This past week’s Impact Wrestling kicked off with Eric Young walking to the ring and giving a heartfelt message to all of the fans about winning the TNA World Championship last week. It took him 17 years to get to this spot. However, just as fast as Eric came out, his time by himself didn’t last long as Dixie Carter made her way out. She congratulated Eric and quickly went into making herself look good. She tried to take credit for Eric’s success right now because, as she stated, without her, Eric wouldn’t be in TNA. She used the same tactic with AJ Styles… and now look where he is. While that is how her character is, she took a different route and called out the bearded guys in the wrestling business. It just got real!
When Eric Young won the TNA World Championship last week, there were lots of people calling TNA Wrestling out by saying they are copying WWE by having a bearded guy rise to the top after a long and hard battle to work two matches in one night and even fighting through a possible arm/shoulder injury to overcome the odds. There were articles even written about the comparisons on this very site.
With so many comparisons running around social media, blog, and wrestling websites, TNA Wrestling picked all of it up and added it into their show this week. Let me first state that this segment of the show was actually filmed a day later, last Friday 4/11, so TNA had that day to check out what everyone was saying to write Dixie’s script. Obviously they are playing to the trolls. In all honestly, shouldn’t TNA try to focus on being unique and different instead of doing something now that the other company is doing?
At any rate, when Dixie Carter came out to confront Eric Young, she stated the following quotes:
“I invented the beard.”
“I am the one who made this fashionably cool to wear on TV LONG, LONG before anyone else did.”
“And I’m the one who should be receiving BIG FAT royalty checks from all of those people who are blatantly ripping me off with my intellectual property.”
These three sentences, after I heard them, made the lightbulb go off in my mind. These statements really made me think about this entire situation and the idea of this article was born. Before I go on to write about these statements, let’s look at a tweet Dixie posted around the time of her promo:
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) April 18, 2014
The thing that stands out in her tweet is the one word hashtag… the three letters… #Yes! Dixie is trolling. Dixie is having fun of the whole thing. I just can’t believe they are going this route. More on that later.
Let’s go back to Dixie’s quotes. She stated she invented the beard. She said she made the beard fashionably cool long before anyone else on television did. Now I am not going to dispute whether she made the beard famous of Eric Young, but let’s admit it, Eric Young had the beard ready for show and tell before Daniel Bryan. To look at it a different perspective, TNA was ahead of WWE. We don’t usually say that often, but they were. TNA had something going. If you look back to 2011, Eric Young was over then. He was over in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006. However, during that time, the company made Eric Young the puppet. They made him the comedy segment. They made him the host of comedy hour… the special guest of the circus… the main event in the stand-up comedian show. They gave Eric Young the most ridiculous gimmicks you could possibly think of and he still got over. The crowd loved him. It didn’t matter if he had a beard or not. It didn’t matter if he had blonde hair or brown. Eric was over.
When 2011 came along, Eric grew the beard. It became what it is today. Dixie can take credit for it. TNA could state that they had it before WWE/Daniel Bryan, but at the end of the day… THEY FAILED TO CAPITALIZE.
This leads me to Dixie’s third statement: “And I’m the one who should be receiving BIG FAT royalty checks from all of those people who are blatantly ripping me off with my intellectual property.”
I’m a fan of Dixie Carter. I support Dixie Carter and respect her, even though she lied to me, but I feel like she knows what she is doing in TNA, to an extent. I mean, Dixie has helped TNA on several key levels. As her statement reads, she thinks she should be getting royalties for anyone else using the beard. She created it… TNA had it before anyone else… they practically stole it, in her mind. They ripped TNA off. Dixie should be making all of the money WWE is getting from Daniel Bryan. Sadly, this is where Dixie and TNA’s lack of expertise begins!
Let’s very well say TNA/Dixie had the beard before WWE did in terms of Eric Young and Daniel Bryan. However, did TNA capitalize on it? Did TNA ever once think of putting Eric Young in the main event and giving him the World Championship back in 2011 or 2012… or 2013? They weren’t even thinking of it. It didn’t even cross their minds. They probably would have laughed at the whole situation. The beard was there. The star was there. Eric Young was over. He was becoming a star outside of TNA as well. Could he be champion while he was filming his television show? It would have been difficult but he wasn’t filming his show for 3 years. Let’s face it… TNA missed the boat. They had the tickets ready. They bought the tickets and they were traveling to the boat at the dock. They park, get out of the car, and walk toward the boat. As they come closer to the boat, they see it back out of the dock. They see the motors swirling the water and they see it cut through the water as it rides off in the distance. That board had the beard. It had the guy who was over. It had the money. It had the ability to be the first. It had the uniqueness to it. It had different written all over it. TNA flat out missed the opportunity. Sadly, the boat was waiting there for years upon years.
Reality, Daniel Bryan is much more than a beard. While everyone got behind him because of his story about rising to the top as well as going against all the odds, he also had the catch phrase. He has the catch phrase “Yes” (Sure Dixie, mock that too) that is being heard all around the United States… and probably the world! The Yes chants are heard at baseball games and in hockey arenas. In fact, the Pittsburgh Penguin fans chanted “yes” outside of the arena as the team won their playoff game on Wednesday. It’s becoming a sensation.
The sad thing is, Daniel Bryan and Eric Young look similar. They came from similar backgrounds of spending a decade or more in the wrestling industry to get the opportunity to be the World Champion. They finally achieved their goal. In the process, companies made them look like idiots but the fans still stuck behind them. Could this have happened 2-3 years ago? Could a bearded man start a movement in TNA Wrestling years ago to create mainstream hype and popularity? Sure. It could have been TNA’s time. It could have been their shining light… their lightening bolt from the sky to energize them to that next level of success and global recognition. All TNA needed was a catch phrase. A simple one.
They didn’t have it. They failed to capitalize. TNA Wrestling had the star. They had the look. They had the story. They didn’t plug the cord into the wall. They didn’t turn the switch on. They decided that they didn’t need the light on at the time. They decided to use the candle instead, but that candle only lights up a little space. That candle flickers at times. The candle could even be blown out with a little movement. The lamp that would supply light from the cord or the light fixture on the ceiling from the switch would supply a larger area of light and it wouldn’t go out with a little movement. The light would go long and strong and TNA would have been able to see for years. While the company used to be about being unique and different and the alternative… while they used to be about doing things differently from everyone else, they followed the path of the other companies. They followed a couple steps back with little variations. They never took the different path. The other patch is the path less walked on, but that’s the risk. That’s the chance you take about being unique. The path may lead to a dead end or it may get dangerous, and that is what you are willing to risk, but it could also leave you to the promise land. It could also lead you to an area that is better than the path your competition took. The path less taken could lead to the end of the rainbow. Lucky for sure, but TNA just didn’t have the luck. They need to look at their roster and at their audience and see what’s connecting now. Do some changes. Take some risks because it could very well be the next sensation and they will realize it was in front of them all along and they will be chanting, “Yes, yes, yes!”
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