As previously reported, Scott D’Amore and NJPW color commentator Don Callis recently joined Impact Wrestling as Executive Vice President and will report to President Ed Nordholm. Callis and D’Amore recently joined the Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss their hiring, the future of the company and more.
Jericho revealed that he personally called Impact to recommend they hire Callis. He said he believed Impact needed a fresh start with people at the helm who hadn’t previously led the company. Jericho said hiring Billy Corgan would’ve been an upgrade over Dixie Carter, but it wouldn’t have presented a new direction for the fans to be excited about, so he suggested Callis and D’Amore.
“My thought process was, and this is not a slight on anyone that has ran that company or been part of that company, working with that company, that has been around for so long, through so many incarnations and through all its ups and downs, and now I found with the last incarnation with TNA/Global Force is that it was a dead company. There was nothing exciting about it or sparking it, so to me, the only way to get it rolling would be to completely change directions and go with somebody new and different,” Jericho said. “When Billy Corgan was up for it I would have much rather him run it over Dixie Carter because it was somebody new, and I just really felt that it was my place to call the guys and say, listen, if you guys really want to lose money go for it, or use it as a tax write off then you have the right place. But if you really want to do something and role with it and be at a place where people are excited about then you have to go in this direction, and these guys [Callis and D’Amore] are the guys to do it with. So that was basically the jist of the conversation and it worked because here you guys are, but this is really the only way the company to grow is by doing something completely different and new.”
With so many superstars in WWE succeeding after working for Impact, D’Amore also discussed the need for Impact to build up new homegrown talent. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe are all prominent superstars in WWE after breaking into the mainstream with Impact Wrestling. D’Amore stressed the need for established talent to join Impact to help develop up-and-coming superstars. He suggested that Sting and Christian, both of whom wrestled with Impact, will be joining the company to help build up the homegrown talent.
“I think that there has got to be a combination. Things are done best when there is a combination of established stars working with guys that we are developing. AJ Styles is a homegrown talent here. Although he had a ‘cup of coffee’ in WCW, AJ Styles brand was built in Impact Wrestling. Just like Samoa Joe had a tremendous following, and when I took over the creative team in 2005, the first two phone calls that were made was to Samoa Joe and CM Punk. I got one but didn’t get the other, but they both proved to be huge stars,” D’Amore said. “When Joe came in here, he had a good following, a niche following, and we put him out there and put him in front of millions of people on TV and everything at the time and refine himself as a worker, so I consider Samoa Joe a ‘homegrown talent.’ Then you think about guys like Bobby Roode, and Eric Young, and these type of guys. They were guys that were plucked out of Border City Wrestling on the independents and then were given this thing where we worked with them, so we think it’s great to see guys on SmackDown and NXT where guys that we worked with from day one are out there today.
“So having ‘homegrown’ talent is what is going to grow this company, but in addition to it, it’s finding the right veterans,” he continued. “It’s Sting coming on board with us; it’s Christian, who even though is still factored in to WWE, is going to walk away and come to us and bring an aura and credibility to him where we can use his talent and notoriety to help build our homegrown guys. So I think it needs to be a mix of established talent to be used to develop our homegrown talent.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Talk Is Jericho
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.