Before I was able to ask him any question, Sami Callihan was kind enough to remind me he wants to be on the cover of our magazine, something, I’m sure, will happen very soon. I haven’t talked to him since before Bound For Glory. We haven’t had the chance to talk about his World Championship run and the way he disappeared after he lost the belt. But you have read all these tales week after week through the Impact weekly reviews.

His comeback to the Impact Zone was more than striking. Callihan just hacked the show week after week, with this threatening ICU picture. He revealed his true colours when he threw a fireball to the face of Ken Shamrock as he was announced as the future Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer. ‘The Draw’ was back, ready to fight against an MMA and wrestling Legend and show who the real Draw is.

Something has never changed with Sami Callihan, his absolute faith in the fact he is the reason why the company was able to rebuild itself. Like he told me a few months ago, “I held this company on my back for the last two-and-a-half years. I have lived, eaten, breathed, and slept this company, and I’ve been one of the people who have waved the flag and helped make Impact Wrestling one of the wrestling booms again.”

And now, Impact Wrestling is trending again on social media. Rebellion was a huge success. Sami Callihan came up short against Ken Shamrock in the main event of the first night, but the two nights of PPV were a must-watch. Hard To Kill, they say… It’s more than true…

SteelChair Mag had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with Sami Callihan about his new character, being a former World Champion, betraying his brothers, and what the future holds for him on Impact Wrestling.

Why did you choose to come back to this hacker character that you tried to develop in another company a long time ago? Why changing your character?

“I think one of the most amazing things in professional wrestling is you can always evolve. You can become stagnant and just keep doing what you’re doing years upon years. That’s how you don’t grow. That’s how you don’t get better. The best wrestlers of all time, they all evolved during their career, and that’s no different for me. This character was in my back pocket even before I was in WWE. And when I left WWE, I held it in my pocket. It’s extremely funny that I pull the trigger on and do it on national TV, and all other companies are trying to copy it pretty much exactly.”

What does this character represent to you?

“Everyone, the entire society, wears a mask. They might act like they are something, but behind that mask, they are putting out something different. I think that’s what this character is about. It exposes that all these people that might be your favourites, all these people that might be one thing or another to you, they all wear a mask, and without it, people are exactly the same.”

Tell us about your match against Ken Shamrock at Rebellion.

“The match against Ken Shamrock is truly a dream match of 2 generations, the Attitude Era versus the modern-day era, and that’s exactly what Impact Wrestling gives you with that match. I think it’s really funny a lot of people want to compare it to the recent boneyard match at WrestleMania, but people seem to forget. They are like, oh that match was so great, that match was so cutting edge, no one’s ever done it, but Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground have been doing cinematic wrestling for 4, 5, or 6 years now. Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground are the types of companies that put that kind of match on the map, and Impact Wrestling will continue to do so because I think they do them better than anyone else.”

Are you okay with the way the match ended?

“I don’t understand how a referee can stop a match that’s unsanctioned. He had no right to do that, and I’m far from done with Shamrock. I’m not going to go down like that because we got cheated out of the moment that I feel was deserved.”

You attacked your brothers of oVe during the match. Is oVe over?

“oVe is done, as far as I’m concerned. I’m ready to do this on my own. I think I’ve proven that with my actions that I don’t need anyone’s help. I don’t need to be aligned with anyone. It’s time for Sami Callihan to fully step into the light and take everything that he deserves.”

In a strange combination of circumstances, this week, Nevaeh was on TV, Mrs Jake Crist. She was in OI4K, the stable before oVe.

“She was given an opportunity at Impact Wrestling. It should have happened years upon years upon years ago. People seem to forget she was SHIMMER tag team champions with Madison Rayne. She’s been killing it on the indies for almost 20 years now, and she absolutely deserves this opportunity.”

When we first heard about the virus, you said you would stay locked down and not wrestle until it was over. But you were there in Nashville for the Impact tapings. What was the atmosphere during these tapings?

“Impact Wrestling took every precaution possible to make sure everyone was safe, and I think they did that. The atmosphere was great. People were happy to finally get out of the house. Impact wrestling truly is a family, and alongside everyone at the tapings, they did everything possible and followed every precaution they could to make sure everyone got off safe you. That’s exactly what happened.”

A few months ago, you were the World Champion and you lost it to Tessa. How were you feeling after that?

“The Impact World Championship needs me more than I need the Impact World Championship. Being the Champion or not, I’m still the main event, I’m still the highest-rated, most-watched character on that show, that’s not going to change.”

Fight Network filmed the days around your World Champion for the ‘Diary’ series. You showed a very different side of you, something more personal. Was it easy for you to open yourself to people the way you did about your family?

“It was pretty easy. The character Sami Callihan is really similar to Sami Callihan behind the scenes, but snapping in and out of that is something I’ve been doing for years, but it was time for me to share some of my past and share some like backstage antics of who I really am as a person. I think the fight network documentary did exactly that. The Fight Network documentaries are actually amazing.”

You’ve been on Impact Wrestling for 2 years and a half now and your relationship with the company has never changed. Is it the same mutual faith between the company and yourself?

“Absolutely, one hundred percent. Any company that I have ever been signed to, I have always given my one hundred and ten percent. Impact Wrestling, no matter what happens in my career, will always have a special spot in my heart.”

Right now, with the ICU character, how were you able to convince the company that it was the right direction to take for your character?

“They pulled the shackles off it, made the call, and said, I think it’s going to work out for the better, and we will be able to create some amazing stories with it.”

You seem to really have a lot of freedom when it comes to your character and your matches, do you consider that as a privilege?

“It’s been a privilege to be able to do this, but I earned every right to. I think my body of work speaks for itself that pretty much everything that’s put in front of me I hit it out of the park.”

You wrestle on Impact, but you also have a promotion in Ohio, Wrestling Revolver. What do you think about how the virus changed the wrestling business right now? Do you think this situation can change the business in the long term?

“It will make people more hungry to get back to regular life. It just shows what everyone took for granted. They are ready to have more wrestling back to the way it used to be.”

We now have two World Champions, Moose holds the TNA belt, Tessa the Impact belt. Who would you like to compete against if you had to choose?

“I would compete against both of them.”

Who is going to be your next target on Impact?

“You will have to wait until this Tuesday to know who’s next for ‘The Draw’ Sami Callihan.”

Follow Sami Callihan on Twitter  @TheSamiCallihan. You can watch the 2 parts of Sami Callihan’s Fight Network Diary here and here.

IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV in the USA. The show 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.

Very special thanks to Mr. Deathman. All pics, videos, and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Fight Network, and Basil Mahmud

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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