By Matt Farmer for WrestlingObserver.com
RIP Perro Aguayo Jr (Pedro Aguayo Ramirez July 23, 1979 – March 21, 2015)
If people are born to do something in their life Pedro Aguayo Ramirez was born to be wrestler. Being the son of arguably Mexico’s biggest box office attraction to ever wrestle Perro Aguayo (Pedro Aguayo Damián) he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. And follow is just what he did when just a month shy of his 16th birthday when he made his debut in a grand fashion.
Most young wrestlers start out in small buildings with little publicity and many sons of famous Luchadores start out under a different name with their identities hidden, wrestling in small towns to gain much needed experience before being exposed to the masses. This was not the case with El Hijo del Perro Aguayo. His first match was in front of nearly 20,000 fans working for one of the largest wrestling companies in the world, and on that company’s biggest event of the year.
Asistencia Asesoría y Administración or AAA for short is one of the two largest Lucha Libre companies in the world. Their biggest event of the year is held every year in late spring or early summer, it is their version of WrestleMania aptly called Triple Mania. On June 18, 1995 Triple Mania III-B took place at the nearly sold out Rio Nilo Coliseum in Tonalá Jalisco Mexico and El Hijo del Perro Aguayo made his wrestling debut losing to another second generation sensation Juventud Guerrera in an “Olympic Rules” match. You could tell from that very moment that this is a kid to keep an eye on and obviously had a ton of potential.
A month later and a week before his 16th birthday he made his United States wrestling debut at the Los Angeles Sports Arena with just under 9,000 fans watching as he once again lost to Juventud Guerrera. His father was in the main event that evening wrestling in a triangle steel cage match where the loser would lose their hair, which is one of Mexico’s ultimate stipulation matches. His opponents were his longtime rivals Konnan and Cien Caras, with Caras leaving that evening bald.
Over the next few months he wrestled all over Mexico often teaming with Rey Mysterio Jr and more often than not Juventud Guerrera was on the opposing side of the ring. Juventud was a great opponent for less experience rookie. One of El Hijo del Perro Aguayo’s biggest matches during his first year was on December 3rd, 1995 when he was involved in a “Relevos Parejas Increibles” match which is essentially a tag team match where the partners of the losing team would then be forced to wrestle each other were the loser of that match would either lose their hair or their mask.
That night at the famous El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos in Naucalpan Mexico in front of more than 15,000 fans El Hijo del Perro Aguayo and partner El Picudo lost their tag team match with Rey Mysterio Jr and Juventud Guerrera forcing Aguayo to face off with his partner. Perro Aguayo Jr was victorious as he pinned Picudo to take his mask and reveal Picudo as Arturo Hernandez Herrada.
The next few years El Hijo del Perro Aguayo wrestled all across Mexico and southern United States gaining experience. In fact some fans in the United States may remember his brief dark match appearance at the 1997 Royal Rumble where he teamed with Venum to defeat Mosco de la Merced and Maniaco at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio Texas in front of 60,000 fans. How many 17 year old teenagers have wrestled in front of over 60,000 fans? I cannot imagine a time in the future were WWE will allow a 17 year old wrestle for the company.
El Hijo del Perro Aguayo often teamed with his legendary father who was beginning to wind down his in ring career and continued working for AAA. The company was having growing pains to go along with a recent exodus of many of their big stars to the United States and identity issues of the young company. Perro Aguayo Jr was one of the Luchadores that acted as the glue that held the company together in the ring putting out good matches and quickly becoming one of Mexico’s brightest young stars. During this time he engaged in a series of matches that included three other young up and coming box office stars Hector Garza, Latin Lover and Heavy Metal. Weather it was Perro Aguayo Jr teaming with Hector Garza facing Latin Lover and Heavy Metal or squaring off with them in a series of four way matches these young men were producing the best in ring action that AAA could produce.
By 2002 he had already been in the business for seven years and at the young age of 22 got involved in a feud with the highly underrated El Dandy. The two were having phenomenal matches with each other and on August 31, 2002 Perro Aguayo Jr dropped his prized Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship to El Dandy, as their feud would continue. Just two weeks later on September 16, 2002 in a sold out El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos AAA held their Verano de Escandalo (Summer of Scandal) event. The main event was a four way elimination hair match in which the winner of a fall leaves the match with their hair intact. The finals came down to Perro Aguayo Jr and El Dandy with Perro pinning Dandy to gain some revenge for losing his championship by taking his hair.
While El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was proving himself in AAA his had father returned to CMLL, the oldest wrestling promotion in the world. Perro Aguayo Sr returning to CMLL along with a roster mixed with veterans and a group of young wrestlers coming into their own business began to increase for CMLL. The return to Arena Mexico for Perro Aguayo was symbolic as this was his retirement tour and he wanted his career to finish with the company where he found fame his first time some 30 years ago. On March 30, 2001 at a sold out Arena Mexico Perro Aguayo Sr lost a hair versus mask match to rival Universo 2000. This was intended to be Perro Seniors last match however it was not as he came back a few years later to team with his son.
When father and son were working for rival promotion El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was proving to everyone that he was no longer living in the massive shadow of his famous father. Perro Jr had become one of the best all-around wrestlers in the entire world. He was having some excellent matches and showing a combination of skill and charisma that you only see in a few elite wrestlers. It was apparent that if he inherited anything from his father it was his out of this world charisma that few people have.
AAA at the time was known as a gimmick promotion, it featured some of the silliest gimmicks you could imagine. Or only the mind of Antonio Pena could imagine. After AAA’s 2003 major Rey de Reyes event El Hijo del Perro Aguayo became an independent, which meant the company that he had worked his entire career for was no longer in charge of booking him and now it was his responsibility to sell his services to the highest bidder.
On August 1, 2003 Perro Aguayo Jr made his Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) debut at their most famous arena and a building where his father had so many classic battles over the years, Arena Mexico. Being the oldest wrestling company in the world CMLL has seen its fair share of highs and lows. During the mid-1990’s the company had reached one of their lowest periods due to so many of their top wrestlers leaving for AAA and the United States. By the early 2000’s the company had regained their composure and was re-building their roster by bringing back established veterans and grooming a very strong stable of young Luchadores. Perro Aguayo Jr made an immediate impact upon his arrival with CMLL when on September 19th, 2003 he teamed with fellow technico Negro Casas to capture the CMLL Tag Team Championship from Los Guerreros del Infiernos, Ultimo Guerrero and Rey Bucanero. This match took place at a sold out Arena Mexico which celebrated the companies 70th Anniversary.
A month prior to his tag title victory he captured another tag team championship when he teamed with another legendary second generation Luchador El Hijo del Santo. This win came during a tag team tournament held at Auditorio de Tijuana Municpal in Tijuana, the location of his final match. The sons of famous Luchadores went through two combinations that night to capture the independent WWA Tag Team Titles. The first team was Espectro Jr and Pentagon Black, and in the finals the team of Blue Demon Jr and the original Psicosis who was using his new wrestling name of Nicho el Milionerio.
Towards the end of 2003 El Hijo del Perro Aguayo began a bitter feud with the man that took his father’s hair and ended his career. His first singles match with Universo 2000 took place December 26, 2003 at a completely full Arena Coliseo, and with his father in attendance was unable to gain revenge. This match set in motion a many month long series of matches with a group of his father’s most heated rivals, the trio of brothers better known as Los Hermanos Dinamita or the Dynamite brothers. Individually they were Cien Caras, Masacara Ano Dos Mil and the youngest brother Universo 2000. Perro Aguayo Jr took on many partners to do battle with the brothers. On March 19, 2004 at CMLL’s annual Dos Leyendas show honoring El Santo and company founder Salvador Lutteroth a near sold out crowd along with his father watched as Perro Aguayo Jr teamed with Damien el Terrible to beat the Dynamite brother pair of Cien Caras and Mascara Ano Dos Mil in a double hair match.
2004 was a big year for CMLL and Perro Aguayo Jr. After the Dos Leyendas show the next big event was CMLL’s Sin Piedad event held on June 18, 2004 at Arena Mexico. This event was not only honoring the 30th Anniversary of El Satanico it also featured a multi person Cage Match where the loser would have their hair shaved. The end of the match came down to Perro Aguayo Jr pinning his partner Negro Casas and taking his hair. This event not only set up El Hijo del Perro Aguayo’s run as a rudo but it also had an appearance by one of his biggest career rivals and one of CMLL’s biggest box office attractions Mistco. The month of June also had another major appearance when just a week later Perro’s longtime partner and rival Hector Garza returned to Arena Mexico!
At first the two former partners were on opposite sides, Perro was a technico and Hector Garza was a rudo. Soon after Garza’s arrival Perro soon found himself having problems with current partner Negro Casas which culminated during the Leyenda de Plata (honoring El Santo) tournament when Perro would cause Casas to lose to Atlantis. Perro went on to beat Atlantis in his semi-final tournament match. A week later on July 30, 2004 Aguayo beat Negro Casas little brother Felino in the finals to win the Leyenda de Plata tournament. The son of the man honored El Hijo del Santo (Son of Santo) came out to present the Leyenda de Plata trophy to Perro which he quickly announced that he did not want a trophy honoring El Santo as he was nowhere near the legend that his father was then proceeded to attack Santo with the trophy.
This shocking turn of events lead to Perro Aguayo Jr and tag team partner Damien el Terrible joining forces with the recently returned Hector Garza to call themselves La Furia del Norte (the Northern Fury). For the duration of 2004 Perro Aguayo Jr and partners faced a variety of technicos that mostly included a combination of El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas. Towards the end of that year another new comer under the name of Mistico would be added to that mix and would become one of Perro Aguayo Jr’s biggest rivals of his career.
Los Hermanos Dinamita was brought back into the mix which would lead to the 2005 version of Dos Leyendas. The March 18th 2005 card at Arena Mexico saw the return of the Legendary Perro Aguayo to team with his son to face the brother duo of Cien Caras and Mascara Ano Dos Mil in a double hair versus hair match. Results of the evening showed a win for the father and son team and even more impressive was the results at the box office as receipts that night gave the company the largest gate in the history of Arena Mexico.
Box office receipts for that night were not only record breaking but the company as a whole was entering a new era with business at times being so great that Friday night events at Arena Mexico were selling out consistently but scalpers were buying up tickets so fast that became a business all unto its own. One of the reasons for such an increase in business besides the explosion in popularity of Mistico was the formation of one of the most successful heel groups in all of wrestling Perros del Mal.
Perros del Mal was a spin-off of members from La Furia del Norte with the original members being Perro Aguayo, Hector Garza, Tarzan Boy and Damien el Terrible. The group quickly became the number one rudo combination in all of Mexico. Along with their success at the box office they became merchandising machines. On certain most Friday nights you could look out into the mass of people in Arena Mexico and you would see thousands of the famous Perros del Mal t-shirts.
If they weren’t wearing a Perros del Mal t-shirt then they were probably wearing a Mistico mask. Business had picked up so much that many of the top stars were in so much demand that some guys were wrestling a dozen or more matches a week! Their schedules were brutal and it quickly effected many of the top guys who would get injured but because they were making so much money would not want to take time off.
Perro Aguayo Jr was finally able to extract some revenge for his father on March 17, 2006 at a nearly full Arena Mexico when he beat and shaved the head of the final member or Los Hermanos Dinamita, Universo 2000.
El Hijo del Perro Aguayo’s time with CMLL was very successful but only lasted five years but during that time CMLL’s business had improved greatly since and Perro was a major factor in those improvements. His group Los Perros del Mal had become so successful he and now his expanded group decided to become independents once again. At first it started as a promotion that would on the surface be rivals with CMLL but in reality would work with them doing an outsiders type angle. However in wrestling what often stars out as a storyline turns into reality as Perros del Mal Prodducciones was born they broke out on their own to become completely independent. For the next few years that is just what they did, there was some success and some failures. Not only did the company promote their own events but they would book themselves often as a group to local promoters for a very large fee. Perro schedule had decreased dramatically but at the prices he was charging to wrestle he only had to wrestle a handful of times a month to carve out a great living.
Bookings started to slow down which brought him to June 6, 2010 which was the date of AAA’s big show Triple Mania XVIII. Los Perros del Mal returned to AAA to start an invasion angle with them. Perro Aguayo Jr and members of Perros del Mal formed a partnership with AAA owner Dorian Roldan and Konnan to form a group called La Sociedad which became the top rudos group in the company. During this time Aguayo was having issues with an injured knee which required surgery. This would keep him out of the ring for much of the later part of 2010.
During the early part of 2010 Perro was experiencing a much greater health issue. In April he was suffering from extreme pain in his abdomen which at first he thought was a broken rib. After checking himself into the hospital he had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor in his stomach. At the time there was a lot of concern that this could be life threatening or at the very least the end of his active career. Much of his health problems were being shielded from the media but a few months later during a press conference held by Perro Aguayo Jr he said that he had a cancerous tumor removed from his stomach as well as chemotherapy which explained his hair lose. He went on to say that his doctors expected a full recovery however he would have to wear a girdle when he wrestled and would have to change his diet dramatically. To dispel some rumors he even showed the scar from his surgery as there had been reports that he was in rehab not the hospital.
Perro made a quick return but had to take additional time off when he started having bad reactions to the medicine he was prescribed to treat his tumor. When he did come back full time it was obvious that it took its toll on him as he physically was not the same. But he continued to be a great performer and few could match the charisma he showed while in the ring. On March 18, 2012 he took part of AAA’s annual event Rey de Reyes where he faced LA Park, Jack Evans and partner and close friend Hector Garza in the Rey de Reyes elimination tournament in which he walked away as the winner.
Things were looking up when Perro lost his close friend and longtime partner Hector Garza who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Hector Garza passed away on May 26, 2013 at the age of 43.
At the 2013 version of Triple Mania XXI headlined the company’s biggest event at a nearly sold out Arena Ciudad in Mexico City. He face and beat Cibernetico to take the hair of his new rival. After this match it looked like Perro Aguayo Jr was going to go back to being a technico as he started teaming with his rival Cibernetico but it was all a swerve as at their December Guerra de Titanes event he turned on his partner by attacking him. AAA was beginning to really pick up with some new additions like the former Mistico now using the name Myzteziz and the 2014 return of former WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio now being called Alberto el Patron.
His return took place at the 2014 version of Triple Mania which was held once again at Arena Ciudad and this year sold out the huge building. Once again Perro Aguayo Jr was in the main event as he faced Myzteziz, Cibernetico and Dr. Wagner Jr for the Triple Mania XXII Cup. Held under elimination rules El Hijo del Perro Aguayo pinned Myzteziz after Cibernetico pinned Dr. Wagner and Myzteziz forced Cibernetico to submit to win the 2014 Triple Mania Copa. Earlier in the evening Alberto el Patron made his much triumphed return with his father Dos Caras in the ring. La Sociedad along with Perro Aguayo Jr interrupted and beat down the father and son. Of course Alberto el Patron promised to gain revenge for the attack and did just that after Perro Aguayo Jr won the Triple Mania Cup later that evening.
Earlier this year the pieces were falling into place with AAA as they had a great crew of young up and coming talent. With the signing of Rey Mysterio Jr it was obvious only good things were in store for the company and Perro Aguayo Jr was right in the thick of things. Moving forward it was obvious the company was building toward a big singles match with Perro Aguayo Jr and Myzteziz.
Last Wednesday at AAA Rey de Reyes event Rey Mysterio Jr in his first match with AAA since leaving the company some 19 years ago he teamed with the former Sin Cara, Myzteziz to beat the team of Perro Aguayo Jr and his partner Pentagon Jr.
That brings us up to Friday night at Auditorio de Tijuana. Rey Mysterio Jr was returning to the building he started his career wrestling in. In fact the gymnasium that Rey and mentor Konnan had trained for Lucha Libre is attached the famous Auditorium. Rey was set to team with another Luchadores that was trained in the same building Extreme Tiger to face El Hijo del Perro Aguayo and his partner Manik. Unfortunately many of us have seen the horrific videos of what occurred during the match, something tragic happened that even over 24 hours later we do not know exactly what the cause of death was. All we know for certain is that it was a very tragic event and a huge loss for the wrestling world. And an even bigger loss to his family and his friends.
For as much as this is a tremendous loss for everyone and such a tragic accident I would prefer to remember all the good times and entertainment he provided for me and the millions of Lucha Libre fans around the world. I still remember watching him wrestle El Dandy live and just how impressed I was with the both of them. In fact after watching that match I would tell anyone that would listen that I felt Perro Aguayo Jr was the best all-around wrestling in world at the time. That’s a comment that I still stand by to this day.
Pedro Aguayo Ramirez lived to the age of 35, but he has provided us with endless number of years of entertainment. And for that we will forever remember him and thank him for his contributions during his life.