A Mexican wrestler died early Saturday from a blow he suffered in the ring during a match at an event, the Baja California state prosecutor’s office said.
Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo, fell unconscious on the ring ropes after receiving a flying kick from wrestler Oscar Gutierrez, as known as Rey Mysterio Jr. according to video of the match that took place in Tijuana.
The match continued for at least two minutes before other participants in the match realized Aguayo was seriously injured. He was rushed to the hospital, but died at 1:30 a.m.
"I have no words for this terrible news," Joaquin Roldan, director of the AAA wrestling federation, said through his Twitter account. "My sincerest condolences for the Aguayo Ramirez family."
The prosecutor’s office said the cause of death was trauma to the neck and a cervical fracture. It has opened an investigation into possible manslaughter.
The Tijuana Boxing and Wrestling Commission called the death an unfortunate accident.
Even though the match continued as Aguayo hung listless on the ropes, commission President Juan Carlos Pelayo said people moved immediately to check his condition. He said the doctor in charge was not at ringside because he was treating another injured wrestler, but paramedics and a doctor who was a spectator attended to Aguayo.
"The reaction for medical attention was quick, in my opinion," Pelayo said in a news conference Saturday.
Mexico is famous for its colorful wrestling characters and its style of professional wrestling called lucha libre.
Aguayo, 35, had wrestled for 20 years and was the son of the legendary Pedro "Perro" Aguayo, now retired and a member of the Aztec lucha hall of fame.
The younger Aguayo was also popular and led a group called "Los Perros de Mal," or the bad dogs. He won numerous titles, including national pairs with his father, a national heavyweight championship and the Consejo Mundial Lucha Libre world trios championship.
"It makes me very sad because he was a professional colleague and I have great affection for his father," the wrestler Hijo del Santo said in a telephone interview. "I think the fans in Japan, the U.S. and Mexico, of course, where he was very popular, must be in mourning, especially because of his youth. He had much ahead of him."
The Associated Press contributed to this report