Former TNA Employee Gives Example Of Company Predjudice

Bill Behrens

Former TNA Production Manager Randy Ricci sent me the following blogs that he had posted recently on his promotion website http://nawf.com/blog/?p=279 concerning TNA and his co-workers there and various meetings. 

Interesting stories for sure……..

 

I forget the exact date for this meeting. I know it was right before the TNA PPV
At the Gwinett center near Atlanta Ga. Anyway, this meeting was held in a conference room off campus from the TNA office in Nashville. It was held at the Holiday Inn where I and some of the others from production etc. would stay when we were in Nashville.

I’ve written about the “live event’s coordinator” in past post’s. He was a guy that used to kind of “cling” onto “the boy’s” back in the 80’s and possibly the early 90’s. His wrestling experience spanned only to buying dope and booze for “the boy’s” back “in the day” and driving Nick Guilis and Tojo Yamamoto to the towns. His payoff was the right to ring announce on the house shows. Now, I am NOT “bashing or judging”!! It’s all a part of paying dues much like wrestlers had to do. Especially back then!

This was a messed up time for the industry in the mid-south. Guilis was pretty much finished and Jerry Jarrett’s USWA was HOT! (long story interesting story). Somehow this guy’s path crossed with Robert and Ron Fuller. The Fullers have a long, long, long history in the wrestling industry and the “Welch family”have been given credit for taking pro wrestling out of the county fairs and into the arena’s! I believe this to be more than partially true!

 

He ended up working for Ron helping promote the Nashville team which was then the Nashville “Knight’s”. I believe he was involved with a couple more teams Ron owned but, either way he went to work for several minor league hockey teams. Like I’ve said in some of my early post’s, I thought I was hired by TNA as the ‘Live Events” Coordinator. I actually didn’t know I was going to be the production manager etc. until I landed in Nashville the night before I was to start at the TNA office.

 

The guy is likable at “face value”. He’s got more, funny, “hick” saying’s than just about anyone! As a friend, you’d hang out with him! And probably have fun too!!!
That being said, this guy has a very rare ability. In certain business circle’s it’s considered a “gift”. His talent is that can look anyone straight in the eye and lie!!
Doesn’t matter who and doesn’t matter what about but, he’s a professional at it!

 

I have also written up to this point, about how I am in recovery. Part of my maintenance is I have to be “rigorously” honest (or my perception of that). I’m not perfect but, I am pretty good at it! My problem is (and its getting better) is that sometimes because of my dependence on honesty, I get much, much angrier than I should when others are blatant liars because in my childish, emotional, mind there is a voice that sometimes roars “IF I HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY, SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE!!!”. I know that I need to be more “live and let live” and usually I am but, I am human.

I have also written about the Sr. Director of Production that TNA hired. These two share an office and sometimes a BRAIN! And when they do, it isn’t good for anyone. Especially TNA! They got together and tried to put together a presentation on the aforementioned topic that was to be presented to Dixie, her husband, the CFO, talent relations, affiliate relations, marketing, P.R., Licensing, merchandise, and basically everyone from the office and even Jeff made an appearance!
It started out with something this guy and the Sr. Director of production read out of a current book or business magazine where there was a new kind of interactive presentation exercise. Well this poor bastard “screwed it up” from the get go! Even the SVP turned on him!

He went on and on and tried to recover and didn’t really come up with anything “earth shattering” that was going to put the company on track with live events. Jeff was lucky and got to leave half way thru! During this meeting I had enough after about the first 10 minutes and I began to draw pictures on the “scrap paper” we had been given of: Dixie, the SVP, the guy doing the presentation, the CFO, an intern, Terry Taylor and more! I’m no “Pablo Picasso” but, I can draw people I know well enough to make the portrait look “painfully” resembling!

 

O.K. here comes the part where the guy starts asking for suggestions. We went around the table and when it was my turn I said “What is our plan to play to the Hispanic market?” This guy responds with:

“WELL, WE AREN’T REALLY THINKING OF THE HISPANIC MARKET RIGHT NOW. YOU SEE, MEXICANS TEND TO WORK MENIAL JOBS. THEY USUALLY DON’T KNOW IF THEY WILL BE WORKING NEXT WEEK AND THEREFORE THEY “IMPULSE BUY” LAST MINUTE SO, WE AREN’T TARGETING THEM”.

I am going to be so “called out” on this part of this post but, I swear on anything sacred that, this is 100% true!! And almost “verbatim”!!!!! Can you imagine someone saying in a business setting when asked about the “Hispanic” market he responds with “well Mexicans…”?? I need to get people coming to my blog to read so, I’ll leave you with this “Cliff hanger” and post my immediate response to this tomorrow and how it was taken.

I couldn’t believe what I just heard??? I looked up from current cartoon drawing, which was a picture of this very “cat” (looking just like Magilla Gorilla) and said verbatim:

“WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT STATEMENT IS THAT??? THAT WAS FUCKED!!!! I’M NOT EVEN LATINO AND I’M OFFENDED!!!!”

Usually Terry would try and “shoosh” me but, even he knew how appropriate my reaction was! Now please bear in mind, Dixie’s husband is at least part Hispanic. That would also mean that Dixie’s children are part Hispanic as well!! Her husband, who does some merchandising for the company was sitting right there!!!

There’s an “uncomfortable lull” in the room and both the SVP and the Sr. Director of Production tried to chime in and save this guy and turn it around and put the focus on my reaction. I was ready!! I was almost to the point where I wanted to hit someone over something so ignorant and offensive!! Then Dixie chimes in and let the Live Event Coordinator know how F’D up that was!!!

I know that the CFO knows I was the wrong guy to say something like that in front of but, I know he supported my reaction silently.

You know I have often thought about extending an “Olive Branch” to Konnan with this one because it sure ties in with his lawsuit against TNA as well. But, I don’t really like the way he has been with me. Back in 2006, I gave him a personal appearance in S. Texas for an event I booked guys for. I had him and Lawler together down there and it went really well.

Then when I started with TNA, he was coming off a surgery. For no other reason than I was trying to look out for the guy, I MADE IT MY RESPONSIBILITY to see to it that we had a wheel chair for him. He didn’t even have to ask!!

Let me tell you, TNA would NOT spring for that expense and I had to “procure” wheel chairs for him from Universal Studios. This was an absolute NIGHTMARE!!! Don’t ask me why but, I’d keep having my hook-ups get them and as soon as the wheel chair would be in the studio, someone would steal them back!!! I had all this other crazy ass shit to handle and all these idiots to deal with trying to perform these tasks but, I ALWAYS made sure we had him a wheel chair!!

Well, I’ve written before about myself being “humble to a fault”. I had seen Konnan around in passing over the years but, I didn’t go right up and let him know that I was the guy that booked him in South Texas. Nor did I walk around boasting about being a “wrestler” or really making it known to many people. So, he kind of treated me like a “flunky” that was supposed to supply him a wheel chair and he didn’t really know that this wasn’t my responsibility either. And that TNA wouldn’t have even tried to get him one.

Also, when I left TNA I reached out to AAA to try and conduct some business. I went to Mexico City and met with Dorian Roldan directly, I didn’t ask Konnan to :pave the way” or anything. Well Konnan is tight with Dorian’s father and I really think that he could’ve helped me there but, I think he did the opposite for what ever reason so, I’m done for now, doing things for the guy! I am a little disappointed in him though because; he’s supposed to have this entire street smart” about him. Well, I do too and I know that when you sincerely have it, you don’t usually take people for granted like “brother” did. You never know though, I’m sure he had his battles at the time with those idiots at TNA too. What ever! it is what it is!! But, YES TNA has many prejudices. The guiltiest parties are the SVP and the Live Events Coordinator! And those items and statements, Konnan never even heard.

At this point though, I knew that the SVP, Live Event Coordinator, and the Sr. Director of Production were out to get me!! And that it would only be a matter of time before the stupidity of the 3 of them, that I spent 1/3 of my time fixing would soon be “Morons with Malice”.

I received an email today from a friend whom I had completely forgotten was in the same meeting, He verified the occurrence and reminded me of a couple of things I forgot.

More to come!!!


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