tg01 Posted July 9, 2018 Share Posted July 9, 2018 January 19, 2018 How could I have known just how much my life was going to change with just one phone call. But when Mark Pedowitz calls, you better believe you answer the phone. I've known Mark for around six years now, and considering he more or less controlled my career I figured it was probably going to be important. Sure we don't talk very often, especially since he's been busy trying to get approval to get an extra night of TV programming allowed by all of the affiliates. What I was not expecting was why he was calling me....he actually wanted my thoughts on something; something he figured I had a bit of expertise in. He wanted to speak to me as the fan of professional wrestling that he knew I was. Rumors had been abounding about Vince McMahon taking his companies shows to Fox with a big money deal that was going to shake up the TV scene. Say what you what about the man, but Vince had managed to create a virtual media empire out of sheer will and determination and it looked like he was to cash in on it. Big time. Mark wanted to know what I thought about the wrestling world, and whether there was money to actually be had in the wrestling industry. Thinking about everything going on with my good friend Cody Rhodes, and the success of things like Bullet Club and the great WrestleKingdom event I had just witnessed I tried to explain that it felt like wrestling was on the verge of another golden era. Maybe different than the one from the 80s when Hulk Hogan was the big name, or the controversial Attitude era of the 90s, but it seemed that wrestling was becoming a part of the cultural zeitgeist once more. Maybe I should have been more careful with the excitement, but once I got started I couldn't help and soon I was talking about Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager and our little "All In" project in September. Finally when I finished Mark said "thank you," and that seemed like it was the end of our talk. And afterwards I couldn't believe I had just gone off like that with the CEO, but I shook it off. It was time to get back to filming. February 5, 2018 Filming had just finished up for the day when I was shocked to see Mark approaching me across the set. He never shows up for filming, what could he possibly want. Oh no, was he here to tell me the show was cancelled? I know the ratings maybe weren't as great as they once were, but surely that couldn't be it? Finally Mark did make his way over to me and asked if we could talk, he had something he wanted to tell me. Something in private. Sitting across the table from Mark my heart was beating a million miles a minute, even if his friendly face seemed disarming. He quickly reassured me that this had nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with opportunity. An opportunity for the network, an opportunity for the company...and an opportunity for me? In whispered tones he explained his plans for the network. Not only was the network expanding to include Sunday programming, but they were going to be rearranging the schedule a bit. It would have an impact on all of our shows in our "verse," but part of the reason for the shuffle was that wrestling would be returning to the network. Everything was very "hush, hush" at the moment but things were being finalized, and the end result that would be as of May 1rst the network was going to officially be 51% owners of the former TNA, Impact wrestling. I was dumbfounded, when I had talked with Mark I had no idea. And if I had, I certainly wouldn't have told him to go after Impact of all things. I had heard about the work that Don Callis and Scott D'Amore had been doing to try and get the company back to respectability, but it was still a long ways coming. Why not ROH, or doing something with NJPW? Mark explained that there was a great deal of politics going into this, speaking about how ROH was off limits as part of the Tribune-Sinclair Broadcasting Group purchase discussions. But if anything, during their discussion they had realized just how good a job Don and Scott were doing, and that was why they would continue to have a role in the new vision for Impact Wrestling. It's just....the hierarchy would be changing a bit. "You see, Callis will be retaining his role as Executive Vice President of Impact Wrestling, but there was going to be a new President. A President who will help grow the brand, who will oversee the big picture. Don will still be in charge of the booking team, and taking care of the day to day operations. But we want someone to make sure that Impact is focused on growth, focused on taking it's place as the rightful number two in North America. And maybe one day....well....who knows. We want someone the Network can trust, and we want someone who knows about wrestling, but someone who also has the experience of working on a successful episodic show. Someone who can be the face of the company when it comes to dealing with the media, and for pursuing future new hires. And we want that person to be you. Wait, I know what you're going to say, you're too busy. That is why we will make sure you have all the resources you need in order to run things smoothly even when you can't be there. We merely want you to the "one boss" that everyone reports too. Our very own "Vince McMahon" as it were. What do you say?" I couldn't believe it, but Mark was so sincere, and he seemed to think it was going to work. What could I say, but yes. Yes to this great opportunity, yes to having the chance to single-handily change the wrestling industry. My name is Stephen Amell....and it's time for me....and for Impact Wrestling to.... 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