Bound For Glory is almost here, and last night's match between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan on Impact set the tone for one of the event's biggest matches. The two have been linked for quite some time, and last night was another compelling chapter in their rivalry, though for Edwards it ended in a beating from Callihan and Ken Shamrock, the latter of which he will be facing later this week at Bound For Glory. ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Callihan about his feud with Edwards and the infamous moments between them along the way, as well as how Impact is changing the game in wrestling, Callihan's character evolution, and even some Resident Evil for good measure.
First up though we had to talk about the saga between Callihan and Edwards, and for Callihan, this is a feud that could never end, and over time has become a modern version of another classic rivalry.
"I think me and Eddie Edwards are destined to fight forever," Callihan said. "When you really look at the grand scheme of things, we've kind of become the modern-day Raven versus Tommy Dreamer feud. I think that's something really cool in professional wrestling right now: a feud that doesn't just end in six months and something that goes on forever. I think when you really look at it, Eddie Edwards should be thanking me for hitting him in the face with a baseball bat cause that's the best thing that ever happened to his career."
That is of course a reference to one of the more infamous moments in Callihan and Edwards' careers, though Callihan has another term for it. "I'll call it a happy little miracle. Like I said, the best thing to happened to Eddie Edwards, the best thing happened to me and the best thing to happen to Impact Wrestling."
Callihan and Edwards are frequent rivals, but despite the animosity between the two, there is a respect as well, and when their names come up after all is said and done he hopes people remember how much they pushed Impact forward. "When you look at the history of Impact Wrestling, me and Eddie Edwards, we may not like each other, but we're the heart and soul of this company," Callihan said. "When this company was in the dark ages, we put this company on our back and we really helped bring it to the promised land and we're two of the guys that made this company what it is today and that's something extremely special."
Impact made a big splash at Slammiversary this year with a host of hyped debuts from former stars and newcomers to the brand, but Callihan feels the brand has been making a larger impact (no pun intended) for quite some time, giving stars a chance to shine and show what they can do.
"I think Impact from day one has been one of the biggest star-making companies on the planet," Callihan said. "When you look at the wrestling world in any company right now, almost every one of them had something that was built in Impact Wrestling that succeeded in Impact Wrestling and then for a lack of a better term, went somewhere else. That's one of the great things about Impact Wrestling."
Impact has also given Ken Shamrock a chance to recapture that lethal streak, and with the help of Callihan it seems he has, at the expense of Edwards. The tandem has produced results to be sure, and for Callihan the best comparison is to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain, and how can you not love that?
"I think one of the things with Shamrock at this point he might be my best friend. I'm not for sure, but Ken Shamrock might be my best friend and I have the best of interests for Ken Shamrock," Callihan said. "He lost his way for a while. He lost his killer instinct and became a shell of a person trying to appease every single person. At the end of the day, he's a trained killer and he needs to act like a trained killer cause that's what people want to see. I really like to use the comparison. Me and Ken Shamrock are like Krang from the Ninja Turtles. I'm the brain sitting in the stomach of a giant monster, getting him to try to rule the world. Me and Ken Shamrock are 100 percent Krang."
You can't get that image out of your head now can you? You're welcome.
This latest version of Callihan's character was actually thought up quite a while ago, but it didn't really take off until he got to Impact, and the main reason why seems to be the flexibility and creative freedom it offers.
"I honestly came up with this character back in 2010 and it's something I've held in my back pocket and it hadn't been done correctly anywhere I tried it," Callihan said. "Impact Wrestling was the best place to do it cause Impact Wrestling lets you go out there and try. They're the kind of company that actually listens to your ideas and they're going to let you go out there sometimes and either fail or succeed on your own and that's part of the greatness of Impact Wrestling."
"I think another thing is Impact Wrestling gives character layers," Callihan continued. "When you look at me, the last two years I've been at main events of the biggest pay-per-views. I won match of the year. I've won wrestler of the year. I've won moment of the year. And this year I've kind of been put on the back burner a little bit for a purpose. I'm the type of guy you can plug into any situation to make that situation better. I think that's exactly what I've done this year. I may not have had the best matches, but I've had some of the best storytelling on the entire show."
Callihan doesn't just work inside the ring though, as he actively runs his Wrestling Revolver promotion, and that definitely gives him a unique macro-level perspective that he takes into every and any situation that comes his way.
"100 percent. I think it's something no wrestler in the business will ever understand, unless they're on that other side of the wall," Callihan said. "There are certain things that a wrestling office might do that might piss off a wrestler, but there are reasons for doing it. I think that's one of the things about me is I can really look at both sides of the fence and weigh out the pros and cons of every situation that I'm in. With the Wrestling Revolver up, it's a different kind of gratification. There's something that's extremely special about giving people all of the things you can for them to succeed. I think Wrestling Revolver has done just that. I call it wrestling for generations."
The industry has changed and evolved quite a bit over the past few years, but it can always improve and evolve further and for Callihan one of the main things the industry needs is a bit of edge, as well as an audience willing to give that a chance.
"I think one of the things that wrestling needs the most right now, and I think Impact Wrestling is doing that, is that little bit of edge," Callihan said. "In a time where fans are extremely split, saying 'We want wrestling to be more like the attitude era,' but then when people give it to them and there might be a couple of people online that don't like it, a company back peddles to appease everyone. People need to realize you can't appease everyone. I think Impact Wrestling is really good at that. They're not afraid to ruffle some feathers. They're not afraid to try some stuff that might offend a certain select point. Impact Wrestling is the company that I think is really on the forefront of what edgy professional wrestling means right now."
The use of social media as part of a character or a promotion has also changed quite a bit over the years, and while it gives fans a closer than ever connection to stars, that doesn't mean you have to cater to everyone.
"One of the things about wrestling right now is when you look at social media, the wrestling business has changed so much," Callihan said. "People need to act like stars. Wrestlers are stars. We're larger than life. I think some of the antics on Twitter have really humanized professional wrestling a little too much. People pretty much just begging for applause online. If people like you, they're going to like you. You don't need to beg people to like you."
We couldn't let Callihan without talking a bit of gaming, and since he's such a big Resident Evil fan, we had to talk about the big Resident Evil Movie Reboot that was recently announced, and why it's primed to deliver something fans of the games have been wanting for a long time.
"That's the biggest thing that I think makes a bunch of people mad is when people adapt a video game or adapt the book. They don't keep the same characters or storylines," Callihan said. "To be successful with making a Resident Evil movie, just give me Jill Valentine, give me Chris Redfield, give me Leon Kennedy. That's all people want. They'll be satisfied with it. I think if they're going to do that, which seems like the remedy, it's going to be extremely successful. It's one of the reasons I didn't really like the newest Resident Evil game. I didn't like that first person inside of a crazy haunted looking house compound. That's not the Resident Evil that I grew up on and love. That's why Resident Evil 4 still to this day is my favorite Resident Evil ever because I think it was the best of both worlds of everything they've done."
Hard to disagree with that on both counts, though I will always stan Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and I need that remake ASAP!0comments
You can catch Callihan in action every Tuesday on IMPACT! on AXS TV at 8 PM ET as well as on Bound For Glory, which will be available on Pay-Per-View on Saturday, October 24th at 8 PM EST.
What do you want to see Callihan take on next? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!