want to own TNA, going as far as to have a battle plan that would see them produce the TV show a few times a year in order to keep costs low.  Aroluxe isn't going to wait forever and they are the production company that TNA needs to produce TNA's shows in Orlando over the next week.  Dixie is pretty much in the same position she was in back at Slammiversary.  Once again, that wall is pushing in.

Then we have Billy Corgan, who began investing in TNA back around the time Slammiversary took place - the same time period that TNA's Chief Financial Officer Dean Broadhead talked on his Facebook page that it might be time for himself to retire as he admitted that the PPV and the tapings might not have even happened if it hadn't been for last minute maneuverings. 

Those maneuverings were Corgan investing and those investments led to him getting the Presidency of the company.  He was the savior back in June, but it's a different scenario now.  Corgan wants TNA, but obviously, it's not going to be an easy sale because so many others are involved and no one is willing to walk away with nothing to show for their ownership points.  But, where it gets tricky is this - if Corgan has been the money that has kept TNA going since this past June, and he wants to buy TNA and it's not going to happen, why would he keep putting his money in if it's not getting him anywhere?  I pose this question: what if Corgan decides he's not going to float this weekend's PPV and tapings?  Would the other owners be able to pull it off without him?  If not, that gives Corgan a lot of leverage, but that leverage only means something in the end if he gets the company.  If not, he has thrown his money down a well and will be waiting (like others) to get his money back from TNA.  All signs are that Corgan holds the keys to TNA taping at Bound for Glory and beyond, but that's not going to happen without Corgan getting something he wants - TNA ownership -  nor should it.  That wall is pushing in.

Then we have the talents, who have worked hard and have created a lot of great matches and moments - from Final Deletion on down - over the last several years.  Matt Hardy has recreated himself.  Drew Galloway and EC3 continue to kill it in the ring. Aron Rex has shown a lot of fire and passion.  Maria Kanellis has been a tremendous heel.  Moose seems more comfortable in TNA than he ever did in Ring of Honor if we are going to be honest.  Even Allie has taken off as an endearing character.  The wrestlers have worked hard and the matches are good, but at the end of the day, they need to get paid and there's only so much passion one can maintain if they are worried about what the next chapter of their lives are going to be.  It's great to work hard but hey, everyone worked hard at the end of ECW too, and it didn't get them anywhere at the end of the day.  They have dealt with late checks, broken promises and at times, lies to keep them going and working hard.  Certainly that happens in all walks of life but the roster deserves answers and they deserve to know their future is safe.  That wall is closing in.

Then there is the wall of the past.  Past mistakes.  Vendors looking for money owed.  Former executive producers suing for money they claim to be owed.  Even the company that shipped merchandise via cargo ships into the United States for TNA are looking for what they are owed.   The ghosts of former talents who are doing more successful elsewhere when the company made the decision not to keep them or not to pay them.  All of that builds up and each little brick builds upon the others, threatening to cascade over, because eventually, you either pay the old bills or you go bankrupt.  That's how life works, no matter who you are.  That wall, a wall that isn't as publicly spotlighted as the others, is closing in as well.

Indeed, the walls are closing in and Dixie Carter is standing in the middle of the trash compactor on the Death Star.  So, what does she do?

The pressure is on, because unless everyone gets on board, Carter has to navigate the waters of needing one side for production, needing another side for the money and balancing all of that plus keeping a locker room full of talented and eclectic personalities happy, while also staving off the wolves of the past who are seeking their pound of flesh.  It's a real life "House of Lies" but instead of Washington DC, the politics are about how to keep a wrestling promotion solvent and keeping the focus on what is going on in front of the cameras as the real battle continues to be what is happening behind the scenes.

Even if the scheduled TV tapings didn't take place this week (and let the record state, talent has had their flight details for weeks, so there are obviously plans for the tapings to happen - don't misinterpret what I am about to say), TNA could get around that by repurposing older material, filming new wrap-arounds, etc.  There are ways to do that so that new content is sent to TV partners - even WWE has done that at times in the past.  TNA can get by without producing new TV shows.  But, on Sunday 10/2, TNA has to contractually produce a new, live PPV because if they don't, they will be in a major breach by breaking contracts with not just their PPV providers but all of their international TV partners as well - since Bound for Glory would be a special for those markets.  10/2 is the door Carter has to figure out a way past.

So, time is ticking away and decisions are going to have to be made, because all of the ripples Carter created with the decisions she's made over the last few years are bouncing back towards her at the same time.  Does she tap out and sell to WWE, getting herself some cash and walking away from all the stress she's undoubtedly been under, leaving her minority owners to be forced to eventually sell as well?  If so, does she sacrifice the livelyhood of everyone who is working for the company and everyone who has dealt with the hardships that were beyond their contract so that she can be free and clear and take a deep breath for herself?  Does she let TNA and all that people hoped it might be sink into the depths of the WWE ocean?

Does Carter sell off to Corgan and walk away, knowing that she has to let the company go and exist without her involvement?  Is she even willing, from an ego standpoint, to allow that to happen?  Paul Heyman could have sold off ECW, but chose to let it die.  Could Carter feel the same way?  Is selling off to Corgan going to get her enough money that she's going to be happy with all the time and energy that she's put into TNA from 2002 on?  One of the reasons TNA wasn't sold years ago was Carter had to remain in power and on camera - does she continue to put her own personal pursuits in front of what might be best for TNA, it's staff and wrestlers?  Is it time Carter goes out on her shield so that the company can try and live another day?

Does she just let the Titanic crash into the iceberg and allow the bankruptcy process to go forth by putting TNA in Chapter 7 and allow the courts to extricate the remains and determine who gets what, how and why?  Carter certainly doesn't need to keep TNA alive in order to enjoy life.  She was the one vacationing with her family in Africa earlier this year.  Carter's life will go on without TNA, but she holds the key to whether TNA lives on.   Does she decide to let it go?

Or does Carter figure out a way to pull off one of the greatest Hail Marys in the history of pro wrestling by somehow, without losing any additional footing to the minority owners, getting through the weekend and setting the stage for TNA to once again, play Indiana Jones by swinging over an endless chasm, barely making it and pulling itself up by it's fingernails to live and fight another day?  And if so, what is TNA fighting for if, as recent history has shown, that victory is simply hitting reset at the end and playing this game over and over again?  Something is going to have to give.

I don't imagine it's very fun being Dixie Carter these day and she has some heavy decisions to make - and those decisions don't just change her life and the lives of her family, but the lives of everyone who works for TNA and has struggled to see the company through.  Carter's legacy may very well be decided over the next several days - and it will be that decision and that legacy that determines whether TNA follows WCW and ECW into the WWE archives, whether the company is given a fresh lease on life or whether it continues on it's current downtrodden path, a path that continues to get murkier and more convoluted with each step.

Heavy is the crown - as with it comes the responsibility and the blame.  All eyes are on Dixie Carter as every decision she has made has led herself and TNA to this juncture.   The health and future of her company and those who worked there are dependent on the decisions Carter makes over the next several days and trust me, decisions will have to be made.  Choose wisely.  

Mike Johnson can be reached at

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