Best: Dixie Carter. No, seriously.
Don’t worry, I’m gonna get to the Worsts in a moment. I mean, I really shouldn’t have to explain why any of these past four months have made this one of the worst moments in the history of a company who has a litany of boneheaded moments, but I will because that’s my job.
Dixie doesn’t really have a table leg to stand on (ehhhhhh??), but she’s still playing her part so well. Yelling at Zeke and Snitsky for being hasbeens, firing them, and then trying to fire the audience. I for-real choked on my lunch when she told a lady to pick up her purse and leave. She’s being a heel, and playing a panicked character whose end is in sight perfectly. She stumbled in the beginning, but once she hit her stride as the out of touch, entitled, spoiled mean lady boss like I always said she should be, she’s been damn near flawless. The problem, however, is that while her and Spud and EC3 have had these moments of being genuinely entertaining heels, they’re not the worst people in this whole debacle.
Worst: The real bad guys
Spud and the Carters have served the sole purpose of being those bad guys who deserves to get their comeuppance. The problem, as I have continually pointed out, is that they haven’t really done anything that bad. Bully Ray is a good guy. Bully Ray is the one who is gonna take these awful people out. But…again, why? What purpose does all of this serve? What did Spud ever do? His job? If he’s the personal assistant to someone, of course he’s going to side with them. If he’s friends with their nephew, of course he’s going to side with their nephew. Aside from one tiny misstep, the worst things Spud is guilty of are friendship and loyalty. And then there’s EC3. As I’ve pointed out before, his purpose is to be the entitled rich kid who gets places because of his presidential aunt, but what places did he go? Some shithole in the woods where Jeff Hardy lives when he gets mad? What belts has he held? What important position has he lorded over everyone? Did he suddenly become the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and hire this guy to go over every week? No, he didn’t, because then I would just be pile of heart-shaped confetti and swoons every week and we know for sure that does not happen. So why is this what “every fan wants?”
Dixie presents the easiest answer, because she’s been there the longest, and at some point or another she’s ticked everyone off. But why is this suddenly a thing? Why isn’t Bully Ray being like welp, okay boys, time to go put Jeff Jarrett in a woodchipper, but before that we’ve gotta stop off at the Bischoff homestead to put Eric and his family into comas? Why is MVP still just kinda hanging around? The wheel of power continually turns, and at some point everybody turns on everybody else. Kurt Angle has done awful things, but he’s a good guy boss now until someone flicks the switch on the back of his neck and he becomes mean angry bossman Kurt Angle. The best thing you can say about these shenanigans is that they told a story that had a beginning, a middle, and an end, but it’s so ass-backwards and convoluted that the story it’s telling makes no sense.
Bully Ray is the good guy. Bully Ray who has been violent and abusive towards women on a consistent basis, was going to kill Mr. Anderson’s wife and set his actual babies on actual fire, has been a terrible employee and tried to destroy the company with noxious motorcycle fumes and crummy friends, and was steadfast and immovable in the notion that he’s a bad bad man who dos bad bad things. So why are we all like oh, okay, cool, that lady trying to run a wrestling company is obviously the evil one?
The thing I’m not touching on in all of this is the gross, misogynistic stink all of this has to it. But Danielle, Mae Young went through a table! Yes. She did. And Bully Ray was a bad guy when he did it. But Danielle, why can’t a woman go through a table just like a man does? Are you against equality or something? Sure, if this was presented as a case of two equals in the ring hurting each other. Dixie is not a wrestler. We’ve been told that multiple times, and that is the constant reason given as to her ineptitude at running a wrestling show. Yes, Dixie has pushed Bully through a table, but at no point did she lift him up and slam him through one. At no point were they ever, ever presented on equal terms. Violence in intergender matches becomes problematic when the idea that a woman is inferior to their male opponent, and this is the same thing. Bully Ray has stalked her, threatened her, created instance after instance of fear and intimidation, and the worst thing Dixie has done in retaliation is defend herself, or act like she wasn’t scared of a dude who literally want to murder her to solve some imaginary problem that can’t actually be solved by this outcome. Did she get him fired when he really, desperately should be? No. She couldn’t even do that. So what does this display prove? That big bad Bully Ray can put someone’s mom through a table? That’s how you get over as a strong good guy babyface? That he can break someone’s neck and not go to jail?
Yeah, okay. Cool story, bro.
Worst: There will be NO Employee of the Month for August
One of the most frustrating things in a myriad of frustrating things is the reaction videos posted after the show. People like Gail Kim, or Samoa Joe, or Low Ki being like hurrr durrr yup that sure was awesome seeing our boss get destroyed even though the worse thing she’s really done to most of us is give us a job (totally side-eyeing you over this one, Low Ki). What is even your problem, Homicide? What the f-ck, Crazzy Steve?
The Wolves rally against Dixie Carter, but that doesn’t even make sense either. They were brought in to depose her and work with MVP to make Impact all about wrestling, but then they got turned on by MVP. Shouldn’t they be like, cutting off his hands and mailing them to one of those Russian models or something? What is up with these workers? Why is everyone so randomly hateful?
Best: The Bromen
Okay, maybe not everyone. The Bromen are somehow the only people who understand that injured or not, Dixie Carter is still the president of the company, and therefore still their boss. It is the only logical reaction to any of this, you magical tan little beasts, you.
So what have we learned? Well, we’ve learned that logic is our enemy, assholes gonna asshole as long as they say it’s cool, older wrestlers on the cusp of retirement will always go over young talent (which is why TNA still has to rely on them and not the future of the company they never maintained), and sometimes I really, really hate this show.