Panda Energy Executive Wanted Raven To Be TNA’s Top Star


Some news on Frank Dickerson, who was one of Bob Carter’s main executives in Panda Energy that was put in charge of TNA-related business matters for a short run in 2005 just as they were about to begin airing Impact on Spike TV. Dickerson projected that TNA could become profitable in 2008-09, which came true until the recent addition of several big-money contracts that did not increase the company’s revenue base. He did not want Impact to move to Monday nights, yet that remained a primary goal for Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter. He was in favour of keeping costs down and making Raven the top star, since he believed that the ECW brand was still hot. In the end, he was removed from the position for wanting too much influence over the booking side of things. He was apprehensive about using too many ’90s stars and wanted them to bring in more guys from ROH and other independent promotions. Scott D’Amore getting Samoa Joe over at first was a big part of this directive, since Dickerson wanted to avoid older guys and retreads of established talents. In the end, however, D’Amore left his position and Joe was watered down after his initial success. In a recent batch of surveys TNA found that a lot of wrestling fans did not even know TNA existed, which is the reason why they have often searched for so many publicity ideas through sports celebrities or reality TV stars. They also prefer having older stars on their roster because a lot of media talk shows, in particular sports shows, have no idea who guys like A.J. Styles or Jay Lethal are but are familiar with the likes of Kevin Nash and Mick Foley. This is also a major benefit from being able to use Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to promote their product.

Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 7 June 2010 (subscribe here)