Sami Callihan Says Mustafa Ali Pitched 'Hacker' Gimmick To WWE Two Years Before They Used It

Sami Callihan believes the 'hacker' gimmick still has the potential to be one of the biggest characters in pro wrestling.

In late 2013, Callihan, then wrestling in NXT as Solomon Crowe would debut a new 'hacker' character, using a tablet to seize control of the show. Unfortunately, this never gained traction and Sami was gone from the company less than two years later.

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Sami would try and revive the character in 2020, now with more creative freedom in IMPACT Wrestling, but within weeks, WWE debuted a similar character (portrayed by Mustafa Ali). During an interview with Fightful (seen above), Sami shared how Ali asked for his blessing to pitch the gimmick to WWE two full years before they ever used it.

"Not really. IMPACT kind of let me have free reign to do it how I wanted to do it, but I think it was past its prime at that point. Specifically because right when I started doing it, Ali started doing it in WWE. Nothing against Ali, great dude. Hope he makes billions of dollars. When I left WWE, he had sent me a message. ‘Hey, man. Do you mind if I pitch the hacker gimmick since you’re gone?’ ‘No, please, do it,’ and that was like two years before he ended up doing it. Then I debut it, two weeks later they debut it. That’s terrible timing. Absolutely terrible.," Sami said.

Despite trying it on multiple occassions, Callihan still doesn't believe that the character has come across the way he has intended.

"Yeah. I also don’t even think anywhere that I’ve tried to do that character, not even IMPACT, who they gave me a lot of free reign, I don’t think it came across of what it could have been. There’s so much intricate details that I think, if done the right way, could have been one of the biggest characters in professional wrestling," he said.

Sami continued on, explaining why he believes this has the potential to be an incredibly relevant and compelling character.

"100%. Anything supernatural, you pretty much do over technology right now. You look at stuff like Creepypasta right now, all these different phenomenons that are internet based, 100%, it’s relevant right now. One of the main reasons I even thought of that character was I remember my dad, who was in his 60’s at the time, barely knew how to check his e-mail. He thought e-mail took up space on his computer. Poor thing, he’s passed away. Bless his soul.

But I remember we watched Hackers and it came out years and years and years prior. My dad’s like, ‘Oh, you wanna watch this movie Hackers on SYFY?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s watch it.’ I remember him being like, ‘This is the scariest movie ever made.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He’s like, ‘This is now. Anyone can just drain your bank account or do whatever they want. Like, this is real.’ I was like, for someone like that to really feel that, there’s something to this," he said.

He concluded by saying that though people are more cautious in terms of protecting themselves online, there are still many, like himself, who are easy to trick.

"100%. I think there’s people living in Kentucky and the Appalachian areas that are like completely outside of society. They don’t got no wi-fi. They have their own little nest that they sit in. I believe that. I think that stuffs real. I also believe in Big Foot and aliens, so it’s not hard trick me," he said.

On Sunday, October 1, 2023, Sami Callihan became a free agent, thus ending his long standing tenure with IMPACT Wrestling. Click here to learn more.

WWE released a handful of Superstars on September 21. Among those names was Mustafa Ali. To read Shawn Michaels comments on the man who was scheduled to challenge for the North American Championship prior to his release, click here.

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