Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega were in serious negotiations to join Impact Wrestling, according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Jericho and Omega’s relationships with Impact Executive Vice President (and fellow Winnipegger) Don Callis are well-documented. Callis was the one brokering the talks and was “very close to deals” with both Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. That is, until All Elite Wrestling (AEW) entered the picture.
Dave Meltzer reports, “The expectation before AEW is that Omega would work for New Japan and do 30 dates per year [for Impact] and Jericho would work here because he’s have so much input on his creative if he wanted to work another year with New Japan.”
Callis is currently a prominent figure in New Japan’s presentation, where he serves as the English color commentator. When he was first announced as the EVP of Impact, there were rumors that he would be looking to lure some New Japan talent over to the company.
This would not have been the first time that Impact (formerly TNA) had worked with New Japan. However, they are now a very different company in virtually every aspect. TNA had previously had the likes of Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger on their programming. Okada in particular did not enjoy his time with the company. With Okada believing that he was ‘mis-used’ and it soured the relationship between TNA and New Japan at the time.
With Don Callis at the helm there are still opportunities for New Japan talent to be on Impact programming. Landing Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega would have been tremendous for the fledgling promotion, which remains steadfast in its ongoing attempts to rebuild in 2019.