MEXICO CITY – A professional wrestler from Pennsylvania has become the lucha libre’s most notorious villain, by playing the part of Donald Trump’s Number One Supporter to thousands of furious Mexican spectators.
Sam Polinsky, 27, from Pittsburgh, has quickly ascended to the top of the Mexican wrestling entertainment industry as Sam Adonis, enraging audiences by waving an immense Stars and Stripes with the U.S. president’s face blazoned across during his entire performance.
movies or comic books, people really appreciate the bad guys,” he told Fox News before a recent appearance at the Arena Mexico, lucha libre’s greatest stage.
“It was an obvious move to become the ‘Donald Trump supporter’ character, and it got the exact response I was hoping for from the audience.”
Armed only with his Trump-spangled banner, Adonis is the center of attention in every bout he appears in, attracting the hatred, abuse and often projectiles of the audience as he works them into a fever pitch.
eople go absolutely crazy,” he said. “People scream curse words at me, throw their beers at me.”
“I know I’m doing my job when someone who had been perfectly calm five minutes before suddenly wants to jump the barrier and help the other Mexican wrestlers in beating me up.”
“I hated him, and his flag especially, he made me very angry,” said father-of-two Rafael Cruz, 50, who had flung pieces of jellied pork skin at the wrestler during his performance. “I was glad to see his own teammate hitting him, because I really wanted to beat him up too.”
“The audience lives vicariously through Sam Adonis, venting their anger at Donald Trump through me,” the wrestler told Fox News.
Sam Polinsky had spent five years wrestling professionally in the United Kingdom before his arrival in Mexico, where many of his friends in the industry had recommended lucha libre.
“I had played the villain in London as well, playing the very patriotic American and talking down to the rest of the world,” he told Fox News. “I’ve played the bad guy for so long that the Trump situation would have been stupid to ignore. When I got to Mexico, I just turned it up a notch.”
While the wrestler plays the villain as Donald Trump’s Number One Fan on stage, Sam Polinsky says his own politics aren’t far from what he does in the ring.
“I definitely have a lot of respect for Donald Trump, particularly in that he doesn’t change who he is for people that don’t like him. He is the way that he is and stands by it,” he told Fox News.
“I can’t claim to be the world’s biggest Trump supporter, but I definitely supported him more than Hillary Clinton.”
As the Mexican audience became more animated against Sam with every wave of his Trump flag, the show made uncomfortable viewing for many Americans who were in the audience.
“I hated it,” said Amy Johnson, a tourist from Seattle visiting Mexico City for the week. “I was excited to leave America and not have to think about the Donald Trump situation, yet I get here and it’s immediately in my face.”
“As an American it’s very embarrassing,” she said.
Marlon Torres, also from Washington State, took a more sympathetic view of Sam’s performance.
“He’s a professional wrestler who’s making the most of the current political feeling in Mexico, so I feel like, good for him,” he told Fox News after a show last week. “You have to do what you have to do, and the show needs a villain. Who better than a Donald Trump surrogate?”
“It was a great show, I loved getting my aggression out.”
The day of Sam’s performance also saw tens of thousands of Mexicans take to the streets of 20 cities across the country to march in protest of Donald Trump.
Mexico City in particular saw 20,000 protestors surround the capital’s iconic Angel of Independence, half a mile from the Arena Mexico, where the CMLL lucha libre show puts on performances three nights a week.
“At the end of the day, I feel like I’m taking a negative situation and turning it into a positive one,” said Sam.
“Our attendance across the various arenas has gone up significantly since Sam Adonis started performing,” said Sandra Granados, spokeswoman for the Mexican Lucha Libre Council. “Our regular audience members have responded very well to him, as they love to get up and vent their anger at Trump through this character.”
“We put on shows to entertain and let people get out a bit of aggression, and Sam Adonis does both very well,” she said, “although to keep the crowds happy he’s going to have to lose more often than he wins.”
Sam Adonis performs at the Arena Mexico every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.