PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE

 
 

HOW MUCH FREEDOM WILL VINCE MCMAHON REALLY GIVE 'BROKEN' MATT HARDY, IMPACT HIRING DON CALLIS, NXT REPLACING AN HOUR OF RAW ON USA NETWORK AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-12-14 10:00:00

To submit questions to the PWInsider Q&A, click here!

With WWE so famous for putting on shows in admiration and respect to the men and women of our Armed Forces it begs the question. Throughout its history, why hasn't Impact Wrestling staged shows at various military bases in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia just to name a few?

Impact has done partnerships with Wounded Warriors in the past (including a planned Kurt Angle action figure that was to raise money for the charity that was yanked at the last minute ), but as for why they've never done shows on miltary bases, my guess is they've never had the ability to do them, financially or politically - as you'd have to get military clearances to have such events.   It's not like you can just rent space there and run a show.  WWE has always had far more money than anyone else and thus, has the ability to do much larger, grandiose staging of events, such as the Tribute to the Troops.   Impact never had that positioning and certainly, doesn't have it now.  

It's programming for WWE Week on the Network, nothing more, but if it does a great number, the door opens for USA to be more interested in the brand obviously..What would you think if NXT did well next week and then went to USA as replacement for hour 3 of Raw?  Do you think the ratings for hour 3 would go up?  Would they stay up if Vince allowed HHH to produce the segment exactly as NXT is being produced now?

Let's go backwards on this.  One, if the series was being produced for the USA Network, it would have Vince McMahon's fingerprints all over it and like ECW on Syfy or the original incarnation of NXT, it would be a brand that was designed for the average fan in mind and would feature all the usual tropes of a WWE broadcast. Even the NXT episode that aired last night wasn't the same one that aired on the WWE Network - there would be massive changes to how much time they had and whether the product could remain what it is on the Network.  It wouldn't be the NXT that everyone has come to at this point. 

I honestly don't believe putting NXT on as an hour of Raw would make a massive difference (except perhaps make the number drop) and my gut is the hour of NXT doesn't do anywhere remotely close to what Raw does, but I am writing this before the NXT audience comes in, so perhaps I will be wrong.  If NXT bangs a huge number, USA could be interested but given that NXT has been built as a cornerstone of the WWE Network, what would WWE do to replace it?  I don't know, but I don't see the brand being moved to USA overnight. 

To me, I saw this episode as just a way for WWE and USA Network to bridge another night of programming on "WWE Week" while potentially getting the word out there that NXT exists to the casual viewer, nothing more - and that there isn't anything wrong with that.

While it's great that Anthem's reversal will now clear the way for Matt Hardy to trademark his "Broken" gimmick, and some of the things it entails in Impact (IE: lightning strikes, teleporting) seem right out of the WWE playbook, how "broken" or "woken" could he (and Jeff when he returns) become given Vince McMahon's need for creative control in most cases?

That, to me, is a "wait and see" question.  If the gimmick takes off in WWE, WWE will likely allow Matt the creative freedom to make it work to a certian point, especially in the beginning.  It's still Vince McMahon's sandbox and at some point, Hardy will have to follow Vince's directives.  Whether that changes what the character is/was and whether it hurts the character's long-term potential is impossible to see.  Hardy's cameos the last few weeks on Raw have been entertaining, so hopefully things continue in a positive direction. 

Hardy will be in a plum position either way - he's going to make more money off merchandise royalties with WWE vs. anywhere else and if all goes well, he will be the 100% owner of the "Broken" character, which means he will have the rights to portray and monetize it outside of WWE if and when his current run ends.   But, as of right now, as long as Vince McMahon falls in love with the character and they let Matt be "Broken", I don't think we should be too concerned with whethe WWE will yank the leash and prevent the character from working.  It's in their best interest to make it work. 

Hell, maybe one day we will see "Broken" Vince!

Why would Impact hire someone who disappeared from wrestling - Don Callis - and put him in charge?  It wreaks of WCW and Bill Watts.

Callis may have been gone from wrestling, but he's built a hell of a reputation for himself as a businessman, working for the government in Manitoba.  I don't have any issue with Anthem hiring Callis. He's always had a great mind for the business in general and in my mind, having someone who's been very much on the outside of the chaos that was Impact Wrestling provides a fresh insight.  Plus, someone with his business acumen will allow him to keep an eye on the bottom line while also trying to build new revenue streams for the company.  They have nowhere to go but up. 

Plus, I know this will sound like a broken record, but we can't knock the guy until we see what he and Scott D'Amore bring to the table.  I don't think anyone was knocking Bill Watts, who you mentioned, until they saw that the Watts that made Mid-South Wrestling so amazing, wasn't the guy that showed up in WCW.  Let's see what Don Callis arrives in Impact before assuming the worst - I'd rather take a chance on someone fresh than by going back and revisiting some of the past attempts that just didn't work.

I'm not sure if you are aware of this but Jeremy Botter, who was with Flosports, recently said you were "living in a fantasyland" and has previously knocked you on Twitter, pretty much saying that your previous claim on the site that Flosports wanted to hire you was a lie.  What say you?

I would say that Jeremy Botter contacted me, via Twitter DMs, at the suggestion of Gabe Sapolsky, about my interest for a top position for Floslam.  I explained to him that as someone who was from the entertainment industry originally, I wanted any conversation regarding employment to be on the record to protect each side and asked him to email me details on the responsibilities and the potential salary of the position.  Once we had that, I told him we could then have a discussion.  He told me that the salary was dependant on how much they liked the person and that he wasn't in a position to actually make any offer.  I asked him to then have the person who was allowed to do that to reach out to my email and I would be happy to have a conversation with that person and we could take it from there.

Neither Botter (or anyone else from Flosports) contacted me from that point on.  I followed up a week later with Botter and was told they had their "top ten candidates" and I would be contacted if they needed someone.  As I said to him at the time, I have no idea why they even bothered reaching out to me then, because I wasn't looking for a job and usually when someone contacts someone about coming to work for them, the first thing they do is try and sell that person on why they should come work for their company.  No one ever did that and I considered it just another aspect of Floslam that was a sign this thing wasn't going to take off.  When I mentioned some of this on the site (but not Botter by name) while responding to a Q&A question about the service cluelessly moving to $30 a month, he took to Twitter saying I was lying and that they had no interest in hiring me.  Unfortunately for him, I had (and still have) screenshots of the conversation.  

So, Botter was either someone who was purposely wasting my time or he was someone who got annoyed that I, like a mature, responsible adult, asked questions about things like a salary and responsibilities, as opposed to jumping for glee and looking to leave a job I love that I've had over a decade without actually wanting to know how my life would be improved by working for someone else.  Or, Botter was someone that was completely in over his head.  I don't know and honestly, I don't care.

I had no interest in leaving PWInsider.com, but as Dave Scherer always tells me, if someone wants to make an offer, you have to listen.  When someone has come to me with offers in the past, I have listened and if someone came to me with one today, I would listen.  That's smart business.  

In the case of Botter, when he came to me, I told him to email me details and apparently, I suppose, that somehow offended him so the offer was never made.  When he later claimed there was no interest in hiring me, publicly, I responded that was not the truth and that I still had the screenshots from the conversation, which led to Botter blocking me on Twitter.    That was the last I thought about the situation until you sent in this question, as it was an inconsequential circumstance to me.

 I don't know what "Fantasyland" he has claimed I have been living in since, but if it's the one where I actually wanted to know details on a potential job offer in writing, specifically how this alleged job was going to change my life for the better when I already have a pretty damn great position with PWInsider.com, well, I'll keep living in my fantasyland - it sure beats the one where I left my job of 13 years to go work for a streaming service that shut down and fired everyone working for them less than a year later, except Botter, who was already gone from Flosports well before that.

The sad irony of you asking this question is that while Flosports never issued any press releases or responded to requests for comment during the entirety of Floslam's existence, yesterday, a rep for the company emailed me seeking my interest in covering their FloWrestling brand, which has nothing to do with professional wrestling.  The jokes write themselves.

If you enjoy PWInsider.com you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more, right now for THREE DAYS free by clicking here!