Ahead of IMPACT Wrestling‘s upcoming pay-per-view Hard to Kill on Sunday, January 12th in Dallas, Texas, Last Word on Pro Wrestling were joined by the current IMPACT Wrestling World Champion Sami Callihan, who is set to defend his coveted championship against Tessa Blanchard at the event. ‘The Draw’ chatted all things from his debut in IMPACT two years ago, to his intense rivalries with the likes of Rich Swann and Brian Cage.
When asked about why he chose to sign with IMPACT Wrestling over any of the other promotions he could go with, Callihan stated that it provides the platform for him to work alongside Dave and Jake Crist (who he teamed with on the indies as OI4K before becoming oVe in IMPACT) on the biggest platform they had received to that date. Sami added that there’s nothing better than travelling with two people you grew up in the business with, and although they may fight on occasion, they’re still brothers through and through.
Believe it or not, ‘The Callihan Death Machine’ doesn’t actually have a preference when it comes to doing deathmatch wrestling as opposed to ‘normal’ wrestling. He simply wants to be the most versatile wrestler possible so that he can bring anything to a show, whether that means lucha libre, strong style, or hardcore. On the subject of being hardcore, Callihan praised the incident from 2018 that saw him legitimately injure Eddie Edwards after accidentally hitting him in the eye with a baseball hat. That moment got a lot of eyes on IMPACT Wrestling due to the sheer nature of the accident, so ‘The Draw’ told everyone they were welcome for him putting the company on the map at the time.
Throughout 2019, Sami had some fierce rivalries with the likes of Rich Swann (over the X Division Championship) and Brian Cage (over the World Championship), two men who he actually has real-life bonds with away from the ring. Sami essentially took in Rich when both of his parents died when Swann was just 16, which is why their rivalry was so intense – their friendship outside the squared circle gave them a lot to work with. As a little fun fact, Callihan noted that Rich is able to play six different instruments and can speak for different languages – that’s one for all the Wikipedia editors out there.
As for Brian Cage, he used to be in a pairing with ‘The Draw’ on the indies a few years back, which strengthened their friendship behind the scenes, again laying the foundations for their immensely personal rivalry over the last few months. Their main event matches at both Bound For Glory and the debut episode of Impact on AXS TV had cut time from them, with the TV match (the one that saw Sami lift the Impact World Championship) actually having six minutes cut off it when it went to air so only the live crowd were witness to those extra few minutes.
While speaking about his ongoing rivalry with Tessa Blanchard, which has been one of, if not the biggest stories heading into Hard to Kill, the World Champion said that fans had been wanting longer stories being told, which is exactly what he and Tessa have been allowed to do, as their rivalry began in spring 2019. A match with Tessa to face a man had been pitched to other wrestlers, such as Eli Drake, who rejected the idea – Sami, however, took the idea and ran with it. They’ve already made some history-making moments, including being the first Intergender Match to main event the pay-per-view of a major professional wrestling promotion at Slammiversary, something they found out roughly three hours before the show went to air. With their World Championship match set to main event Hard to Kill, it looks like they’re all set for yet another history-making moment.
To end on a high note, Sami Callihan stated that he will continue to raise the bar with IMPACT Wrestling throughout 2020, while also further promoting his upcoming match with WhatCulture’s Simon Miller during WrestleMania weekend for Sami’s own promotion, The Wrestling Revolver.
Last Word on Pro Wrestling would like to thank Sami Callihan for taking the time to chat ahead of Hard to Kill, and an additional thanks to IMPACT’s PR agent Simon Rothstein for arranging the interview.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Be sure to follow IMPACT Wrestling via IMPACT Plus and Twitch to catch all of the IMPACT action.