Unfortunately earlier this year, the Coronavirus pandemic led to numerous wrestlers being released by WWE.
Fortunately, most found work elsewhere, with many of them ending up in IMPACT Wrestling and thriving creatively. Sami Callihan left WWE of his own volition over five years ago, and explained the creative liberation that one goes through when moving out of a micromanaged environment.
"Pretty much all these guys are friends and guys I’ve known pretty much my entire career, for 10-15 years. I think it’s one of those things, I think all the guys that’d recently came into IMPACT! Wrestling are like, ‘Oh, my God, I can do that here?’ or ‘Oh, my gosh, are you serious? I can do that here?’ It’s like taking handcuffs off. It’s letting a bird out of its cage and letting it back into the wild. They’re either gonna strive or they’re gonna fail. A lot of the guys IMPACT! brought in, if not all the guys, are going to be very successful or else they wouldn’t be at IMPACT! I think IMPACT!’s track record over the past three years of the guys they’ve brought in pretty much kill it every single time," Callihan told Fightful in an exclusive interview.
For Callihan himself, he asked out of his WWE deal years ago to pursue greener creative pastures elsewhere. He admits that the decision was scary, but explained the mindset that he was in at the time, and why he made the decisions he did.
"I think there was maybe just a hint of uncertainty. I was one of those guys, I didn’t take the 30 day paycheck to sit at home. I was like, ‘I’m gonna go out, create a buzz in two days.’ So, that’s why I showed up at two indie shows, and made more money than I would have made at NXT that week. I’m not taking all the credit, but I think I’m one of the guys that really launched the indie wrestling level back up to where it was when I left WWE because it showed that indie wrestling really could be a successful place. From there I’ve pretty much wrestled for every major wrestling company on the planet," said Callihan.
You can see our full interview with Sami Callihan at the top of the page. Check out IMPACT Wrestling's Bound For Glory on Saturday, October 24, availble on FITE and other PPV platforms.