Mexico`s lucha libre in shock over wrestler`s death
The flamboyant world of Mexican wrestling reeled in shock on Monday as the tragic death of a star fighter sparked a debate about safety in the beloved national pastime.
Mexico City: The flamboyant world of Mexican wrestling reeled in shock on Monday as the tragic death of a star fighter sparked a debate about safety in the beloved national pastime.
Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as "Hijo del Perro Aguayo" (Son of the Dog Aguayo), collapsed and hung over the middle rope on Saturday after receiving two feet to the upper body from Oscar Gutierrez, "Rey Misterio Jr" in the lucha libre bout.
It took almost two minutes for the fight to stop and for Aguayo, 35, to get medical attention at the arena in the northwestern border city of Tijuana. Medics said they had been treating three other people in the dressing room.
He was taken to a hospital, where he arrived alive and died after doctors tried for 90 minutes to revive him, the Baja California state prosecutor`s office said. He died of neck trauma.
Prosecutors spokesman Jose Manuel Yepiz told AFP that the death may be treated as manslaughter but that investigators have yet to make a decision. Gutierrez will be asked to give a statement to prosecutors.
The tragedy involved two stars of the pro wrestling circuit in a country where luchadores are venerated as heroes, with fans buying their colorful masks in street stands.
The late wrestler was the son of the popular luchador Pedro Aguayo Damian, "Perro Aguayo," who attended his son`s funeral in the western city of Guadalajara with other wrestlers on Sunday.Aguayo`s death made the front pages of sports dailies, which raised questions about the risks wrestlers face amid high-flying acrobatics.
"Medical attention should come a little quicker," the 54-year-old wrestler Daniel Lopez Lopez, known as "Satanico," said at Aguayo`s funeral.
"Above all, promoters should limit the action in the ring a little bit because right now they are risking lives with terrible spins," he said. "It`s proven that (wrestlers) are very hurt after three or five years."
Yepiz said that while the death appears to be a case of manslaughter, the fact that it happened during a sporting event must be taken into account.
"Every luchador knows the risks of this type of sport," Yepiz told AFP.
Cancha, the sport pages of the national daily Reforma, quoted wrestlers saying that most arenas in Monterrey, Mexico`s third largest city, lack medical services, unless famous wrestlers compete.
Officials from the AAA pro wrestling association could not be immediately reached for comment.
Aguayo`s mother made a brief statement, thanking fans but saying that the family was "not in condition to make any statements about his death."Meanwhile, videos of the deadly match have gone viral online and are already being sold as pirated DVDs in Mexican markets.
"Mexican lucha libre is in mourning over the death of one of its star talents," the AAA association said in a statement.
Gutierrez lamented his ring rival`s death, saying they had forged a "friendship of brothers that began years ago."
"But in this occasion, I ask myself why and I don`t understand. I will miss you and will take you with me for the rest of my life, rest in peace Hijo del Perro," he wrote on Twitter.