Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: San Adibus
Date: 03/13/2023
Your Host: James Walsh


Here is our brand new interview with Sam Adonis from MLW and Lucha Libre AAA!





On MLW and AAA having a great working relationship:
"It is awesome. Konnan has always beena great ally to MLW - He's done some work for them in the past in a creative capacity. And, he is still head booker for AAA. He always sees it from both sides of the coin. He knows what it is to be a promoter and he knows what it is to be a wrestler. I'm certainly grateful for everything that he's done for me. He's the one who essentially made it possible for me to pick up this position with MLW. It is great because there is so much great talent in Mexico who haven't really been seen yet and MLW has the perfect platform - It has the high production and it has the talent that can pull it off. It is great to see everyone working together. In a way, whenever I go an MLW show, even as we're all working together under the MLW banner, it has an almost "super show" feel to it - A convention like feel to it. You don't know who is going to walk through the door. Raven showed up last time, Lince Durado, Luchadors wrestlers... Whoever it is going to be, it definitely has a very exciting atmosphere to it!"


On being a fan of MLW in its original version:
"I think I am one of 5 or 6 guys currently on the Independents that can honestly say he was a fan. I remember when ECW closed and MLW came out, I bought the very first MLW event Genesis on DVD. I was fascinated! Because, it really did pick up the pieces where ECW had left off but also had brought new elements to what became the American indies with guys like Low Ki, Homicide. Then, they bring in guys like "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Kojima from Japan... So, their whole legacy has been very exciting to me. I think right now it is particularly exciting to be a part of the company as they are entering another transitional period."


On working with Cesar Duran and how he is an actor who gets pro wrestling so well:
"So, things didn't really line up for me to see Lucha Underground when it first was on. I was working in Europe and then in Mexico so I didn't really get to see what all the buzz was about. But, there was buzz! This all fell into place - The natural progression of my career and his career and we ended up coming here. He does take that different approach as they did creatively with Lucha Underground which has kind of blended into MLW. But, it has been awesome to get to work with him. We're so used to things being off the cuff in professional wrestling. But, he's one of the few actors that I've ever been around that can walk into a wrestling dressing room and just nail it. You can see the preparation he puts into it... He's an absolute gem of a human being, always in a cheerful mood... But, it isn't until he's in action that you realize he's in 18 segments on a 36 segment show! And, he nails everything whenever he can! It is so awesome to have him there. There are certain tricks like how he remembers his lines that he brings to professional wrestling that some of us, otherwise, wouldn't be able to know. ANd, he's learning some of the tricks of the trade with the impromptu nature of professional wrestling. So, it has been a really cool learning experience for the both of us! But, I think more than anything, he's a star! You can see the guy walk into a convenience store and see a bunch of people look and be like, "WHo is that guy?" Not the biggest guy in the world. But, I certainly think he's a huge asset to our product."

On growing up in a household where his father was a promoter and when he decided he wanted to be a wrestle:
"I actually don't remember when I decided I wanted to be a wrestler. Honestly, I was obsessed with the toys. When I was 2 or 3, my brother had all of the old rubber (WWE) LJN toys, we had most of the Hasbros, we had the AWA toys... We had everything! I remember when my dad would come back from business trips, he'd bring back new wrestlers... So, I remember from about 2 or 3 years old, I remember always being on the hunt for new... So, we would get wrestling magazines and I'd be like, "Look at this guy Shane Douglas... I wonder if he's got a toy? Oh, look at Jushin Thunder Liger from Japan. I wonder if he has a toy?" So, being a kid and constantly wanting to find new toys kind of led me to watching the videos we had and, like you said, it was like I didn't know why I liked it or loved it but I had to find out more about it and as much as I could about it. We had all of the classic Saturday Night's Main Events, Clash of the Champions, Memphis Wrestling, Golden Era of Wrestling from the 1960's on VHS some of which we had even before I was born, I'm sure. But, some kids would grow up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, I was born in 1989 and when I was a kid, I would watch Hulkamania on VHS from Coliseum Video every day! I'd be like, "Hulk Hogan versus Don Muraco. Who is Don Muraco? Why isn't he on TV now?" So, that combined with the boys and the magazines, there was always so much more I was looking for.... And then I saw ECW and that really changed my life. I was like, "This isn't Monday Night RAW, this isn't the old stuff. THis is new! ANd, it is good!" In a way, that resulted in me becomng a tape trader and exploring with the Japanese style... So, in a way, I got in wrestling because I was more of a wrestling nerd than everyone!"


On his brief WWE run and how he learned more after it than before:
"That is absolutely correct. At the time, getting released from WWE was the hardest experience of my life. Now that I've gotten a little bit older, you realize the universe sometimes unfolds as it should. I was the kid who got lucky and got signed early. But, if that had not have happened, the doors that opened since then would not have been open. I was able to get a job in Europe with Brian Dixon )thanks to William Regal), I was able to get a job and be taken seriously in Mexico with CML... So, yes, I did get 10 months of time working for the WWE. But, to say that I did it all in reverse wouldn't be correct because if I hadn't had that experience first, who is to say if I would've had the opportunities that I've ended up getting? I spent all that tiem thinking I was a really good young wrestler. But, you can't know then what you know now. And, now, I really feel I'm just about to hit that stride and I feel the best is yet to come and it all comes as a part of the natural progression of what happened in the past. "


On if it is intentional to not play on him being Corey Graves' brother:
"Definitely an intentional decision on my part. It is
always going to be a dark cloud over my career. I mean, those are big shoes to fill! But, if you look at my accomplishments over the past 10 years, there are very few independent wrestlers who have had the career that I have had. And yet, there are some who will say, "Well, that's just Corey Graves' brother." There are always going to be those people who try to discredit my accomplishments. Without sounding terrible, my opportunities were not given to me by my brother. I made those opportunities myself. I'm sure if my brother were in my shoes, he may or may not have been able to create those same opportunities. I'm sure someday, there is some money to be made here. He's so loved and respected on TV and I'm in a good position in the public eye. So, I think the future is bright!"


On learning to speak Spanish so well so quickly:
"I think that really played into each other. I spent a lot of time as a kid watching Lucha tapes. And, I spent a lot of time online learning the Lucha names. So, when I got to Mexico, I probably had a better understanding of the language than the average American would just because of my love of Lucha. That combined with my understanding of the culture, being able to make friends with some of the wrestlers, and also being in a sink or swim environment to where I had to learn... I would say about 3 months in, I had about 40% of my Spanish which led to TV and radio appearances which really added to my stock quite quickly."


On the pros and cons of his pro-Donald Trump persona in Mexico:
"Hindsight being 20/20, I thought I was doing something great. I was going out to dinner with CNN reporters. I was being covered by Reuters. So, thinking about what it is to be a professional wrestler, you want people who aren't wrestling fans to tune in to see you. You want the attention and to draw money. And, that is how it was. That was the good side of it. But, the online fan who live, breathe, eat, sleep wrestling who wake up every morning and immediately check the dirt sheets... They never saw past that. They didn't know who I really was. They didn't stop and think, "Hmm. He's an American who lives in Mexico and dates a Mexican girl." They didn't see past, "Oh my Gosh, that guy is a terrible human being!" Coming from a wrestling family, I still think a heel really needs to be hated. I think we're at a place now where everyone knows what wrestling is. Everyone knows what movies are too. But, an actor can do horrible acts in a movie and people know it is just a movie. But, a wrestler does a horrible act on a wrestling show and it is a cancel offense. So, I think I gave pro wrestling the benefit of the doubt. But, in the end, I think it really hurt me. People didn't want that. People didn't want politics in pro wrestling. Lets just say I'm glad that it is over!"


On how big MLW getting on Reelz truly is:
"I don't think it is getting anywhere near enough play. Right now, there is a fictional war happening in wrestling which is not really the case at all. I think right now, everyone has their own narrative. Every wrestling outlet has to get their sales, their patreons, their subscriptions up so they're painting these fictional battle lines where you're not supposed to like this one if you like that one... When in reality, being on a major national television network is huge news! Look at when ECW went to TNN in 1999! That was huge news! Impact Wrestling, AEW, and WWE are the only 3 wrestling promotions that have been on national TV in the past 10 years. Now there's a fourth one! And not only that, this fourth one has a lot of great talent on it! I remember in Beyond the Mat, there was a quote that ECW was the Ellis Island of Pro Wrestling. I think we have that now! The independents are more lucrative than they've ever been. You don't have to go out and work 150 shows a year to make a living. You can pick and choose where you want to go and how much you need to be paid to go and have your match. MLW is putting forth enough of the good stuff that a lot of the high quality talent want to come and work here. I think that is so important not just for right now but for future generations of professional wrestling. Everyone wants to get the big contract. But, until you have something to offer to those promotions, they're going to pay you what they want to pay you. If AEW continues to climb the ladder and continues with their big TV deal, then you can look and say, "Ok, where's he going? Is he going to WWE or to AEW?" Then, wrestling gets really exciting again!"


On who he hopes to wrestle in MLW:
"Honestly, Hammerstone and Jacob Fatu are two fo the talents that attracted me to MLW. Nowadays, a lot of wrestlers are a lot smaller and there aren't as many hard hitting heavyweights as there once were. So, if you made a list of the top 3 talents around that are over 250 pounds, I think our 3 names would come up a lot. I have been on a lot of shows with Hammerstone and Fatu all over the country. But, I haven't had a singles match with either of them. Given what each of our styles are, I think we compliment each other in a different way. I really think there is some magic to happen when I have my matches with those 2!"