SLAM! Wrestling Editorial: Retirement looms for Perro Aguayo
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
Perro Aguayo after beating Konnan in a cage match at the When World Collide PPV in November 1994.
Lucha Libre will say goodbye to one of its most beloved members as the legendary Perro Aguayo will retire in October. Aguayo will hang up his wrestling boots after a 30-year career that saw him wrestle not only in Mexico but also in Japan, the U.S., and Central America.
For those unfamiliar with Mexican wrestling lore, Aguayo is the Harley Race of Mexico. He's a grizzled veteran, noted for his toughness and is among the top brawlers ever wrestling.
He's also a national icon in Mexico, and is one of the most beloved wrestlers in Lucha Libre history. The diminutive brawler secured a spot in the hearts of Mexican wrestling fans with his hard work and famous feuds with Cien Caras and Konnan.
During his career, Aguayo commanded the undying adulation of the Mexican fans. His mere presence in the walkway leading to the ring would encite pandemonium and send his legions of fans into a frenzy.
Between 1994-96 it was Aguayo, not Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels or Sting, that was the top drawing babyface in North America. Fans would pack outdoor soccer stadiums and arenas as Aguayo helped carry the AAA promotion to one of the most successfull runs of business in the 90s of any promotion in the world.
He will also be long remembered as quite possibly the best bleeder in the business. The man had a penchant for blading. The sanguinary sights of Aguayo's matches surpass even those of scary blood-letters like Abdullah the Butcher and the Original Sheik. In Mexico, Aguayo's name is synonymous with blood.
During the early 80s, Aguayo was a regular for New Japan Pro Wrestling, competing in their Junior Heavyweight division with the likes of Dynamite Kid and the original Tiger Mask. He bounced between the EMLL and UWA promotions in Mexico, establishing his reputation as one of the best workers in Mexico.
In March of 1991, Aguayo defeated Konnan in a match at Mexico City's Arena Mexico (The Madison Square Garden of wrestling in Mexico) in a hair vs mask match, forcing the young bruiser to unmask. Two years later as part of the co-main event for TripleMania, Aguayo took the mask of arch rival Mascara Ano Dos MIl in another hair vs mask match. Aguayo and Dos Mil battled to a wild and bloody brawl before Aguayo secured the pin, sending the 48 000 fans who jammed the Plaza de Toros bullring in Mexico City into bedlam.
Aguayo even appeared on a PPV. In November of 1994, AAA held their When Worlds Collide PPV show from the sold out L.A. Sports Arena. In the main event, Aguayo defeated nemesis Konnan in a wild and bloody cage match. Aguayo also competed on the 1997 Royal Rumble PPV in a six-man tag match, during the very brief time the WWF and AAA had a talent exchange agreement.
But perhaps the lasting image Mexican fans will have of Aguayo stems from a match in 1995. Aguayo was facing Konnan and Cien Caras in a three-way match at the Rio Nilo Cup show in Guadalajara when rival Mascara Ano Dos MIl jumped him and busted a full Corona beer bottle over his head. Aguayo's entire face was a crimson mask, the stage was set for what turned out to be an incredible stretch of business for AAA, and fans had witnessed one of the legendary angles in Lucha Libre history.
His workrate over the past three years has dropped considerably and his legacy has taken a brow beating because of it. He wants nothing more than to be able to perform at his old level.
But he can't. The years of combat and travel have worn Aguayo down. His spirit is willing, but his body simply can't comply.
Not to worry though. Aguayo will pass the torch down to his son, Perro Jr., who is a four-year veteran. Aguayo Jr. has followed in his father's footsteps, brawling with men nearly twice his age and cutting himself with the blade. He will carry on the tradition of his family name.
Still, it won't be the same. There will never be another wrestler, or bleeder, like him. Perro Aguayo will be sorely missed.
This past week's RAW left a taste in my mouth that could only be washed out by Mr Clean himself. Call me crazy but they claim to be a company based on storylines, because the wrestling itself couldn't have been 30 minutes long on the show, and then they make things up from 3 months ago to cover their ass cuz they couldn't come up with anything. If you could tell me how Vince winning the title had anything at all to do with storylines when they put the title on HHH again right away other than so he could have a video to play to his grandkids about how tough he was, I would love for you to tell me. Maybe WCW should book Bill Busch to win the title his first day after taking over the company just to prove he's the boss, and I wonder what the "smart marks" would be saying then. I was also wondering how you voted in the NWA champions poll?
This past week's edition of RAW was the single worst TV show I've seen in my 20 years of watching pro wrestling. Period. And before I'm inundated with e-mails from angry WWF fans consider the following:
While that moronic Rock-Mankind skit lasted a full 24 minutes, there was exactly 17 minutes and 25 seconds of actual wrestling on RAW! All five matches did not have a clean finish. Two of them (the nightgown match and the Jarrett-Chyna debacle) are front runners for worst match of the year.
This edition of RAW should also disspell the nasty myth that the WWF and WCW are wrestling companies. They're not. They are in the sports entertainemnt field. The pile of garbage that the WWF presented on Monday falls under this label. It beared no resemblance to the sport of pro wrestling.
Regarding the NWA, I would pick Ric Flair. He's simply the best. He had more gerat matches with pure stiffs than any other champ.
Best draw was Dory Funk Jr. Eveywhere he went as champ, it was sold out.
Most Influential was Lou Thesz. He was the arcghetypal NWA champ. He set the standard and the NWA was built on his shoulders. Honorable mention to Buddy Rogers, without whom there would never have been a Ric Flair.