Interview Highlights: Don Callis talks about Impact Wrestling’s new Pursuit TV partner, creative influence in 2018, Callihan, Raven, Brian Cage, Johnny Impact


On the latest episode of “Killing the Town,” Don Callis talked about the new TV deal on Pursuit, heading Impact’s creative team, Raven’s appearance on Impact, Sami Callihan, Brian Cage, Johny Impact, and more. Below are highlights, courtesy of Himanshu D. You can hear the podcast: LISTEN HERE

•On the Pursuit Channel deal: “This week we announced our move from Pop TV which was a great partner for us. A lot of fans thought, ‘Wow, you guys should be on a different network with a different demographic’ so we announced this week we’re moving to Pursuit which is an exciting thing for me. When you talk about how you deal with your content as a company because our parent company Anthem owns not only the Fight Network and Game TV, they also own a significant stake in Pursuit. It’s a great strategic move for us, and I think people are going to love to see a sexier, edgier, maybe even a little more hardcore Impact Wrestling. I’m really, really pumped about that.”

•On the appearance of Raven on Impact: “How awesome was it to have Raven on Impact television? I gotta tell you, I was like a kid in a candy store, came up with this idea to have Raven. I always love hanging out with him and I learnt so much even now just talking to him. I gotta tell you he was so great, my god just out there — no one scripted Raven. Raven just has great timing and he was great. Josh Mathews described him as the Keyser Söze of pro wrestling and I think that’s right. I think that that is the ideal character for Raven at this point in his career it is to be Keyser Söze, the criminal, the ultimate master mind. I think that would be really cool. So that was a really awesome thing to see Raven.”

•On heading Impact after being inactive from the business for many years: “Being with Impact, you gotta understand, I was out of the business by my own choice for 13 years or more. To get back into the wrestling business and start tweaking those old scratches and itches and enjoying myself, it was just great. And people ask, ‘What was the best part? Is it the travel?’ Honestly, the best part for me is working with the talent. I always loved that. I always loved trying to play a role and passing on whatever knowledge I had, whether it was with the promos or how to get something over, get yourself over. Those are areas that I think I was pretty good at over my career. It’s just really cool. It’s hard work, it’s a grind, I have never been on the road this much. It’s really cool.”

•On Sami Callihan: “Even a guy like Sami Callihan is effectively a psychotic. He is a functioning psychotic. Sami and I have had our ups and downs without a doubt. Sami has taken some liberties with me. If I were a wrestler, I probably would have something to say about it. But one thing I will say about Sami, Sami like I was is all about getting himself over. And some people don’t like that. Some people say, ‘God this selfish son of a bitch, he is just getting himself over’ and you know what I say to that? I say, ‘You’re an idiot’ because that’s the whole point of this business. If you are not constantly trying to get yourself over, and sometimes that means at the expense of other people — not everyone gets first prize, ladies and gentlemen. And if you think that you do then you are just never going to be over and Sami is a guy who is constantly trying to out wrestle, out fight, out talk, out do, out promote everybody else. And I love that about him.”

•On Jake & Dave Crist: “I can’t stand The Crist brothers. That’s a redemption story too. I wanted to fire those guys when I first came into Impact. I’d seen them on TV a couple of times. I was like, ‘What?’ But this is the thing, people say, ‘Oh you like the Crists now. They are really cool. What they do, they are great heels. What did you do, Don?’ I didn’t change anything about the Crists. We didn’t change anything about the Crists. We let the Crists be the Crists. My thing was always I want Jake and Dave to have their time. Yeah, Sami is Ric Flair and those guys are Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. That’s not a bad thing. Not everyone can be Ric Flair. That’s Sami Callihan. But that doesn’t mean that Tully and Arn don’t have their own thing. And I want Jake and Dave and we all want Jake and Dave to have their own thing. And man, I tell you they have really stepped up. Jay Crist doing the ‘mini draw’ thing to me is… man, I love that is just so ridiculous and crazy and awesome. Dave Crist has got some of the best facials in wrestling on these promos and Sami is Sami.”

•On Johnny Impact: “You talk about guys like Johnny Impact. He’s our world champion and, man, he’s been a pleasure as well. Such a good dude. You talk about the prototype world champion, that’s the guy.”

•On Brian Cage: “Getting to work with Brian and I think that maybe my tone and my way of talking to Brian early on might have been a bit of a shock to him. And I’m not going to get into what was said, but if you listen to this podcast you kinda know. I wanna see aggressive, driven, selfish Brian Cage. GMSI stands for ‘Get My Shit In’, it doesn’t stand for ‘Get Your Shit In Too’. I love working with Brian and I think Brian has maybe the most untapped potential in the wrestling business, which is scary when you think about saying ‘untapped potential’ and all the stuff he already does. It’s the stuff he’s currently not doing, that’s the stuff that’s gonna make Brian Cage the biggest star in wrestling at some point.”

 

2 Comments on Interview Highlights: Don Callis talks about Impact Wrestling’s new Pursuit TV partner, creative influence in 2018, Callihan, Raven, Brian Cage, Johnny Impact

  1. Having been a TNA/Impact fans for years, this latest announcement was my breaking point. Over the last year, it was obvious that their show was killing viewership. No name recognition, talent appearing on other shows. Impact has no identity whatsoever. An outdoor network that hasn’t even announced Impact’s upcoming arrival, this is momentum? I’m near Detroit and there is no way I’d travel to Windsor for a show. Impact is now nothing more than Border City Wrestling. Callis and D’Amore are clueless. Scott should stick with his cement company. Impact holds no interest for me. I’m out.

  2. Hopefully Raven will continue to be part of the show moving forward. He’d be a great character to have around as a manager, similar to Konnan.

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