Chris Jericho is one of the top stars of All Elite Wrestling serving as the AEW World Champion for the promotion. Jericho leads The Inner Circle, a stable comprised of himself, Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara.

The 26-year-old Guevara was a relatively unknown signing for most mainstream audiences making his appearances at the top of the AEW ladder, in his first eight weeks with the company, a bit of a surprise. It was even a surprise for Guevara as he talked about his rise in AEW on the Talk is Jericho podcast.

“Not at all. Definitely not. Just from whenever I had my first match with Kip Sabian at Double or Nothing to where I am now, it’s night and day. It’s crazy.

“I heard the internet rumors that AEW was going to be a thing, but when I saw the names that were going to get behind it, and then when they did the first initial press conference, I said to myself that I need to get behind this,” revealed Guevara. “I didn’t know how or what, but I was like, this is going to be something huge, and I needed to somehow get there. Luckily, a couple of days later I was contacted by Cody Rhodes.”

Something that surprised Guevara was the reveal that Chris Jericho that saw Guevara on the NWA 70th Anniversary Show.

“They told me the story [that I was signed because Chris Jericho saw my match at NWA 70] and I’m like, thank God I decided to bust my a** that night because you never know who is watching,” said Guevara. “It is wild to think for whatever reason you [Chris Jericho] decided to turn on the pay per view. We never met before that.”

Guevara was in a four-way match elimination match in the first round of the NWA National Heavyweight Championship tournament. He took on Sam Shaw, Colt Cabana and fellow AEW star Scorpio Sky.

At the time, Guevara was an independent wrestler. Guevara talked about his transition to wrestling less frequently on his AEW schedule as opposed to wrestling nearly every night while on the independent wrestling scene.

“Man, I will definitely accept it for sure. Sometimes four times a week, [I’m] throwing my body on the ground. If you look at me I am not one of the biggest guys, so I don’t have a whole lot of cushion to absorb [those bumps]. The fact that some weeks we do some stuff that is not particularly a match, I feel like it is beneficial to my body where I get to rest up,” admits Guevara.

“In July, I ended up hurting my knee at one of my last independent dates, and then we had that big [time] off from Fight For the Fallen and then there was All Out and then there was TV. I didn’t wrestle at All Out, which killed me for not being on that show, and seeing everyone kill it that night I wanted to get in there but my knee is definitely thankful and now I am 100%.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Peter Bahi contributed to this article.