Executive Vice Presidents of Impact Wrestling Don Callis and Scott D’Amore sat down with Al Castle of Pro Wrestling Illustrated to discuss their process on bringing fans back around to Impact Wrestling.
Years of odd business decisions along with quite a bit of controversy have caused a rapid decline in interest from wrestling fans. It’s impossible to place the blame on one specific person or instance, but Impact Wrestling is working towards earning their fans trust again.
Below are some highlights of the PWI interview:
Hoping to get fans buzzing about Impact like New Japan Pro Wrestling:
Don Callis: “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 the 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’re on that path.”
D’amore on the excessive use of former WWE talent:
D’amore: “I think the important thing is that we don’t look to bring people in and do business with them because they’re ex-WWE people. We bring them in because they fit the style and vision and culture that we’re looking to develop. So, while we certainly are always going to look for the next AJ Styles or Samoa Joe or Bobby Roode or Eric Young, the list goes on and on of people who got their first real break and opportunity with TNA, there’s always going to be a place for a Sting. There’s always going to be a place for a guy like Christian, who walked away from WWE making a conscious decision to be part of something different. So if there are people who fit the style and the mindset of what we’re looking for, we’re going to welcome them and look to do business with them, regardless of their background.”
You can check out the full interview here.
With an influx of talent and working with companies like Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling is definitely on the path to turning their image around. Have you been keeping up with the product? If you stopped watching, do you plan to give it a second chance? Let us know below.