WWE | Pro Wrestling

In The Wake of Perro Aguayo Jr.’s Passing, Can We All Please Gain Some Perspective?

On Friday March 20th, 2015 Perro Aguayo Jr tragically lost his life in accident which took place whilst he was performing in a professional wrestling match.

Or, let me cut the crap and put it another way: A human being died last week. The fact that he did whilst performing in a scripted wrestling contest isn’t important.

A man went to work to provide for his family, and never came home again. A father and mother will now have to attend their child’s funeral (something no parent should ever have to do), a son or a daughter will have to grow up without a father. A wife is left without a husband. Somebody somewhere has lost a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend.

Do I know for certain that Mr. Aguayo had kids, a wife or a brother? No.

To be honest with you, I wasn’t even all that familiar with the man until news of his passing broke at the weekend. I have no idea if he was the jobber of all jobbers or Mexico’s answer to John Cena. Yet whether he jerked the curtain or headlined the card is irrelevant. What matters is that somebody lost their life, and those who loved and cared about him are now undoubtedly in mourning.

At least, that’s what I thought was important. According to some wrestling fans, I seem to have my priorities all mixed up.

Look, I’m a wrestling fan myself. Whether you call it fake, scripted, pre-determined or anything else, I’ll likely always be a wrestling fan because, for some dumb reason that I can’t quite explain, I find it entertaining. Yet I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes find myself staring slack-jawed in disbelief at some of my fellow fans.

I get irritated by the delusional, entitled types who believe Vince McMahon and the WWE have a personal vendetta against them, and only refuse to make Daniel Bryan the top star as some sort of conspiracy. I get confused by those who vow to boycott WWE forever, only to tune in like clockwork the following Monday night, and I’m not particularly fond of those who claim you can’t be a proper pro wrestling fan unless you can namecheck every indie darling to ever grace the canvas in Ring of Honor.

Still, deep down, I like to believe that my fellow fans are, at heart, decent human beings. Much like I imagine Perro Aguayo did, I believe they have parents, kids, a spouse, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and friends, and that when somebody tragically passes away, especially when that somebody was doing something to entertain them, they’ll be there to pass on their condolences in a respectful way.

So, imagine my disappointment then, when on first reading about Aguayo’s passing on a pro wrestling website, I scrolled down to the comments section to find that well wishes for the fallen grappler’s friends and family were scarce when compared to the abundance of comments discussing what a man’s death would mean for the entertainment art form we know as pro wrestling.

When fans weren’t discussing the implications for former WWE star Rey Mysterio (one of Aguayo’s opponents in his tag team match that night), they were on the verge of bragging that a professional wrestler dying whilst performing in a wrestling ring should serve as a big flip of the bird to those detractors who label our favorite form of entertainment as ‘fake.’

At the risk of tarring everyone with the same brush here, I will say that since I first saw that article, there has been the kind of outpouring of respect you’d expect when somebody passes away in such tragic circumstances, though for every two or three genuine mark of respect, there’s at least one tweet or comment that almost comes across as a gloating, “Ha! This is a big F-U to anyone who says wrestling is fake!”

Seriously? Is that what’s important here? Perro Aguayo didn’t die just so that you can feel better about yourself for watching professional wrestling.

If you like wrestling, go ahead and like wrestling, what does it matter if somebody else thinks it’s fake or not? You’re not going to change their minds by showing them that a man died because something went wrong in the ring. If you want to believe it’s not OK to call it fake, that’s fine too, but really, does it matter?

At the end of the day, we watch professional wrestling for no other reason than because, for whatever dumb reasons we have, it entertains us and we enjoy it. Yes, we’re passionate about wrestling, yes, wrestling is important to us, but when a man goes to work, puts on his tights, heads out to entertain us, and ultimately loses his life, doesn’t that put things into perspective?

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Chris Skoyles

Chris Skoyles is a writer and wrestling fan from Wigan, England. Currently on a mission to watch and review every WWE ppv from Wrestlemania 1-30, you can read those reviews on the Retro Pro Wrestling blog, tweet him @Retropwrestling, or visit his personal site at www.chrisskoyles.com

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