During a recent interview with Pwinsider, Impact Wrestling executive Scott D’Amore commented on the criticism over the ongoing AEW and Impact working relationship, tomorrow night’s Slammiversary pay-per-view event, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On Sami Callihan being the man to challenge Kenny Omega at Slammiversary: “I loved your analogy where basically Superman’s out of play and it’s Lex Luthor that has to stop in and try to save the day which I think they’ve done once or twice if you follow through the TV shows, movies and certainly the comics. But look, Sami Callihan is a guy who eats, sleeps and breathes Impact Wrestling. So love him, loathe him, one thing he’s always been somebody who’s, as we like to say in the industry flown the flag. I think that I’ve been pretty through consistent heading into Rebellion when there was the title versus title match with Rich Swann and Kenny Omega and since. I’ve always said I personally… I don’t have a problem with Kenny Omega being the Impact world’s champion. Kenny Omega is one of the best, most talented, most creative wrestlers not just now but in the history of this sport. So I really have no issue with Kenny Omega walking around as the Impact World Champion. Lots of other people do. Lots of other people feel that it needs to come home, it needs to rest with an Impact talent.
“Boy, what a unique story with Sami Callihan, a guy who’s been the villain of villains. If he’s the guy who finally does that. And I think he’s a great representative in a way for Impact Wrestling in the past, it’s taken over the past many years. Impact Wrestling is a company that’s been counted out many times, much like Sami Callihan. Impact Wrestling is maybe people have looked past it and overlooked it much like they have the Sami Callihan but Impact Wrestling was out there night in and night out and performs, goes night in and night out every Thursday night, every pay-per-view, every Impact Plus special it puts on an amazing show and performance just like Sami Callihan and Impact Wrestling just like Sami Callihan from myself through everybody in this organization loves and has a passion for pro wrestling. So despite all of his dastardly-ness and everything else, in some ways Sami Callihan really is… He’s not the guy you’d ever pick and say this is the guy we want to be our poster child. I heard Josh Matthews saying maybe Sami Callahan might not be the person we chose, but he may be the person that we need. And he’s certainly somebody who’s willing to go out there, willing to do whatever … I think Sami has delivered every time he’s been putting a key slot, whether it was Bound for Glory, whether it was Slammiversary, anywhere where he’s been put in the slot, to go out there and have a main event style, world title style match. I think Sami has always done that. And I’m excited to see him and Kenny this Saturday.”
On criticism that Impact isn’t getting as much as AEW out of their relationship: “Yeah, it’s funny, because sometimes I look at things and I see, and there’s people that are saying, ‘Well Impact doesn’t get enough from this.’ I see other people that are saying, ‘Impact is getting everything out of this.’ We’re not locked and intertwined together between the two companies. Which like I said, it doesn’t necessarily always have to be. From our point of view we’ve had Kenny Omega come and make many appearances on Impact Wrestling. The Good Brothers have went there and made many appearances on AEW. We’ve had Matt Hardy pop up, which what a great moment to have that feeling process when there’s so much bitterness and everything in between Matt Hardy and Impact Wrestling, stuff like that.
“I think there’s been certainly some upswing in business associated with it. I think there’s always going to be wrestling fans who are going to point out a little dip or any little downside. But the fact is, we’re just, we’re coming off with Rebellion, our most successful pay-per-view I won’t say in history, but in certainly the last decade. Hugely successful, from a financial standpoint, hugely successful from a optics, as far as for the quality of the show. And as far as the coverage and the reach. We have a digital department that is growing exponentially almost day after day. We continue to expand, where we can deliver our show around the world. Is there things? Certainly. Can you sit there and say, “Hey, I’d rather make it go this way or this, or this way?” Sure. But you have two completely independent companies that are coming together. If we can agree on something great. We do it. If we can’t agree on something, but one side wants it, and the other side doesn’t, I mean it’s not happening. And that’s okay.
“So we’re in a position where like, I think certainly, with Don Callis and the Good Brothers doing their stuff over in AEW. I think AEW certainly got something out of it. And I think with Kenny and others appearing on our show, I mean, I know that we’ve gotten value out of it both bottom line and as far as for buzz, which in many ways is as valuable or more valuable sometimes than pure bottom line. So I think it’s been a great relationship. I think Tony Khan and the people over there have been really good in their approach on things and how they are open minded. And I’m happy for them and all their successes, and I’m proud to be associated in doing business with them.”