Callihan in January 2016
|Birth name||Samuel Alton Johnston|
September 1, 1987 |
Bellefontaine, Ohio, United States
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Cannonball Sammy
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Billed weight||207 lb (94 kg)|
|Billed from||Bellefontaine, Ohio
The Last House on the Left
|Trained by||Les Thatcher
He has worked for several independent promotions throughout the United States. He found the most success in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), but has also wrestled for Dragon Gate USA, Evolve, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Full Impact Pro, and All American Wrestling. In CZW, he held the CZW Iron Man/New Horror Championship, the CZW Ultraviolent Underground Championship, and the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship, and won the 2012 Best of the Best tournament. He was signed to WWE from 2013 to 2015, appearing in its developmental promotion NXT under the ring name Solomon Crowe.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Heartland Wrestling Association (2006–2011)
- 1.2 Chikara (2008)
- 1.3 Insanity Pro Wrestling (2006–2011)
- 1.4 Combat Zone Wrestling (2008–2013)
- 1.5 Pro Wrestling Syndicate (2009–2010)
- 1.6 Evolve (2010–2013)
- 1.7 Dragon Gate USA (2010–2011)
- 1.8 Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2012–2013)
- 1.9 Ring of Honor (2008–2009)
- 1.10 WWE
- 1.11 Return to the independent circuit (2015–present)
- 1.12 Lucha Underground (2016)
- 2 In wrestling
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Professional wrestling career
Heartland Wrestling Association (2006–2011)
Shortly after his debut, Callihan became a member of "The Crew" faction, which also consisted of Jon Moxley, Dick Rick and Pepper Parks. Callihan began regularly competing for the Heartland Wrestling Association, and faced wrestlers including Chad Collyer and Nigel McGuinness.
He competed in Chikara's 2008 Young Lions Tournament. He advanced to the finals of the 2008 Ted Petty Invitational tournament with victories over Chris Hero, Eddie Kingston and 2 Cold Scorpio. On September 28, 2008, he competed for the HWA Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match, also involving Drake Younger, but lost to Jake Crist. On November 26, 2008, he was eliminated by HWA Heavyweight Champion Jake Crist in the Thanksgiving Eve eight-man tag team elimination match. In a rematch on October 1, 2008, he was again defeated by Jake Crist. In 2011, Callihan made it to the final of the first Heartland Cup tournament against Jake Crist.
Insanity Pro Wrestling (2006–2011)
Callihan began wrestling for IPW throughout 2006 as "Cannonball Sami" until late 2006 when he underwent a name change to Sami Callihan. In 2007 at IPW Reign Of The Insane 6th Anniversary Show Callihan gained entry into the IPW 2007 Super Junior Heavyweight tournament beating Dustin Rayz, xOMGx, and Louis Linaris to qualify, but lost in the first round to Diehard. In 2008 at Uprising Callihan began feuding with IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion Billy Roc after a controversial double pin in a four-way match for the title, also involving Ricochet and Shiima Xion. The next month at Legally Insane Callihan and Roc teamed up in a losing effort against "The Messiahs of a New Age" of Dustin Rayz and Lou Roberts. Callihan and Roc would have their first singles match for the Junior Heavyweight Championship at Heatstroke which ended in a time limit draw. The next month at Crowning Point Callihan and Roc wrestled in a Pure Rules match, which ended in a no contest, and the pair faced off at IPW Reign of the Insane 7th Anniversary in a ladder match in which Callihan beat Roc for the IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship. The next month at the IPW Super Junior Heavyweight Tournament Callihan defeated Q Skillz, CJ Otis, and Justin Andrews en route to the final, where he lost the Junior Heavweight Championship to Aaron Williams. Callihan would not make another appearance for IPW until late 2009 at Reign of the Insane Stage 2 8th Anniversary losing to James Avery. On May 18, 2010, he defeated Toby Klein at the JC Bailey benefit show. Callihan returned to competing regularly for IPW in 2011. At IPW Showdown In Naptown Callihan defeated Kyle O'Reilly, and later that night formed an alliance with IPW World Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Jacobs by saving him from an attack by Dustin Rayz and Sweet Lou Roberts. On May 7, 2011, at Keep the Faith Callihan would wrestle in a four-way match also involving Jake Crist, AR Fox, and Zack Sabre, Jr with Fox winning the match. On June 18 at Revelations Callihan defeated Jake Crist for the vacant IPW World Heavyweight Championship. Callihan held the championship until November 7, 2011, at Insane Intentions, when he lost it to Jake Crist in a triple threat match that also involved B.J. Whitmer.
Combat Zone Wrestling (2008–2013)
Callihan made his CZW debut at "Summer School" on June 14, 2008. At the 2008 Chri$ Ca$h Memorial Show, he won the Chri$ Ca$h Memorial Battle Royal. He defeated LuFisto to earn a spot in the main event at Cage Of Death X.
At the Decade of Destruction – 10th Anniversary show on February 14, 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Callihan defeated Jon Dahmer; originally the match was supposed to be Dahmer versus E.M.O., but as E.M.O. was making his way to the ring, the Arena's video screens showed Callihan arguing with CZW management and demanding a title match. Management denied his request, and instead told him that if he defeated Dahmer he could have a title match whenever he wanted. This led to Callihan attacking E.M.O.and taking his spot in the match against Dahmer, which he then won after a distraction by Jon Moxley. Later that night Callihan went to the ring after CZW Iron Man Champion Brain Damage and his Cult Fiction tag team partner Deranged had lost a match to The H8 Club. He brought a referee with him, and after Callihan threatened him, the referee sanctioned an immediate match, which Callihan won to become the new champion. At the Eye for an Eye event on April 13, Callihan declared that the championship would now be known as the "CZW New Horror Championship". On June 13, 2009, Callihan lost the championship to Egotistico Fantastico. On October 25, 2009, Callihan defeated Danny Havoc to win the CZW Ultraviolent Underground Championship, but the lost the title the same day to Thumbtack Jack. On April 10, 2010, at Swingin For The Fences Callihan received a match for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship in a losing effort against Switchblade Conspiracy partner Jon Moxley. In November 2011, Callihan defeated Adam Cole for the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship. The following April, Callihan won the Best of the Best XI tournament. He lost the title to Drake Younger at 5 de Mayo. Callihan won the title for a second time on July 14, 2012, in a 60-minute Ultraviolent Rules Iron Man match, but lost it the same day to AR Fox.
Pro Wrestling Syndicate (2009–2010)
On May 29, 2009, Callihan debuted for Pro Wrestling Syndicate at their Brawl For Paul event, where he lost a four-way match, also involving Xavier, Monsta Mack, and winner Trent Acid. On August 10, 2010, Callihan was part of The PWS Majestic Twelve Title Tournament. In the opening round he teamed with Dan Maff to defeat Adam Cole and Bandido Jr, and went on to defeat Maff in the second. In the final Callihan pinned Danny Demanto, but was then pinned by Devon Moore. On May 27, 2011, Callihan defeated Dan Maff, and then defeated Devon Moore to win the PWS Heavyweight Championship in a match that included run-ins by Kevin Matthews, Maff, Danny Demanto, Velvet Sky, and Mick Foley. He went to defend the championship against Colt Cabana, Jay Lethal, and The Great Muta.
On May 1, 2010, Callihan debuted for Evolve at Evolve 3: Rise or Fall in a winning effort against Adam Cole. On July 23, at Evolve 4: Danielson vs Fish, Callihan gained his second victory defeating Arik Cannon via submission. Matches against wrestlers including Zack Sabre, Jr., Brodie Lee, AR Fox, Bobby Fish, and Dave "Fit" Finlay at Evolve 9 followed. On April 5, 2013, Callihan took part in a tournament to determine the inaugural Evolve Champion, where he made it to the finals, before losing to AR Fox.
Dragon Gate USA (2010–2011)
On July 24, 2010, Callihan made his debut for Dragon Gate USA, losing to Jimmy Jacobs in a dark match. After wrestling several matches for the promotion through the rest of the year, Callihan was placed in his first angle on April 3, 2011, at Open the Ultimate Gate, when he and Arik Cannon walked out on a six–way match. Later in the event, Callihan and Cannon announced they would be forming a tag team named the D.U.F. (Dirty Ugly Fucks) and defeated The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis) in their first match together. On June 5 at Enter The Dragon 2011, Callihan and Arik Cannon were joined by Pinkie Sanchez, and picked up a major win over the tag team of Open the Dream Gate Champion Masaaki Mochizuki and Susumu Yokosuka.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2012–2013)
Callihan made his debut for the Southern California-based company Pro Wrestling Guerrilla on April 21, 2012. At the sixth annual Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament, he teamed with Roderick Strong to take on 2 Husky Black Guys (El Generico and Willie Mack) in a losing effort in the opening round. After the match, Callihan challenged PWG World Champion Kevin Steen to a title match, which took place later that day; Callihan lost the match. In his next appearance on July 21, he was beaten by Michael Elgin at PWG's nine-year anniversary event, Threemendous III. In September, he got his first series of wins at the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles; he defeated Willie Mack to advance to the quarterfinal round, where he beat TJ Perkins. In the semi-final, he lost to eventual winner Adam Cole. At Mystery Vortex on December 1, he was victorious over Drake Younger. After the match, it was announced that Callihan and Younger would participate in a best of three match series to determine a number one contender for the PWG World Championship. At the 2013 Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament, which took place on January 12, 2013, Callihan fought Younger in a non-tournament knockout or submission-only match. Callihan lost the bout when he tapped out, tying the score. On March 22, 2013, Callihan lost the series, when he was defeated by Younger in the third match, a Guerrilla Warfare match. On June 15, Callihan wrestled his PWG farewell match, a 60-minute Iron Man match, where he unsuccessfully challenged longtime rival Adam Cole for the PWG World Championship, losing the match six falls to five.
Ring of Honor (2008–2009)
On November 11, 2008 Callihan made his Ring of Honor debut at Escalation in a losing effort in a four-corner survival match also involving Go Shiozaki, Rhett Titus, and Grizzly Redwood. Callihan appeared on the inaugural episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling on HDNet, which aired on March 21, losing to Kenny King.
On October 23, 2012, Johnston wrestled a dark match for WWE, in which he was defeated by Johnny Curtis. In April 2013, it was reported that Johnston was undergoing medical tests for the promotion, and on May 27 Dragon Gate USA confirmed that Johnston had signed with WWE.
On August 29, 2013, under the new WWE ring name Solomon Crowe, he debuted for WWE's developmental system NXT, albeit at a live event, with a loss to Xavier Woods. He would fail to appear on televised episodes of NXT for more than a year, instead being restricted to live events or dark matches during television tapings. At a live event on December 6, 2013, Crowe assumed the character of a hacker, using a tablet computer to seize control of the arena lights, and attacked Kalisto. At the February 28, 2014 NXT television tapings, Crowe defeated Sylvester Lefort in what would have been his NXT television debut, but the match was removed from the episode; it was supposed to air for the March 6, 2014 NXT. In August 2014, Johnston suffered a chipped tibia during a tag team match with Kalisto against The Ascension; the injury did not require surgery and he was able to return to the ring in November. In late 2014, Crowe wrestled a number of dark matches on NXT, including one against the returning Brian Kendrick.
From the January 28, 2015 episode of NXT, WWE began airing teasers for Crowe's television debut. On the February 18 episode of NXT, Crowe made his anticipated television debut, attacking CJ Parker. In his first televised match on the March 4 episode of NXT, he defeated Bull Dempsey.
On November 24, it was announced that Johnston had requested and received his release from his WWE contract the day prior.
Return to the independent circuit (2015–present)
On November 28, 2015, after being released from WWE, Johnson returned to the independent circuit, switching back to his Sami Callihan character where he appeared at All American Wrestling's Windy City Classic XI event. He attacked new AAW Heavyweight Champion, Eddie Kingston.
On December 4, 2015, he returned to Rockstar Pro Wrestling to face and defeat long time friend Jake Crist at the Killer XMas ippv.
Lucha Underground (2016)
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Space Dementia" by Muse
- "Bad Things" by Wednesday 13
- "Seagulls Over Rhinocerus Bay Part 2 by Foxy Shazam
- "Can't Trust Anyone" by Oh No Not Stereo (NXT; December 6, 2013 – May 6, 2015)
- "Mass Appeal" by CFO$ (NXT; May 13, 2015 – November 24, 2015)
- "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Metallica
Championships and accomplishments
- Absolute Intense Wrestling
- AIW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Matt Riot
- Combat Zone Wrestling
- Insanity Pro Wrestling
- Maryland Championship Wrestling
- Shamrock Cup (2011)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling Syndicate
- PWS Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- Squared Circle Wrestling
- 2CW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
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- Meltzer, Dave (October 24, 2011). "October 24 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2011 Hall of Fame issue, GSP down, Bound for Glory and Bobby Roode, Hogan vs. Sting, giant issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, CA): 37. ISSN 1083-9593.
Jeff Katz's Wrestling Revolution Project taped its first season in Los Angeles this past week. [...] Sami Callihan & Alex Zikos are a tag team called Satanic & Profitable, or S&P.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 29, 2013). "Thurs. update: Magnus missing TNA tapings, rebooking of tourney needed, White hints next Sonnen fight, Lots of changes with more UFC on FS 1, WrestleMania 2016, WWE tryout camp, Barnett vs. Mir, New Muto promotion on PPV, New Japan PPVs now in English". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sami Callihan.|
- Combat Zone Wrestling profile
- Online World of Wrestling profile
- Match History at Indy Wrestling News