Jericho had Scott D’Amore and NJPW color commentator Don Callis on the show to discuss them both being hired to Impact and what the future for the company is.
This prompted Jericho to reveal that he called Impact himself to recommend they hire both men in an attempt to allow the company to get a fresh start.
He explained that hiring Billy Corgan would for Impact have been an upgrade over Dixie Carter, but it wouldn’t have presented the fans with a new direction to be excited about. This led him to suggesting Callis and D’Amore.
Jericho had the following to say:
“My thought process was, and this is not a slight on anyone that has ran that company or been part of that company, working with that company, that has been around for so long, through so many incarnations and through all its ups and downs, and now I found with the last incarnation with TNA/Global Force is that it was a dead company. There was nothing exciting about it or sparking it, so to me, the only way to get it rolling would be to completely change directions and go with somebody new and different. When Billy Corgan was up for it I would have much rather him run it over Dixie Carter because it was somebody new, and I just really felt that it was my place to call the guys and say, listen, if you guys really want to lose money go for it, or use it as a tax write off then you have the right place. But if you really want to do something and role with it and be at a place where people are excited about then you have to go in this direction, and these guys [Callis and D’Amore] are the guys to do it with. So that was basically the jist of the conversation and it worked because here you guys are, but this is really the only way the company to grow is by doing something completely different and new.”
This led D’Amore to discuss Impact needing new homegrown talent. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe are all examples of talent who worked for Impact.
“I think that there has got to be a combination. Things are done best when there is a combination of established stars working with guys that we are developing. AJ Styles is a homegrown talent here. Although he had a ‘cup of coffee’ in WCW, AJ Styles brand was built in Impact Wrestling. Just like Samoa Joe had a tremendous following, and when I took over the creative team in 2005, the first two phone calls that were made was to Samoa Joe and CM Punk. I got one but didn’t get the other, but they both proved to be huge stars. When Joe came in here, he had a good following, a niche following, and we put him out there and put him in front of millions of people on TV and everything at the time and refine himself as a worker, so I consider Samoa Joe a ‘homegrown talent.’ Then you think about guys like Bobby Roode, and Eric Young, and these type of guys. They were guys that were plucked out of Border City Wrestling on the independents and then were given this thing where we worked with them, so we think it’s great to see guys on SmackDown and NXT where guys that we worked with from day one are out there today.”
He stressed that superstars like Sting and Christian, who played veteran roles in the company are also needed.
“So having ‘homegrown’ talent is what is going to grow this company, but in addition to it, it’s finding the right veterans. It’s Sting coming on board with us; it’s Christian, who even though is still factored in to WWE, is going to walk away and come to us and bring an aura and credibility to him where we can use his talent and notoriety to help build our homegrown guys. So I think it needs to be a mix of established talent to be used to develop our homegrown talent.”
With H/T to WrestlingInc for the transcription.
If you would like to see a match between Jeff Hardy and Sting in Impact Wrestling from a few years back, we have provided one below. You can see how Sting played his role within the company as a veteran.
What do you think of Jericho’s decision to contact Impact? Do you think this decision will benefit them?
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