Don Callis wants fans to talk about Impact Wrestling the way they do New Japan Pro Wrestling

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Pro Wrestling Illustrated Hotseat Interview with Don Callis
Interview conducted by Al Castle
Recap courtesy of Himanshu D
Available at

Callis on short-term, realistic milestones he hopes the company can accomplish in the next year or so: I think there are two paths we’re looking at. I think there’s the incremental path—the small victories. Let’s eliminate stupid stuff. Let’s eliminate the stuff that was ticking people off. Let’s inject some logic. Let’s slowly build a talent roster. Where we have legacy talent that we’ve allowed to move on, let’s introduce that new talent—the Brian Cages of the world, Austin Aries, wrestlers that people are excited about. Those are the incremental steps. The big picture is, look, you made the point, but you didn’t put it like this: The brand has not been cool. And we all know that if we create a great product with compelling storylines and excellent talent, and we have an open environment, working collaboratively with talent and with other promotions, we all of a sudden are breaking paradigms of the wrestling business. That will then make us cool and give us a buzz. It may not happen that quickly, but by the fall, by the end of the year, we both want real buzz around Impact Wrestling. The way people talk about New Japan Pro Wrestling and get excited about it as a cool promotion, I want people to talk about us like that. And I think we are on that path.

On what he would tell fans who gave up on Impact over the years in hopes of enticing them to return: I don’t feel like we have to say anything to those fans. I think that, by the end of the year, we are going to be a product that people are going to be going out of their way to see. It’s going to be destination programming. And we’re not going to have to ask for it. I just think we’re going to get it. And that may sound a bit brash, if I have my executive hat on. But if I and Scott (D’Amore) and Ed (Nordholm) and the team did not believe we could be the best, then we have no business in this position.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Thanks for posting this. A lot of people should read this before making the same old ‘TNA’ remarks.

  2. They should have burned it down and started from scratch. Impact/tna has the stink of failire on it. I can’t see any positives from holding onto the legacy of the company.

    • You’re a freaking idiot – Impact may not be big in the US but overseas they are the solid No.2 wrestling company worldwide – if they re-brand thay’ll have to build from scratch their relationships overseas – which makes no sense as they are liked outside America and have good relationships with their foreign partners (who are the sole reason they have stayed solvent with multi-million multi-year contracts). Oh and Dr. Gonzo?!! What kind of name is THAT!!!

      • also the tv show impact has featured some excellent matches with some of the biggest names in wrestling. this means that they can say there world champion holds the same title that kurt angle, samoa joe, aj styles, jeff hardy, bobby roode eg held why would you want to disaciate yourself from that. Impact if your reading this please do something about producing a dvd of impact vs lucha! by way its already getting good again as far as im concerned. the turning point was the impact vs lucha show since then something has just changed.

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