In Mexico City, there’s an American who’s one the most popular wrestlers in the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) industry—aka World Boxing Council. (Yes, we’re talking professional wrestling in Mexico.) For four months, this guy has been a highly sought-after figure in the Mexico’s capital.
And would you believe he hails from Pittsburgh?? That’s right; this PAer has successfully made a comfortable life in Mexico—add on the competitiveness of their wrestling world. Additionally, Mr. Sam Polinsky (real name) is only 27-years-old—tack on being blonde and towering. Compared to other luchadores, he definitely stands tall among his body-slamming peers. However, he didn’t hit wrestling stardom until he realized an angle that would shoot him to the top—Mexico hates President Trump (with a fury).
“Wrestling always kind of plays off what’s happening in the mainstream [media], so I was thinking about it and I said, ‘Yeah, if [Trump] wins, I’m getting myself a flag with his face on it,’” Adonis said in a phone interview. “And once [the audience in 16,500-seat Arena Mexico] see that big, orange spot on the flag, you can just instantly (in one moment) feel the room change. It’s a fever pitch.”
But his professional moniker as a mega-Trump fan wasn’t simply his creative epiphany. Sam pulled from his heroes—the old-school crew (think Hulk Hogan, Junk Yard Dog, Andre The Giant…). For Adonis, it was Iranian-American WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik—unbeknownst to many, The Sheik rocked that Iranian flag intentionally. He knew it would incite anger in his audiences. Back in the ’80s, The Sheik and Hulk Hogan made quite the spectacle in the ring.
[Video: courtesy of The Channel of Personality]
Back then, infinitely many loved and adored pro wrestling, as we truly believed it was legit. Hulk Hogan was America’s hero, and the Iron Sheik portrayed himself as the nefarious, Iranian who spited the US—no way was The Hulkster gonna lose to him! Well, Adonis took that spirit and ran with it. He thought, “Why not? Let’s play this up. Get a picture of Donald Trump instead of the Ayatollah, and the people will be just as pissed off.” Nothing could’ve been more perfect.
“The energy in the arena is always great, but when I’m out there, it’s just absurd,” Adonis said. “The hatred—it’s almost a hostile environment. I’m sure there [are] places in Afghanistan more tranquil than this.”
Don’t forget there’s always a silver lining of truth behind sarcasm.
It was a February-evening performance. Sam Adonis was part of a trio of “rudos (Spanish for “heels”).” Adonis’s team went up against three of Mexico’s finest. The crowd kept yelling, “Get out!” at our Adonis—beer and kernels of popcorn showered Sam and his teammates. Many shouted profanities in glib delight as everyone cheered on the winning team—beloved luchador Blue Panther with Triton and Drone!
“There is a lot of ill will for Trump’s character, and because of that, every time they hit him, we enjoy it,” wrestling-fan Gerardo Romero told the media at the show.
While Adonis catches a lot of “uncomfortable” heat in the ring—even his Mexican girlfriend joins in on the hatred (which at times has been borderline life-threatening)—it’s mellow out on the street. People are friendly when it’s not go time.
“People are enamored…that I put them through such a good show,” he said. He explained his persona is comparable to the bad guy in a graphic novel—and pro-wrestling goers view him as such.
“In order to have a good good guy, you need to have a good bad guy,” Adonis added. “I’m just doing my job. … Wrestlers don’t get enough credit for being masters of human psychology. I know how to take people on an emotional roller coaster, so the fact that I can get people in such a frenzy and control them the way I want to, there’s an artistic pride behind that.”
There’s no shortage of cannon fodder for Adonis when it comes to the president. In the height of the presidential election, conservatives pointed at Mexico for delivering “rapists,” “criminals” and “bad hombres” to North America. There was also the now-in-process border wall—Mexico took heat for that too.
Because of all the drama, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto actually decided against his scheduled visit to the US capitol. More, Mexican-government officials are staunchly against paying for the wall. But their citizens protested in anger—they viewed Nieto as inferior when compared to President Trump. The protesting spanned across many, Mexican cities.
While Sam didn’t officially weigh in at the 2016 election, he actually doesn’t hold ill will toward the president—he might’ve even voted for him. Regardless, the Pittsburgh native would like to see peace between the US and Mexico. Meanwhile, luchador Adonis continues to support Trump—more than anyone!
“I respect the fact that he’s kind of a villain. He’s kind of embraced his position as you like me or you don’t, but I’m not changing,” Adonis said. “It is almost a professional-wrestling mentality, and I have a sympathy for that.”
Adonis recalled Donald Trump and Vince McMahon being featured together in many pro-wrestling spots in the ’90s. If President Trump ever wanted to be on the outside, looking in, Adonis said, “Get him a lucha libre mask and hide him in the audience as one of the fans. That’d be great.”