Don Callis : biography
Don Callis is a Canadian former professional wrestler and manager, known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation as The Jackyl, and Extreme Championship Wrestling as color commentator Cyrus.
Callis has expressed an interest in participating in Canadian politics, and worked as a Media Relations Specialist for the House of Commons of Canada in the early 1990s. Callis earned an MBA in 2003. As of 2012, he is the President, CEO and Executive Director of the Manitoba Trade and Investment Corporation.http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2012/0225/550063/cm-punk/http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/don-callis/1a/102/b77
Callis became a wrestler after looking for a sport to play while attending the University of Manitoba, where he earned a Degree in Political Studies.
He was trained by local wrestling promoter Tony Condello and debuted in 1989. Wrestling under the name Don Casablancas, Callis formed a tag team with The Psycho as "The Mercenaries of Mayhem" under the tutelage of their manager The Golden Sheik.
In 1990, Callis debuted with the West Four Wrestling Alliance, where he became a five time Heavyweight Champion. He also toured in Japan, South Africa and Lebanon.
World Wrestling Federation
He received a tryout match with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1996 and was eventually hired as a manager.
On September 20, 1997, Callis debuted in the WWF as "The Jackyl," a member (and eventually leader) of a group of wrestlers known as "The Truth Commission" (a take on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission). An article in WWF Magazine claimed that he was a lower-level WWF employee during the early 1990s, and that he developed a messianic complex when he led a group of WWF superstars out of Kuwait when they were stranded there during the Gulf War. In an effort to play up the Jackyl’s gimmick as a charismatic, power-hungry fanatic, commentator Jim Ross often referred to him as the "David Koresh of the World Wrestling Federation." The Jackyl sometimes would compete in singles matches mainly on Saturday Night Shotgun and house shows. Once the Jackyl fought in his hometown, Winnipeg as the General against Jim Neidhart and lost the match. He would also team up with the Interrogator(Kurrgan)and managed Kurrgan. The stable was not particularly successful, with their biggest achievement being their victory over the Disciples of Apocalypse at Survivor Series 1997. At WrestleMania XIV the Jackyl ordered Kurrgan to attack Recon and Sniper out of the Tag Team Battle Royal and caused the stable to disband.
Callis returned to television in 1998, forming a stable known as "The Parade of Human Oddities". The group consisted of "freakish" wrestlers, including "Golga" (a masked John Tenta AKA "Earthquake"), and The Howard Stern Show regulars Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf and Crackhead Bob, and had entrance music performed by the Insane Clown Posse. The stable did not last long, and Callis eventually started managing the new tag team of Faarooq and Bradshaw, Hell’s Henchmen, until he was fired for dubious reasons – following which they found a new leader in the Undertaker, became the Acolytes of his Ministry, and broke away to make their mark as the Acolytes Protection Agency.
It has been speculated that The Jackyl was being propped up as the logical choice for the "Higher Power" behind the Ministry of Darkness, instead of Vince McMahon. This is supported by The Jackyl’s gimmick of a charismatic cult leader with a flair for brainwashing wrestlers into becoming his followers, the occult religious symbolism he and his charges were decorated with (including the Gate of Yog-Sothoth, hinting at a nascent H.P. Lovecraft / Necronomicon-inspired gimmick) and his previous segments where he’d promise to become the leader of the WWF and that "the revolution of The Jackyl is coming".