Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Anthony Carelli (a.k.a. Santino Marella) was recently hosting his Twitch show, Behind The Lights, and offered his thoughts on various professional wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA) topics. Marella first discussed the personnel changes to IMPACT Wrestling:
“I tell you what, IMPACT Wrestling, this is such an interesting phenomenon, because they’ve had different incarnations — TNA, IMPACT Wrestling. Sometimes there’s somebody new at the helm and then people wonder, ‘How is this going to turn out?’. And sometimes, ‘ah it’s kinda the same thing, they’re shuffling old guys, whatever, whatever’, and it hasn’t really connected in the past in terms of that renaissance.
“But this one here there’s a different feeling — again, Scott at the helm and Don — there’s real change. It was getting a reputation in the past of being, ‘Oh they’re just recycling old WWE guys’, you know, hand-me-downs, and that was the reputation they had for a while. Now that’s not the case. Now they’re developing fresh, new talent that’s not… I mean if there’s someone there from WWE that’s fine, but the roster’s not comprised of leftovers anymore.
“The mentality, the direction they’re going in, it’s very good for the business because you need competition. There was a long time when there was no competition to WWE. Now there’s places to go.”
As for IMPACT Wrestling’s recent Redemption pay-per-view (PPV), Marella explained why he loved the event:
“I thought it was awesome. It solidified the notion of the change of direction for me. It’s funny because to be competition with WWE already means that you’re on the map, you’re on the radar. But you can’t compete with the budget. You can’t compete with the juggernaut marketing machine that they have.
“But you don’t have to have a massive budget to have that one creative genius especially with the different platforms we have today to be able to get out there. So before it was only TV, and now because of all these different mediums you can compete with TV.”
Marella also told fans to enjoy this evolution that IMPACT Wrestling is currently going through, and predicts a legendary moment in wrestling is coming: