Before Sam Adonis became "Sam Adonis," he was Samuel Polinsky and is the younger brother of WWE commentator Corey Graves. The two brothers grew up wanting to be pro wrestlers, and they both were, until Graves had to step away from the ring due to concussions.
Now with Graves as a commentator, he's getting lots of hate on social media as all WWE commentators are prone to receive. Adonis talked about the scrutiny of Graves as well what it was like growing up with him as an older brother.
"He didn't beat me up because I was bigger than him most of the time," Adonis reminisced on WINCLY. "We had a blast, I love him to death.
"He's five years older than me so he moved out when I was in high school, but most weekends I would go stay at his house and travel with him to wrestling shows."
Adonis says that the wrestlers he got to meet backstage while traveling with his brothers are often the ones you see on TV today.
"These are the guys I grew up with," said Adonis. "I remember being around them before they were stars. So, having that upbringing has definitely added to my value and knowledge of the business."
Adonis says he would often accompany Graves on five-hour road trips while he was doing the indie scene.
"I was almost kind of like his unofficial sidekick for a while and it developed into me training and being in the business myself. I think I've done alright since we parted ways, but I'd say he's probably doing a little better than I am," admitted Adonis.
Graves retired in 2014 and made the transition to being a full-time commentator. He had to give up his in-ring career at just 30 years old which was tough not only for Graves, himself, but his entire family.
"That was absolutely heartbreaking for me and the family," said Adonis. "As a kid growing up, you dream of headlining WrestleMania against your brother, with your brother. I almost feel a little bit robbed from that as well considering how talented my brother was. It's upsetting, but it's life though and it's a risk we take as performers."
Even though he was a talented wrestler, Adonis says Graves' best talent was his mic work and that WWE noticed that which is why he's in the position he is in today.
"It's not the job he wanted, but it's still a pretty damn good job," stated Adonis.
Graves has gotten criticism on social media for both what he says on camera and for what he does off camera. But his brother says that the media scrutiny really doesn't get to Graves.
"My brother is as professional as could be," said Adonis. "One thing people try to do is outsmart him and I can tell you that's probably not going to happen. There's not too many people that have a wit like my brother does."
Adonis says the scrutiny doesn't bother Graves and, as a society, people want to see "tragedies more than successes."
"It's kind of upsetting because so many of these wrestlers, especially in WWE, give everything they have to the fans… and the second something personal comes up, the fans turn their backs on them," stated Adonis. "Fans should understand that wrestlers are people first and fans sometimes come across as selfish. That has nothing to do with the wrestling industry. I think that's just social media ruining the world as it is and making the world too accessible."
Graves is also known for his sometimes inflammatory tweets and Adonis was asked if he ever worries about something Graves has tweeted.
"No no no. I get myself into my own trouble so I have my own problems to worry about," said Adonis. "He does well. He knows what he's doing and I'm in no position to tell him what to do."
The full audio of Adonis' interview with Wrestling Inc was included in today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded audio player below. During the interview Adonis discusses the public scrutiny of his older brother Corey Graves, mastering his heel persona in CMLL, being tailed by a black escalade in Mexico after Trump fueled heat he was getting, his upcoming participation in All Japan's Champions Carnival, why his time in WWE developmental didn't work out and more.