Anthem Wrestling, owner of IMPACT Wrestling, announced today they named 2 Canadians as New Executive Presidents to work alongside Ed Nordholm, President of the Company, to form a 3-Member Executive Committee. If the first name is a well-known member of the company, Scott D’Amore, the second name is pretty new to the company as Don Callis worked for WWE and ECW before becoming the English color commentator of NJPW (a position he will retain).
The trio will “overall responsibility for developing the creative direction for the Company and managing the execution of the Company’s business plan”. Ed Nordholm confessed his excitement to work with D’Amore and Callis: “The 50 years of experience and success in the wrestling industry brought by Don and Scott, combined with the global media, marketing, sales and financial expertise of Anthem, provide the management depth and expertise that will propel IMPACT Wrestling to greater success.”
Scott D’Amore has held every position in the wrestling industry, performer, trainer, promoter, writer, producer, Creative and of course wrestler. After a few stints in WCW, WWF and in the European and Japanese wrestling scenes, he founded Border City Wrestling in Windsor, Ontario (now a partner of IMPACT) in 1993 alongside his own trainer Doug Chevalier and Chuck Fader. Wrestler, booker, promoter of the company, he was also, and is still, training the talents of the BCW school, Can-Am Wrestling School. Chris Sabin or Petey Williams are among D’Amore alumni.
He signed with TNA in 2003 and became a road agent for the company. If he spent most of the time behind the scenes, he became “Coach D’Amore” when in 2004 he created Team Canada, reuniting fellow Canadian wrestlers into a heel stable. He would constantly cut commentator Mike Tenay to interfere on Team Canada’s behalf. D’Amore also worked backstage, as a Creative and a trainer for TNA’s own Wrestling Academy. In 2005, he was even named head of the TNA booking team and left quietly the screen to return backstage.
D’Amore’s contract with TNA expired in 2008, leaving to work in Border City Wrestling, but he was hired back in 2009 to become the Knockouts road agent. D’Amore left TNA again in 2010 when it was announced that BCW would be merging with BSE Pro to form Maximum Pro Wrestling, a company D’Amore would helm. A very close friend of Jeff Jarrett, he followed him in the creation of the GFW promotion in 2004.
It’s also Jarrett who convinced him to come back to IMPACT earlier this year, alongside former members of TNA backstage personal Dutch Mantell and Bruce Prichard. D’Amore then became Vice President of International Relations and, later, Head of Creative, working with Mantell and some like X-Division pioneer Sonjay Dutt, Abyss/Joseph Park or the recently retired Gail Kim.
Some of you that were watching WWF around 1996 must remember this dark and messianic character known as The Jackal. But before coming to WWF, Don Callis already made a name for himself in his country of Canada. He made his debut in 1989 in Tony Condello promotion West Four Wrestling Alliance and worked for many promotions in the country, including Scott D’Amore’s Border City Wrestling.
Callis received a tryout with WWF in 1996 and was hired as a manager. As The Jackal he led The Truth Commission, the team of Recon and Kurrgan, then The Oddities, a group of freakish wrestlers, and The Acolytes, the tag team of Faarooq and Bradshaw. He would sometimes wrestle but in rare occasions. He was fired in 1998 and quickly emerged in ECW. As the commentator Cyrus the Virus, he would team with Joey Styles at the announce table. He left when the company declared bankruptcy in 2001.
He then worked on the independent circuit in Canada while coming back to university and earning a Master of Business Administration. He made his debut with TNA in 2003 as a “Management Consultant”. He left the company on good terms the following year to retire from the wrestling business and made use of his MBA.
But Callis has never really stayed away of the business, appearing at ECW reunion shows, writing columns, co-hosting radio shows and podcasts with fellow Canadian and friends Lance Storm and Chris Jericho. Since the beginning of the year, he has become the English color commentator for NJPW, working alongside Kevin Kelly, a role he will retain as working for IMPACT.
In his 15-year career, Callis may not have been the most successful wrestler but, as a perfomer, booker, manager and writer, his influence and knowledge of the wrestling business is going to be a huge asset for IMPACT in its desire to “continue to expand our footprint, embrace digital opportunities and grow the brand”, as Ed Nordholm stated.