As IMPACT Bound For Glory 2023 gears up at Cicero Stadium in Chicago, Illinois, Mike Tenay took some time to chat with PWInsider.com. The focus of the discussion was his imminent induction into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame, where he will also pay tribute to the late Don West.
“It’s a really unique situation. The ability to not only be inducted yourself into the Hall of Fame, but also to be the spokesperson in essence for someone else. And I thought back on everybody that has gone into the Hall of Fame and I couldn’t come up with anybody that has done it. I’m sure there has been, but it’s a unique situation in that I have this balance of doing a tribute to Don and transitioning into a series of Mike Tenay ‘Thank You’s,’ I guess you would say. When you have somebody that was as close to me as Don was and we became such great friends, it becomes such an immense honor to be a part of the tribute to him. The specific reason that I decided to do it this year was the time, it was related to his passing in December of last year. The fact that the event is emanating from Chicago, which is Don’s hometown and the other primary reason behind it being the way that Scott D’Amore stepped up to the plate on the GoFundMe situation for Don and his family, and I certainly didn’t see that coming. I just thought it was just…I just felt like this was the perfect time where all the planets were aligned and it was the right thing to do. As far as Don, I think about this and you know, it’s always nice to have recognition by your peers for the hard work that you do, for the dedication that you have to your craft, to your career. So, for me, this weekend is just extra special when you add the inclusion of Don West in his hometown. And I think at the same time, I hope that it provides in a sense, I hope it provides closure and I know it’s an odd term, but I hope it provides closure for all my years with TNA and Impact Wrestling that has been missing for both Don and myself. It was the subject of a lot of conversations through the years that I had with Don after we both left the wrestling business and I just felt like it was finally the right time to do it.”
“I think because we hit it off as friends even before we had our first minute on the air, and when I say friends, that was from the drive from Nashville to the event, the first one and it was almost like an immediate feeling that we’ve known each other for many, many years. We had so many things in common. We both shared, I think, an equal sense of humor on things. And again, this is part of the reflection that I’ve had in the last couple of weeks. If I can, I’d like to expand and I’m going to include Bobby Heenan in this and not detract from Don by any means, but only to make it more special. But I think back to that reflection and how amazing it’s been to have two great friends as broadcast partners in Don West and Bobby Heenan. I’ve always thought that you don’t need to be great friends with your announce partner to be a good broadcast team, but I always thought that it made working together on air so much easier when you’re socially friendly. You’re so much more comfortable together on air and I always believed that the friendship that Don and I had, I felt like it came across to the audience as opposed to just the business relationship. So, I think when you look back on it, the fact that we did so much together socially, If there was a pay-per-view in a city, it wasn’t even a question of talking in advance that we were going to go out to dinner together the night before. We might discuss what sporting events or concerts or whatever it was that we wanted to go to together in that city. And it was so funny because that was a very similar relationship that I had with Bobby Heenan and almost miraculous to be able to pick it up after Bobby was gone, and just have our social lives and our friendship and our business lives just mesh together so well. I just think that that really was the key to being a strong broadcast team on air.”
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