Newsweek is featuring a lengthy focus piece on Impact Wrestling and how 2018 will be “critical to its survival” in the coming weeks with the introduction of the new executive team featuring Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore and Don Callis.
Nordholm talked at length about bringing Jeff Jarrett back into the company last year, ultimately leading to Jarrett’s departure from the company later that year.
“[Jarrett] was a great assistance to me. Unfortunately, as we got into the summer, I think the stress of trying to [overhaul Impact] clearly was starting to have some impacts on him and his issues to deal with the situation. We had to part ways. I regret that it turned out that way, but I’m grateful for everything he did for me.”
Nordholm also cited his first big mistake in exchanging Twitter jabs with Reby Hardy and not shying away from the very public trademark issues with The Hardys.
“Attacking hispanic women who are protecting their men. As a fresh person into the wrestling world, a guy from the corporate environment where we don’t play in the social media world, we clearly took on a shitstorm—and I got my head handed to me.”
Don Callis also discussed the issues with the Impact brand before he joined.
“When I was looking into [joining Impact] last summer, to me, there wasn’t a cool factor. There wasn’t a buzz about the product—part of that is on the booking side, doing things that don’t make sense. Why is it that [independent] promotions in the U.K. or Northeast in the U.S. can rent wrestlers, put on a show and get a tremendous buzz on the internet? You have to be different. People try to be WWE-lite…we can’t be that. We have to try to be different, whether that means more athletic, more edgy, whatever it is. We have to be different.”
Former Impact Wrestling star EC3, who has now signed a contract with WWE to be part of the NXT brand, is quoted in the story about his departure.
“My decision to leave Impact had nothing to with their business or finances and everything with me wanting to challenge myself to something new. Leaving Impact was a very difficult decision as I had six months left on a very lucrative and talent-friendly contract. Anthem lived up to that contract and always treated me with the utmost respect as a businessman and a person.”
Scott D’Amore also addressed the challenges the company will face in 2018 as they attempt to re-brand again following a first attempt last March.
“In 2018, we’re re-establishing trust with the talent, with business partners, with fans. You can’t fix it overnight. We’ve seen, historically, I call it the dangling carrot: ‘When we have this, everything’s going to be great.’ We’re going to roll up our sleeves and work hard. Slowly but surely we’re going to make progress. When we look back at the end of 2018, I think we’re going to be happy with the progress we’ve made.”