Sam Adonis described himself this way during a recent interview: “I always consider myself the most interesting wrestler you’ve never heard of.”

That may be debatable, as Adonis has made it a point that everyone takes notice of the gringo who’s headlined lucha libre shows in Mexico. It isn’t even his first interview.

But “El Rudo De Las Chicas” had lots to talk about when we recently caught up with him.

“We’re just getting ready to get into the TripleMania season,” he said, “which is our stadium series of three major events: Tijuana, Monterey, and Mexico City.  It runs from April 27th until August 13th, and that’s the meat and potatoes of our calendar year.  The August TripleMania in Mexico City is our equivalent of [WWE’s] WrestleMania.”

Of course, this interview is running after the first Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA) TripleMania show, which was April 27 in Monterrey. In the semi-final, it was Team United States (Sam Adonis, Q. T. Marshall, Parker Boudreaux, and Satnam Singh) managed by Jeff Jarrett beating Team Mexico (Laredo Kid, Octagón Jr. and Los Psycho Circus [Psycho Clown and Murder Clown]) by pinfall.

Adonis has been front and center of the promotion, even getting involved in a heated feud with the technico Psycho Clown. “I think it’s been acknowledged that I am the principal menace of AAA,” he said. “So now I’ve been dipping my toes into a bunch of different waters, including the legends like Vampiro, Cibernetico; guys that are the established long-term Mexican legends.” (Vampiro is currently on a retirement tour.)

“Being involved with them is great on so many levels because as a professional, I can learn from the best,” Adonis continued. “Just being seen in the same light as them, there’s a certain amount of rub off [or] attention you get, and for some of the fans that might not be modern wrestling fans, when they see Cibernetico in the ring with Sam Adonis, it’s gonna make them remember who I am.”

Adonis has been one of the dominant heels, or rudos, in Mexico for all these years.  Yet there are times if you follow his social media that he is seen posing for the Mexican fans and embracing them. That would fly in the face of what it means to be a hated heel.

“A lot of people have only seen my work in Mexico on a surface level, and you know, the funny thing about being a pro-American antagonist is I’m not really anti-Mexico. I think that’s what people assume; that it’s the foreign menace that [is like] The Iron Sheik type deal where I’m trying to take over the country and that’s not necessarily what the angle is,” explained Adonis.

“I just lean into the American stereotypes and I’m so overtly obnoxious and just all about the United States saying, ‘Hey, I’m from the best country in the world. Look at me!’ … I’m loud and annoying in a way that it irks people. That’s where the heat comes from. That’s what people get mad about. But at the same time, I truly do love Mexico. I love my time there. I love the people I’ve met there. So, it’s very easy for me to go ahead and fraternize with the fans.

“I think at this point, after seven years, I think I’ve become a fixture of lucha Libre,” Adonis concluded. “Even in my time with CMLL prior to AAA, I was working at the top of the card with some of the biggest stars. So, a lot of these guys end up realizing that it’s not a fluke; it’s not a flash in the pan. I cut my teeth in Mexico and now there is that respect level.”

In addition to his work south of the border, Adonis has other events coming up this May near his new home in Dallas, starting with the National Wrestling Alliance.

“I will definitely be at The Crockett Cup,” he said, “and as far as I’m aware right now, the plan is to do Sam Adonis versus EC3 for the NWA [Heavyweight] title.”  This will be the second time Adonis has gone after the Ten Pounds of Gold. The last time was when he faced Nick Aldis when Aldis held “Sweet Charlotte.”

NWA Crockett Cup 2024. Courtesy of the NWA.

But the big event on Adonis’ calendar will involve him returning to his hometown in Pittsburgh.

“WrestleRex is a project of mine that we started, I think, in 2019. Penta [Cero Miedo and] Fenix were good friends of mine and we were doing shows all over the country and we decided they’ve never been to Pittsburgh,” he recalled.  “So, growing up in wrestling, to me I could throw together an independent show on the back of a napkin in about 20 minutes, and we decided to do one in downtown Pittsburgh and we accidentally struck gold.”

“Honestly, the first event was so big and so good and it was one of those things it was like, ‘Man, I can’t let this thing go,” Adonis added. “From that point on, the team kept working and growing and now we survived the pandemic. We’re coming up on our 10th show.”

The next show is Thursday, May 23rd, headlined by Adonis against Laredo Kid.

“It works out perfectly because a lot of my friends and connections from wrestling businesses all around the country have availability and it really is kind of like a melting pot in a weird way. Things that you might not expect to see at your average independent show can pop up at our show just because of the crew that we do have. It’s the one thing I pride myself on is it’s almost invisible to the online wrestling community. The internet doesn’t care, the internet doesn’t pay attention to it. It’s not for internet wrestling fans, but the city of Pittsburgh actually cares.”

You can hear the pride in Adonis’ voice when he speaks of WrestleRex, and he is following in the footsteps of his father, Dan Polinsky, who promoted for years.

“It’s something unlike anything else in American professional wrestling. We have this production level that is literally TV quality; $300,000 worth of lights and sound and it’s just something unlike anything else. It’s one of the standing-room-only events, but it still focuses more on old-school wrestling. It’s not quite a modern internet take on wrestling. It’s much more 1987 Boston Garden wrestling, but it just has a different packaging. Those [shows] come every now and again and they’re a good excuse for me to fly home from Dallas to Pittsburgh and see my friends and family, put on a hell of a show and when you see it, you know how good it is.”

As for how Sam Adonis sees himself in the bigger picture of professional wrestling, he sums it up quite nicely: “I pride myself on the fact that I am a very old-school type journeyman wrestler where I’ve been everywhere and know everyone, and I’m good at what I do.  I’ve never mastered the art of being an Internet wrestler or catering to a certain niche. But I think my longevity and my body of work speaks for itself.”

TOP PHOTO: Sam Adonis talks about Rey Mysterio at the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Photo by Brad McFarlin