Don Callis talked about rebuilding the Impact Wrestling brand during a recent interview with Al Castle of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Here are a few highlights from the interview.
Al Castle: What are some short-term, realistic milestones that you can accomplish in the next year or so?
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 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 are on that path.”
Al Castle: For fans that maybe once upon a time did check out TNA but have dropped off over the years—and there’s evidence that there’s a lot of those—what would you say to them, if you could speak directly to them, about why they should come back?
Don Callis: “I don’t feel like we have to say anything to those fans. I think that, by the end of the year, we are going to be a product that people are going to be going out of their way to see. It’s going to be destination programming. And we’re not going to have to ask for it. I just think we’re going to get it. And that may sound a bit brash, if I have my executive hat on. But if I and Scott and Ed and the team did not believe we could be the best, then we have no business in this position.”