Fuego Del Sol is the guest on this week's "AEW Unrestricted" podcast. Fuego said he thought that his match with Miro was his swan song. He talked about Sammy Guevara surprising him with his AEW contract, how he shared the news with his family, the story behind his gimmick and mask, and he has learned from people like Cody Rhodes, Ethan Page, Lance Archer, Scorpio Sky and Brian Cage.
Here are some highlights:
Fuego Del Sol talking about signing his AEW contract:
“Friday, August 13th, 2021. That night, I’ll never forget, the first ever Rampage. It’s kind of hard to put into words. It was such an overwhelming feeling. I remember all day being so excited because I had never even wrestled on Dynamite before. To have over 40 matches in the company and never get to be on TV, the pressure was already on just to have a good match and perform well that night, and then to be shocked and surprised afterwards. Just thinking about it, I get the chill bumps. I got goosebumps thinking about it because I had no clue. A lot of people online like to joke around, speculate, and talk about their conspiracy theories, but I had no clue. I was told to lay there through the break and get the reception from the crowd after we come back. I remember I was sitting there just trying to look tough as we came back from break because I just went through hell with Miro. Sammy Guevara’s music hit. I immediately turned my head and was overwhelmed with emotion. Sammy and I had never interacted on screen together. He’s a big star in AEW and I didn’t know if they wanted us to ever even be connected on screen at all. To let him, my best friend, come out and hand me the contract, and do it on one of the biggest stages that it could possibly be done, the first Rampage, was one of the greatest moments of my career, probably the greatest moment of my career.”
On his decision to wear a Lucha mask:
“I trained down south in the Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida area, back and forth, with a guy named Josh Pain. He broke me into the business. He connected me with the Armstrong family, Bullet Bob. I, unfortunately, started training after Brad passed away, but I have so much love and admiration for Brad’s work. They looked at me, and looked at my size. I was even smaller then than I am now. I started when I was 17 or 18 years old. The way I moved, they said they reminded them of a young Rey Mysterio. I’ve always been a giant fan of Rey Mysterio. They said, ‘If you want to do this, you need to do it right. Let me put you in a mask. It will hide your size. It will add a different element for people to focus on instead of your size.’
They saw it with Rey Jr. They said, ‘It will help you until you put on the size that you need to put on. They won’t just see you as this young, small guy. They will see you with at least some It Factor with the mask on.’ I had to do it the right way, and I had to go train Lucha to do that. They hooked me up with some guys in Florida. I also got to go to Mexico for a little bit in Monterey and earned the mask and the name, Fuego Del Sol. I was also a fan of Lucha Libre. Training in Lucha, I fell in love with the culture. At first, I always thought of this as a stepping stone. I would wear it for a bit, gain experience, and then move on with my career.
But, I slowly gained some traction, and people started to like me. As the bookings start coming in, and the money is coming in, sometimes you don’t want to switch things up. I felt like I was so in love with the culture, I wanted to continue with it, but I felt like I was pretending to be something I’m not. Speaking a little bit of Spanish that I knew, pretending to be from Mexico, I didn’t like it. I thought I could either twist the mask up, or I could do something completely different. You’re never going to meet another Luchador from Mobile, Alabama. It’s funny on the surface. I get it. I understand it’s a funny thing on the surface, but once you get in there, you see me work, then you hear me talk, and you hear my passion. The business is very surface level. People look at your size. People look at your look. People listen to the way you talk at first and they like to make assumptions and paint you in a box. You can’t paint Fuego Del Sol in a box. You can’t put Fuego in a corner. I’m going to be something new. I’m going to be something different. I’m going to be my own thing. I like to say, ‘Yea, I know it’s funny on the surface, Fuego Del Sol, the Luchador from Alabama, Alabama’s number 1 Luchador. Something you’ve never seen before and will probably never be again, but, I’ll be that.”