Sammy Guevara established himself in All Elite Wrestling's main event scene after it was revealed that Guevara was one of the men in Chris Jericho's Inner Circle faction. Guevara was recently on Jericho's Talk is Jericho podcast where talked about his time before signing with AEW including his time with Lucha Underground.
"That was a cool little thing going on. I only did Season 4," said Guevara. "It almost didn't happen because I was signed on to Aro Lucha. I got in there because of Konnan. I almost felt like he didn't care about me until he realized I was Cuban.
His contract with Aro Lucha made things complicated with Lucha Underground. The timing of everything worked out for Guevara as he explains that he was able to keep his name.
"Lucha Underground wanted first rights, but I said that I had signed with Aro Lucha, so they said that they couldn't sign me. I think there were some passport issues going on so those guys couldn't film, and then they hit me up at like 10 p.m. and asked me if I can get to a 6 a.m. flight tomorrow," explained Guevara. "I said I could, but I asked them if they sorted everything out with Aro Lucha because they were going to do this working agreement, and they said it was fine, they worked it out. Due to the fact that it was so last minute, they didn't change my name or anything. They asked me what they wanted my name to be, and I said that all my ring gear says Sammy Guevara so they said, ok, well, you're Sammy Guevara."
I actually worked with Jack Swagger over there. I did a crazy 20-foot moonsault off the top of the balcony onto just him. It was all my fault," admits Guevara. "He was very against the idea but thought it was my last night over there because I was getting my leg broken, so I said, well, who cares let's go out with a bang. I did it, and as I am going backward, all the ring steps are close so as I land I roll to the side, so I don't roll back and bonk my head. I roll my ankle so it was basically a broken-ankle thing. I roll him in the ring and the last thing I need to do is a springboard so I'm like, okay, come on, don't f**k me up right now, do this, and luckily my body didn't give up on me."
For many wrestlers, working in WWE is a dream come true. That was also the case for Guevara as he got to work a dark match for WWE.
"I did a couple of dark matches and when Adam Rose was doing his Rosebuds. I had an actual match with The Matadores, Primo & Epico. It was me and Laredo Kid. We had a really cool match. I did the 630 but I missed it but I was like, I'm showing out. Shout out to those guys they gave us more than they had to," said Guevara. "I remember when the ref was making the three-count, he was saying how this was the greatest dark match he has ever seen. It was funny too because he was saying thank you as he was pinning me."
Guevara got to fulfill a dream, and he received advice from a WWE legend after his dark match.
"I was this kid who said that I just wrestled for WWE, I'm like looking up in the sky and he was asking if I was good, and I said, oh, sorry, but yeah, I did a couple of dark matches," said Guevara. "Mark Henry told us that we had a killer match but he said don't get a big head. He said that this was a good moment but keep working hard."
His performance in his dark match led to him getting a tryout. Guevara details what he did at the tryout and who was there to led drills and scout the talents.
"I did have a WWE tryout in 2017, but I think it was just for me to get into the system," revealed Guevara. "It was definitely a difficult tryout. I was doing a bunch of cardio leading up to that. I had the elevation masks on. They were making us run the ropes, dropping down over bags, high knees holding on to the top ropes. We would do that in 5 different rings, and then line back up and do all sorts of different stuff. William Regal was there; Norman Smiley was there. Ricky Starks was in the tryout as well."
Guevara's tryout with WWE changed his opinion of the company. He talked about the attitude the trainers had towards him and other wrestlers who were pursuing the same career path.
"I don't think any wrestler got signed. I think a collegiate wrestler got signed. It felt that if you want to do this for a living f**k you, but these models, ex-Football players they treated them really good and almost shame on you for actually wanting to be a wrestler," said Guevara. "It seemed like when the cameras were on they really played it up. It felt like a whole gimmick to me because everyone was chill until the cameras were on and suddenly they start drilling and yelling at you. I'm like, alright, I see what this is. It definitely opened up my eyes because I wouldn't want to be there, maybe not ever, but certainly not now just because of the way they treated me. Maybe it's different now, I don't know, but during that time I saw that unless I was a somebody it's going to be hell here."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.