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In Memory of Perro Aguayo Jr.

March 21, 2017

Two years ago today  in Tijuana, Mexico, Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, best known to wrestling fans as Perro Aguayo, Jr., died after suffering a fatal spinal injury during a match for Mexican independent promotion The Crash at the young age of 35.

Born July 23, 1979, the son of lucha legend Perro Aguayo was best known as the leader of rudo stable Perros del Mal (Dogs of Evil) in the mid 2000s. He would form his own independent promotion of the same name after leaving CMLL. He had two runs in AAA; his first from 1995 to 2003 (his professional debut came at just age 15), and his second coming in 2010. The 1995 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Rookie of the Year and 2012 AAA Rey de Reyes winner won tag team championships with World Wrestling Association, CMLL, and AAA. Aguayo had competed in 13 luchas de apuestas matches (wager matches, such as hair versus hair or hair versus mask) in his career, winning them all.

On March 20, 2015, Aguayo wrestled in a tag team match with Manik against Rey Mysterio and Xtreme Tiger. During the bout, Mysterio hit a headscissors takedown on Aguayo, who was then sent out of the ring. When Aguayo returned, he was kicked into the back and shoulder setting up for the 619. Manik then fell onto the middle rope and Aguayo’s body appeared to have gone limp. The match soon went to a quick finish, with Mysterio pinning Manik.

Konnan, who was at ringside, attempted to revive Aguayo, as did paramedics when he was brought to a local hospital. Aguayo was pronounced dead at 1am the next morning. He was just 35.

Initially reported as a death via cervical spine trauma, Aguayo died of cardiac arrest due to a cervical stroke caused by having his C1, C2, and C3 vertebrae broken. There was criticism that Aguayo had not been attended to in a timely manner and had also been not properly carried out (he was carried out on a piece of plywood, as the stretcher was already in use to attend to another wrestler that suffered a spinal injury). The cororner ruled it would have made no difference, as the fractures killed him almost instantaneously.

Posthumously, several promotions, including AAA, Lucha Underground, CMLL, The Crash, and World Wrestling League, paid tribute to Aguayo following his death. Less than a month after his death, the Mexican Senate Sports Commission introduced an initiative to regulate combat sports nationwide in the country, including a code of ethics, a consolidation of agencies, and granting federal licenses. Perro Aguayo, Jr. was posthumously inducted into the AAA Hall of Fame that summer at Triplemania XXIII and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame late in the year.