Nowadays, AJ Styles is one of the biggest stars in WWE and the wrestling world as a whole. Before that however, he was arguably the face of TNA Wrestling and their biggest homegrown star between 2002 and his departure for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2014.
It was therefore something of a surprise to hear AJ Styles take to his Twitch channel this weekend with some very harsh words for the his former boss, ex-TNA head, Dixie Carter.
During a recent stream, the reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion was asked about the former TNA writer Vince Russo.
“Vince, as a person, I love the guy, and we butted heads as far as him writing, even in TNA, but I realized when we butted heads, it was because he was getting things from Dixie the whole time. It must have been very difficult to work with this woman who has no idea how wrestling works and wanted everything to be done to it and it didn’t make any sense. We butted heads with him as a writer, but due to Dixie Carter getting involved a lot with creative”
The mention of Carter prompted a follow up from a fan who asked if Styles felt Carter ruined TNA. Styles had this to say:
“Do I believe Dixie ruined IMPACT? Well, it was TNA back then, and 100%. IMPACT, there was a time when it was really gaining ground. The problem was, Dixie wanted to be WWE-lite and that’s not what people wanted. They wanted to see something else. All she had to do was let us do what we do, it was really that simple. Had she left it to the writers, I think TNA would still be around and be bigger than what they are, but not knowing what’s best for business, she hurt TNA”
Dixie Carter served as president of TNA from 2003 when the company was purchased by her parents’ Panda Energy company. She retained her position until the company was sold in 2016 after several years of financial struggle. Since leaving the role, Carter has mainly stayed out of the wrestling spotlight other than a brief and unexpected appearance in a Kurt Angle documentary produced by the WWE Network.
Thank you to Fightful for the transcription of the quotes in this article.