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Lucha Underground’s Cortez Castro talks CM Punk, training with Inoki and more

Lucha Underground’s Cortez Castro, formally known as Ricky Reyes in Ring of Honor, said he knew CM Punk wasn’t a fighter.

Castro, who once teamed up with Rocky Romero and were known as the Havana Pitbulls and won the ROH tag titles, spoke to The Roman Show about his relationship with CM Punk. He said he trained jiu jitsu with him when they worked for Pro Wrestling Gorilla (PWG). He said he knew CM Punk wasn’t made to compete inside the octagon but gave him credit for his efforts.

Hear the interview below.

“Punk is a good friend of mine. We don’t talk nearly as much now a days you have those friends that are friends forever. There’s been times I haven’t talked to him in months or almost years then I see him and it’s like I spoke to him an hour ago. We are good friends. He has come to the dojo when he we worked for PWG and he would come in for a few days and train with us. Unfortunately, I know he fell in love with jiu jitsu. It really is a beautiful sport once you start to learn it and there are so many things you can learn. That was his love for mma was learning Brazilian jiu jitsu. To have a fighter mentality you can’t just say I love one small aspect of it. It doesn’t work that way. He got an opportunity to fight in the UFC because of who he was and how attractive that was to a pay-per-view audience. But he is not a fighter. There’s a different level of fire of someone he liked training it and stuff like that, but there is a different switch that he wasn’t born with it from a physicality point. He was one of those guys you can beat him and beat him and he won’t give up. I knew when I rolled with him for the first time I rolled with him on the mat. I was better than him because I amateur wrestled.”

He also talked about the future of Lucha Undergound.

“I am under contract with them. It’s difficult to explain it’s not a wrestling company. So the wrestlers that work there we aren’t in the loop much. The writers, they are not in the loop cause it goes higher than just that. It’s about MGM and El Rey Network to figure out what they want to do either way we weren’t budgeted for this year for whatever reason. 2019 we weren’t going to shoot Lucha Underground. For 2020’s budget, when they start factoring things it could be [different].”

You can now hear the podcast on Launchpad.

He also talked about training with Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki.

“It was an honor and privilege training with Mr. Antonio Inoki. I just love Japanese wrestling. When the Inoki dojo opened in 2002 I was invited. There were a select few people invited to come down for a first couple of months when the dojo opened. I just remembered walking in two or three years into wrestling I was intimidated, but I knew that it is what I wanted. I remember telling myself am never leaving this place. It was hardcore training. We trained mixed martial arts style more than anything else. We didn’t train pro wrestling at all. It was our job to translate what we learned in the mixed marital arts and turn it into pro wrestling. That was Mr. Inoki’s vision which is the L.A. dojo now. It was to be a fighter first and pro wrestling second. His idea for was we can translate a real fight feeling to wrestling fans if you really did a real fight. The training was each day was a different discipline.

Hear the complete interview as he speaks about filming for Lucha Underground, training future stars, potentially wrestling for MLW and more.

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