Don Callis, a wrestling industry veteran with over three decades under his belt, recently opened up about the secret sauce behind his divisive persona on an episode of "Busted Open." Callis, 60, currently helms "The Don Callis Family" in AEW, where he's become one of the most polarizing figures in the promotion.
"My character is essentially an unfiltered version of myself," Callis explained. "I've had to mask my true self for years. Imagine walking into a WWF locker room back in the day, needing to shake hands with 65 individuals whose intellect you secretly question—not just on the first day but every single day you’re there."
Locker Room Realities
Callis didn’t mince words when he revealed that this was not only the norm in WWF but also during his stint with ECW from 1999 to 2001.
It was there that he learned to navigate locker room politics and what he refers to as a sea of "morons." The veteran also recounted an eye-opening incident at LaGuardia Airport where police had to disperse a crowd of fans that had blocked an entrance.
"I didn’t hesitate to have a hundred fans told to vacate. Why? Because I simply don't care what others think. That's the essence of being unburdened. For once, I'm not portraying a character. I am authentically me, and it feels liberating," shared Callis.
Callis is now focusing on building "The Don Callis Family," a faction that was officially formed in May. Initially recruiting Konosuke Takeshita, the group has since expanded to include the likes of Sammy Guevara, Will Ospreay, and the newest addition, Powerhouse Hobbs.
In a wrestling landscape overflowing with characters seeking fan approval, Don Callis stands out for his unapologetic candor. Whether you love him or hate him, it's hard to deny that Callis has found freedom in embracing his most authentic self, and in doing so, he's kept viewers and fans thoroughly engaged.