The state of California has produced some amazing talent in the wrestling business. Jake Atlas is no exception to this and is one of the brightest stars in the industry today.
Born in El Monte, California, Atlas found his love of wrestling through lucha libre. He was first introduced to the sport when he lived with Mexico and would attend shows in Tijuana. With his family, he grew up watching wrestling with his mum and dad who both watched the sport as children. From the start, Atlas was attracted to the acrobatics of the lucha style.
It was obviously worlds away from the American style of wrestling that Atlas got introduced too in 2001. Watching WWF with his brother at the age of 7, a young Jake became enamored with the Rock. In an interview with SoCal Uncensored, he believes that lucha libre got him into acrobatics and WWF got him into characters.
Growing up, this love of lucha never left him and he started doing gymnastics and training which combines the high flying and athleticism of wrestling. However, the idea of becoming a wrestler never left his mind and, like many other wrestlers, it became a real dream.
In 2014, Jake decided that he wanted to live out his dream and joined the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy. Here he trained for two years before he made his pro debut against Robby Phoenix on August 6, 2016, where he won the bout via disqualification.
After his debut, Atlas only went from strength to strength wrestling in some of the biggest promotions such as Bar Wrestling, PWG, RISE, APW, PCW, and SBW.
Winning the 2017 Southern California Rookie of the Year award was a huge achievement for Atlas. The award has previously been won by the likes Samoa Joe and T.J. Perkins and is really putting Jake in good stead for the future.
It is an award well deserved as, since his debut, he has continuously put on high-quality matches that have caught the attention of wrestling fans across the world. These include, but are not limited to, his showings in the Bar Wrestling trios tournament tagging with Heather Monroe and Ray Rosas, his match against Jordan Devlin in the Northern Irish promotion OTT and so many more that it’s impossible to list them all.
One of the things that stand out about Atlas is his desire to make a statement and break down barriers. After winning the award, Atlas became one of very few wrestlers in the business that have publicly come out in 2018 and has become an idol in an industry that can sometimes be very traditional and backwards. However, he doesn’t use this to gain extra support but rather lets his talent show with his amazing athletic ability. He wants people to watch him as a wrestler because he’s good, rather than his sexuality.
I’m proud to be the first openly gay Southern California Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/1kLBhFbRjq
— Jake Atlas (@iamjakeatlas) January 25, 2018
In an interview, Jake Atlas said: “We have the Pride flag, the rainbow flag hung up in our dojo. I was like, we need a representation of our people. We don’t have that. I want that. I was so passionate. I came out and everyone was so supportive. That gave me and I wanted to do it … This was like early on this year and I wanted to do it publicly, but I was like, no, there’s a time and a place. Thankfully, I got a really cool opportunity to film something in Florida that I can’t really reveal that’s all one and the same with that. I wanted to tie in me winning.”
However, not everything has been smooth sailing and Atlas has made no secret of the fact that he realized he was suffering from depression and anxiety after breaking the C6 bone in his neck. However, rather than shying away from this fact, he has soldiered on and has become a role model for so many people suffering from similar feelings as him. Something as detrimental as a possible career ending injury would have broken so many wrestlers, but he found the will to continue fighting and has only gone from strength to strength.
Jake Atlas is one of the most unique and spectacular wrestlers to watch in the ring. He has this presence from the minute he walks into the ring from the lightness and athleticism as he glides across the ring lighting it up and causing jaws to drop. He is an amazing singles competitor but put him in a tag team and he seems to effortlessly transition into a tag team specialist. Not many wrestlers are so easily adaptable and can work any crowd, any type of match and any opponent.
In an industry that can sometimes seem very dark, it’s always nice to see someone who has overcome adversity and always comes out with a smile on his face. For me, it is always amazing to watch a young wrestler grow in his career but also embrace everything that life throws at him.
Only two years since his debut, and Atlas has already had a plethora of amazing matches across so many different countries and it’s scary to think how far he has yet to go.
At such a young age, Jake Atlas has so much potential to grow even more and it will be a pleasure for fans to watch and see what more Jake can do for the industry.