Recently, Dixie Carter was interviewed by Steven Muehlhausen for Fight Club, presented by Sports Town Chicago. During the discussion, Dixie talked about; TNA's newest star in King Mo and how he will be used, Kurt Angle, new TNA developments and more. Here are some of the highlights:
On the signing on MMA star King Mo: "[We weren't looking to sign] King Mo in particular. No, quite honestly. But for the last couple of years, I felt that if we had the right talent and we worked with an MMA organization, we cross-promoted and kept it real and made it big, then it could be huge.
"I know that we can break a star, I know that we can show that person's personality and help a fighter break in that way. There's so any MMA guys that wrestling is there thing. I had talked with other MMA guys in the past and, quite honestly, they just didn't get it. They didn't want to go there. That's fine. But once Kevin Kay, the president of SpikeTV, introduced me to Bjorn [Rebney] at Bellator the first time -- he loved it.
"He totally got it. He's an outside-the-box thinker. Then, it was just a matter of who do we get. Originally, I thought of taking someone from the wrestling world -- there's several of our guys that really want to fight. But, the more we talked about it, we felt like to make it as legit as possible, let's get a killer MMA guy. Someone who has a record that's undisputed but who also has a serious wrestling background. And if he could have a love for professional wrestling, that would be so much better.
"When we heard that King Mo might be available -- God. It was the perfect combination. It was that lethal combination of background, experience, personality, character and that great, great MMA record."
On how King Mo will be able to balance MMA and wrestling: "I think we both have to be respectful of what's going on. His fights are a big priority. We'll look at when those will be and [Bjorn] will look at what we've got going on. We'll just sit down with a calendar with Mo and we'll look at the times he really needs to focus train.
"His thought is that when he's working with us, he'll become in the best shape he's ever been. What are guys do is so grueling. 52 original programs of our show a year , 12 pay-per-view and we're on the road doing live events. They're training in between that.
"So, it's non-stop. So, it'll be a matter of putting him on the right shows, the right pay-per-views, house shows, etc. Just sitting down with a calendar and working it out between the three of us."
On whether or not Kurt Angle was one of the wrestlers she thought could make the move to MMA: "Absolutely, he was. Kurt's one of those unbelievable athletes that rises to the top of whatever field. Let's say it's amateur wrestler. Then what's the next big thing he's going to concur? Then he becomes the greatest wrestler in professional wrestling history. Then, it's like, 'OK. I've done that. Now, what else am I going to do?'
"He really wanted to fight. He started training for it. But, I said, 'Look, if we can't get the right deal with the right organization to do it with, it's just not worth doing.' If we can't do it at the very top level. So, that's why he decided to make a run at the Olympics at his age. And I've got to tell you, if it hadn't been for that last minute injury -- I think he was just pushing himself so hard, working for me and training. I really feel like he had a good shot of making that team."
On the new changes to TNA and Impact Wrestling: "We're making some big changes to our show. I think over the coming weeks, you will hear more about them. But, we're trying to keep it a lot more real. We're allowing talent to call other talent out in an 'Open Fight Night' type of format.
"Within that, we have a 'Gut Check' segment. So much of what we do is finding unsigned talent. This is the real deal. These guys that we've looked at out there in the independent circuit and they're going to be on live television, giving them a chance to perform in front of a live audience and literally be judged to see if they deserve an Impact roster spot.
"It was interesting, because last month on our first 'Gut Check', we had this kid who we had high expectations for and he had an average match in the ring. But he got out there and cut this promo -- and I knew we were not going to offer him a deal. The vote was two to one against giving him a deal. He got out there and cut such an emotional promo, Ric Flair changed his vote in the ring.
"It went from me thinking, 'Kid, stay in it. You're going to have a future. You've just got to work a little bit harder.' He walked off that stage and then I was like, 'Well, welcome to the roster.' It was great. It was such a real, emotional spot for us and it just made us want to do more and more and more of this on the show."
To check out the entire interview, click here.
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