Don Callis wants people to sit back and enjoy being a part of history this weekend instead of asking what comes next.
Callis spoke with WrestleZone ahead of this weekend’s IMPACT Rebellion pay-per-view this Sunday, with the main event match pitting IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann against AEW World Champion Kenny Omega. Don Callis and Omega’s personal relationship is well-documented, but the “Invisible Hand” says fans are finally getting the chance to see a huge “what-if?” match between two promotions that’s only been dreamed about until now.
“Whether Kenny wins or Rich is victorious, I think at the end of the day, the fans of IMPACT Wrestling win because whoever that person is will be the best wrestler. I mean if you go back to when I was a kid growing up in Winnipeg,” Callis explained, “with AWA Wrestling and Nick Bockwinkel was our champion, and then Ric Flair was the champion of the NWA. Wouldn’t you have loved to have seen who was the better wrestler, who’s the better performer? What would happen if they wrestled?”
“And these are the sorts of questions that people have asked over and over again for a generation and very rarely have we ever gotten to actually witness this. So to me, it’s like you’re getting to see something that historically just doesn’t happen and is almost impossible to put together as a promoter or a booker or whatever you want to call it. And at the end of the day, the fans win because they’re witnessing history because when was the time this happened on a big scale? And whoever wins, it doesn’t really matter. It’s like you want the best person to have your world title, that’s how I’ve always looked at it,” Callis said, “and whether it’s Kenny or Rich, we’ll see. I think it’s going to be a phenomenal matchup that people have been waiting to see and they’re gonna get to see it at Rebellion.”
To some, Callis has appeared to be enjoying himself more on television as of late, coming off as a little more animated in some segments on AEW and IMPACT TV. When asked if there’s been a change in demeanor in recent months, Callis said he’s actually in a constant state of happiness and he doesn’t really care what anyone thinks, whether it’s about his happiness, or ratings and reviews.
“I call it next-level consciousness, simply because I actually don’t care what anybody thinks, and I actually don’t care about what the ratings say, or what the reviewers say, or someone says how many stars a match was. Someone sent me something that was written by Dave Meltzer that said one of the promos I did with Rich Swann speaking on television, on an IMPACT Wrestling television program, was the best thing you’ll ever see on a wrestling show. And that literally has no effect on me. I don’t care any more than I would if he said it was the worst thing that you’ve ever seen. I know why I do things, I’m comfortable with why I do them. It’s because when you’ve changed the course of wrestling, not once but twice and maybe a third time is coming now,” he noted, “little things like having a great interview segment really are inconsequential.”
"It is yet another step in the career of @KennyOmegamanX toward world takeover."
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 23, 2021
The main event match between Swann and Omega at Rebellion is just days away, and it’s been discussed and dissected countless times since it’s been announced. It’s been since cleared up that the worry of one show being without their champion is unfounded, and both shows will have the same champion. Despite the match not happening yet, Don Callis was quick to point out that the match hasn’t even happened yet and many fans still want to ask what’s next. Callis explained that some of these decisions are out of his hands and he doesn’t know what happens next—but that’s the point, because he’s just living in the moment and wants everyone else to follow his lead.
“People who ask where is this going, it’s like—we haven’t even had the match yet. And now everyone wants to know how’s the schedule gonna work? I encourage people to live in the moment. Most people in the world do not live in the moment. Most people either live in the past, regretting, or they live in the future, having anxiety about what might happen,” Callis replied, “and that’s exactly what you’re describing. ‘Well, OK great, we’re getting this history-making match, but what’s gonna happen with the title defenses and the schedule and the Thursday night, Wednesday night?’ Like I literally will leave that diving into the weeds of insignificance to the [Scott D’Amores] and [Tony Khans] of the world who may or may not care about that, I don’t know. But I really don’t care what Rich or Kenny’s schedule is, or what their obligations are, in terms of title defenses. Because at the end of the day, we’re gonna make history.”
“The fact that this match is happening is a testament to not just me, but to Scott Amore and Ed Nordholm, Len Asper, Tony Khan. That these people all had the foresight to realize that despite all the political boundaries that have existed in wrestling, that this was a chance to make history and Tony Khan’s taking a chance, sending Kenny Omega to an IMPACT ring in a title unification. Scott Amore and Ed Nordholm and Len Asper are taking a chance,” he explained, “and so am I by having an IMPACT Champion wrestle a guy who’s been the best wrestler in the world for a number of years. But everyone sees the value of having an opportunity to be a part of history. So what happens, I keep telling people, just be in the moment. Because as soon as you try to figure out what myself or Kenny Omega are doing, we’re gonna go the other direction and we’re gonna change the whole narrative on you. So I always encourage fans and people involved with wrestling, stop trying to figure it out. We’re operating at a different level. Just sit back and enjoy and be a part of history.”
Callis said we’re all in the “Era Of The Invisible Hand” and that means fans get to see things that seemed impossible as recently as a year ago. Citing examples like his own appearance on AEW Dynamite, the Good Brothers’ arrival and the title vs. title match itself, Callis said you’re getting to see it all unfold and you’re getting to see history, so he encourages people to stop trying to figure out what’s next and just enjoy what is going on now.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 23, 2021
Despite all of the crossover content so far, there have been complaints that the shows haven’t been as balanced as they were speculated to be. Among those complaints, (more) IMPACT talent appearing on AEW, including tag teams and the Knockouts roster, have largely been absent from AEW Dynamite. Asked if he would answer those calls the same way he responded to ‘what’s next in the world title picture?’, Callis said he’s not sure what people want because what they’re doing now with ‘The Elite’ is wielding their power and showing it on television. He says his focus is on showing what the Elite can do, and if people want to see a bigger talent exchange, that is not and never was his priority.
“I don’t know what people wanna see. I mean, you have Don Callis, you have the Good Brothers on AEW TV, whenever we wanna be. Why is Tony Khan allowing that to happen? Well, guess what? Kenny Omega and I have the AEW World Championship. Now we also have the Young Bucks,” Callis boasted, “now we also have the Good Brothers. That’s power.”
“This is, and many people have been speculating, this is the most powerful—if you wanna call it a stable—in wrestling since the nWo. And let’s face it, the talent in this [group] is much better. You wanna compare, it’s not even apples to apples. It’s apples to dog turds. If you wanna try to compare the Young Bucks to Hall and Nash, or you wanna try to compare Kenny Omega to Hulk Hogan, that’s a joke from a talent perspective. You wanna compare the Young Bucks to Hall and Nash, that’s a joke from a talent perspective,” Callis stated. “As great as I think Scott Hall was as a wrestler, I think Karl Anderson’s much better. So this is the best and most powerful group of wrestlers that have come together across company lines, so my mission was never to, ‘let me see how many IMPACT wrestlers I can get onto AEW’, or ‘how many AEW wrestlers I can get onto IMPACT.’ That was never the point. So if what people want is to see some sort of open-door policy working arrangement, I’ll leave that to Tony and Scott. That’s not my agenda at all.”
Rebellion is on the agenda this Sunday, and as much as we’d discussed the main event match, the show features a deep card with seven other matches to look forward to. Don Callis said that as much as he’s involved in the main event, he’s still looking at the event with clear eyes and boasted about everything else that fans can look forward to this weekend and beyond.
“I’m super excited as well that Mauro Ranallo is gonna be part of the broadcast team for Rebellion. I think that’s something that a lot of fans are buzzing about. If you couldn’t have Don Callis back on color,” he noted, “then I guess you could enjoy Mauro Ranallo being part of that team among with Matt Striker and D’Lo doing a great job. You know, I’m also excited because IMPACT is now on Thursday nights once again, and that’s been great so far and I’m looking forward to more of it. And I’m even getting buzzed by a lot of fans about the IMPACT CELL-ebration, the virtual fan fest. A lot of people had a lot of fun with that, limited registration still available at impactwrestling.com. So there’s a lot going on, it really is like a festival-like atmosphere for the Rebellion pay-per-view.”
IMPACT Rebellion airs live this Sunday, April 25 on FITE and pay-per-view.