Sami Callihan, who went by the name Solomon Crowe in NXT, spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard site recently. Here are the highlights.
On why he asked for his release from WWE:
Everyone’s like, “You left NXT, and NXT is so hot,” but I have no hard feelings against NXT. Hopefully, I’ll be back there one day. But when I went in, a couple things happened–I got injured at one point, and I was just not being used. Now that I’m 28, I wanted to have the chance to leave and show them why they hired me in the first place. I’m still young enough to go back, so that’s what I’m doing now. I’m one of the only guys ever to walk up to WWE and quit, but I didn’t do it to be a badass. I needed to roll the dice, and it may pay off one day and it may not. But no matter where I am, whether it’s WWE or someplace else, I’m still a professional wrestler. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me.
On how he gave his notice to the company and Triple H:
I gave my notice in the office on a conference call. I left on no hard terms, and they knew I was miserable at the time. People said to me, “But you were making so much more money with WWE,” but it’s not always about the money–it’s about quality of life. Triple H showed up at the Evolve show [the night before the Royal Rumble], and that was the first time I got to see him face-to-face and talk with him. He said, “Man, I know how good you are, and to quit the top company in the world takes balls. You left on good terms and did it professionally, so if a spot opens, it’s yours.” I did everything by the book, and I want to be back, but at the end of the day, I realize WWE isn’t the only place that is professional wrestling. I can be a professional wrestler anywhere in the world. If my journey takes me back to WWE and WrestleMania someday, then that’s freakin’ awesome. But my career could take me to the Tokyo Dome or someplace else, and that’s why I left when I did. I have the chance to go out and do what I want to do.
You can read the entire interview here.