IMPACT superstar Sami Callihan recently spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso to hype tonight’s part one of Rebellion on AXS TV. Highlights from the interview are below.
When he started wrestling:
I started wrestling when I was 16 years old, this is been all I’ve known, and this is the longest I have ever been home for one spurt of time in my entire adult life. I used it to recuperate and let my body feel better from some injuries, but then it started getting to me. I’m not built to be a stay-at-home guy. I’ve traveled around the world and wrestled for every major company on the planet. Being home for this long, it really gets to your psyche. I was just happy to be back in the ring for the company I love and the one I’ve put on my back for the past two years.
Why he was okay with working empty arena shows:
The reason that I was 100% OK with doing that was because Impact took amazing care of us. From the time we got there to the time we left, I knew no one from our crew was going to be in any danger. Impact took every precaution to make sure our television taping was the safest television taping going on right now. I put my entire trust in Impact management to make sure we all get taken care of. I’ve wrestled for every major wrestling company on the planet, and Impact Wrestling truly is a family. I know it’s crazy to think how many ‘families’ there are in this crazy world, but our entire locker room and our entire staff took care of each other so we could all be safe.
People’s perception of him in the industry:
People either love me or hate me. I have a huge cult following because I speak a lot of truth. I say things how I see them and how I feel about them. That might offend a lot of people, too, but Impact Wrestling has been the first company to pull the shackles off me and say, ‘We want to give you the freedom to actually do you.’ Sure, I may get in some scuffles with management or arguments, but they have enough faith in me to realize, even if we have a disagreement on something, to let me do what I want to do. If it doesn’t work, I’m going to take the full blame. 90% of the time, it works.
His goals for the future:
One of my goals is getting things on the mainstream that have never been there before. In the world of professional wrestling, everything’s been done. So what can you do differently? My time in every company I’ve worked for has built me into who I am today. I’m not just one style. I pride myself on being the most versatile professional wrestler walking this planet. I’ve taken a little bit of the television style, a piece of the Japanese style, a little bit from Mexico and the European style, and mixed it into the melting pot that makes Sami Callihan who he is. Sami Callihan is a guy that didn’t always know who he was. I went to other places and I allowed them to change me instead of sticking to my guns. Ever since leaving that other place, I have always bet on myself. If I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail on my own terms—not on someone else’s terms. Over the past three, four years that I’ve been gone from said other company, I’ve become one of biggest wrestling stars on the entire planet, not just outside of WWE.