Put the words “WWE”, “Impact” and “meeting” in one sentence, and wrestling fans will be interested.
Since the reports Impact executives Scott D’Amore and Ed Nordholm met with WWE officials at their Stamford, Connecticut headquarters in mid-September, there’s been follow-up reporting indicating there were no specific items up for discussion - and certainly nothing major like the sale of Impact or its tape library. That hasn’t completely quelled enthusiasm for the idea of a partnership. In 2018, fans have seen a lot of unexpected wrestling crossovers, and their hungry for more.
D’Amore spoke about the meeting with Petey Williams and Dennis Farrell on the Wrestling Perspective podcast recently. And he confirms both the stories that the meeting took place and that no major deals were done or even discussed. But his perspective on what happened does give us reason to keep hope alive for future business between the two companies:
“I don’t think it was that good a secret - it’s been reported all over the internet.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve done three content deals with WWE. We did the Hardys documentary deal to supply footage to them for the Hardys documentary. We did a deal to provide footage of AJ Styles and Kurt Angle for Table for 3. And we provided some footage for Bruce Prichard’s podcast on the Network. So we’ve done a few deals together and I think WWE is seeing this is a different day with Impact Wrestling and maybe just on the most minute of levels maybe they’re seeing it’s a different day and age in wrestling. There wasn’t like - it’s one of those things where there was a meeting, we got together, we talked and it’s kind of like, ‘Hey, it’s kind of nice to be face-to-face and say hello and just be say that it’s 2018, it’s a whole different world and there’s no reason why people shouldn’t communicate.’
So there’s really no agenda to it, but it was nice and we move on. But it’s how the business is now which I think it tremendous. The fact that we can do a deal with WWE that helps them tell a great story on the Network, whether its owe of the shows or its the Hardy documentary. It’s certainly good for us to not just make a little bit of scratch for providing the footage, but also more so than that is the promotion they give us for the GWN and that having it on their Network and on their platform and saying, ‘Hey, if you want to see more of this, download and watch the GWN. That’s great for us, and that’s something that wouldn’t happen even two years ago. So whether it’s WWE, whether it’s Ring of Honor, no matter who it is, I just think that it’s great in this day and age - finally we’ve stopped with that old school wrestling bs of, ‘You’re with him, you can’t do nothing with us.’ So to get past that - that’s how business works... everybody benefits if there’s communication and a little respect. I think it’s great everybody in the wrestling business is seeing that and we’re very proud of the part we’ve played in help trying to push that agenda.”
Earlier in their conversation, D’Amore also talks about Impact’s relationship with Ring of Honor (ROH), which he describes as being similar to their one with WWE. And we’ve already seen Austin Aries show up in ROH with the Impact World title, and that’s a brand where New Japan, CMLL and NWA talents show up. Impact works with AAA and Lucha Underground, as well.
Could a promotion that was the punchline of a lot of jokes just a year ago be the conduit for a freer wrestling landscape - one that includes, in some way, WWE?
Check out the entire episode of Wrestling Perspective here.
H/T: Pro Wrestling Sheet