Sami Callihan did a great interview with ESPN which I encourage you all to go check out.
On leaving WWE:
“I’m not gonna lie, it was scary,” Callihan recalls. “When I finally pulled the trigger and really bet on myself that was a scary thing, but I had to bet on myself. I wanted to be a guy remembered for going out on his own way. By leaving on my own terms, it kinda made me a badass character. I quit WWE. Not a lot of people can say that.”
On who he contacted directly before he left WWE, DJ Hyde, Super Dragon, and Danny Daniels:
“I said, ‘yo, don’t let this leak, I’m leaving WWE. I wanna show up this week and next week,'” Callihan said. “And everyone’s like, ‘hell yeah, let’s f******* do it.'”
“It was a no-brainer,” Daniels said about booking Callihan’s AAW return four days after his WWE release. “We just debuted in downtown Chicago in a new venue and it was our biggest show of the year. It was sold out right away. He told us, ‘I want to be the focus of your promotion,’ and right away I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll give you all my dates. Let’s do this”.
On the current reach of indie wrestling:
“Now, wrestling isn’t just one-sided. It’s not just about WWE,” Callihan said. “There are wrestlers out on the indies making six figures a year. The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Marty Scurll now have shirts at Hot Topic. Our generation is proving there is a way to make money and there is a way to become mainstream stars without being backed by the WWE machine.”
Where he’s headed:
“To say that I don’t want to go back [to WWE] would be a lie because one day I truly do believe maybe I will be back and have that WrestleMania moment,” Callihan said. “I believe I can be on the forefront and truly do believe I can be a top guy even though I’m 5-foot-8, 210 pounds.
“At the end of the day, you got to bet on yourself. And from now on I’m always gonna bet on myself.”