Sammy Guevara Talks AEW Double or Nothing, Training with WWE HOF Booker T, Goals
This Sunday at AEW Double or Nothing, Sammy Guevara and the rest of The Inner Circle will battle MJF and The Pinnacle in the second Stadium Stampede match in All Elite Wrestling history.
The feud between the two stables began with MJF trying to infiltrate and destroy The Inner Circle before putting together his own stable with Shawn Spears, FTR, Wardlow and Tully Blanchard.
When the two groups met in the Blood and Guts match on May 5, MJF was able to secure the win by forcing Guevara to surrender to save Jericho from being thrown off of the cage. Being the villain that he is, MJF sent The Demo God flying anyway.
We had a chance to speak to Guevara ahead of the pay-per-view to discuss the upcoming match, his goals in wrestling, a lesson he learned while training with Booker T and much more.
Not only will Sunday's bout feature two of the most prominent factions in AEW, but it will also be only the second Stadium Stampede match in the history of the company.
We asked Guevara what we can expect at the PPV after last year's wild event:
"With Sammy Guevara, it's a show anytime I'm on. Every time I go out there, I do my best to give people something good to watch. I think that's pretty apparent with any match I have ever had with AEW, and Sunday isn't going to be any different.
"I'm always trying to outdo myself. This is the second Stadium Stampede and I'm in a competition with The Pinnacle, but I'm also in competition with last year's match. I want to be better than I was yesterday, so I am going to try to top what we did last year."
Going from Heel to Babyface
When MJF's nefarious plans were revealed to the world, the entire Inner Circle turned babyface in one fell swoop.
For Guevara, this will be the first time he has operated as a good guy since joining the company.
"Being a heel is easier for me," he said. "It just comes naturally. From the first Dynamite, people were booing me. I guess I just have one of those faces people want to punch. That's what I've heard. I try not to act to heelish or too babyface-ish. I just try to be me.”
Like many wrestlers, a lot of fans form perceptions about somebody's real personality based on their character. For Guevara, he feels like his heel persona is far removed from who he really is.
"I feel like I'm a genuine dude," he said. "In wrestling, you'll see a lot of people who are good guys on screen but in real life, they're real pieces of s--t. I get told a lot that I am much nicer than people thought I was going to be."
As one of the first handful of names to sign an AEW contract, Guevara has been around since the beginning. During that time, he has been part of many memorable moments.
We asked Guevara if there is anything that stands out to him from his time with the company:
"It's hard. I've had a lot of big moments in AEW. Getting chased and hit by the golf cart. A lot of these moments I mention, you'll notice they don't end too well for me.
"Getting to wrestle Matt Hardy on PPV and main-eventing last year's Double or Nothing were big moments. The first Dynamite, to me, felt like a main event."
The High-Risk Style
If you have ever watched a match featuring Guevara, you know he is a wrestler renowned for his high-flying ability and risk-taking style.
While he has always put his body on the line, the 27-year old spoke about how he is starting to be more careful with the choices he makes in the ring:
"Early on in my career, I was basically doing anything. I was taking powerbombs off the top rope, any crazy bump I can take. Recently, I'm trying to have some longevity and what I do is very dangerous. I have to pick and choose my moments now. I'm only 27, but I am feeling these bumps more than I did in my early 20s."
When we asked Guevara to talk about some of the injuries he has suffered during his career, it was surprising to find out one of his most painful ones had nothing to do with a high-flying spot:
"When AEW started, after Double or Nothing, I was finishing up my independent dates. I had a guy in a headlock, something super-simple. We went to stand up, and my knee popped. It was right before Fight for the Fallen, so I went into that show with a jacked-up knee. And the reason that happened was that I didn't stretch. I just kind of went out there. I paid for it that night. Nowadays, I try to warm up as best I can before matches."
Goals and Aspirations
When it comes to pro wrestlers, there are two main types of people: Those who go with the flow and those who are goal-oriented.
We asked Guevara which category he falls into and what goals he has left to accomplish:
"I'm definitely a goal-oriented person. My goal has always been to be the world champion and I said that on the first episode of Dynamite. I try to give people a good show and show that I can perform at the highest levels against guys like Kenny Omega and Hardy."
As a singles wrestler, Guevara has two titles he can chase: the AEW World and TNT Championships. When this feud with The Pinnacle is over, we can expect to see him return to focusing on his own success.
"I feel like this feud has been going on for so long that I lost sight of some of my goals," he said. "I want to get back on track and what I feel is my destiny, and that is becoming the champion."
When asked if he has anyone in mind that he is looking forward to facing, he took the time to single out another young up-and-coming talent:
"Jungle Boy. I think he and I would have an insane matchup."
Vlogging and Other Interests
Guevara's main focus is pro wrestling, but like many other wrestlers, he has branched out online to expand his brand and experiment with other forms of content like vlogging and comedy:
"Outside of wrestling, my interest is just making videos in general. Maybe later on in life, I'll be an editor or help make movies. I have always liked making videos and getting cool angles and things like that. Editing is always a pain when starting, but once I got into the process, I fell in love with it. It's therapeutic in a way. You feel like you're creating something.
"I like short stuff because I think our attention spans are small. I would love to one day make a movie in some aspect. I always thought of being on camera but after this past year with the vlog, I found that I really enjoy behind-the-scenes stuff and trying to help come up with the skits. That's an aspect I never knew I would like.
"As wrestlers, we all want to be the star of the show, but I'm finding that I kind of enjoy taking a backseat and helping to create."
Return to Touring and Training with Booker T
Starting on July 7, AEW will return to the road for a tour of various cities around the United States.
We asked Guevara if there is anywhere he is looking forward to working the most:
"I would love to go to Los Angeles because I have some friends over there. Houston, where I am from, we were going to do a show last April but then this whole mess [the pandemic] happened."
As a Houston native, Booker T's Reality of Wrestling training academy was where he chose to hone his craft. While he learned a lot from the trainers, Guevara said one of the most important lessons he learned from the WWE Hall of Famer had nothing to do with the physical aspect of the business:
"I trained there in 2010. Book was still somewhat busy back then but whenever he was ever there, he would give us all the time he had. One of the lessons he imparted on me might be something he didn't even realize affected me the way it did. He called me into his office before my first-ever match and asked me if I was ready. I said 'yes,' but the truth is you never really know if you're ready.
"I think he could tell I was nervous and told me 'Look, if the worst thing that happens to you is you go out there and have a bad match, life is going to be OK.' I remember that to this day because we get so caught up in our own heads with what is going on in the moment and that's not your whole life. It's just a little piece of it. If you make a mistake, you can learn from it and have a better tomorrow."
Guevara and the rest of The Inner Circle can be seen every week on AEW Dynamite and Sunday at Double or Nothing on B/R Live.