During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Scott D’Amore commented on the crossover between AEW and Impact Wrestling, what AEW has to gain from it, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On Impact Wrestling’s partnership with AEW and Kenny Omega appearing on Impact television: “Kenny is a forward-thinker, and he doesn’t think in the confines of traditional wrestling. It’s the same with the Young Bucks and Tony Khan [of AEW], they’re all forward-thinkers. And we are very proud of what we’re building at Impact Wrestling. Since Anthem came in, the goal has always been the long-term. You can’t do this in a day, a week, a month or a year. Incrementally, we’ve tried to get better, brick by brick. So yes, this is a chance for us to show off our talent.
“This isn’t just a chance to see Kenny Omega—it’s a chance to see Kenny Omega reunite with Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. That’s a Bullet Club reunion, and you’re putting them with Rich Swann, who is showing he can be a great world champion, and one of the most iconic teams in wrestling, especially Impact Wrestling, in the Motor City Machine Guns. They’re a team that constantly gets overlooked for their contributions in revolutionizing tag-team wrestling, and they’re as homegrown for Impact as anyone. This is a match for wrestling fans, you get to watch these six men go at it in the ring.”
On the state of the Impact roster: “I’ll compare this roster to the roster that was here when I got here. The Knockouts have grown in size and quality, and we have talent that takes pride in great performances and efforts. I’m really proud of our group. Twenty-twenty was a really tough year, but our talent has continued to go out and put on a great product. You can try to buy success, and that can be achieved to a certain level, but for us, long-term success is built on finding talent that hasn’t had that national stage.
“Look at the people you mentioned. Look at Chris Bey. The North, they were able to build an even bigger platform here. Ace Austin is another example. Look at his development over the past couple years. Deonna Purrazzo already had a great résumé, but maybe wasn’t quite clicking where she was. We wanted to give her an environment where she could develop, grow and prosper. You need that mix of established talent and up-and-coming talent. We’re trying to make the whole team great and we’re working our hardest to make the product as special as possible.”
On people asking what AEW has to gain from Impact partnership: “Everyone is entitled to their position. Look, AEW built a great product in a very short period of time. Our hats are off to Tony Khan and his team. I’ve always believed that success in the wrestling business is like a rising tide in that it leads to more success for everyone. I’m very happy we get to do some crossover stuff with them. Often in wrestling, the question is “Why would we work with someone else?” This has put eyeballs on both companies. We’re very appreciative, and we think it’s added a buzz for both shows. The collaboration on the talent level creates the potential for a lot of fresh matchups. We’ll see where it goes next, but it is a great time to be a wrestling fan and a great time to be in the wrestling business.”
On Don Callis potentially leaving Impact to work full-time with AEW: “Everybody is going to speculate, but that’s a good thing. Speculation can lead to buzz. Don has been a huge part of what we’ve done here. We’ve been friends for the past 25 years. In life and in business, people make changes, but I will say that Don has been an integral part of everything we have done at Impact. Again, we’ll see what comes next, but Don is executive vice president at Impact Wrestling. He’s also the mentor and manager for the AEW world champion, and he’s helped create this crossover and a very special time in the wrestling business. Whether Don and I are both at Impact Wrestling, or if we’re in different parts of the world or in different industries, there will always be a connection and a friendship. Fans should continue to speculate and enjoy, but don’t let it get in the way of enjoying the ride of some really cool and exciting times.”