One of Mexico’s all-time legends, Perro Aguayo Sr., has died at the age of 73.
Aguayo will be remembered as one of the largest box-office draws and charismatic stars that the industry has ever seen, who reached a beloved level among his fans.
Born Pedro Aguayo Damian, he would not have his first professional wrestling match until he was in his 20s after training under vaunted trainer Diablo Velasco. His debut is listed in 1968 and would make a name for himself with Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL, now CMLL).
Aguayo frequently put his hair at stake, losing it countless times throughout his career with the first recorded instance against Cucho Villa in 1970. In the years that followed, he would have significant stipulation matches and defeated Karloff Lagarde for his hair in Tijuana on June 8, 1974. Aguayo defeated Ray Mendoza for his hair on May 24, 1975, and then had one of the most famous matches of his career in October 1975. It was at EMLL’s 42nd-anniversary card in Mexico City where Aguayo lost his hair to El Santo, who put his mask on the line. The following year, Aguayo lost his hair again on the Anniversary show, that time to El Faraon on September 24, 1976.
He became NWA World Middleweight champion on three occasions for the storied promotion, winning his first singles championship on July 4, 1975, in a tournament to award the vacant title. His first reign lasted over 15 months when he was unseated by El Faraon on October 22, 1976. Aguayo would engage in a feud with Ringo Mendoza throughout 1977 and 1978 where they traded the title several times. Aguayo’s final reign as World Middleweight champion lasted from April 9, 1978, until losing it one final time to Mendoza on June 23 that year. The feud with Mendoza also featured a Hair vs. Hair match on May 26, 1976, that Mendoza won. In December 1977, Mendoza teamed with El Faraon to defeat Aguayo and Joe Polardo for their hair in Mexico City.
In 1978, Aguayo would go to the UWA, a promotion where he wrestled for until 1992. He would become the promotion’s World Junior Light Heavyweight champion in April 1979 defeating Gran Hamada and would move up in weight to eventually become their heavyweight champion. During his time in the UWA, which had the usage of the WWF light heavyweight title, Aguayo would win the championship seven times between 1981 and 1989 trading it with Fishman, Chris Adams, Gran Hamada, Villano III, and Sangre Chicana.
During this period he would put his hair on the line and defeat Negro Navarro, El Texano, Kato Kung Lee, Sangre Chicana, Scorpio, Babe Face, Gran Markus, Diablo Rojo, and Ultraman among the many. Between 1983 and 1986, he also lost his hair to Villano III, Sangre Chicana, and El Faraon. After the hair loss to El Faraon on October 26, 1986, he would not lose his hair again until 1991 when he wrestled Konnan.
He was one of the instrumental forces in the creation of AAA in 1992 and was a key attraction on the inaugural TripleMania card on April 30, 1993. On that show, he defeated Mascara Ano 2000, the younger brother of Cien Caras, in a Hair vs. Mask match, which would lead to another family member avenging his loss eight years later.
When AAA held their famous ‘When Worlds Collide’ pay-per-view event in November 1994, it was Aguayo that headlined against Konnan in a steel cage match. Their backstory dated back several years to Aguayo defeating Konnan for his mask on March 22, 1991, and then having a rematch in September where Konnan defeated Aguayo for his hair. Later, the two generations would come together and form a team. In August 1994, Konnan turned on his partner and set the stage for the main event of the pay-per-view in Los Angeles, which is one of the all-time legendary shows. Aguayo won the match and it was pure adulation by the audience as they tried to get close to the bleeding legend.
His last major run came with CMLL and featured Aguayo defeating Cien Caras for his hair on December 15, 2000, and then taking the hair of his younger brother Mascara Ano 2000 on February 2, 2001. The showdown was set with the Cien Caras and Mascara Ano 2000’s youngest brother, Universo 2000, who defeated Aguayo for his hair on March 30, 2001, in a match billed as Aguayo’s retirement.
Aguayo would come out of retirement in March 2005 to team with his son, the late Perro Aguayo Jr. and defeated Cien Caras and Mascara Ano 2000 in a Double Hair vs. Double Hair match. His last match was an eight-man tag in July 2007 in Los Angeles where he teamed with Dos Caras, Mil Mascaras & Sicodelico Jr. to defeat Cien Caras, Mascara Amo 2000, Universo 2000 & El Hijo del Cien Caras.
He was a member of the inaugural class of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996 and inducted into AAA’s Hall of Fame in 2012.