Since he announced he joined Impact Wrestling last July, D’Lo Brown has not been doing a lot of interviews. His role with the company is to be the talent-friendly asset, like he loves to say, the behind-the-scenes man who makes the magic happen.
After a long and fruitful career in the ring, D’Lo Brown has decided to offer his experience to the talents, may they be young or not, help them grow and improve, and produce some of the best matches possible. He already did it on Impact Wrestling, during The Aces & Eights Era around 2010 when he was only wrestling when he worked during the early days of TNA around 2003.
When you worked with some of the best talents in the history of this business, like The Rock, Mark Henry, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Dusty Rhodes, and Sting, to name a few, your words are gold. Your matches are some to be studied. Because he was able to create something special as a wrestler, D’Lo Brown is now able to help current talents try to make something special of their careers.
SteelChair Magazine had the great chance to have a one-on-one conversation yesterday with D’Lo Brown about Impact Wrestling, and nothing else but Impact.
You appeared on Impact when they taped some episodes last February in Las Vegas, and in July, you announced on social media you were signing a multi-year contract with the company. Tell me more about how things happened and what made you come back to Impact Wrestling.
It was a long process. I was in touch with Scott D’Amore (Impact Wrestling’s EVP), and I was wanting to get back into the wrestling world, in terms of agenting and producing. I knew that Impact was suffering some losses in terms of agents leaving the company. So I called Scott and he said, let’s come in for a tryout and let’s see what we can do. Luckily, the tapings were in Las Vegas, where I live, the next month coming up. I went there I did a really good job in terms of agenting, producing, putting matches together with the talents and working with the talents. A lot of talents were very receptive to me being there. So, from that point, it steamrolled and steamrolled, and it followed up a few months later with them offering me an opportunity to become a full-time agent. I was very thankful for that because wrestling is like my passion, my heart, my soul, whatever I’ve always wanted to do since I was 11 years old. So being involved in wrestling in any way really makes me extremely happy.
Can you describe your role? You tend to say you are talent-friendly or wrestler-friendly.
My role is to be a producer, an agent. I help produce matches. I’m also in the talent relations department, so I help with talent, talking to the office, and/or acquiring new talent to go on the show. That’s kind of where my role is right now, agent, producer, talent relations.
Which storylines have you been involved in and the wrestlers you have been working with?
I have made a point that I want to work with everyone at least once, just so I get a feel of who they are and how they work, and they get a feel of me and how I help produce. I’ve worked with Michael Elgin a lot, Brian Cage, Tessa Blanchard, Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack, Rich Swann. I worked with a lot of the top talent a lot, but primarily I work with the entire roster.
Impact Wrestling is like a family now.
You’re right. It is a huge family. You can see the camaraderie we have in the locker room. Guys and girls are hanging out, relaxing, singing, yelling, screaming. When the show is going on, everyone is sitting in the back watching the monitor, watching what’s going on the ring, just like every fan sitting in the arena. It’s a huge family, and this company has come so far in the last few years from what it was to what it is now. When I was with this company 7 years ago, it was a completely different company than the one it is today, and I will say today is a much better rendition of the product. It is night and day how crazy this company is now in a good, good way.
Are you able to feel a certain alchemy around the Creative table when you’re building the matches or the shows, with Petey Williams, Scott D’Amore, Don Callis, Gail Kim, Jimmy Jacobs, Tommy Dreamer, and Konnan? Do you feel like this team is the “Dream Team” for Impact today?
I feel this is a dream team because you’ve got over a hundred years of wrestling experience, doing it in front of large crowds, in front of a lot of people, and doing it on TV when a lot of people are watching. Now we’re trying to bring that experience and give it to this next generation. So when you put the creative side, and you add the producers in, who have all been out there wrestling, it means some amazing TV and then you throw in the talents who want nothing more than to go out there and just put on the best matches and the best performances or shows they can do. It’s hand in hand. Not only this Creative team is a dream team, but this talent roster is a dream team. I’m very fortunate and lucky to be part of what they do every week. Konnan, who’s still in the Creative team, has got more than 30 years of wrestling experience. Anyone you add to this potluck soup of creativity and/or agenting is just going to bring more and more and more passion and love to this company.
I always say in my reviews that the good recipe for a great show is a balance between action, promos, and backstage moments that create some tension and help build the storylines, and what I call the “cinematic orchestra”, these moments that are pre-taped, but that are essential for the show, like Su Yung’s resurrection. Do you feel like the mix of these three things is important?
I think it’s important to have a mix of wrestling and of the videos/vignettes from backstage leading to, like you said, the tension and pitting other arcs. Su Yung’s resurrection is an important story moment that helped build to the wrestling match and, combined with the wrestling match, this is what makes that a really good product. So I believe it is a combination of both. I don’t think you can have a show that’s all wrestling. I don’t think you can have a show that is all backstage stuff, but I think that a mix of both is what excites the fanbase into watching the product and wanting to know what’s going to happen today, what’s going to happen tomorrow, what is going to happen next week. I think that combination is important.
On January 12, 2020, at the “Hard To Kill” PPV, Tessa Blanchard will face Sami Callihan for the Impact World Championship. For you, can a woman hold a belt that is usually held by men? It could be another major revolution for women in wrestling.
A talent like Tessa Blanchard makes people, not just men, and women, she makes fans believe she could be World Champion. I think that at Hard To Kill, she’s going to go out there and amaze and shock the world, and it’s going to be something to see. I can’t wait to be part of it.
Yes, I think a woman can be World Champion, given an opportunity, and the right situation. We’re going to sit back and see what’s going to happen in January. Tessa has a fan in me. I love what she does and how she works. Sami Callihan has a fan in me. I love what he does, and I love how he works. When those two get in the ring together, it’s always magic, so I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. I mean, seriously, I’m sitting back like a fan watching the action play out, and I cannot wait until Hard To Kill. I love them both as individuals, I love them as people, and I love them as talent in the ring. Like I said, when these two get together, people don’t see man versus woman, they just see two wrestlers going at it. Yes, they have put the company on their back. They have both worked hard to make this company relevant for everyone watching, and I appreciate the work that both of them put in. I can’t wait to see where both of them go, in terms of the future here at Impact Wrestling. They’re two of my favourites on the roster, and I make no bones about saying that.
This week, we came back to 1983 with the IPWF show. It seems like it was a lot of fun to do and even for you because you wrestled.
It was so much fun, I’ve never been in a locker room that was so relaxed, so at ease and so eager to go out there, and have a good time. As much fun that you will see on the camera, you’re having more fun backstage, laughing and giggling, and everything we were doing. This is not a regular show, it is a parody of 1983, so you allow yourself to step back in time. I think you’ll enjoy seeing. I think you’ll have fun. I know I did have fun (laughs). I was out there as Pummel and ending it with The Hard Workers, and just having fun. For me, to be out there at my age in the ring, I am still having the time of my life. So the IPWF was an amazing, amazing night, and there’s a big hope that there are more Law States where we could see the IPWF again.
Does that mean that we will see you wrestle on Impact more often?
No, no, no (laughs). Only as Pummel because D’Lo is retired.
Follow D’Lo Brown on @dlobrown75.
IMPACT Wrestling is available to view in the UK from 2 am Wednesdays on the IMPACT Plus app and airs at 9 pm Wednesdays on Fight Network UK (Sky 192/Freesat 161), (circa) 11 pm Fridays on 5Star and repeated on Fight Network UK at 9 pm on Sundays.
All pics and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling and AXS TV