Lucha libre fans love to hate on this pro-Trump wrestling villain
This segment originally aired March. 13, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
“It’s the only time in my wrestling career that I’ve ever heard an entire audience scream f*** you, f*** you!” Pro wrestler Sam Adonis says, describing his first time stepping into the arena as a pro-Trump villain.
Lucha Libre is one of Mexico’s most popular sports, dating back to 1860. It is known for its masked wrestlers, over the top moves and rowdy audiences.
Sam Polinsky, a 27 year old wrestler from Pittsburg, moved to Mexico for the sport. He was able to capitalize on the evil gringo character prevalent in Lucha Libre, often referred to as a “heel”. His pick to represent the United States and wind people up simultaneously? Portraying a Trump supporter.
The Trump image is not unfamiliar in the wrestling sphere — Trump himself was a regular participant on WWE shows in the early 2000s, acting as an enemy of the WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
VICE News traveled to Mexico City to meet Polanski. He talked about his first time appearing as his Trump supporting character, walking out with Trump’s face on the American flag, and the exhalation it brought him to portray a villain immediately relevant to the crowd.