by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Adan Reyes is a native of Utah and has been wrestling for roughly five years despite being only twenty-two. He got his start in Ultra Championship Wrestling – Zero (UCW Zero) in his home state and has since then wrestled for a slew of promotions. Some of the companies Reyes has worked for include Elite Xtreme Wrestling (EXW), Wrestling Alliance of the Rockies Utah (WAR Utah) and Allied Independent Wrestling Federations (AIWF). He can be followed on Twitter @adanreyes, liked on Facebook with Reyes Vision and has an active YouTube channel. This interview was completed on July 7, 2013. In this interview Reyes and I focus on the topic of wrestling on the independent scene in Utah.
Daniel Johnson: For those unfamiliar with you how would you describe yourself as a performer in a nutshell?
Adan Reyes: In a metaphor type nutshell?
Daniel Johnson: Oh yeah, just as a metaphor.
Adan Reyes: I’ve always taken great pride in trying to be colorful and a character. I would use the word obnoxious the most. I use my voice and my expressions, as much as I use moves, and the rest of my physical activity. I pride myself on being a loudmouth, and I guess to put it best, I’m an annoying 6 year old you would want to hit in a public place trapped in an adult’s body.
Daniel Johnson: How old are you and how long have you been a wrestler?
Adan Reyes: Twenty-two, I started training in 2006, had my first match in August of 2008, but since I did so many battle royals I feel like I honestly broke in late 2009. So almost four to five years.
Daniel Johnson: Currently, you live out of Utah. Are you from Utah originally? How did you first get involved with the wrestling scene in Utah?
Adan Reyes: I was born in Utah, grew up in San Antonio, Texas for a little then came back still a kid. In 2005 I went to my first indie show here in Salt Lake City, it was amazing! The place was packed, and it was then and there I wanted to get involved. Mainly a local talent, Derrick Jannetty, was the one that gave me the information to UCW Zero’s school. Then I moved on to train with another local, Mach Martinez. He’s mainly the one that took me under his wing and helped me.
Daniel Johnson: What was the training process like? Did you learn mostly every thing at UCW Zero or did you also learn a lot from Mach Martinez separately?
Adan Reyes: Very physical, I was a chubby kid, still am, who didn’t do sports. I was learning all the basics along with doing some work outs. Back then though being a kid I wasn’t always going regularly. I started traveling an hour to Ogden, a little while after that to learn from Mach, but most of what I learned was the experience at shows. How to present myself, locker room etiquette, what goes where, when to do what, timing. Most of my learning took experience. Although I wouldn’t recommend that. It took me long to learn things I should have learned much earlier. Weekly trainings are much more effective and when I’m training or wrestling weekly I tend to focus a lot better.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned earlier that you wrestled in battle royals before really becoming a full-on wrestler. What was it like working your first battle royal and how was it different from working your first singles match?
Adan Reyes: I was terrified, I didn’t want to go out. But after it was done it was the best minute of my life. As far as my first singles match, it was a different setting, people only see two of you. I was more nervous because there’s more eyes on you when it’s not a battle royal. But I had a chance to express myself in a different way too. Of course it’s easier now, I have more of an idea of what I want to do, and what I want people to see in me, but back then, it was go out there and figure it out. It was kind of like playing Minesweeper. I didn’t know what was the right or wrong step.
Daniel Johnson: What are some promotions you have worked in, in Utah? Are there any Utah based promotions you have yet to work in that you would like to?
Adan Reyes: Holy crap, I’ve worked everyone that’s popped out in the last couple of years. Even some that only last a show or two. I enjoyed UCW Zero greatly. Not sure if its similar now but when I was there, I never saw someone throw a fit, or get dramatic in the locker room. Intermountain Wrestling Revolution (IWR) is also aiming for a no bull locker room and I enjoy the environment there. Most of my goals have been outside of Utah though. I feel it’s the best way to learn new things, and improve rather than staying local. So I find out of state endeavors to be more important.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite venue to wrestle in while in Utah?
Adan Reyes: I did it once, but it by far beat any venue. The Maverick Center, WWE usually have there house shows there and when Lucha Libre USA had their event there I was referee for the night. I also had an impromptu match with La Parka and Lizmark Jr. If we talk about local venues that weren’t an arena though, I think Redwood Rec Center. I’m very content with a simple set up. Curtains, rings, music. Don’t get me wrong though I do geek out at very spiffy looking productions with videos and lights as well, but I also like the idea of the wrestling being the main focus.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any Utah-based wrestlers that you think readers should know about?
Adan Reyes: There’s too many for me to name one, I’m not going to lie. There’s a lot of talent here in Salt Lake based in UCW Zero and in IWR. But just like anywhere there is plenty to not look at or read about. I would recommend people like Zack James, Jamal Shields, Jason Jaxon, Jeff Orcut, Sierra Rose, Brad Landen, just to name a few of them.
Daniel Johnson: What wrestlers in Utah do you feel your style meshes the best with?
Adan Reyes: I feel anyone I named above are some of the best opponents as well. I think if you’re good enough you mesh well and adapt to anyone in any style.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anyone you have yet to work with either as a partner or an opponent that you would like to work with, either based in Utah or otherwise?
Adan Reyes: Actually, I think about this a lot. I would love to wrestle James Anthony based out of North Carolina. I feel we would have a lot to offer in a match. Also, LTP in So Cal. I’d love to tussle with that guy! Trajan, based out of Colorado is on top of my current, I want to wrestle a match with list. He’s an amazing talent, who’s starting to travel around. Also, a very cool guy. I feel we can put on a good show.
Daniel Johnson: Before I get into some more general questions, I had just a few more Utah-based questions. You mentioned earlier that you wrestled for a bunch of Utah promotions. For those unfamiliar with the Utah wrestling scene how many mainstay promotions are there and are there any you have yet to wrestle for?
Adan Reyes: Nope. I’ve worked for everyone that’s popped out since I’ve started. There’s currently three active I believe that all run shows and all draw well. Even when they run the same night. It’s a scene that’s growing pretty well.
Daniel Johnson: You mentioned UCW earlier. What are the other two and do they differ in any significant way?
Adan Reyes: I’m honestly not sure how to describe them. UCW Zero, to put it bluntly, have more guys who focus on their look. Honestly, regardless of where I work, UCW has the best product. Everyone has their own set of talent, their own set of out of town talent and their own draw. WAR Utah is more character-based than anything else. IWR mixes everything and has a wide variety of talent, characters and creativity. Something’s always leading into something else, which makes it hard to guess “what’s going to happen next show” and has a ton of excitement.
Daniel Johnson: When I think of Utah the first thing honestly to come to mind is Mormons. Have you met a lot of Mormon wrestling fans? Does the wrestling community and Mormon community overlap at all?
Adan Reyes: Nope. I don’t even know if we have Mormon wrestlers to be honest. I feel Utah fans and any other fans in any state are all pretty similar. They are all there to watch a wrestling show. Let me give you a new Utah perspective though. Utah has the most homosexuals living in the state than any other. It’s a pretty open minded state, I believe.
Daniel Johnson: Getting into some non-Utah related questions you seem to travel a great deal outside of Utah, all over the United States and even into Canada. What is the most unsuual crowd you have worked in front of? Ever work in front of any crowds that were either really easy or really difficult to get a reaction out of?
Adan Reyes: I have an interesting answer for this one. In Portland, Oregon back in 2010 I wrestled my first show for Blue Collar Wrestling (BCW). Keep in mind I have yet to do a full on “Mexico is better” gimmick. Mostly because I’m not your typical Mexican-American. I wasn’t too nice during the match, but somewhere after five minutes into the contest I hear “USA! USA!” I wasn’t speaking Spanish, my promo was full-on English, but I was getting this chant, and remarks like “go back to your country” I believe that was my first taste of a racist crowd. An easy crowd? Once again Portland, Oregon at a Cinco De Mayo event it was way packed. Several hundred, but they all reacted to everything that was done. It was fantastic and it was a Mexican crowd this time. Anything from a suplex to a kick they were into it, and they were loud. Also, whenever I’ve wrestled in Reno, Nevada I’ve always had a great crowd that really got into. Some of my favorite moments have come out of there because they were always loud and interactive.
Daniel Johnson: We haven’t talked too much about your character yet. How did you develop your current character and what makes it unique?
Adan Reyes: I was doing very well just wearing purple, and dancing to Kesha, but somewhere along the way I started incorporating video game moves into my wrestling. Then it went from that to Angry Birds gear to cartoon gear to social network gear. I am pop culture. I feel what separates me from people who cosplay wrestle is I always incorporate more than video games. I incorporate music, awful dancing and incorporate my gear into my moveset. Things like the Pikachu gear, or the Astro Boy gear, they are things I truly enjoy. I enjoy being an over grown child which makes me a comedic character. I develop it by simply being myself. Of course you add my immature state of mind into the mix and you have a giant 6 year old in spandex in the middle of the ring hitting people and bragging about it. What 6 year old doesn’t like bragging?
Daniel Johnson: Is there any area you have yet to wrestle in that you would like to? Likewise, have are there any promotions you would like to compete in, in the future that you have not had the chance to work for yet? It seems like you would be a natural fit for a Japanese comedy promotion.
Adan Reyes: Japan is a big goal for me, CHIKARA is a place I believe I should be working towards as well. Right now, I’m looking forward to wrestling for Pro Wrestling Freedom (PWF) in Kentucky and Fighting Spirit Pro (FSP) in California and their upcoming tour around a few states. I’d like to wrestle for HOODSLAM as well. I think it’s a great product that is doing amazing work right now. But I’m hoping to work pretty much everywhere I haven’t worked before. I want to continue my travels and expand my experience with states like New York or New Jersey. Or even out into other countries. I just have to keep at it.
Daniel Johnson: Speaking of wrestling in other countries, I watched a match you had a while back for Primos Wrestling Canada where you had a heckler. You seem to handle hecklers quite well and make any you have add to the overall atmosphere of the match. What is the worst heckler you ever had during a match and how did you deal with him or her?
Adan Reyes: I absolutely love hecklers! I adapt to the situation and make it my own. They make it more challenging and can turn it into a learning experience. It’s my favorite. Drunk guy at UCW Zero. He was annoying as hell, couldn’t stand him, didnt even know why he bothered. I was about to lock up with Zack James, paused, looked at him and told him he failed at life and should have just gone home. Didn’t work. But to be fair he was my first heckler.
Daniel Johnson: Likewise, you seem to enjoy being a heel. Would you say being a heel is an ideal role for you. Does working as a face even compare?
Adan Reyes: I enjoy both roles. But I express myself much more when I antagonize people. Mostly because I know that half these people are what terrorize hard working customer service employees who do their job as best they can but yet still get these people who complain about paying a dollar for a soda or complain about police officers for doing their job only because they are probably doing something wrong. Yes, I just turned that into a promo. But it makes it so much easier to make people mad. I thrive better on it.
Daniel Johnson: What is the weirdest part of being a pro wrestler?
Adan Reyes: I’m more of a character around my friends and family who aren’t at all wrestlers or even watch it. Not like a high school drama girl but more of, I have a different perspective on everything compared to normal people. Also, traveling all over the place and people asking me, “Did you see this, this and this?” Mostly my answer is, “No, it was show up, wrestle, leave.” I guess one of the biggest things for me now is nothing really shocks me anymore. Every state people do things differently or have different beliefs, etc. But I’m just so used to seeing weird things in the locker rooms or abnormal places that to me it isn’t all that abnormal as it would be to someone who hasn’t done this or hasn’t traveled.
Daniel Johnson: Where would you rank 2013 amongst all the years you have been an acitive wrestler?
Adan Reyes: Number one. Just because I have to keep doing something better than I did before. I feel I have been doing that this year, and next year it’ll be the same. I want to do something new, and I want to travel even farther.
Daniel Johnson: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in wrestling to date?
Adan Reyes: The AIWF Krazy 8 Tournament in North Carolina I felt has given me the most exposure and it was the biggest thing I’ve done thus far wrestling Bolt Brady in the finals. I’m hoping to have another great accomplishment in Washington for a similar tournament in September though.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to mention about that tournament in Washington? Any idea who your first round opponent is?
Adan Reyes: Yes, it’s going to be the AIWF World Cruserweight Tournament on September 28. Wrestlers from all over the place will be competing. Although I don’t know who I will be facing yet I’m very excited about the possibilities.
Daniel Johnson: Where would you like to be in five years?
Adan Reyes: Contract and with a six pack. I’ll get the six pack eventually, but if I don’t have that contract, wrestling every weekend and traveling all over the place. So like I am now except a busier schedule and out of country dates.
Daniel Johnson: What advice would you give to anyone interested in becoming a pro wrestler?
Adan Reyes: Find a good school that has regular training. If you’re in high school join a team and enroll in theatre. When wrestling have actual gear. Actually work out. It’ll make life easier.
Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 years old or younger that you think readers should know about?
Adan Reyes: Zack James. A guy with a lot of talent who needs to be looked at.
Daniel Johnson: Have you ever thought of working as a full-time manager? Either in the near future or sometime way down the line?
Adan Reyes: If I ever can’t wrestle again Id be way interested. That would keep me in wrestling and I’d still be able to be obnoxious and annoying.
Daniel Johnson: I also had five short non-wrestling related questions I like to ask everyone to make interviews a little unique: Outside of wrestling what television shows do you watch?
Adan Reyes: The Office, Burn Notice, Everybody Loves Raymond, Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie to come out this year?
Adan Reyes: So far, Monsters University and I haven’t even seen it yet. I’m a big Disney/Pixar fan.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Adan Reyes: In Spanish it’s pronounced porpussas. Not sure how to explain it, but I enjoy them.
Daniel Johnson: What is you favorite song released this year?
Adan Reyes: It’s split. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, which everyone will be using as theme music in a couple of months and “Invincible” by Destorm.
Daniel Johnson: What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Adan Reyes: Battle Royale I think was my last read. I enjoyed it. I really liked the Hunger Games, but it has nothing on Battle Royale. Both recommended as well.
Daniel Johnson: Is there anything you would like to add?
Adan Reyes: Like Reyes Vision on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @adanreyes. Also, my YouTube hasn’t been updated much, but I’ll be uploading more of my recent work from this year soon. Also, I’m currently in a contest at Wrestlecadeidol.com/vote. Rate Adan Reyes 5 stars! I’m assuming that meant promoting so I thought I’d go crazy.
Catch Adan Reyes in action! This match comes from Utah and shows Reyes as the hero when he faces Devan Payne for UCW Zero:
Editor’s Note: The original photographs of Adan Reyes accompanying this article were removed due to copyright issues. The photographs have been replaced with the one now preceding the article.
Categories: Wrestling Interviews