The world of Mexican wrestling has been deeply shaken by the death of star fighter Hijo del Perro Aguayo, who collapsed after being kicked during a bout.
The lucha libre fighter, whose real name is Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, was left slumped against the ropes after a flying kick from one of his opponents, Rey Mysterio, during the match Friday night.
The other wrestlers continued with the fight as Aguayo’s limp body slid down onto the mat, according to video footage of the bout posted on social media.
The video showed ringside personnel repeatedly shaking Aguayo and talking to him without any response. He eventually received medical attention and was rushed out of the arena in the city of Tijuana.
But doctors were unable to revive him. AAA, the wrestling promotion company for which Aguayo worked, said it was informed of his death around 1 a.m. Saturday. He was 35 years old.
Wrestling community in mourning
“Mexican lucha libre is in mourning over the death of one of its star talents,” the AAA said in a statement.
Questions remained over what exactly caused Aguayo’s death and why it took so long for him to receive medical treatment.
Ernesto Franco, the duty doctor at the fight, told Mexico’s state news agency Notimex that at the time of Aguayo’s collapse, he was attending to other injured wrestlers, according to CNN Mexico.
Franco said Aguayo’s injury was the result of a blow to the neck region, adding that he spent about an hour trying to revive him using “all possible resuscitation measures.”
The Associated Press reported that the state prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into possible manslaughter.
The AAA said Friday’s fight was organized by another promotion company named The Crash.
‘You will be missed’
Aguayo’s death prompted an outpouring of grief on social media from fans and members of the wrestling industry.
“I will miss you and carry you with me for the rest of my life,” tweeted Rey Mysterio, a former WWE superstar who landed the flying kick on Aguayo. “Rest in peace, Hijo del Perro.”
He posted two images on Instagram that appeared to show him and Aguayo at a young age and again later in life.
“I had the privilege to share a ring for the first time with Hijo del Perro Aguayo in his debut as a professional wrestler and an honor to be in the ring with this great legend for the last time!” he wrote. “You will be missed, Perro.”
WWE wrestler Mark Henry tweeted, “Respect to fallen brother in arms!”
“I and the WWE universe pray for your peace and comfort to your family!” Henry wrote.
Son of a legend
Aguayo is the son of one of the giants of Mexican wrestling, Pedro “Perro” Aguayo.
The younger Aguayo began his career in 1995 at the age 15, according to the AAA.
But he emerged from his father’s shadow to become a big name in his own right.
“El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was among the most decorated AAA stars in recent memory as a three-time Mexican National Tag Team champion as well as a former Mexican National Light Heavyweight champion and Mexican National Atomicos champion,” wrote Bleacher Report columnist Mike Chiari.
“There is no question that El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was among the most popular and successful luchadores in Mexico,” Chiari said.