Johnny Impact On Having Don Callis In His Corner & More
Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone recently had the opportunity to speak with Johnny Impact ahead of last weekend’s IMPACT Wrestling TV tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. He asked Johnny about his working relationship with Don Callis, who in a recent broadcast of Figure 4 Daily talked about their working relationship back in WWE, and how he considered Impact a world championship caliber athlete back then. Johnny says Callis’ remarks are meaningful, and he thinks not winning the WWE World Championship during his tenure may have actually benefitted him in hindsight, as it allowed him to stay hungry and not grow complacent:
“Don has got a great mind for the business, and hearing him say that about me—I’ve heard similar things that he said about me—it means a lot. He really has a very specific view of the business, a very comprehensive view of the business. He’s got an old school mentality, but because he’s part of the active creative team at IMPACT, his old school psychology is not outdated. It’s constantly being updated because he’s dealing with current talent and a lot of what he said was true.
I thought I should have won the title a long time ago, and I’ve won plenty of titles, just never the WWE World Championship, but ultimately, maybe it was for the best. Sometimes when you get what you want your motivation is lessened, and I guess that never happened to me because I hadn’t had that [opportunity] yet. I stayed hungry for so long that when I got to IMPACT I was still hungry before I got here, I was still working on leveling up my physical abilities, my psychology. It felt really good to win the IMPACT World Championship and it also feels good to have Don in my corner and to have a good working relationship with him. It’s meant a lot.”
In addition, Johnny also spoke about Lucha Underground’s uncertain future, and the potential for another promotion like IMPACT Wrestling to adopt more supernatural or theatrical story-lines if the promotion does not return. Johnny said he’s not sure if pushing things too much in that different direction would work for IMPACT, but praised some of the more unique approaches that we’ve seen in the past few weeks and months with LAX and oVe:
“That’s a tricky question because I do love Lucha Underground, and I don’t know if it’s going to come back for a season five. I do know that the door is not completely closed, but as time goes on, it’s starting to seem less and less likely. As far as if I’d like to see IMPACT become a little more supernatural with elements of fantasy and darkness? I don’t know, because IMPACT is its own unique brand and Lucha Underground is its own unique brand.
The stuff that LAX has been doing is fantastic. The stuff with oVe also, in its own way is not exactly what Lucha Underground was because it’s different thematically, but in a sense creatively it’s new and fantastic and fun to watch. I feel like as opposed to becoming similar to Lucha Underground, I would like to see IMPACT push the boundaries further in the way that oVe, LAX are creatively treated. That’s not a bad thing, but pushing it too far for IMPACT might be a mistake.
[That might work] in Lucha Underground world, but IMPACT seems a little more grounded in reality.”