For over 16 years, Impact Wrestling has seemed to be on its last leg on several occasions. Starting out as a post-WCW project created by Jerry and Jeff Jarrett, Total Nonstop Action (TNA) evolved into Impact Wrestling, which was originally the name of their weekly television show. After Jerry ended his relationship with the company, Jeff partnered with the daughter of Panda Energy founder Robert Carter, Dixie Carter.
Jarrett and Carter had an on-again, off-again relationship, with Jeff leaving the company and starting another promotion, Global Force Wrestling. GFW never managed to be a sturdy competitor of Impact, and Jeff returned on a couple of occasions to reclaim an executive role.
However, Jarrett’s personal problems left him out of the company again, with its change of management shifting from Dixie Carter to Anthem Sports & Entertainment based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
With the need for a new lead executive following Dixie stepping down, Anthem was looking for someone with enough professional wrestling knowledge to completely overhaul a struggling company. Eventually, Impact Wrestling announced that Don Callis and Scott D’Amore will be co-Executive Vice Presidents of the company.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the person who was instrumental to Callis getting that position was WWE loyal Chris Jericho. Leonard Asper of the Fight Network – which Impact Wrestling is under the umbrella of – reportedly had a conversation with Jericho, who has been good friends with Callis for many years, about how much Impact was struggling from a financial perspective.
Jericho told Asper that Impact has been run by snakes, and those type of people are only going to rip him off. He then told Asper that Impact Wrestling should either hire Callis, or fold altogether. Obviously, the choice was to bring Callis on board, and commence the restructuring of the company.
NOW on #TalkIsJericho, #DonCallis explains his role in putting together #AlphaVsOmega at #WrestleKingdom12! You’ll find out how it all came together with @njpw1972, what inspired the idea, how Don presented it to me, how @WWE and #VinceMcMahon reacted to news of the match, Don’s thoughts on the rest of the card and more on @itunes & @westwoodoneinc NOW!
Now, the three point-persons when it comes to the creative direction of the company are Callis, D’Amore, and former X Division Champion Sonjay Dutt, with Impact Wrestling mainstay Abyss also having his hand in the creative jar.
Since the change in management, names such as Matt Sydal, Brian Cage, Austin Aries, Moose, Eddie Edwards, and Sami Callihan have all played a vital part in fading out the stigma that comes with the Impact Wrestling brand, with the recent Slammiversary pay-per-view being widely considered as a big success.
Their relationship with Lucha Underground, which has brought names such as Pentagon, Jr., Fenix, and Drago to the Impact Wrestling audience, has also shown to be beneficial, as the feud between Pentagon and Callihan was one of the main attractions heading into Slammiversary.