IMPACT VP Scott D'Amore Talks Impact Wrestling's Relationship With ROH
Impact Wrestling seems to be at a stage where they are less focused on competing with other promotions and more interested in collaborating with them. That mentality aligns with many wrestling fans who don't simply watch one promotion as they prefer to watch many different promotions.
Impact's EVP Scott D'Amore discussed the company's change in philosophy and also what's next for Impact in terms of changing the wrestling industry.
"I think we always have to be looking at how we can be different and how we can be better because if you don't evolve then you die," D'Amore said on The Wrestling Perspective Podcast. "I think that we are sitting there and being collaborative with different groups; whether it'd be AAA, whether it'd be Lucha Underground, or Border City Wrestling, or Destiny, or any other groups out there. I think in this day and age with social media and the world people don't follow one product. There is certainly a lot of people who only watch WWE, but there is a lot of fans out there that watch WWE, watch Impact, watch Ring of Honor, watch New Japan, watch Lucha Libre, which is what we saw with the "All In" event, both as a live event and as a broadcast event.
"Everybody is coming together, which is exciting for pro wrestling fans because for so long everybody played in their own sandbox and I think it is great that there are groups out there that are collaborating. We had talent on the "All In" broadcast. We thought it was great because Cody [Rhodes] and The Young Bucks reached out and said that we wanted Impact Wrestling to be represented so Moose was there, Cage was there, Tessa [Blanchard] was there and then when we reached out to ROH and said to them, hey, we are doing a 25th anniversary [for Border City Wrestling] we would really love to have Chris Sabin there. He was a really big part of Impact. To be honest, I was the one that reached out and said that we should have him there. I had fully expected ROH to say no, and ROH said absolutely. We would be happy to have Chris Sabin appear so that is a great thing. For fans out here [at Border City Wrestling] where they can see a Chris Sabin or a Petey Williams to come back here so many years later. That is a really cool aspect of professional wrestling this day and age and we are grateful to ROH for letting him appear."
Events like "All In" and the upcoming Chris Jericho Cruise serve as melting pots for talent from Impact, ROH and other promotions to get together. ROH may not have the type of working relationship with Impact that it does with New Japan, but that doesn't mean the two companies aren't on good terms with one another.
There are certainly no "WWE vs. WCW" type wars going on as D'Amore revealed when asked about Impact's relationship with ROH.
"I would say that it is cordial. I would say that [ROH COO] Joe Koff and [GM] Gregory Gilleland and everyone there, there has been no time that we have reached out to them and they haven't been responsive. We certainly have been responsive with them as well. We are not working together but like I said, they were a big part of the "All In" broadcast so we certainly wanted to be part of that. We are honored to be part of that and it was great," said D'Amore.
"I would say that we are not partners, we are not working together, but we are not enemies, which I think is a big step. There was so much bad blood which was justified. Over the course of those years TNA had done some not so nice things to Ring of Honor so hearing their position now and doing tremendous business now, why would you, in any way, shape or form want to talk to or acknowledge Impact Wrestling? I think it is great from when we first talked about the new structure that we are going to have here with Ed [Nordholm] Sonjay [Dutt] and Don [Callis] we have always been in communication with Ring of Honor. There is no reason that just because you are competitors doesn't mean you wish ill on each other. There is no reason why you would want to have any bad communication. Good communication is important, even as competitors.
"You look at it, you look at the "All In" broadcast, you look at Chris Sabin being here and the Chris Jericho Cruise, which has Ring of Honor vs. Impact Wrestling, which is super cool. It is a nice way to do it. It is not being broadcast, it is just for people on the ship, and it's a cool event for Chris Jericho. Our talent and the Ring of Honor crew are both really excited because there are some fresh matchups there. Where will it go? I don't know, but I think it is great that we are at a point where if we reach out to Joe Koff, or [ROH Producer] Hunter Johnston, or anybody else where they are going to be responsive. They may not want to do something that we are wanting to do, but at least there is communication which I think is a great start for any relationship and re-establishing respect from the parties, which I think is a huge step."