Impact Wrestling Executive Vice Presidents Scott D’Amore and Don Callis were guests on this week’s edition of Talk Is Jericho, hosted by Chris Jericho and discussed their new roles with the company, their history working together, their business experience outside of wrestling and more.
Scott D’Amore opened out, noting that there is a different vibe in the company with Len Asper and Anthem in charge, while Don Callis noted that he hopes that he can help young talent like Paul Heyman and Terry Taylor helped him. Both commented on the big picture plans for the company, noting that they want a roster that believes in the future, creating a symbiotic relationship building the brand of Impact, while also helping the talent with their brand as performers, noting that there will still be contracts with IMPACT Wrestling, but structured in a way that when the talents are not working dates for IMPACT, they can market the brand in other places.
D’Amore said that he realizes that Impact can’t run 250 dates a year, so they want talent to work as much as possible and said that they want a roster of homegrown stars and established talent and hope to do this by giving talent a creatively free platform that cultivates new stars. D’Amore said that international is a very big game for them and the future of the company and discussed their worldwide distribution deals, stating that the product has to be thought of on a global scale and not just a single wrestling booking style for the domestic market. Don Callis then discussed the true economics of international business in China and India, noting that it is different than in the United States and then discussed the cultural differences in regards to content and live events.
Chris Jericho questioned them on the roster being overhauled as they move into 2018. Scott D’Amore said that it is going to be a long process which will move people in other roles and see others part ways with the company. Don Callis said that the company will have to find a balance in cycling in the new talent and mixing them with the established stars of Impact. Both men said that they want the company and the company wants to be competitive, but that they are not going to be reactionary and want to worry about their own business. Chris Jericho questioned them on moving the company to Canada, to which both noted that there are plans to shoot television and events in different countries and markets in order to give the company more of an international feel. Jericho then asked if the tapings in Orlando are done, to which both noted no, stating that the first taping date of 2018 is January 10th at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Jericho asked them about the creative direction of the company as they head into 2018. Don Callis said that they don’t want to be WWE lite and do not want to overproduce talent, noting that they want talent to be comfortable and find the originality and creativity that comes from within, stating that a good booker can’t tell you what your character is better than you can, but they want to help direct and push the talents to find themsleves and said that they have full creative control, with Anthem having a hands-off approach. Callis said that he is a bigger picture thinker with an 18-month plan for the company. Jericho then asked them about running live events, to which Callis said that they have to build the brand and the excitement for the brand before they really go out on the road, but that plans are in place for live events next year. Both men noted that the size of the company allows for them to be more nimble and fluid in the marketing for the market, unlike WWE who tailor promotion to different markets.
Jericho then asked Callis about his commitments with New Japan Pro Wrestling, to which he said is a sign of the new openness of Impact Wrestling, in that he can work both jobs. Scott D’Amore said that the mission statement for the new company is to establish trust between performers. Callis said that it is going to be a culture shift in the right direction.
The interview is available in full at this link.