Collaboration Is The Future: Scott D’Amore Explains Why It’s The Right Time For The IMPACT / AEW Crossover
Scott D’Amore says collaboration is the future.
D’Amore spoke with WrestleZone for our annual “Best For The Business” series and talked about IMPACT Wrestling‘s growing relationship with All Elite Wrestling. Kenny Omega was the first talent to crossover, but we’ve started to see more and more collaboration and surprise appearances since then, including this week’s appearances by Matt Hardy and Private Party. IMPACT has said for several years that they were open for business, but 2020 took it to a whole new level with the inclusion of AEW talent on their shows. When asked about why now was the right time for the relationship between AEW and IMPACT, D’Amore said it’s as simple as just being the right time for it, but sees it as the first step towards a new way of business in wrestling.
“I think it’s something where the stars just aligned or the right cards came up in the deck, whatever analogy you wanna use. You know, Don Callis is an outside-of-the-box thinker and certainly, Don’s thoughts and actions have been a huge part of leading to this place where it is, where there’s a collaboration, and the driving force is no doubt, Kenny and Don are right at the focal point of it. You’ve also seen The Young Bucks express their thoughts and excitement for it. I mean, ultimately you’ve seen Tony Khan appear via his paid ads on IMPACT Wrestling as a way of getting out there and doing it and I think that timing-wise,” D’Amore explained, “I think the timing could always be right if the right people are at the table and are willing to consider doing it.”
“IMPACT Wrestling has always said its doors were open to doing business with anybody and I think we’ve done that, where it was on the local level and doing some of our collaborations with independent promotions, which I think produced a win-win, even though we were partnering with companies that were on a more independent level than us, we still certainly got some great value out of it, with both content and the ability to scout and work with some great talent that ultimately ended up on our roster. And I think you’ve seen it here with AEW with the little bit that’s been done. It certainly has created a buzz and excitement with fans and with people in the wrestling industry alike. And you’ve also seen it, too, like recently we had Chris Bey and TJP both were part of the New Japan Super J, and TJP is a freelancer. He’s been a part of IMPACT throughout the years and many times he’s a guy who from his teenage years is a part of New Japan so I think maybe that part of it wasn’t shocking but for Chris Bey,” D’Amore said, “who is 100% an IMPACT guy, to appear on a New Japan event like that, that shows what can happen when companies come to the table and work together. I think that’s one of the great things that 2020 has done, is it started pushing people more toward collaboration and I think whether it’s AEW or IMPACT Wrestling or New Japan or Pro Wrestling NOAH or AAA or CMLL, I think collaboration is the future.”
D’Amore also spoke about some of the biggest and his personal favorite highlights of the year, looking back at Slammiversary as a point where really had the professional wrestling world’s attention.
“I think the build into Slammiversary with the excitement and the buzz that we created with the “who’s it going to be” who’s going to show up, that’s something creatively I’m very proud of and I think we did a fantastic job with that. I think it’s definitely one of the best promotional pieces ever done in wrestling, which led to a great, historic Slammiversary event, which I’m so very proud of. I’m also very proud of the fact that our company came together, both crew and talent, and everybody, in some of the most trying circumstances to continue to go out there and form a tight-knit group or team, some would say family, to continue to go out there and entertain the fans in one of the most trying times in certainly recent history, so I’m very proud of that.
As we look into 2021, D’Amore also said he’s excited to see what the future holds, which potentially includes more collaborations with AEW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, or other companies. IMPACT always said their door is open, and D’Amore says he expects to see more working relationships in 2021 if it makes sense for both sides.