Scott D'Amore And Don Callis Talk AXS TV Acquisition, Possibly Working With NJPW And WOW
This past week, Executive Vice Presidents of Impact Wrestling Scott D'Amore and Don Callis spoke with Chris Jericho on his podcast, Talk Is Jericho, about their new deal with AXS TV and what they're goals are going forward in October.
Recently, Impact Wrestling's parent partner Anthem Sports & Entertainment made the biggest purchase that has ever happened within their business. Anthem Sports & Entertainment officially announced that they acquired a majority interest in AXS TV, meaning that their weekly show will now move from the Pursuit Channel to AXS.
Now that the sky's the limit for Impact, Callis believes that this new deal will not only increase viewership among fans, but it will also draw in wrestlers who are looking to work for a different promotion that is tied to a big cable network.
"I think that one of the things that's been to our benefit so far has been that the talent that we talk to will say 'hey I watch your show. I think it's way better than what I see from WWE. I love your show. It's one of my favorites shows on TV. I love how you guys book,'" Callis said. "We'll also hear things like 'I heard you guys have a great locker room,' which we do. We'll also hear I love the roaster and the talent. The one-piece I think that wasn't really spoken about was that a lot of people thought yeah, but the platform. Yeah, but the stability situation. This past week, we solved both of those issues. I think now, there's no holding back."
Some are quite worried that Impact will steal the thunder of the already existing wrestling shows like WOW- Women of Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling that air during the weekends on AXS TV. D' Amore assured those listening to the podcast that they will not steal the spotlight from the other promotions instead, they would like to work with these promotions in the future.
"Our philosophy has been very clear for two years now," D'Amore begins. "We are willing to embrace an open market. We're willing to partner and do business with a large variety of partners in the wrestling industry. NJPW and WOW are both properties on AXS. New Japan has a great following. WOW just started a new season and new episodes are being filmed next week out in California. I think it's business as usual from a network's perspective. But when you look at it from our perspective, certainly, there are some synergies that can be taken advantage of and explored with the other wrestling companies that share the same television platform."
Jericho followed up the statement from D'Amore and asked Callis if he would still be working with New Japan Pro Wrestling on commentary after Impact moves over to AXS TV. Callis has been a part of the announce team for NJPW since 2017.
"I guess from my perspective, I never really formally stopped," Callis answered. "I mean, a lot of it frankly in their defense has been based on my schedule, which has been busy. I know that clearly. You (Jericho) had tweeted about it last year that there was a period of time where they thought they could easily replace me on commentary, because I was expensive, and would only come in one day at a time. I know they tried a few guys and there was a tremendous backlash and then they asked me to come back for the Tokyo Dome, which I did partly because you (Jericho) were going to be on the show, and Kenny, and obviously we're all very close. I've been back four times this year.
"I think for me the sweet spot in terms of going overseas is maybe five or six. I'm not really far off from that. With as busy as Scott and I have been, I haven't given it a thought. So, I'd say, the old Sean Connery line 'never say never.' I won't say that it'll never happen, but it definitely has to be under the right circumstances, and it has to be the right situation for me announcing wise."
It's been rumored that Impact will begin airing their weekly show sometime after their big pay-per-view event Bound For Glory on October 20th. Jericho asked if there is a finalized date that is set in stone for Impact to officially air.
"No," D'Amore answers. "So far, we've announced that this is coming up and that it's going to premiere this fall. We're finalizing the details. Obviously, there's a lot of things to work through. We're excited to make our debut this fall."