This is my moment to this shine, this is my time for flight
I’ve been grinding forever just for this very night.
On January 26th 2022, on AEW’s Beach Break Dynamite, Sammy Guevara and Cody Rhodes wrote their names in the annals of history with one of the greatest singles ladder matches of all time, and AEW’s first 5 star match of the year.
Amidst towering pillars of destruction, these men took great leaps of faith, and kept the crowd on the edge of their seat with daredevil antics like Sammy’s legendary 12’ Cutter or Cody’s jaw-dropping Cross Rhodes, both from the top of teetering ladders. With dazzling athletics and the intensity born of a nearly three year story, they wrote a powerful climactic chapter in the story of a friendship, rivalry, and a student becoming the master. A story that was nearly three years in the making, Sammy Guevara faced his greatest obstacle yet in AEW, looked doubt in the eyes, and moonsaulted over it all to solidify his destiny as champion.
Just a kid chasing a dream
This was a far cry from the first time Cody and Sammy met in the ring in AEW. Cody, who had along with Chris Jericho, scouted the young Guevara to join AEW’s roster from the very beginning, was the one to make the call to offer him a contract for All Elite Wrestling. At that time, his first match with AEW was with Kip Sabian on the Buy-In at AEW’s inaugural Double or Nothing PPV. A few months later, Sammy and Cody met face to face in the ring, for the very first match of the very first episode of AEW Dynamite on TNT.
This was a very different Sammy Guevara from the one we see today, and a very different Cody Rhodes. Here, Sammy faced the All Elite Hero, the Face of the Revolution. Cody made his entrance to resounding cheers, thundering throughout a sold out arena, full of fans who were thrilled to be a part of history, embarking on the revolution of AEW on TNT. Conversely, Sammy came out to resounding boos, as he sauntered out, clad in his panda hat, with a cocky grin born of youth chasing his dreams. Chants filled the arena, with fans loudly clamoring “Let’s Go Cody!” and “Sammy Sucks!”
That night, Sammy Guevara not only started the show, but found himself at the grand finale as well, having been hand-picked to join a new heel faction headlined by Chris Jericho: The Inner Circle. During his time in the initial run up of the Inner Circle, Sammy continued to play the young arrogant upstart, full of gusto and quick to take the insane bumps that found him via the interplay between The Elite and The Inner Circle’s rivalry. Yet, while still very much a heelish character in a heelish group, the high flying antics of Sammy Guevara began pulling crowds and fans into his world. Matches like Sammy Guevara vs Darby Allin at Revolution 2020, showcased not only Sammy’s athletic prowess, but Darby’s conviction and resolute determination as two pillars clashed in thrilling and reckless abandon.
Just after Revolution 2020, the world shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world and changed the landscape of entertainment. Full crowds turned into empty arena shows, and experiments with cinematic wrestling began to take prevalence. During this time, Sammy Guevara became a breakout star, running roughshod in the ring, and also running for his life while being chased by Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy, who were hellbent on running him down with a golf cart backstage at Daily’s Place.
This transitioned into one of Sammy’s greatest moments of the year, being run down by a golf cart by a crazed Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy, as he, clad in football gear, ran through the 50 yard line in the Stadium Stampede. Shortly after, Sammy would end the main event match, obliterated by Kenny Omega, taking the most insane One Winged Angel in AEW’s history off the top of the stadium at TIAA Bank Field at AEW’s Double or Nothing 2020.
By this time, Sammy Guevara was well known for taking the craziest bumps, and being a part of the rockstar faction of The Inner Circle. Tag-teaming with Chris Jericho as “Le Sex Gods”, Sammy was well on the rise to stardom, and his presence and ring work began to take on the maturity of his growth. Gone was the arrogant kid from 2019, what began to take shape was the seasoned, crazy, athletic, and dazzling Spanish God of All Elite Wrestling.
His heelish persona began to transition even further when MJF began infiltrating the Inner Circle. While the fans could clearly see the mark of betrayal on MJF’s face, Chris Jericho was none the wiser. Singing together in the Dinner Debonair broadway wrestling musical, Jericho and MJF seemed inseparable, while Sammy Guevara began to take a backseat to what was once his closest ally and friend. Sammy Guevara, along with the fans, implored Chris Jericho to see what was so obvious to everyone else, which brought the fans and Guevara into a team of their own, to save Jericho from his own blind allegiance.
When the betrayal finally came with MJF announcing he had made his own counter faction, The Pinnacle, Sammy Guevara was welcomed back with open arms by Chris Jericho, and vindicated for being right all along. This began the feud between the Inner Circle and The Pinnacle, which saw an epic Blood and Guts cage match between the two. While The Pinnacle seemed to get the best of the Inner Circle, they finally had their comeuppance, once again at Double Or Nothing 2021.
From The Buy-In To The Main Event
This was the first show with a full crowd in attendance since the pandemic began. The Stadium Stampede cinematic event once again took center stage as the main event of the show. Fans watched the Pinnacle and The Inner Circle brawl through the football field, backstage at Daily’s Place, and even in the offices of the Jacksonville Jaguars, before making it to the ring for it’s raucous finale. Here, two men stood in the ring at the main event: Sammy Guevara and the Chairman Shawn Spears.
The chorus of chants for Sammy Guevara were so loud it shook the stands, as at this point, the crowd was fully behind The Spanish God. Sammy Guevara, who began his AEW career on The Double or Nothing Buy-In with Kip Sabian, who chased his dreams, was chased by golf carts, who was caught in the middle of friendships and rivalries, who faced the great Hero of the Revolution, now had the crowd firmly in his corner, chanting his name, and willing his success to overcome the dastardly deeds of the chairman.
It was in this moment, that Sammy Guevara fulfilled a dream he had been chasing since the dawn of AEW. He went from the Buy-In to the main event of Double Or Nothing. And this time, not only was he in the main event, he became the star of the show, winning the whole match for his friends in the Inner Circle. The Spanish God was on top of the world.
Fear is the wall. Belief is what catapults you over the wall
Now, when Sammy took to the ring, he was met with cheers from an adoring crowd. He became instrumental in some of the most wholesome and memorable moments on AEW TV. When his friend Fuego Del Sol fought a spirited battle against the indomitable Miro for the TNT Championship, thinking it would be his last match with AEW as a free agent before pursuing his dream elsewhere, Sammy Guevara came out with a microphone and a contract, surprising his best friend with his own dream come true: a full time contract with All Elite Wrestling.
The story of Fuego Del Sol, Sammy Guevara, and Miro would evolve into a personal grudge between the latter two. Miro and Sammy would circle each other like sharks, with the young Guevara refusing to back down from The Redeemer’s taunts and advances. The two would finally clash head-to-head at AEW Dynamite, nearly two years to the day from his very first Dynamite appearance.
Here, Sammy Guevara fought with relentless determination to overcome the monster in Miro. He looked fear right in the face of the goliath, hoisted him upon his shoulders, and obliterated him with this signature GTH, followed by the 630 Senton. Surrounded by Fuego Del Sol, The Dark Order, and the rest of the Vlog Crew, Sammy Guevara stood tall and proud as the newly crowned TNT Champion.
Sammy’s TNT Championship defenses included the likes of Ethan Page, and the newly arrived Jay Lethal, Tony Nese, and Bobby Fish. However, there was one final challenge in the way of the Spanish God, one set by his old rival and friend, and one he’s never been able to beat: Cody Rhodes.
On Christmas Day 2021, Cody Rhodes defeated Sammy Guevara to become the TNT Champion once again. Immediately, Sammy set his sights on Cody, as the one to overcome to fulfill his own destiny. With picture-in-picture cue cards in hand, Sammy set out to challenge Cody once again, and reinstate himself as the TNT Champion.
Moonsaulting Over Mountains
Unfortunately, his rematch with Cody would have to wait, as Cody was home-bound for health-related reasons. In his stead, Sammy Guevara would fight another long-time friend in the Rhodes family, Dustin Rhodes, for what would be announced as an interim TNT Championship. As friends clashed in the ring, delivering hard fought battles amidst a roaring crowd, Sammy Guevara emerged victorious against Dustin Rhodes. Here, he became the interim TNT Champion. However, this was but a step on the road of destiny. He wanted it all, and while Dustin and Sammy left it all in the ring with nothing but respect for each other that night, he wanted to take on the great one, and this time, walk away victorious.
On AEW’s Beach Break episode of AEW Dynamite, Sammy Guevara and Cody Rhodes once again faced-off in the ring. Each of them changed from the previous years of AEW Dynamite. Sammy Guevara was no longer the scrappy kid in the panda hat, coming to a chorus of booes against the great one. Cody had his own complicated relationship with the fans, with a mix of booes and cheers for the American Nightmare. Gone was Sammy’s cocky grin, and in it’s place a firm face of resolute determination. In this moment, on this stage, Cody and Sammy were equals, peers squaring off for glory, for championship gold, and for Sammy Guevara, to reclaim his destiny of greatness. In nearly a direct counter to their first match on AEW Dynamite, the chants for Cody and Sammy were nearly switched. Chants of “Sammy!” filled the arena, partnered with “Let’s go Cody” and “Cody SUCKS!”
What unfolded was a championship ladder match of greatness, where Sammy Guevara once again looked fear in the face and catapulted himself right through it. The man who had taken finishers off a football stadium, outpaced golf cart death by the hands of Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega, outsmarted the devious tricksters of MJF and Shawn Spears, and fought The Redeemer head on and overcame a giant, now stood face-to-face against his old friend and foe. Once again, Sammy Guevara embarked on a journey of insanity, athleticism, heart, and determination. This time, however, no matter what Cody Rhodes could throw at him, or throw him off of, Sammy Guevara kept rising, defiant in the face of defeat, and with a pride that came well earned after nearly three years of grinding, winning, and rising.
This time, the Spanish God emerged victorious. He reclaimed his destiny, he unified the TNT Championship, and started off the new year by achieving the dream that kid had chased for so long. The Spanish God took flight in ways that left us all in awe, and by the end, stood tall and proud, adorned in championship gold, as a true pillar of All Elite Wrestling.