BREAKING DOWN TODAY'S IMPACT MANAGEMENT ADDITIONS, DEPARTURES COMING AND MORE IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS
By Mike Johnson on 2017-12-05 12:57:00
Lots going on within Impact Wrestling today obviously:
*As noted in today's announcement, Scott D'Amore and Don Callis will be the top executives within Impact going forward, as Executive Vice Presidents. D'Amore had pretty much been Ed Nordholm's right hand man in recent months and now has the title and power to match it. Callis will officially start with the company on 1/1/18. The trio will be overseeing all aspects of the business of Impact as well as the creative flow and direction.
*Callis had been working as The Executive Director, President and CEO for Manitoba Trade and Investment Corporation over the last seven years. Callis intends to remain with New Japan Pro Wrestling as an announcer, but obviously that will depend on whether he can balance the two sides, especially if New Japan ramps up the amount of events that require English language commentary. New Japan had been preparing for his exit but as of today, believe he's going to be remaining. Impact wants a working relationship with New Japan obviously, but this does add fuel to the fire to the rumor of an NJPW/Impact/ROH link up. There's no word yet whether Callis will appear on camera for Impact, but I'd be shocked if he doesn't. He's always been a great antagonist and announcer, he's going to be at the tapings and it would allow him to wear another hat for the company.
*One source has stated that Johnny "Impact" Hennigan and Taya have both signed deals with Impact that would allow them to continue to be utilized on Lucha Underground when that series films its next season.
*There is an expectation that there will be additional talents exiting over the next month or so, including some top of the card names. There is expected to be a far more larger contingent of Canadian-based talents going forward.
*The word making the rounds today among the talents in the company is that John "Big" Gaburick will be officially leaving the company at the first of the year. After taking over the company, Anthem had kept Gaburick on as a consultant and he was working at the TV tapings, but he was there more as insurance in case the Jeff Jarrett regime didn't work out. When Jarrett exited, Gaburick stepped in to assist and transition things, but mostly on the production side of things as the creative direction had been one that D'Amore and Sonjay Dutt had been responsible for. With D'Amore and Callis now in place, Gaburick will be exiting, which he had already been preparing for as he had been working on outside projects before the Jarrett situation led to him taking an increased role in recent months.
*Dutch Mantel is also expected to leave the company at the onset of the year. One source stated he has already been let go, but we haven't confirmed that to be the case. He hadn't been brought to the November tapings and lost his position of power when Jarrett exited the company.
*There are plans for Impact to try and run more consistently in 2018. What that has been described to me as if running TV tapings more often (perhaps taping 4-5 week worth of TV at a time, as opposed to 10 weeks over a long stretch) as well as doing some live house show events in smaller venues if they can be cost-effective. The hope is to run in both the United States and Canada. The January TVs will remain in Orlando. There's talk of taping in March in Canada, possibly Windsor, a market D'Amore knows very well from his years of promoting Border City Wrestling.
*Sonjay Dutt is still in the mix in terms of creative and producer responsibilities. None of today's changes are a sign he's on the outs at all.
*Jeremy Borash, Jimmy Jacobs, Gail Kim and Abyss will be working as producers as well and have input into creative discussion and direction, but the final calls will be made by D'Amore, Callis and Nordholm.
*Production will remain in Nashville at Skyline Studios, where there is also some space where office work can be done as needed. As noted, all of the support staff from the Nashville office completed working for the company last week.
*Impact exec Bob Ryder is, by all accounts, still with the company and believed to be working from home going forward.