Mexican wrestling star Perro Aguayo Jr., who died from injuries suffered during a match in Tijuana last Friday, had a heart attack and stroke after a kick from his opponent broke his neck, according to a report. Aguayo, who was 35, slumped against the ropes after former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Rey Mysterio Jr. delivered a dropkick to his neck region; he remained motionless for several seconds before medics came to his aid.
Juan Carlos Pelayo, president of the Tijuana Wrestling Commission, said medical negligence did not contribute to his death. A doctor arrived to examine Aguayo roughly 80 seconds after he suffered his fatal injury and two ambulances were on standby at the arena, according to the Los Angeles Times. Aguayo was “a gigantic star in Mexico” and was regarded as a top villain in Mexico’s pro wrestling circuit, Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporter Dave Meltzer told the LA Times.
Critics questioned why it took so long for doctors to check on Aguayo’s condition. Even Misterio broke character to examine him in the middle of the match. The doctor assigned to that night’s promotion said he was busy providing medical care to other wrestlers when Aguayo was hurt and that he spent nearly an hour in a bid to revive him, CNN reports. Several videos that depicted Aguayo’s injury were posted to YouTube, many of which are still online.
Mysterio, who spent years wrestling for the United States’ WWE and for the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, bid farewell to Aguayo on social media. “I will miss you and carry you with me for the rest of my life,” Mysterio wrote. “Rest in peace.”
A 20-year veteran of the Mexican wrestling circuit, Aguayo was working for wrestling promotion “The Crash” at the time of his death, according to ESPN. Prosecutors in Baja California Norte state have opened a probe into Aguayo’s death, according to the Associated Press.