During the 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff talked about his time in TNA, as well as the president of the company for 13 years, Dixie Carter. Bischoff mentioned how interested Dixie was in becoming an onscreen personality and authority figure. As someone who had that experience in WCW, Bischoff talked about the ups and downs of being an authority figure on television.
“Dixie liked to be on T.V.” Bischoff said. “It’s not a criticism, but she really wanted to be the face of that company. She was right to a degree because when you’re the face of the company, when you’re on camera, that has value when you take a meeting with somebody. To be able to have that added patina of being a character on the show and the authority figure, it’s an advantage in some cases.
“Vince McMahon has made himself a billionaire doing the same thing. Once we had made that decision and commitment, then it was all hands on deck trying to make it work as well as we could. She wanted to be the female Vince McMahon. That was her goal.”
Bischoff also talked about why she hasn’t appeared on any wrestling shows, podcasts, or at autograph signings since her time with TNA. He also said it’s tough to open yourself up to everyone knowing there will be tons of negative criticism based on some of the decisions that were made during your time with TNA.
“I don’t know,” Bischoff said. “Dixie doesn’t need to do appearances or do a podcast or any of those things. Dixie is fine financially, and she would be fine if she never worked a day again in her next 2 lifetimes. Financially, there’s no need for her to go out and do anything. I doubt you’ll ever see her because there’s no motivation for her. Dixie Carter at an autograph signing? I don’t see it because she doesn’t need the money.”
“When you’ve been the subject of a lot of criticism and debate and it’s negative, sometimes it’s really comfortable to just go, ‘You know what? Screw it. I’m really happy when people don’t recognize me in the store, on the street, or going through an airport.’ When you’ve been on the receiving end–in my case 30 years of that sh**–you tend to lash out. Now it’s cool, now I like it, now it’s fun, but it took me a while to get there, and I don’t think Dixie is there yet and I don’t think she wants to be there.”
Bischoff also talked about leaving TNA in 2014 and the issues regarding his pay from the company. He said he and his son were owed money that they never received and it forced him to start pursuing a lawsuit against the company. In the end, Bischoff mentioned that the legal process was costing him more than he would’ve made, so he decided to stop suing TNA.
“When I left TNA, they owed me $120,000-$130,000,” Bischoff stated. “Flat out breach of contract, just quit paying. No accusation that I failed to fulfill my end of the agreement. They just stopped paying because they were hurting. If somebody would’ve picked up the phone and said, ‘Eric, we’re sorry. We know what we owe you but we can’t pay it. I probably would’ve said, ‘Okay.’ At that point, I didn’t need the money so it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But I never got that; it was just nothing.”
“I called my attorney and I started pursuing it. I was going to sue them. They screwed my son out of $35,000-$45,000 and that really got me hot. To screw my kid out of money because you’re pissed off at me? So, I went through the motions and filed lawsuits, and TNA, man, they were ghosting everybody. You couldn’t serve anybody, you couldn’t find anybody. People changed their phone numbers. By the time I got to suing them, it was ridiculous.”
Bischoff did say that Dixie had a major impact on the wrestling business, mentioning many stars that got a chance to shine in TNA. He said many of the major stars from TNA may not have been wrestling today without Dixie and her company giving them the platform.
“She did do a lot of positive things,” Bischoff said. “What if TNA had never been around? Frankie Kazarian and Chris Daniels, would they have been able to pay their bills and feed their families for the years if they weren’t with TNA? Keep in mind, the indie scene wasn’t that hot back then as it was in 2015-2017. There’s a chance AJ Styles would be doing something else right now, definitely Samoa Joe.”
Bischoff also made it a point to mention how Dixies surroundings in TNA weren’t the greatest. He said she never had any control over the money that the company was spending, and that she would always need clearance from her parents before making any decisions.
“Dixie was doing the best she could with what she had to work with in the environment that she worked within,” Bischoff said. “The family dynamic was bizarre. I mean bizarre when it comes to Dixie’s relationship with her parents, her brother, and the attorney for Panda Energy Creed. Talent relations was a big issue, people getting paid was becoming a big issue. Checks were in the mail that weren’t showing up. Supposedly, checks were sent out in FedEx that weren’t showing up. Just a lot of bad stuff going on, and not Dixie’s fault.
“Dixie didn’t control the money; Dixie controlled zero money. Everything had to run through mom and dad, which is fine. They were funding the company. But they weren’t necessarily supportive of the things Dixie wanted to do as she would’ve liked them to be, and that created all kinds of stress in the family. Dixie was doing the best she could with what she had to work with.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.