|"...but don't expect us to pay for any of it!"|
Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling.com
According to Jesse Sorensen, Dixie Carter and TNA paid not one red cent towards his recovery. The bills piled up so badly that Sorensen's mother went bankrupt to cover the fees that weren't covered by her own medical insurance. And to add final insult to his awful injury, Bob Ryder was the one who delivered news of Sorensen's firing to him, not Carter herself.
So, in summary, Jesse Sorensen got injured on TNA time. His injury was made into a prominent television angle that was subsequently dropped. Carter, though she and her creative team exploited said injury, paid not a cent towards treatment of it. Then, she had a lackey who had a job with the company mainly because he lacked objectivity in favor of any company in the mainstream that opposed WWF/E deliver the news of his termination. Got it.
Now, to give undeserved fairness to Carter and her sweatshop, because she insists on labeling her wrestlers as independent contractors instead of employees, she's under no obligation to pay for anything that happens to them, even on the job. However, just because TNA is acting legally within their right doesn't mean they aren't morally awful for using a dude as a human stunt dummy and then doing less than the bare minimum when he's seriously injured during the process.
TNA's numbers may never be known because they are a private company, but Panda Energy, their parent company, is solvent and profitable to the tune of millions. The Carter family isn't hurting for money at all. Even if TNA is floundering financially, the Carters could, y'know, pay for the injuries of a dude who got hurt performing for a company they fucking own. Even though I think they're scuzzy for not paying for Zema Ion's surgeries related to tumors that may or may not be cancerous, you could defend them for not covering those procedures.
However, when you're in the business of producing a show where men and women risk getting hurt for your own profit, you had best better belly up to the bar when they do get hurt. Vince McMahon is not a saint by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if there's any wrestling promoter in history who could be charged with a war crime without ever engaging in war, I would imagine McMahon would be tops on any list. However, he and his company have paid for every single injury that happened inside a (W)WWF/E ring. EVERY SINGLE ONE. He's even set the precedent of paying for wrestlers' procedures that weren't even caused by wrestling, not to mention putting former wrestlers through rehab, even ones who worked for TNA at the time of treatment. When you out-scum Vince McMahon, is there any doubt that you're the worst?
Carter doesn't deserve all the blame here, either. You don't think that Eric Bischoff doesn't have a hand in the influence of how the company's run? He's one of the most arch conservatives in pro wrestling, especially when it comes to defending the rights of the poor oppressed One Percenters who are having all their money whittled away, boo hoo. Hulk Hogan also has had a history of looking out for one person, and one person only backstage, so why should he care, brother?
Honestly, any last shred of sympathy people have for TNA's front office needs to go out the window. But hey, at least they can't be called anything but equal opportunity medical scofflaws. This company needs to be burnt to the ground, but they won't as long as Spike TV wants to have wrestling content and doesn't win any future bid for WWE programming.