Don Callis On Slammiversary XVI, Aries/Moose, Scripted Promos, Initial Thoughts On OVE

Impact Wrestling executive Don Callis, along with special guest Austin Aries, recently appeared on the Killing The Town podcast for an in-depth interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.

On Austin Aries vs. Moose: “It reminded me a lot, and this is one of the reasons why when we booked this, of course this comes up, ‘well, you know, straight wrestling match’. For me, and I tend to put things into an ECW context because that’s kind of my background. I’m like ‘Austin Aries is Shane Douglas’. Amidst all the chaos and all the craziness, a great professional wrestler goes in, outwrestles his opponent and wins. That’s what Shane used to do. And you know he would use like tables here and there or whatever but sure, that was the thing, and it worked. Now you have to have a guy like you were Shane in his heyday to be able to pull that off. But I thought it delivered a 100% and I love the fact that you didn’t have all the bells and whistles ’cause it was different. Because as you know when you have a card you don’t want chocolate cake for every meal. You want to mix it up.”

On the main event following two excellent matches: “It is a good problem to have because you want people to leave and be brought back to, ‘well this is great wrestling. This is athletic. This is psychology. This is all of that stuff.’ And that by the way is the hardest thing to imitate or duplicate is what you guys do. You could have people go out and do hardcore matches, it wouldn’t be as good as what we saw last night, but top flight, athletic wrestling is hard to duplicate.”

On the main event having a clean finish: “And that’s the thing, as we’re talking about this, if you’re in that booking room, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of ‘well, we’re gonna be sending people home unhappy because the heel’s up, maybe we should do a screw finish’ and when Scott and I came here in January, one of the things that we both felt very strongly about is clean finishes. Clean finishes and if people don’t wanna do jobs, we’re happy to have a discussion. But then that’s just not gonna work here. My thing last night was, and even yesterday we’re talking like ‘well maybe we should have the thing’ and I’m like ‘No. He’s the best wrestler in the world. He beat the guy with his finish. It’s an athletic contest. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great match that people will be happy to see.”

On the story they were telling with Moose: “And it’s the perfect example of when it’s done right, everyone benefits. I think Moose benefited huge from that last night. He looked great. The story that we got to tell as announcers, because it’s what you guys were painting out there is Moose literally went all in on everything, and maybe he took it a little far and did the Undertaker dive and crashed and burned. He went all in on that, he took a chance and the guy who’s the smart veteran took advantage of that on the floor and it was too much to overcome. That’s the sports story that people understand.”

On scripted promos in wrestling: “Someone asked me like a week ago, ‘Well, do you write promos for guys?’ I’m like, ‘No’. Then they’re like, ‘Yeah, but you’re a great promo’. I’m like, ‘Yeah, I can do a Don Callis promo better than anyone in this business. But if I start telling Eddie Edwards how to do a promo, he might sound a lot like Don Callis but that’s not what we want!’ I think it really is about the promo thing is about getting people comfortable with themselves and we’re in a business where a lot of people come into this business not comfortable in their own skin. And now we’re telling them, ‘be this whole another character’.”

On Sami Callihan: “He’s so good at being Sami Callihan and being the type of heel that he is that he’s probably gonna end up being a huge babyface at some point, because he’s like that undersized guy who never backs down and just fights.”

On his initial thoughts on OVE: “Talking about being wrong about guys, I remember last October, and I told the Crists this yesterday, I remember calling Scott because I knew I was probably gonna end up coming in here, I just hadn’t negotiated my deal yet. I remember watching the TV and just going, ‘Oh my god. This is so bad. Who the hell are OVE? These guys are awful.’ I’m like, ‘Fire these two. This is brutal.’ Now they’re one of my favorite acts because they do so much nuanced comedy stuff with Sami that’s sort of not supposed to be funny, and they’re really talented wrestlers. You just gotta give them a chance and that’s one of the best acts we’ve got, it’s those three. It’s awesome.”

Check out the complete episode of the Killing The Town podcast featuring the Don Callis interview at PodcastOne.com.

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