Don Callis played a pivotal role in orchestrating the match between Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
That could be considered just paying back a favor, given that a referral from Omega got Callis his current job as an announcer for New Japan Pro Wrestling's English-language broadcasts. Appearing on Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss their no-DQ war inside the Tokyo Dome at NJPW's biggest show of the year, Omega acknowledged firsthand the previous reports that he referred Callis for the commentary job after Steve Corino left for WWE.
"The timing was impeccable because we had just lost Corino and we needed somebody. And I had always loved the way Don did his commentary. Great on commentary, great on the mic, understands the business—one of the greatest minds I've ever spoken to about wrestling. He gets it. He doesn't care, he's not trying to kiss anyone's ass or worry about what anyone thinks. So his opinion is truly what he feels and what he thinks so I really thought he was a good guy for the job, not just because I had the relation to him and he was a friend and kind of somewhat like family."
Omega suggested Callis to Gedo, the longtime NJPW booker, who was unfamiliar with Callis despite prior stints as Cyrus in both WWE during the Attitude Era and in ECW as the leader of a heel faction dubbed "The Network". So Omega referred Gedo to Callis' podcast with Lance Storm for an example of Callis' verbal skills. Rather than call Callis at first, the New Japan office called Storm, instead.
"They thought that the person that I was trying to introduce them to was actually Lance Storm, because I said, 'here's this guy who was in ECW, a guy who was in WWE.' … but then Lance was totally cool about it and was like, 'I think you mean Don Callis', " Omega recalled.
This fall, Callis revealed how he pitched the Wrestle Kingdom idea to both men. He also played a pivotal role in the build to the match, taking a Codebreaker after Jericho made a surprise appearance at the World Tag League finals for an attack on Omega that left him bloodied.
Check out Omega's complete interview on Talk Is Jericho.