February 14, 2004
Callis leaves role in TNA
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling
Four weeks ago NWA-TNA star Don Callis tendered his resignation to the Nashville based NWA-TNA promotion and appeared on TV at the pretaped America's Cup this past Wednesday for the final time in the foreseeable future. An offer for a full-time job was too much for him to resist, despite his enjoyment of his time with the company.
"An offer came up for a job in International Trade that was too good an offer financially and from a job security perspective to turn down," Callis told SLAM! Wrestling. "On an emotional level it was a tough decision for me to make because I really love working for TNA every week, it's a great place to work. But this job made good use of my MBA so it was impossible for me to rationally turn it down."
Added to the difficulty in making the decision was Don's high profile role within the company. Since his debut in the summer of 2003 he has been one of the top heels in the company. His role was mostly non-wrestling, as the "Management Consultant" had him involved in angles with Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, The Red Shirt Security, Abyss, D-Lo Brown, Erik Watts and as a sidekick to current world champion Jeff Jarrett. Two weeks ago he had his first TNA match against Erik Watts, who was the TNA Director of Authority, and won control of the company. Jarrett has handled the loss of Don well.
"Jeff was very professional and nice about everything. It was hard for me to go and tell him that I had to leave. I felt bad for them because they had built up so much and I was in the middle of the feud with Erik Watts over control of the company. I felt like I was letting them down, but Jeff was very understanding, he made it a lot easier on me. I went out in a really nice way. Jeff was better then you could ever expect from a boss when you leave a position."
Don is quick to point out that there is no bad blood involved in the parting and he will still be a part of the company if they have a role for him.
"I should say that I am not done with TNA completely. You'll still see me, perhaps when the company runs a show on a weekend. If and when that takes place, or my schedule allows me to do stuff, I think the door is still open for my character to be involved. I've offered to write for TNA's website as well. In a sense, 'Don Callis the weekly character' is gone but I think as an employee that the door is still open to come back if we can find a way to do so."
Callis is heavily involved with other wrestling-related projects as well. His weekly column can be read every Sunday here on SLAM! Wrestling (and in the Winnipeg Sun and Thunder Bay Chronicle-Herald), his No Holds Barred radio show airs Sundays on 92 CITI-FM in Winnipeg, and he will continue to promote NHB cards in Thunder Bay. TNA stars have appeared on NHB shows and Callis will continue to promote the company.
"I will still be talking about TNA on NHB radio and in my wrestling columns and the website NHBwrestling.com. Regardless of my enjoyment of working there, I think it is a great product. The dressing room is filled with great guys, there is so much talent that I will definitely still be promoting the company where I can. I will still have my hand in the business through those outlets as well as promoting shows in Thunder Bay. The reason that won't change is because those are things I do on the weekend and my job is Monday to Friday. I will still be doing stuff with wrestling, if TNA PPVs were on a Saturday or Sunday, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Jason Clevett is from Calgary, Alberta. Read his previous story on Don Callis here: Callis loves new TNA character.