Sami Callihan recalls former WWE exec Canyon Ceman telling him “I don’t go out of my way to hire 5-foot-8 white kids from Ohio”

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

Ceman told Callihan that as Callihan was on his way out of WWE. 

A two-part interview with Sami Callihan was pushed out on the Wrestling is Life is Wrestling podcast feed. Callihan spoke candidly about his 2013-2015 run in WWE. 

He recounted the series of events that led up to his exit. Callihan stated that Canyon Ceman, former Senior Director of Talent Development, attempted to talk him out of leaving. Ceman told Callihan that he does not go out of his way to hire five-foot-eight white kids from Ohio and it was after that comment that Sami was firm on his decision to leave.

There was one line that Canyon Ceman said to me (when I was on my way out of WWE) that made me be like, nope, I’m done. He said, ‘Just so you know, I’m not saying the door’s gonna be closed or anything. You were one of the star pupils here, you did everything by the book. All the coaches have nothing but good things to say about you. But I don’t go out of my way to hire five-foot-eight white kids from Ohio,’ and I went, yep, I’m done. My decision — I’m about to shove this sh*t up your f*cking ass dude, and I get he has a hard job… His ass is on the line all the time, and I remember I left and I got home. I was like, ‘I f*cking did it. I f*cking did it…’

Prior to joining WWE, Callihan had a conversation with Gabe Sapolsky and was told that he should hold off on joining the company. 

With hindsight, Callihan wishes he listened. He feels if he waited a year, his run would have turned out better.

Gabe Sapolsky told me, he’s like, ‘You should hold off on signing to WWE’ and at the time, I was like, ‘Ah, no. You just want me for EVOLVE and Dragongate…’ He’s like, ‘You’re already the guy.’ He’s like, ‘If you give yourself one more year, you’ll be so unbreakable and bulletproof, by the time you go there, you’ll go there in a better position’ and he’s like, ‘Timing is everything’ and I wish I would have listened to him at that time. If I would have went in there with the same class as guys like Sami Zayn and Neville, I think I would have been looked at as differently but I was the first class of the Performance Center, which, that’s its own mess on its own. There was certain ways they had to go about business with new talent and everything else and if I would have been a year later when once they figured out what the P.C. was and Finn Bálor and Shinsuke (Nakamura) and Kevin Owens came in, I would have been in a different position there. But I came in as like the first class. I was one of the first people to walk through the doors of that building, I was the first class of that building and it was way different than what it even became into my time there.

Callihan is back working with TNA Wrestling. He’s also competing and doing behind the scenes work for MLW in addition to running the The Wrestling REVOLVER promotion.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Wrestling is Life is Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8779 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.