Powell's Blog: Memo to TNA President Dixie Carter: Pull the plug on Jeff Jarrett and make the phone call that should have been made years ago
Monday, July 20 – 5:03 P.M. (CT)
Dear Dixie Carter,
The big story of the day isn't that your company produced another lousy pay-per-view on Sunday night. Frankly, it's so common that it's not even a story anymore when it happens. This show was exceptionally awful, but that's still not what has people talking.
Rather, everyone is buzzing about Jeff Jarrett "taking time off." Was it a suspension? Is it related to the Bubba The Love Sponge caller who claimed that Karen Angle has moved into Jeff's home? Is Kurt Angle making a power play for Jarrett's job?
As juicy as those questions are, Dixie, I'm more interested in whether you make the right move by finally pulling the plug on this dreadful creative team. I'm not just talking about removing Jarrett from power. He may have total control, but he's only part of the problem.
This company needs an enema. Nothing will change if you give creative control to Vince Russo or Dutch Mantel. I know you're proud of the ratings that Impact is drawing most weeks, but you're selling yourself short if you really believe that's the best the company can do. By the way, how awful are those pay-per-view buys these days? If creative is doing such a good job, then why are fewer people buying the pay-per-views each month?
I've come up with a simple change that will put the company on the right track creatively, save you money, and possibly improve the television ratings right from the start.
Hire Paul Heyman.
Sure, Dixie, you've probably heard he's the anti-Christ from some of your employees. Keep in mind that most of those people would be out of a job if you gave Heyman the type of power and control he would presumably require before even considering the gig.
Heyman won't come cheap, but I guarantee you could save a ton of money by paying his asking price and turning him loose. Let Heyman clean house of all the Jarrett cronies on the payroll, all the overpaid veterans who care about nothing more than cashing their paychecks, and, of course, the useless creative staff. In the end, you'd save a ton of money and would ultimately have a better product.
In the process, your company would become internet darlings. The same fans that scoff at the mere mention of TNA would suddenly see you and the company in a new light. Not only would you attract the same group of fans who tune in for TNA Impact every week (because I'm convinced that most of these people are the same hardcore wrestling fans who watch ECW on Syfy every week), but you'd also get an entire new audience of passionate internet wrestling fans who have faith in Heyman's creative ability and won't give the time of day to a product booked by your current regime.
Heyman couldn't turn things around overnight, but I have much more confidence in him than the visionless creative staff you currently employ. Your current product focusses on old guys who promise you they'll pass the torch to all the young guys when the time is right. In some cases, these guys have been making that promise since WCW was still around. When push comes to shove, they never do the type of meaningful jobs that create stars. And in many cases, the wrestlers who will do jobs don't mean enough anymore to make younger wrestlers.
Focus on the business end, Dixie, and let Heyman control the creative end of the business and play the hatchet man role that your company so desperately needs. It might not be as comfortable as the status quo, but sometimes you have to make the tough decisions to make your business stronger. Make this one decision and let Heyman do the rest in terms of creative and personnel decisions.
I know, Dixie, you're company has shown growth in several areas. That's great. As I've said before, though, you have to stop and ask yourself how much more growth there would have been by now if you had the right people in place all along. You can't change the past, but you can rectify the situation by making the one simple move that can save you money, score goodwill amongst the fans, and get people truly excited about your product.
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