Don Callis Details His History With Kenny Omega, Insists He Would Have Signed For IMPACT
Photo: All Elite Wrestling
One week ago at Full Gear, Kenny Omega’s show opening show-stealer had a special guest commentator that seemingly came out of nowhere. Sitting alongside JR, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone was Don Callis, current EVP of IMPACT Wrestling. For fans who have only met The Best Bout Machine in AEW, the inclusion didn’t seem to make much sense, but those who watched him rise in NJPW and beyond likely thought it was a great inclusion.
For those in the former category looking to educate themselves, the good people at Fight Game Media have produced an overview of the entire history between the two men that includes first-hand accounts of the history. Don Callis, fresh off his stint as Cyrus the Virus in the latter days of ECW, was running shows in his native Canada. One of his talents was a young Kenny Omega, and Callis ran with the talent because he saw something in him that others didn’t.
After leaving the business outside of a few podcasts here and there (and a few other twists and turns that the article goes into glorious detail about), Don Callis became Kenny’s Golden Announcer in New Japan. He was the Bobby Heenan to Omega’s Ric Flair, providing unbridled passion towards the young performer. While his IMPACT duties preclude him from coming into AEW full time, he was in the right place at the right time to return for one night. Considerin that Kenny is backsliding into his own New Japan ways, it was only fitting.
One interesting tidbit from the full report (which this author can’t recommend enough) is Callis’ insistence that Omega would have joined IMPACT to work alongside him had AEW not popped into the picture.
“I’ll say this: If AEW had not come into play … Kenny Omega would have come into Impact Wrestling. Not that he ever agreed to it, but it’s something that Scott D’Amore and I would have made happen.”
While the two are apart professionally for the moment, AEW has seemingly absorbed all manner of talents, including many who thought they were out of the business forever. With Tony Khan’s insistence on working with other promotions, we may not have seen the last of the Golden Announcer calling The Cleaner’s dominance of the AEW roster.