AEW star Luchasaurus spoke with Wrestling Epicenter about his hopes for All Elite Wrestling. He also discussed his time in WWE development, the injury that led to a temporary exit from pro wrestling, and what he still uses from that time in development.
At last weekend's Casino Battle Royale, Luchasarus entered 19th (out of a possible 21) and was eliminated by the winner of the match, Adam Page. Now involved with AEW, he's glad to see pro wrestling get some more serious competition against WWE, much like the WCW days.
"Obviously, I'm hopeful it pans out to be something that can rival WWE," Luchasaurus said. "I think everyone is hoping for that—some legitimate competition on American television. I remember watching WCW and WWE when I was a kid. Then, for 10 years, there was no competition. When I went and signed with WWE in 2012, I really felt it was WWE or bust and there was no wrestling outside of it. That is just the way it felt at the time.
"Then, this whole indie boom happened to where you could make a living outside of WWE. And now, [AEW is] happening. ... It is just a matter of everyone coming together and doing what WCW couldn't do, I guess, sustain a product that has some substance to it and has appeal to those outside of the wrestling community. I think this can cross over to the general public as well."
From 2012 until 2014, Luchasaurus trained at WWE's developmental, Florida Championship Wrestling, he was released in 2014 after hip and abdominal injuries would take him completely out of wrestling until 2016.
"Most of the time I was in [WWE] developmental, I was struggling with some pretty severe hip pain," Luchasaurus recalled. "You don't want to say anything because you would risk losing your spot because there is so much competition down there. So, towards the end, I had a falling out with the coaches and I was ready to leave anyway. I got it checked out. It turned out I had a torn hip labrum, but also I had torn my abdominal muscles on both sides. So, they had to reconstruct that area, shave down my femur, fix the whole socket. There was a lot of arthritis in there. After a year, there was still a lot of pain. I was still training. But, I wasn't wrestling.
"The doctors said, 'You might want to consider retiring because you might have arthritis the rest of your life and you may have to have a hip replacement.' At that point, I had the opportunity to do the reality show and get out of my [WWE] contract. I did that. After that was over, I started to go back and did my own research. After I finished all that, I went back and started to rehab my hip with my own research. I was able to fully fix my hip. The hip is totally medically cleared. There is no problem. Right now, I'm probably more healthy than I was in WWE developmental eight years ago, which is crazy."
Luchasaruas was asked about what he learned during that time with WWE and if he still uses any of it today.
"How to navigate political waters a little better, maybe," Luchasaurus laughed. "It is funny. Everything I was doing back then, I don't do any of it anymore. I learned some things about timing. There was a lot of veterans that you could learn from and talk. But, it wasn't until I stopped learning wrestling and started to just be me with a character I created that I kind of found myself.
"So, after I learned all the basics of wrestling and you learn all that really quickly in developmental, you have to get to the next level and you have to figure that out on your own. That is why you see, a lot of times in NXT, most of the guys that are successful are from the indies and a lot of the guys that are home grown have a hard time finding themselves because it is really hard, when you're being cut out of a factory, to do that."
You can listen to the full interview in the video above.