WWE/NJPW News: Don Callis joins English NJPW commentary team
NJPW has moved quickly to fill Steve Corino's commentary shoes.
What’s the story?
With WWE signing Steve Corino as a trainer at the Performance Center, New Japan Pro Wrestling was left with a vacancy on their English language commentary team. The position has quickly been filled, with former WWE and ECW superstar Don Callis signed to take over from Corino, starting with The New Beginning shows at the beginning of February.
Callis took to Twitter to comment on his new gig, expressing enthusiasm to work with lead announcer Kevin Kelly once more.
Callis announced the move on his podcast with Lance Storm, and also stated that fellow Winnipeg-native Kenny Omega was instrumental in him getting the call. Callis also has extensive colour commentary experience from his time in ECW, where he worked under the name Cyrus.
In case you didn’t know...
Callis made his professional wrestling debut in 1988, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he had a tryout match with WWF, who decided to hire the Canadian as a manager. Callis was billed as ‘The Jackal’ in the WWF, the manager of The Truth Commission, but his stint did not last long.
He was released in 1998 after a brief spell managing The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq) at the beginning of their tag team run.
In 1999, Callis moved to ECW where he portrayed a character called Cyrus, a heel that was working for the network, bringing to the surface many legitimate problems between ECW and TNN at the time. Cyrus went on to form a faction known as The Network, alongside the man he replaces on the NJPW commentary team, Steve Corino.
When ECW folded Callis was rumoured to be moving to WCW, but the move never came about.
The heart of the matter
2017 is gearing up to be a huge year for NJPW, and the English commentary that will be provided at the company’s big shows will be integral to their growth. Corino only worked a couple of New Japan shows and as such won’t be such a huge spot to fill, but fill it they must.
Callis is an experience pro-wrestling head with commentary experience, and as such will prove a clever choice.
Callis will make his NJPW commentary debut at the upcoming The New Beginning shows in Sapporo and Osaka, on February 5th and 11th respectively.
NJPW has done the right thing by moving quickly to fill the void left by The King of Old-School. Making an early decision will give Callis plenty of time to familiarise himself with the product, and we look forward to hearing his work in Sapporo and Osaka.
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