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By Mike Johnson on 2022-10-05 11:33:00

Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D'Amore sat down with earlier this week for a conversation about the promotion and this Friday's Bound for Glory PPV.  Elite subscribers can listen to the entire 45 minute discussion at this link.  Here are some highlights from the discussion transcribed by Billy Krotchsen.

Looking back on the last year of the promotion: "I agree that 2022 has really been a great year for Impact Wrestling. Last year's Bound For Glory was a reset of some sorts. It was the culmination of you know, we'll say 2021 was the year of Omega and that crossover and last year's Bound For Glory, I think we saw a perfect moment with the passing of the torch from Christian Cage, who is an individual who's as Impact-associated as anybody out there, a friend of mine for decades and somebody who's always said that TNA Impact was the place that allowed him to go and show that he was a main eventer, that he was a World Champion, and to have him walk back in as the World Champion and go out there and really pass the torch to Josh Alexander, I think was a great moment. And then I think, you know, in the snap of your fingers, I think you saw everything you know, turn upside down with Moose coming in, cashing in the Call Your Shot from earlier that night and setting our course for 2022 and I really think that 2022 has been a year with Impact Wrestling, going out there and putting on a great product. Night after night, week after week. I think our talent roster has really stepped up. I think we have a great group that is really meshed together talent wise, and I think the collaboration between the talent and the front office, the administration, whatever you want to call it has been next level. And I just I'm really proud of where we are right now from Creative, to Talent Relations to Production, to the whole support network of Anthem Sports, all the way through our week to week production, I think it's just been a great collaborative effort. "

Navigating the promotion and pivoting strategies as the wrestling landscape has changed: "Yeah. Mike, it doesn't leave a lot of uninteresting days out there. So you know when Anthem first took over, and then you know, I came in first on a consulting role and then at the end of '18 with myself and Don Callis kind of took the reigns and it was a tough deal for us in the sense we were battling a lot of ghosts, you know, a lot of demons from the past. I think we successfully worked through those but you're looking at that to the point that the landscape changed. AEW came in here and you know, they're a juggernaut in their own right. And, you know, until recently you say that, you know, WWE there was certainly a population of the fan base that had grown disillusioned and there's been a revitalization there some, with some of the changes there. And I mean, Triple H, I think somebody who's pretty well respected, is somebody who I've had a decent relationship over the years, you know, tidbit of info for you to throw them to what I think was his first WCW television taping when he first broke in under one of the worst names in wrestling history probably - I won't even say it. He's a guy who's paid his dues, made his bones and, you know, there's a fresh team in place there and they're gonna, they're gonna make the changes and the way I look at it, Mike, that can be positive for the entire wrestling landscape. When you look at the history of professional wrestling, like so many other industries, you know, the old saying is a rising tide lifts all boats. And I think you can see that if WWE catches fire, you know, and grows and AEW catches more fire and continues to grow, that can be good for everybody. And I think that we've put ourselves in a good spot where we do our own thing, you know, we obviously monitor, pay attention, you know, and at times, collaborate, we've done a lot of collaboration with other organizations, but to your earlier point, 2022 was the year Impact started focusing on Impact - the people of Impact, the growth of Impact, the feel and the tone of Impact. And I feel pretty good about where we are here heading into Bound For Glory this Friday, and where we start to head as we get towards 2023."

Utilizing old school methods to build Masha Slamovich like a 70s'/80s territory monster heel: "It's a pretty good observation. You know, I think Masha is somebody who's on a great trajectory to be in the co-main event, as we call it, this Friday at Bound for Glory. Coming in having that undefeated run, like you said, it's certainly not something new. It's been done before you saw  it with Samoa Joe here in this company, obviously Goldberg and, and multiple other win streaks over the years but the coming in and just smashing people. You know, you've got to take a different approach to everything and it's something that has worked at the right times over the years when you have the right performers, and Masha is one of those performers that I think you know, really was, her coming in, her solid look, her quiet aggression, her explosion, I think she was a great choice for it. So we brought it in there and it's hard to avoid the temptation after 2, 3, 4 weeks and go,"Okay, let's drop her into something." But I think that's one of the things that really, to pat ourselves and pat the team here on the back is that we really do a good job and it makes me proud. We stayed the course right? We try to not make you know, there's always going to be minor corrections and path changes over the course of time. Everything in this business, all you know, entertainment is fluid, but we had a plan. We stuck to it, you know, went through it, built her, finally got her into some more competitive situations over time. And I think it's been a nice alternative to what the norm has been, which is to bring people in and throw them to the wolves. So it's an interesting build. And it gets us to where we are here this Friday, where we have a dominant, powerful, charismatic Knockouts World Champion in Jordyn Grace against this just badass buzzsaw in Masha Slamovich and you know, it's a great setup - we've got Title versus Win Streak. And those two things can't keep going. One of two is ending - Jordyn's title reign or Masha's winning streak is ending. So when you talk about having stipulations, or having things like stakes on the line, this match changes everything for one of these competitors for the better and changes it for one for the worse."

Returning to Canada and the UK for live events: "Absolutely. You know, Anthem has a beautiful flagship office right in downtown Toronto. You know, obviously, I'm born and raised and still reside in Windsor, Ontario. You know, we love our Canadian roots. We have a great passionate fan base here. We have a great, passionate, you know, following here that follows us on Fite TV, follows us on Game TV, and follows us through all the other platforms and do we want to return? Absolutely. I think one of the biggest steps was the fact that you know, just as of this past weekend, Canada's finally lifted a lot of the requirements that could potentially be problematic for coming into the country. So those have been lifted and we look forward to in 2023, seeing a return to Canada and seeing a return to the UK. It's time for us to get back out there and get to our fans around the world."

Josh Alexander's run as the Impact Champion: "I think Josh Alexander, when you look at his body of work over the last few years, and certainly this year, I would sit here and I would be happy to debate Josh Alexander's body of work this year, big match performance when you look at it with him, and what he's done as the Impact World Champion. From Moose, to Eric Young, to Joe Doering, who's off handling something much bigger than wrestling right now. He has gone up there and performed night after night and delivered steady quality, you know, main event level, superstar level performances, you know, at the corner of being the cornerstone of our, you know, Impact World Title picture. So I think he's done fantastic, he's continued to grow and, you know, having seen him develop from, you know, a young, a young guy who looks kind of lost on the Indies to kind of finding his way to losing his entire career to injury, to miraculously getting it back to where he is now. I mean, I think it's been an unbelievable journey. And, you know, I think he's been a fantastic pillar in this company. I think he goes out there, if you see Josh Alexander, you know you're gonna see a strong, great wrestling match."

Impact Wrestling will present Bound for Glory this Friday on PPV, FITE.TV and more.  


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