Juventud Guerrera is one of the most iconic, decorated, well-respected and impressive luchadores of all time. Having gained world recognition in WWE, WCW, TNA, AAA and CMLL to name but a few, he continues to wrestle across the world whilst developing a number of other successful businesses in the music, fashion and media worlds. We had the opportunity to speak with 'The Juice' when he passed through London and to ask about his wrestling life and future plans - read on!
With DJing, Fashion and wrestling, your portfolio seems to be full - what are you up to now?
I try to do a little bit of everything and mostly what I enjoy or would like to do - if I don't try, I won't know how good I am! I went to a school to learn how to be a proper DJ - it's an art and you get more recognition when you start producing your own music so I've started doing that. It's very difficult when you already have a proper career - as a wrestler - to combine it. It's going OK but I want to stop wrestling in a couple of years and just go into the DJing career. I've become a fashion blogger and am trying to change the common perception of the Mexican wrestler as a fat, ugly guy! It's been hard - especially after the 'Nacho Libre' move! Everyone needs his own style and this is what I've tried to do!
You've been in the UK with Lucha Britannia and five other promotions. How's the UK scene?
I think it's great and even better than the US. The US is such a big country and so spread out that not too many people know the companies and it doesn't have the same fan base. Here, they communicate, they know each other, go to shows together. I love that the fans are passionate and smart about what and who they want to watch and cheer for.
Why haven't we seen you on Lucha Underground!?
I've been watching trailers and clips but hadn't seen the show until recently. I think it's amazing, like a proper movie. I really like it. For me as a wrestler, as a luchador seeing a proper major company putting together this kind of show is - wow. Mysterio, myself, Psicosis, we started years ago and now it's all evolving in this way. I guess everything will happen in time. My commitment is to a new company that's going to be happening in Las Vegas. It will be a major thing if it happens but nothing's happened yet So we'll see.
You said you have a couple more years left, would you like to finish things off in WWE?
Why not! Now WWE has so many options and not just wrestling but the TV shows, the network. I'm one of the few Mexicans that can speak the language and knows the style and the wrestlers. Sooner or later it will come down to that. They know me and I was in contact with them last year and very close to having a deal with them again. They called me after a long time of no contact and I wondered what happened but was very happy to be in touch with them. In the end it didn't happen. This new company has happened in a way but everything at this moment is up in the air. The most I can do is stay juicy, stay healthy and make a statement.
How does one 'stay juicy' and where did 'The Juice' come from?
Juice as everyone knows is energy, fuel, power, passion - something extra. Juventud Guerrera just means 'young warrior' which is pretty common but people couldn't say the name in the US. I'd have to repeat it 20 times, so they just ended up calling me 'Juvi'. From that, Konnan began calling me 'Juvi Juice' and everyone called me that. For some reason, I started saying 'the juice' and that's how I became it.
AAA has been reported to have had money issues and TNA too - what are your thoughts?
I don't know whats going on. AAA has been coming down for the last year. The last two years it had a new momentum with Rey Mysterio going back and then Pedro Aguayo died and a lot of big names left. They're trying to build it again but Konnan, who was a big name, has left the company so it's a difficult situation for them and who knows whats going to happen. Same for TNA but it's always been like that - the same story every day.
Rey Mysterio told us he's had to adapt his style over time to protect himself, have you?
It all depends who I'm working with and with which company. There's some companies where you have to 'go' for the fans because everybody busts their asses. If I'm there, I'm the Juice so I have to! That's why I'm here (in the UK) because it's pushing me to the limit of my skills - it's great. I don't have that in Mexico. There's not so many talented guys who know how to work an America/British/Japanese style. They only work a Mexican style. I get impressed when people are creative. Everybody can be a wrestler, one or two can be really good but there are only a few original guys.
So before you hang your boots up are there any 'original' guys you'd like to wrestle?
I would like to work with RVD, I've never worked with him or Jeff Hardy. The guy I was looking forward to working with, Will Ospreay, I just had a really good match with. I'm almost double his age but it doesn't look like that in the ring - and that's what I need. Here in the UK I can still do a 450 or crazy dives outside the ring. I don't do it because if I get hurt, I don't want to get in trouble with the company. I don't want to get in trouble myself! I already did the moves on TV, on big stages. I can still do it and that's why it pushes me and I'm happy when I work with guys like Will because it really takes me to the limit.
With so much going on, how can we follow you?
I have all the media and I'm working on a proper TV show in Mexico but I'm travelling all the time so it's hard to get the meetings! In the meantime, I do my interviews on YouTube, I'm on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and I have a website - my girlfriend is a model so we have a site for that. The site includes my music and the things I do on the side but I don't want two sites so it's all there!
Make sure to follow the Juice and subscribe to his YouTube channel, you won't be disappointed.