Sami Callihan is free of the creative restrictions he faced in the past and he’s using the opportunity to finally show what he can do with his current gimmick.
Callihan recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his IMPACT Tag Team Championship opportunity at Slammiversary on Saturday. Callihan said the “hacker” gimmick isn’t something he just came up with on the fly and explained that he’s been working on it and perfecting it for almost a decade. When he was still in WWE he played a similar role as Solomon Crowe between 2013 and 2015 but it failed to live up to the gimmick’s true potential. Callihan knows his current run will be compared to NXT, but he says IMPACT is fully embracing his idea and letting him execute his creative vision.
“I think it’s one of those things that will get that comparison, but it’s one of those things that just didn’t work at the time because they never really took the handcuffs off of me to let me do what I wanted to do with [the character] at the time. IMPACT Wrestling is a company that no matter what,” Callihan said, “they give us creative freedom and they give us a chance to go out and really try things. I wouldn’t be able to try this if it wasn’t for IMPACT Wrestling doing what they did, and I think it’s absolutely amazing at this point.”
When asked how much of an influence technology plays in his decision making, Callihan said it’s very prevalent. Citing examples in various form of media, he said the real benefit is that any kind of real-life glitch or hack could theoretically be “blamed” on his character and it gives the idea and incredible amount of potential.
“Technology is huge. I think right now it’s something that’s relevant with video games like Watch Dogs, the television show Mr. Robot, going on social media and seeing the hacker issues,” Callihan said, “I think it’s something that’s extremely relevant in pro wrestling and it’s something that can be a huge character no matter what in any wrestling company as long as it’s done properly, but it has to be done properly.”
“With a character like this, if anything goes down—a network goes down, something happens on Twitch, on the roster—this is a character that can pretty much be a scapegoat for almost anything,” Callihan explained, “and that’s the wonderful thing. Anything can be blamed on this character. There’s so many different avenues that this character can go.”
Check out the full interview with Sami Callihan below:
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