All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is only three shows deeps into its history. With a slew of established superstars like Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Jon Moxley, and more, they’ve also managed to find some unheralded or relatively unknown names from the independent scene (at least to more mainstream viewers), such as Sonny Kiss, Nyla Rose, RIHO and Kip Sabian. But arguably two of the most popular characters in AEW out of the gate has been the pairing of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus as a unit. Since Double or Nothing, these two have been inseparable, with Jungle Boy routinely seen riding the shoulders of the giant lucha dinosaur, either at AEW events or in spots on the Young Bucks’ YouTube series, Being the Elite. At Saturday’s Fight for the Fallen, indie sensation Marko Stunt made his AEW debut, by appearing alongside the duo.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) July 14, 2019
Young boys and their fascination with dinosaurs have been a source of inspiration for stories for years. Back in the 1970s, Marvel Comics had a series called Devil Dinosaur that featured a giant dinosaur (Devil Dinosaur) who constantly carried “the first human”, Moon Boy, on his back and through a series of misadventures. Another Marvel property, Ka-Zar, also rode dinosaurs on occasion and DC Comics’ counterpart, Anthro the First Boy, was also known to ride a giant reptile on occasion. In 2015, Disney and Pixar produced the animated hit, The Good Dinosaur, about an intelligent dinosaur who had a “pet” boy.
The story of Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy is a tale that spans a decade, even if it’s seemingly just begun in AEW. But back in 2009, a young Austin Matelson began wrestling for New Wave Pro Wrestling (NWPW) in San Diego, California. The 6’5″ 24-year old year wasn’t the youngest person starting with NWPW though – that mantle went to 12-year old Jack Perry. The son of beloved Hollywood actor Luke Perry of Beverly Hills 90210 fame was a true supporter of his son’s love of professional wrestling, even at such as a young age.
#throwback with @boy_myth_legend to 10 years ago! The first week of wrestling school he was still sitting above me 🦖🦖#aboyandhisdinosaur #aew #luchasaurus #jungleboy #bestfriends pic.twitter.com/q7FfmfhSPC
— Luchasaurus (@JudasDraven) June 30, 2019
After years in the West Coast indies as Austin Draven, in 2012 Matelson was signed by WWE to a developmental deal, assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). He debuted under the name Judas Devlin and soon after he arrived in FCW, it was rebranded and rebooted as NXT. He worked primarily NXT Live Events for two years, before being released in 2014.
During that time, Jack Perry had given up on pro wrestling. After initially training as a 12-year old, he fell out of love with pro wrestling for a brief time, and it wasn’t until 2015 – at age 18 – that he refound his intrigue for the industry and decided to give it another go. He started as Nate Coy but soon became more well known as simply Jungle Boy. He spent the next few years working the West Coast indie scene, with the likes of All Pro Wrestling (APW), Underground Empire Wrestling (UEW), and Maverick Pro.
Judas Devlin was far from done, even though WWE had given up on him. By 2016, he had returned to the West Coast indies himself, working with Millenium Pro Wrestling (MPW) in Moorpark, California, when he was signed by Lucha Underground. He made his debut in Season 3 of Lucha Underground as part of Kobra Moon (Thunder Rosa)’s Reptile Tribe, as the reptilian Vibora. He would be a part of LU for two seasons, before being “killed off” in the fourth season.
But despite his LU career coming to an end, the reptilian masked character continued on the West Coast. Now known as Luchasaurus, he was competing regularly for Bar Wrestling, as well as appearances for Ring of Honor, House of Hardcore, and many others.
And now, as 2019 hits its halfway point, Luchasaurus and Jungle are reunited, 10 years later, as a tandem in AEW. Affectionately called “A Boy And His Dinosaur”, the duo has become cult favorites of fans around the world and look to be a big part of AEW as it entrenches itself in the wrestling zeitgeist.
— Dispatch Podcast (@DispatchPod) July 14, 2019
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For more info on both competitors, check out these two interviews with Chris Van Vliet.