The following week on Raw, Callihan emerges and goes to the ring to explain himself after his attack on The Miz:
I made a mistake in my actions last week. I made in injuring The Miz, and for that...I'm sorry. I don't regret attacking the little poster boy for the hypocritical and the privileged, no. He has what I need to show the WWE and all of you that I belonged here from day one. He has what I need to climb up the ladder and displace the rest of the spoiled Superstars like John Cena and Sheamus. He has what I should have - the United States Championship.
And because I was rash and impatient, now I have to wait until he finally grows the guts to climb back in here with me so I can take it. I'm only sorry that I delayed the inevitable and gave The Miz an excuse not to face me in this--
Callihan is interrupted by Kofi Kingston's music. Kingston stands on the ramp to address Callihan:
Hey! Look, I get it. You're the next big thing and you should already be at the top of then heap. Most of us-all of us who lace up the bots have that goal. We also understand we have to put in the work to get there. Scoring win after win is impressive, I'll give you that. But injuring The Miz like you did? That won't fly around here, understand me? He and I were never the best of buddies, but your actions and what you did to him was the wrong way to go, my man.
Callihan studies Kingston momentarily, then the light bulb goes off.
You know, you seem pretty confident about how things work around here and in laying down the law. I'll tell you what "sheriff" - I'll give you a couple days. To get ready and meet me in this ring and show me "how things work" around here. Why don't have our day in court on Main Event?
Kingston nods and accepts. The announcers hype up the match set for Main Event. They also announce that Miz has suffered a partial MCL tear and maybe out for the next three months. The announcers state no decision
The match between Callihan and Kingston is a spirited affair with both men gutting it out, struggling to make their point. After a little over 15 minutes, Callihan taps Kofi with Muffler. Calihan refuses to break the hold after the match is over and the referee counts, threatening to reverse the decision. Callihan releases the hold at 4 after match and walks away from Kofi, raising his hands as if to signify that he's done here. Kofi's knee is sore, but he is able to walk away wondering why Callihan didn't injure him as well.
Backstage at Raw the following week, Callihan is backstage being interviewed by Josh Matthews. When asked why he didn't do to Kingston what he did to The Miz, Callihan responds:
Kofi, I spared you because, despite being an 'ambassador' for this company, you've still never really been given a chance to take the ball and run. You show up for all these Be A Star appearances and everything else they need you for, but you haven't had opportunity handed to you on a platter like Sheamus, or John Cena, or Ryback...or especially The Miz. You've never--
Kofi interrupts Callihan backstage:
“Spared” me? I’m the second one you’ve tried to put on the shelf since you got here. And this time, I’m not waiting for any Main Event. I’m looking to take care of this NOW.
Callihan goes to accept the challenge, but William Regal walks into the shot (in front of Callihan) and approaches Kingston:
Now, listen Kofi. I understand wanting a piece of this ruffian, but if you go down there and take him on in this condition, your career may end for sure. This toerag is tailor-made--
Regal whips around to face Callihan.
--for me to teach some respect to in that ring.
Callihan's look is part fear, part respect, and part "I really don't want to do this." He nearly begs to be let out of the match as the show cuts to commercial.
The match begins a few segments later. Callihan goes to shake Regal's hand and Regal bats it away, getting in Callihan's face about injuring the Miz and nearly Kingston as well. Callihan pleads with Regal, yelling over and over: "Don't make me do this!" Regal, game face on, locks up.
The match is a battle of attrition, but ultimately Callihan gets the win, tapping Regal with the Stretch Muffler. As the bell rings, Callihan immediately releases the hold. He checks on Regal afterward, making sure he is okay. Regal eyes Callihan curiously and assures him he will be fine.
Backstage, Matthews catches up with Callihan about his reluctance to face Regal and his refusal to hurt him:
William Regal never had anything handed to him. If there's one man to respect in this company, it's the same man that this company has treated like the dirt on its boot for 15 years - William Regal. I'm not about to hurt him or treat him otherwise--
Regal limps by backstage with one of the trainers. He stops in front of Callihan and gets in his face. He then tells Callihan:
We need to talk, young man.
As Regal walks away, Callihan grins at Regal as scene fades to black. The following SmackDown, Callihan takes down Curt Hawkins. William Regal, with a slight but noticeable limp, watches on silently from the entrance ramp.
The next week on Raw, Sami Callihan emerges from the back - and is followed by William Regal to the ring. As the two get to the ring, Callihan looks proud as Regal talks:
It’s well-documented that I’ve never exactly played by the rules. I can respect great competition and, in my years as a competitor, that’s what I’ve come to respect above all else. However, I’ve had to fight and scrap for most of my life leading up to that. Rules may not mean much when your very survival is at stake. I can understand both ways of thinking, for sure.
I see both of those mindsets here in young Mr. Callihan. I see a man driven to be the best but, because of the obstacles that the world has placed in front of him on his way here, sees it as more of a mission to continue his very existence, let alone any success this lad may be able to achieve. And he certainly has the skill to be able to achieve that success; he simply needs temperament. Guidance. An angel on his shoulder to let him know when to be honorable as well as a devil to instruct him to finish his fellow man off. After seeing a kindred spirit in Mr. Callihan, I have decided to be all of those things for him.
Callihan receives the microphone handed to him by Regal.
I told you all last week - If there's one man to respect in this company, it's this man, who’s never had anything handed to him. He’s been made to look like a buffoon for a decade and a half here, and anyone who knows anything about this man’s history knows he deserves better. I am honored to be taken under his wing and I will come to learn - as will all of you - how far is far enough.
It is announced later that night that Callihan will meet Santino Marella at the YouTube pre-show for Payback six days from then.
At the Payback pre-show, Callihan handily defeats Marella with the Stretch Muffler. After Marella submits, Callihan refuses to break the hold until Regal slides under the bottom rope at the count of four and yells at Callihan, “That’s enough!” Callihan releases the hold on Marella and stares at Regal. The look on Callihan’s face is one of displeasure, but he nods at Regal after a few tense seconds. Callihan then follows Regal to the back.
TO BE CONTINUED...