Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and American Top Team member Junior Dos Santos is set to make his professional wrestling debut on tonight’s (October 15) episode of AEW Rampage, when he teams with Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page to take on Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager.
Dos Santos spoke to ESPN MMA earlier this week, where he detailed his experiences in pro wrestling, admitting that he was not a fan growing up, but that changed when he visited AEW with Dan Lambert.
Dos Santos said:
“I didn’t know too much about pro wrestling. I like it, the shows I’ve had an opportunity to watch. Some of the guys I’ve met, like King Mo in our gym, he’s a pro wrestler and he knows a lot about it. He has been giving me some good advice as well, so I wasn’t really a big fan of it. But that changed a lot when Dan Lambert invited me to go (to AEW) and see how hard it is. It’s not a joke, man. Those guys go hard and they have to be very well prepared for that. So then when I saw all of that, all of it, I got interested in it and I said, ‘Man, I want to do it’ to Dan Lambert.”
Dos Santos continued on, explaining that he was impressed with the reactions the wrestlers were receiving, as well as how they were getting legitimately hurt during their performance. He said:
“There’s many moments – when I was watching the show, the guys were going very hard. Some of them were coming back and they were sad because, you know, they didn’t perform as good as they wanted to do it. And some of them were hurt, and I said, ‘Wow man, this is real. It’s very exciting.’ So, I became interested in that. One of the most amazing things in pro wrestling is, at least for me and what I could see, is the crowd. Man, those guys, they love this thing! They really want to participate in it, and they yell at us and say a lot of stupid things. I can bet many of them would be willing to go in there in the ring and beat us up,” he said with a laugh. “That type of energy was amazing to feel, and for a long time, I didn’t feel this way. In a long time, I haven’t felt this excited to get in the ring and perform and give the best of me in my performance. So, man, I’m looking forward to (tonight).”
Finally, Dos Santos was asked if he would be interested in continuing to wrestle for AEW following tonight’s Rampage show, to which he responded:
“Of course, of course. I’ve been enjoying a lot, everything I’ve been doing and to be back in the ring, to be fighting again, to be performing again and putting on the best performance for everybody to watch. It just feels amazing. And like Dan just told you, I’m very excited about this. I’m happy again, I’m feeling that good energy to go in there and put in a good performance, and make everybody happy or not about it.”
Tonight’s episode of Rampage is set to go head-to-head with WWE SmackDown for 30 minutes, with the first 30 minutes being commercial free.
transcription via WrestlingInc