wrestling / Columns

Sammy Guevara’s Road To Stardom In AEW: From A Panda Head To The Main Event

July 7, 2021 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos
Sammy Guevera

Sammy Guevara just competed in the main event of AEW Dynamite in a match against MJF, a match that the Pinnacle leader only won by cheating. This comes after Sammy was the man who won the Stadium Stampede match to keep The Inner Circle alive.

Finally, Sammy has shown his potential in AEW and is proving he has what it takes to be a main event star.

However, his road there was not an easy one.

Sammy Guevara’s start in AEW

Sammy Guevara had been around since shortly after AEW launched. However, his road to the top was not as smooth as his fans might have liked.

Cody Rhodes likely had a hand in Sammy joining AEW. He previously went down to work with Sammy in a match in 2016. Cody must have liked what he saw because just over two years later, AEW signed Sammy on February 7, 2019.

He debuted at AEW’s inaugural event, Double or Nothing.

His first match was a loss.

That match saw Sammy battle Kip Sabian, and both men had a similar focus on building their brand both in the ring and on social media. Kip Sabian is a gamer who mostly streams on Twitch. Sammy has a vlog that he posts videos on, most from wrestling shows that he works at, but also many at home with his friends.

Kip Sabian has over 16,000 followers on Twitch. Sammy Guevara has over 163,000 subscribers on YouTube. Sabian built his persona as Super Bad on Twitch and in the ring. Sammy built his fanbase by focusing on his life as a wrestler, although he didn’t start with anything close to a Super Bad gimmick.

Sammy came to the ring with a panda bear face on his head.

“Pandas are chill, right? They eat bamboo, they’re just chilling but they’re a bear, so if you mess with it, it’s going to kill you,” Guevara explained. “I feel like, that’s me. I’m a chill dude but get in the ring with me, I’m not a chill dude no more.”

When looking at the two, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Kip Sabian beat Sammy Guevara, although both showed promise in that match. Larry Csonka gave the match three stars and said, “This was good and fun, but not as smooth as I would have hoped, but both guys looked good.”

At Fight for the Fallen 2019, Sammy was in a six-man hardcore match where he teamed with MJF and Shawn Spears to beat Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela. Two years later, MJF and Sammy are fighting in the main event on AEW Dynamite in a match where Spears interferes, while Darby Allin is in an angle with Sting. Think about that for a minute.

Then Guevara got a huge chance on the very first episode of AEW Dynamite. He got to wrestle Cody Rhodes, ensuring that people would pay attention to this up-and-coming young star. Guevara lost, but Cody makes almost everyone he wrestles look good.

However, after the match, Chris Jericho attacked Cody Rhodes and beat him down. Later that night, Jericho created the Inner Circle, and Guevara was part of the first major heel faction in AEW history.

Sammy Guevara treading water in the Inner Circle

The Inner Circle featured AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, multi-time TNA tag team champions Santana & Ortiz, former WWE Champion Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara, who Jericho labeled the “Spanish God,” which is a lot better nickname than Panda Head.

However, things didn’t go well for most members of the Inner Circle. Santana & Ortiz have never won the tag title and Guevara has yet to hold an AEW singles title. Even worse, heading into 2021, Sammy Guevara had a record of 20-20, sitting at .500, and losing most of the major matches he competed in, despite looking great the entire time.

Sammy also took part in the first Stadium Stampede match where The Elite ran over him with a golf cart. It was Guevara who took the loss when Kenny Omega pinned him after a One-Winged Angel from the stadium seats.

Sammy Guevara also missed some time in 2019 when a 2016 podcast he took part in popped up. Sammy was talking about Sasha Banks and said he would “r*pe” her as his way of expressing how hot he thought she was. It was clearly in poor taste and AEW suspended him indefinitely without pay.

He took the time off and posted a vlog talking about what happened. He took complete responsibility for his words and apologized to Sasha. He contacted Banks to apologize personally and talked to her about his words and actions. The big thing is that he didn’t make excuses. He said in 2016 he thought it was funny to use shock humor to make people laugh, but he knows it wasn’t funny. He said this was something that would never happen again with 2019’s Sammy Guevara.

It was a big move for Sammy Guevara.

It’s time for Sammy to move to the top of AEW

Sammy Guevara returned one month later. This led to a feud with Matt Hardy and eventually his rivalry with Shawn Spears as the Inner Circle turned babyface and began feuding with The Pinnacle.

It seemed like it was time for Sammy Guevara to start his rise to the top. This all started at the second Stadium Stampede. Sammy lost the first year and was mostly the joke thanks to the golf cart moment. However, people remembered it and Sammy never stopped working to make it to the top.

He credits Jericho for his dedication to being the best.

“He’s such a mastermind at this. There’s a reason he’s been doing this longer than I’ve been alive. And so anytime he says something I always try to just take it. And even if I don’t see what he’s seeing, I try to understand it from where he’s coming from,” Guevara said. “Then by the end of it I’m like, ‘Okay, now this makes sense.’ He kind of has a different way of thinking. I don’t even know. He’s a genius. There’s so many lessons this dude has taught me and too many to really say, to be honest.”

This led to Guevara turning the tables on The Pinnacle at Stadium Stampede 2. This time, he chased down Shawn Spears in the golf cart. This time, Sammy didn’t lose. It was Guevara who went to the top buckle and hit the 630-senton onto Spears for the pin.

If The Inner Circle had lost, they would have broken up. Sammy got the pin and saved the group. It wasn’t Chris Jericho. It wasn’t the big man in Jake Hager. It wasn’t the multi-time tag champs in Santana & Ortiz.

It was Sammy Guevara, who two years before this was wearing a panda on his head and trying to get over with AEW fans as a fresh face on the wrestling scene.

Now, Sammy is the man AEW is pushing out of the Inner Circle. Chris Jericho is still a legend. Santana & Ortiz are still one of the best tag teams in the world when they get into the ring. Jake Hager is still a monster of a man with his MMA background. However, Sammy Guevara needed a push, something to make him more than a “Spanish God” with a .500 overall record in AEW.

He got that at Stadium Stampede and he got a great showing when he faced MJF, one of the top heels in AEW, in the main event on Dynamite. It’s time for him to get his shot at the top, and after the work he put in, Sammy Guevara more than deserves it.

article topics :

AEW, Sammy Guevara, Shawn S. Lealos