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Wrestling / Don Callis

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Donald Callis (born October 13, 1963) is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and manager best known for his time in WWE from 1997-1998 as The Jackyl and in ECW as Cyrus. He debuted in his native Winnipeg in 1989 as Don Casablancas and also competed around the world. He arrived in WWE in 1997 as the Jackyl, the new manager of the Truth Commission, replacing the Commandant. The group was mixed into the "Gang Wars" feud involving The Nation of Domination (led by Ron Simmons aka Faarooq), the Disciples of Apocalypse (led by Crush) and Los Boricuas (led by Savio Vega), until the Jackyl and the Interrogator (renamed Kurrgan) broke off on their own. He disappeared for a few months until he returned on the May 25th (taped May 19th) Raw as the leader of The Oddities. This lasted until the group was turned face and he was replaced by Sable. (See Chuck Cunningham Syndrome below.) As Cyrus in ECW, his role was as the face of TNN, who was supposedly trying to bury ECW and get them thrown off of the actual network. His last role was in TNA in 2003 as a "Management Consultant" who feuded with Director of Authority Erik Watts over control and went out of his way to make things difficult for Jerry Lynn. He left in 2004 and retired for a career in international trade. Near the start of 2017 he came out of retirement as a colour commentator for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and then near the end of the same year he became an executive vice-president and colour commentator for the-now Impact Wrestling.

At the end of 2020, he began a cross-company run in All Elite Wrestling as Kenny Omega's manager after helping him win the AEW World Championship, with the goal of helping Omega win as many world title belts from as many promotions as possible, including his home promotion Impact Wrestling.

As for his in-ring achievements, he was a 5x WFWA (Winnipeg) Canadian Heavyweight Champion, a 2x IWA (Winnipeg) Heavyweight Champion, and a former BCW (Windsor) Can-Am Tag Team Champion with Terry Taylor.

Not to be confused with the band Jackyl, with Billy Ray Cyrus, with Cyrus the Virus from Con Air or with The Jackal.

"Truthful, Odd, Network-Approved Tropes":

  • Arch-Enemy: Joel Gertner and pretty much ECW in general.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Joel Gertner once said that he looked like "Alanis Morissette and Pee-Wee Herman had a kid."
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Since helping Kenny Omega winning the AEW World Championship, Callis serves as the second Big Bad of AEW, alongside Omega. Callis will continue to help Omega to ensure his victories by interfering his matches and further strengthening the Elite by using his connections with Impact Wrestling to get the Good Brothers to help Omega as well.
  • Book Ends: Callis' alliance with Omega from 2020 to 2023 begins and ends with Callis interfering with Omega's match with Jon Moxley, helping him in the former and turning against him in the latter.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • He made his AEW debut as a seemingly one-off guest commentator for Kenny Omega's match at Full Gear 2020. The full importance of his and Omega's friendship wouldn't become fully apparent until he helped him win the World Championship at Winter is Coming.
    • If you want to go back even further (and get a little speculative), the first seeds of what would be Callis' involvement in AEW could have been planted before AEW was even a thing, when he was instrumental in setting up the "Alpha vs Omega" match between Kenny and Chris Jericho at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 12, Jericho's first big match outside the WWE in 15 years. Bonus points for said match being what caught AEW President Tony Khan's attention into founding his own professional wrestling promotion.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared in November 1998 after being seen talking to Bradshaw on the November 1st Sunday Night Heat, after Steve Regal had pinned Bradshaw in a mere 1:38. This encounter led to the debut of Bradshaw and Faarooq as the Acolytes. He was ultimately Put on a Bus, never to return, that dropped him off in ECW, as "Cyrus" of the Network.
  • Circus of Fear: The Oddities' original heel carnival sideshow gimmick
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In ECW and TNA.
  • The Corrupter: Kenny Omega is already on the verge of turning heel in the second half of 2020 but it wasn't until Callis helped him to win the AEW World Championship at Winter Is Coming that his turn is complete. Eventually, even the Young Bucks, who were rather indifferent with Callis, also turned heel because of his influence.
  • Cult: What the Truth Commission seemingly became after he replaced the Commandant.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The 8/16/23 episode of Dynamite saw Chris Jericho accepting Callis' invitation to join the Don Callis Family, which surprised the latter. However, as the two were about the leave the ring, Jericho spotted the painting in a corner of the ring and decides to look at it despite Callis' protests...only to discover it's a painting of Callis holding Jericho's severed head. Turns out Callis' surprise at Jericho accepting his offer was genuine, because he was so certain the Demo God's massive ego would make him decline the invitation, he never considered the possibility that Jericho would actually say yes.
  • Evil Mentor: As Kenny Omega's manager. His interference cemented Kenny's heel turn, and it quickly became apparent that he was motivated by his own vanity of seeing somebody he brought up and helped train become the greatest wrestler of all time. As an uncle figure to Kenny since a young age, he also has elements of being an Abusive Parent to boot, gleefully relaying a story about how he left a young Kenny out to lie injured in the Canadian winter for several hours in order to teach him that he can only rely on himself to succeed.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has a degree in Political Science and an MBA.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • Was initially planned to be this of the Ministry of Darkness, but when that fell through he went to ECW and became this of the Network instead.
    • His run as Kenny Omega's manager had him claim that he was the "invisible hand" that guided Omega into his success in New Japan, and along the way Omega's run as the Big Bad AEW World Champion.
  • Heel: Always, except for his brief 2022-2023 face run in AEW, and even then, he was a Token Evil Teammate for The Elite.
  • I Have Many Names: Prior to debuting as the Jackyl, he had made some house show appearances as the General.
  • It's All About Me: Steve Blackman faced Recon of the Truth Commission on the February 9, 1998 Raw. During the match, the Jackyl was lowered down to ringside on a platform and went off on a big speech. Meanwhile, Blackman quietly defeated Recon by submission, and the Jackyl didn't notice it until after the match was over.
  • Meaningful Name: "Callis" is a homophone of "callous", which certainly is one way to describe his kayfabe personality.
  • Non-Action Guy: From his arrival in WWE until he retired. Also in his career resurgence with Impact and AEW, as the Evil Genius behind Kenny Omega and his "Super-Elite".
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Callis is beaten up by the Blackpool Combat Club on March 29, 2023, episode of Dynamite to the point he bleeds. Remember, Callis has been trash-talking everyone since he first appeared on AEW, caused Mox the AEW World Championship, and insulted everyone the Elite feuded with, especially Hangman and got away with it without suffering any karma other than a seeing Omega losing to Hangman. Sure the BCC are heel while Callis is a face at the time but seeing him finally receiving some beating is a sight worth seeing, especially since Callis rarely suffers any karma back in 2021.
  • Power Stable:
  • Red Baron: "The Natural", "The Invisible Hand"
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He Lampshaded his tendency to do this at the start of the Golga vs. Headbanger Thrasher match, which marked the debut of the Oddities, on the May 25 (taped May 19), 1998 Raw, telling announcer Jim Ross, "I know I have a tendency to speak above your intellectual level."
  • Sinister Minister: As the Jackyl, once the Truth Commission started moving away from being a paramilitary organization into more of a cult.
  • Sinister Shades: His runs as both the Jackyl and Cyrus had him wearing shades that heightened his sinister appearances. He still wears them as Don Callis in late 2010s-early 2020s, but now rather than being sinister come off as giving him more of a smugness aura.
  • Tag Team: (in Canada): The Super Models, with Rick Martel.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He was this to The Elite following their collective Heel–Face Turn in August 2022, until he betrayed Kenny in May 2023.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He headbutted Francine in the crotch, which was considered shocking even by ECW standards.