The recently-released footage of CM Punk and Jack Perry getting into a fight at the All-In PPV last August prompted lots of online chatter between wrestlers and fans.

For Sam Adonis, one of the top babyfaces in Mexico, it brought back a memory of a similar situation he was involved with featuring the late New Jack (Jerome Young) and Brian Knobbs of The Nasty Boys. Adonis shared a teaser on X:

Naturally, we wanted more, so reached out to Adonis — who was wrestling as Sam Elias at the time (and his real name is Sam Polinsky) to tell the story in detail, and boy was he happy to spin the tale, edited slightly for length and content.

I’ll set the stage and give you a little bit of pretext about Florida Underground Wrestling. This was a place that ran two to three shows a week in South Florida between 2010 and 2014. Florida at the time was hot because FCW was there and Impact was running in Orlando.

A lot of people were moving to Florida to be around the scene, if you will. This company would run Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at these bars and it really wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t like there was a big market for it. It was basically just for fun for the wrestlers. There was virtually no money in it.

The bright side: The job perk was if you were one of the promoters’ guys — Howard was his name, [also known as] Dante Brown. You could be on his bar tab for the night and you might get some gas money and the next thing you know, he’s partying all night and that was kind of the fun to it.

But at this point in time, I mean, there were so many people in and out of the doors. On a random Thursday Low-Ki would be there, Jay Lethal would be there, Dakota Darsow, Lindsay Dorado; anyone you can imagine that was either unsigned or had been recently released, this would be their first stop. It was kind of like an Ellis Island of Florida wrestling.

But these shows were incredible. There were always great matches. Kevin Sullivan was there a lot. New Jack was actually a regular there, and it was just a fun night out. You didn’t really get much out of it career-wise. But you got to hear some good stories and you had some match experience, so, it worked out.

A Florida Underground Wrestling card from 2012 with New Jack and Kevin Sullivan.

A Florida Underground Wrestling card from 2012 with New Jack and Kevin Sullivan.

I just got to spend a lot of time with New Jack. I mean, he has his bad reputation, but I don’t have a bad word to say about the guy. He was an absolute blast to be around. Absolute sweetheart of a human being, always laughing. I can see why his reputation is what it is, but he personally has never done anything to me. I’ve only ever seen the good side to him, and the same can be said about Brian Knobbs.

He would pop in every now and again. I don’t know Knobbs [very well]. I would say I knew Jack better than Knobbs, but Knobbs was always fun-loving, in high spirits. I think anybody who knows Knobbs or has met Brian Knobbs knows that he’s a lot. But that probably can be said as a good thing. He just lights up a room.

So, he just comes around every once in a while, and just tries to talk to the young kids about inviting them to his school, and I don’t know if he was actually inviting him to work out and just come hang out or if he was trying to recruit indy guys to be students at his school. I don’t really know anybody who went, so I don’t know what the end game was.

One time it was a Thursday night at Gasoline Alley in Largo, Florida, and for whatever reason New Jack was there. Knobbs was there. I know Lindsay Dorado was there. I wanna say Kevin Sullivan was there. I don’t remember, I don’t recall all the names because the rotating door was just always opening and closing.

But Knobbs was there with like five or six people and he was just having a blast partying, getting wasted, and having a good time. He didn’t bother anyone up until this point. So, everyone’s just kind of laughing and Jack was always there, always in good spirits.

I think the way you stay on Jack’s good side is you don’t really test his patience. I remember sitting there, and I don’t know if it was before my match or after my match. I couldn’t tell you because it was probably 12 years ago now, but I was up against the wall and there was a table in front of me and New Jack was sitting on the other end of the table just playing on his phone or whatever, minding his own business.

A Florida Underground Wrestling card from 2012 with Sam Adonis as Sam Elias.

A Florida Underground Wrestling card from 2012 with Sam Adonis as Sam Elias.

Knobbs comes in and starts talking in the locker room just, “Hey guys! What are you doing? Oh, man, great show out there. You’re all working hard. You know what? Some of you guys, you should come work out at my school. You should come up to Clearwater. Me and The Bushwhackers have this school. I mean, you’re all really good, but you could be better. So, you know, just come up.”

I felt like it was almost more of an advertisement. He was coming in to try to see if any of the young boys were willing to jump on the Knobbs train, and New Jack was minding his own business and didn’t say anything. He’s sitting there looking at his phone and I think Knobbs might have said something about… I don’t know what he said and New Jack just kind of giggled. He laughed and I wanna say Jack said it was something that he read on his cell phone. That was the best story that came out later.

But he giggled and then Knobbs said, “What the hell are you laughing at, Jack? You know, you don’t know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch,” or something to that effect. I don’t remember exactly what he said. And then Jack was like, “Oh, yeah?” And he stood up and he punched Brian Knobbs square in the face harder than I’ve ever seen any human being get punched in my life. It was absolutely insane how hard he hit him.

To Knobbs’ credit, he didn’t go down.

He shook it off, and then they kind of bull-rushed each other. They were both almost in a hockey fight in a way. They both had each other by the shirt and they were swinging over the shoulder and hitting each other in the head and these boys were going at it and I still think like your average person would have been dropped from that first punch. Knobbs ended up coming right back after it. Next thing you know, Jack ends up pushing us up against the wall and Knobbs lost his balance and he fell to the floor.

New Jack stepped back and punted Knobbs right between the eyes with a Timberland boot and everyone [exclaimed], “Oh my God.” It was insanely brutal. But the funniest part about it is Knobbs just kept coming back and that would have been on a WorldStar Hip Hop video or some insanely viral violence, and these two, they just keep kicking the crap out of each other. After he kicked him between the eyes, he went down again and Jack started wailing on him from up top. He was punching down on him and nobody wanted to step in.

All of us were all kind of like, “Oh s***!” because New Jack has a reputation, you know? You don’t really wanna get into his business. He’s a grown man, let him handle his business. But at the same time, after 20 seconds of him unloading down on Brian Knobbs, we’re all kind of thinking, “Okay, he could kill this guy.” There was a guy named Kyle Blizzard, Bruce Santee, and me. We’re all big guys and we did security in the past. We all looked at each other. We didn’t say anything, but we all had the idea that this had to stop, but we didn’t wanna throw our weight around. We all went in as gently as we could and grabbed Jack.

We picked him up and took about four steps back and let him go and backed off. We wanted to make sure there was a good three feet in between Jack and any of us. And at that point, he’s screaming, “Get the… get off me! Get off me!” We let him go and backed off. Luckily at that point, Fidel Sierra, The Cuban Assassin, was in the room and he comes in the middle and says, “Damn it, Jack, knock it off! Knock it off! What the hell?” He stepped in between them to stop it from going any further, but it was just an absolute melee.

My memories would say, “Holy cow, the hype behind New Jack is real. He really is a freaking machine and a violent human being.” But the other side of the argument is that Brian Knobbs is one of the toughest mothers I’ve ever heard of in my life. The fact that he ended up taking all that punishment and kept coming back was pretty impressive.

[Knobbs] stood up, he had a bloody nose and his collar was stretched over to his shoulder. He’s like, “What the hell is that? What’s going on, man?” He’s saying, “I thought we were friends, man. What the f*** is wrong with you?” and [then] he goes, “Screw you, man. We have friends, we have friends. I don’t even know you.” He [continues saying], “We’ve been sitting together at conventions,” and all this. He and Jack end up arguing about it and calming down. Knobbs ends up leaving and he goes straight to the bar.

I don’t know if he was a little bit embarrassed but he just went straight to the bar, sitting there, and had all his friends and he’s telling everyone, “Oh yeah, I just got in a fight.” Literally, his nose is bleeding, sitting in the corner of the bar.

New Jack proceeds to cut a promo and talk to everyone in the locker room and gave us this motivational speech about how screwed up the wrestling business is and how we’re all human beings and we should never be disrespected by anyone or anything. That’s why 30 years in this business and I never had to sign a contract and kiss anybody’s ass because I don’t take disrespect. In a way, it was a very inspiring speech. It was like, “Holy cow!” It made you feel good.

After everything calmed down, I’m pretty sure New Jack left. At that point, me and Bruce and Kyle ended up going over and having a laugh. And I’m saying, “Dude, I didn’t wanna get caught with a right hook from New Jack.” We were on the same page. Like, the only way this was gonna work is if we got him off and backed [him] up because we really didn’t want that to [get heat], especially with New Jack. He could come back next week and do any manner of things he wanted to do [with us].

So, after that, New Jack left the locker room and [everything] calmed down. Everything’s good to go. The show continues. I walk out of the dressing room past the bar where Knobbs says, “Hey, kid. Come here, come here. Uh, I wanna thank you for stepping in there. That guy…? He’s an asshole. He is what he is. I don’t know what he thinks is up with him. I thought we were friends and he just kind of gives me the run down.”

He takes a moment and says [to me], “You’re a pretty big kid. You know if you ever come up to Clearwater, you can work out with us,” and I said, “Okay, cool. I appreciate that.”

And then somehow, he ended up getting back to saying, “Man, what a piece of work he is. That guy really thinks he’s tough, man. Well, he doesn’t know tough. He never had to work the Road Warriors seven nights a week.”

Then we both laughed and I walked away. It felt like a very comical ending to such a wild and surreal experience.

If you think about it, those are two names that if it was 1999, Knobbs against New Jack, [that] probably would have been a match. A lot of people would have wanted to see with hardcore guys, but to see them both street fight and go at it and actually whip each other’s ass was pretty impressive.

An early photo of Sam Adonis and one from 2019.

An early photo of Sam Adonis and one from 2019.

To put things in current perspective, it is noted to Adonis that the New Jack-Knobbs story puts the whole CM Punk/Jack Perry thing to shame.

“You just can’t even compare the two. Honestly, the Florida Underground Wrestling, because it was a little higher end than your average independent, everyone there thought they were the next big star,” recalled Adonis. “There was a lot of egos there and I would say just in that one or two year stretch, I saw more locker room brawls in Florida than I’ve ever seen in my career.

“But, to make a fuss out of locker room brawls? It is what it is. It’s almost a self-policing situation, you know? I think when there’s that much testosterone or that much competitiveness in any walk of life or any sports industry, anywhere people thrive to be the best, there’s always gonna be that competition and sometimes that boils over.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Upcoming, we will have more details on what Sam Adonis is doing these days, including promoting, AAA Triplemania and the NWA Crockett Cup.

TOP PHOTO: Brian Knobbs and New Jack. New Jack photo by George Tahinos,