Tonight lucha libre has lost one of the greatest stars in the history of the profession. Perros del Mal’s official Facebook page has reported that Perro Aguayo Sr. has passed away at the age of 73.
Born Pedro Aguayo Damian on January 18th, 1946, Perro Sr. got his start in lucha libre training under famed trainer Diablo Velsaco. He would debut on May 10th, 1970 and by 1975 had established himself as a star in both CMLL (then EMLL) and the newly formed Universal Wrestling Association (UWA), thanks to a bloody rivalry with El Santo that many consider to the legendary Santo’s last great program. Aguayo would eventually join the UWA full time and together with El Canek and Villano III (amongst others) helped establish the promotion as a viable threat to CMLL. Despite generally wrestling as a top rudo, Aguayo would become beloved in Mexico thanks to his brawling style and his legendary, bloody feuds with the likes of Sangre Chicana, Cien Caras and Konnan, the latter whom became a star in his own right largely thanks to his rivalry with Aguayo. He also became the first person to ever hold the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, though none of his reigns are recognized by WWE as they all took place in the UWA. By the time the 1990’s rolled around, it could be argued that Aguayo’s UWA run had established him as the top draw in Mexico and one of the biggest draws in the world.
Most modern lucha libre fans however will remember Aguayo as one of the first big stars in the history of AAA, which Aguayo joined upon formation in 1992. Despite being 46 years old when he joined the promotion, Aguayo would arguably have his biggest stretch as a draw during his eight year run with AAA, while also continuing to have many classic brawls. Among his most famous AAA matches was his mask vs. hair victory over Máscara Año 2000 at the first Triplemania (in a match that remains of the five greatest Triplemania matches in history) and the culmination of his long rivalry with Konnan at the famous When Worlds Collide PPV, where Aguayo also emerged victorious. Aguayo would win six titles and one major tournament during the time (the 1998 Rey de Reyes) and would even have a short stint with WWE during AAA’s brief working relationship with Vince McMahon’s promotion, but the biggest indication of Aguayo’s importance to AAA is that he would either headline or co-headline twelve of the first fourteen Triplemania’s, helping establish the show as AAA’s Wrestlemania. Aguayo was later inducted into the AAA Hall of Fame in 2012 and his eight year run for the promotion is considered one of the greatest in lucha libre history. After AAA Aguayo would wind down his career in CMLL, where he feuded with old rival’s Cien Caras and Máscara Año 2000 and their brother Universo 2000. The latter would retire Aguayo after defeating him in a hair vs. hair match at the 2001 edition of Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, though Aguayo would return briefly to take the hair of Caras and Universo in a tag match at the 2005 edition of H2L.
Despite his great in ring legacy, Aguayo is largely remembered today as the father of the late Perro Aguayo Jr., his partner in that 2005 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas tag. Aguayo was heavily involved with his son’s career, helping to train Perro Jr. with Gran Cochisse and tagging with him in the early years. Perro Sr. would continue to support his son even after retirement as the young Aguayo, like his father, became one of the best rudos in lucha libre, adopting Perro Sr.’s brawling style and even his famed Double Stomp finish. Perro Jr.’s tragic death at the age of 35 in 2015 was a traumatic experience for Aguayo, who reportedly wasn’t even informed at first due to fear of the news affecting his already poor health. Now four years later, both father and son are gone far too soon.
Lucha Central would like to offer its condolences to Perro Aguayo’s family during this time. Goodbye Perro; may we carry you forever in our heart and soul and fist.