RECAP AND REVIEW: The Steve Austin Show with Kalisto on being inspired by Rey Mysterio Jr., how a guardrail saved his life, why he had decided to quit wrestling, Lucha House Party, designing his masks

The Steve Austin Show

Release Date: November 20, 2018

Running time: 1:12:09

Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo



  • We are at 317 Gimmick Street and coming up on today’s show is WWE Superstar Kalisto. The WWE was recently in LA for NXT, Survivor Series, Raw, and Smackdown Live.
  • Steve’s favorite match of Survivor Series was Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey. It was a bad a** match that reminded him of something you would have seen in the Attitude Era.
  • He loved everything about that match and enjoyed the whole show.
  • He also enjoyed the Brock vs Daniel Bryan match
  • If you have any questions or comments, shoot an email to


What the Mask Represents

  • Steve welcomes Kalisto to the show, who has never been on a podcast before.
  • Steve says he is a fan of Lucha Libre and asks about the significance of the mask.
  • Kalisto says the mask is part of his self and it’s everything. He says he’s a knight and the mask is his sword. If you take his sword away, he can’t battle with that. The mask makes him a warrior, a luchador.
  • Kalisto has worked without the mask and said it was different. It felt like a part of him was missing. He says the mask makes the luchador.
  • When Kalisto puts the mask on, he feels like a superhero but it doesn’t feel like it’s him. When he watches himself back, he doesn’t believe it’s him

Early Influences

  • Kalisto was born in Chicago and moved to Mexico. Later on, he, his mother and brothers moved to Chicago but every year, they had vacations in Mexico City
  • In Mexico, Kalisto would watch AAA and EMLL. He loved the atmosphere and the presentation. He saw them as superheros. Two wrestlers that caught his attention were Tinieblas and Octagon Jr. He wanted to be Octagon Jr. one day.

  • El Santo and Blue Demon are two of his biggest influences when it comes to working. They were always feuding and they got Kalisto’s attention because they always went at it. They were always enraged and would fight. El Santo was also in movies which is something Kalisto remembers watching as a kid.
  • El Santo never took off his mask even when going to a restaurant. He had a star presence both in and out of the ring.
  • Kalisto’s grandfather used to talk about Gory Guerrero. Lucha was different back then as the crowd was more into it compared to today.
  • Perro Aguayo was a nice guy and got Kalisto bookings in Mexico when he first got there. He was also a great booker and talker.
  • Kalisto checks out Lucha Underground because he has friends there such as Pentagon Jr. He’s wrestled everyone that’s there.
  • In Mexico, Kalisto worked as Octagon Jr. and feuded with Pentagon Jr. They only had one PPV match then Kalisto got signed by the WWE.

Wrestling Training and Kalisto’s First Match

  • Kalisto first started in a promotion called Windy City Pro Wrestling in Chicago where he learned the basics. He met a luchador who taught Kalisto the basics of Lucha Libre. It was a confusing time because Kalisto was still learning the American style and Lucha had different names for moves. For example, they called arm drags a suplex.
  • He learned really fast because he loved the business so much.
  • In Windy City Pro Wrestling, they were strict. If you messed up during training, you would either get chopped or a stiff clothesline (Kalisto never messed up).
  • The owner asked him how long he had been working, which had only been 4 weeks (owner thought it was 2 years). Kalisto put him in a tag team to debut even though at the time, you had to be in the business for a year before they would book you.
  • His first match was in a parking lot in front of 10 people. At this time, he wasn’t wrestling with a mask and went under the name Manny Ramirez.
  • Kalisto says it’s hard to say which style he likes because he likes all styles. He says he likes ballet and cirque du soleil because he likes the way they base whenever they throw. He loves watching action films and is constantly thinking and trying to be creative.

Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Gran Apache

  • Kalisto says Eddie and Rey made noise in the Latin community. Rey gives Kalisto a lot of advice. They both inspired Kalisto to follow his dream.
  • Just before Rey won his world title, he did a book signing at Kalisto’s college. Kalisto was 5 months in and he got a chance to meet Rey and told him he was learning to be a luchador and when Rey won the title, it inspired Kalisto even more that he could do it.
  • When Kalisto went to a signing in Mexico, a young fan came up to him and said she was a huge fan of his work and it inspired her not to want to be a wrestler but to be a doctor which blew him away. His Lucha scream gave her inspiration to follow her dream which is what Rey did to him.
  • Austin, says it’s really cool when you can affect someone to do something…and ever the pro suggests Kalisto needs to get the Lucha thing into a T-shirt.
  • Rey has been telling Kalisto to keep grinding and keep trying to make people notice him. This is what he’s doing with Lucha House Party. They’re having fun but can also give the audience action.
  • Gran Apache is another wrestler who helped Kalisto polish up. He has two daughters who can go as well. Gran Apache helped Kalisto clean up his ‘flying’ and helped him perfect his poses while flying. They first met in Mexico City.

Quitting Wrestling to Getting Signed by the WWE

  • When Kalisto first got to Mexico in 2010, he broke his leg and it took him another year for Expo Lucha where he did his debut with AAA.
  • During a PPV, he did a double backflip onto 10 people but miscalculated the distance and hit his head on the guardrail then landed on the floor. The guardrail saved his life because he would have landed on his head. Two hospitals refused him because he had no papers. It felt like being super drunk day and night because he had post concussion syndrome. He was only supposed to be there for the weekend but he was there for two and a half months because they wouldn’t let him fly. It was a good thing he had family in Mexico. (The video of this is on YouTube. Do a search for Samuray del sol accident. I coudn’t watch it as that stuff freaks me out but it’s there).
  • Kalisto lost his job at the time because of that injury. He worked with special needs people. His aunt is disabled and he grew up with her. It was a rewarding job because he loves helping people.
  • Finally he was able to fly to Chicago and his mom wanted to get him checked out. Then his mom got checked in and passed from a heart attack. At this time, he hit bottom and decided he was done with wrestling.
  • He was going to try and get his non-wrestling job back but was booked for Expo Lucha that year. He was going to go and planned to sell everything at the expo. He decided he wanted to work one match and it was against El Generico.
  • When he flew to Mexico, he realized he forgot his phone but didn’t care. When he landed, his fiance called him to let him know the WWE left a bunch of voicemails saying they wanted to give him a tryout.
  • She told him that she was going to come to Mexico and make sure he trained every day. She told him if he didn’t train she wasn’t going to be happy.
  • When Kalisto first got to his tryout, he felt he was going to be in the WWE.
  • When he got the call, he was at the gym and got a call from John Laurinaitis but it didn’t sink in. It was a dream come true but this is where he also realized this is where work starts and start grinding.
  • Even when he was doing the paperwork, he wasn’t believing it but it hit him when he stepped in to the PC.
  • Kalisto says he learned how to slow down because he was so fast. They also told him to be himself and not be too nervous. Norman Smiley told Kalisto he was the only person that wanted to know what his weaknesses were because he wanted to get better. He wanted to know what he needed to work on.
  • Kalisto says he still does facial expressions even though he has the mask. He also says his body expression is part of his facial expressions.
  • The name Kalisto is based on Calixto which means the beautiful and the great. The beautiful is the art of his mask and the great is his flying. He was hands on with choosing the name.

Designing Masks

  • Kalisto had given a mask to Steve when they first met and Steve asks him about it. Kalisto drew the mask. When he tries to come up for a mask, he would try to relate it to his old mask Samuray del sol. One night, he couldn’t sleep and started drawing. The three spikes on the mask represent the styles of wrestling he has learned, Lucha, Japanese style and WWE style. The back has the design of one of his first tattoos. The wings on the side represent his high flying style. Dragon’s spit fire and the dragon on the back of the mask represent Kalisto spitting fire. Plus Octagon Jr. had dragons and he had some Octagon Jr. in him as well as Samuray Del Sol
  • Kalisto was a fan of samurais and Japanese wrestling. One of his favorite wrestlers was Hayabusa and his mask was unique.
  • Kalisto has a mask maker in Guadalajara Mexico and he gets them made within two weeks.
  • Kalisto says he has about 100 masks that span from his first match to now.
  • Kalisto says with the Lucha House Party, they would go to prop shops and grab things to bring to the ring. The good thing about 205 Live is that you can try things to see what sticks. Creative liked that. A couple of fans sent them a shirt that said Lucha House Party which led to their shirt.
  • Creative and especially Vince got on board and Vince said they do some amazing, crazy stuff.
  • After Survivor Series, Raw, and Smackdown, Kalisto will be heading to Chicago to visit some family then head to Orlando to take care of his cats.

Steve thanks Kalisto for coming on the show and they sign off.

Rating – 8/10

Another good podcast from Austin. I didn’t know a ton about Kalisto and I love learning about Lucha Libre so I totally dug this podcast. Plus, it was cool to hear names like El Santo, Blue Demon and Perro Aguayo who you don’t get to hear about too often. Definite thumbs up recommend from me.

About Joe:

Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post-show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram @ja113.


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