It's been six years to the weekend since AAA star Abismo Negro died in bizarre circumstances en route to an event, and the promotion is rocked with another tragic demise, this one caught on video.
If you didn't watch it, or have no intention to, veteran Perro Aguayo, Jr., 35, lost consciousness during a tag team bout in Tijuana on Friday night. Aguayo fell prone across the middle rope as part of a planned spot where he and partner, TNA's Manik, would fall victim to a 619 from returning hero Rey Misterio Jr. Some sources say that the spot called for Aguayo and Manik to move away from Misterio's swinging legs, and Manik did so, but Aguayo remained chillingly motionless. To his credit, Misterio managed to swing his legs over the thin space over Aguayo's head and beneath the top rope.
To Misterio and Manik, it is abundantly clear that something is wrong, and Manik shifts Aguayo off the middle rope and to the bottom strand. Konnan, at ringside as cornerman, is seen on several occasions trying to communicate with Aguayo, at one point even trying to stir him with a vigorous body shake. After Manik is wiped out by Xtreme Tiger on a flipping plancha, Misterio attends to Aguayo and, realizing the serious situation, turns and indicates as such to the referee.
The match indeed continues, with Aguayo now laid out on the apron (this is where Konnan tries to rouse him). Misterio finishes Manik with the 619 kick followed by a diving splash. The footage cuts ahead to Aguayo being placed on a backboard and transported out to nearby Del Prado Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Early reports indicated that the bump taken into the ropes to set up the 619 (off of a Misterio dropkick to the back) may have led into a whiplash effect (the rope snapping back into Aguayo's neck). An eight-minute video from another angle shows what preceded even that; Misterio executed a headscissors on Aguayo, in which Aguayo took a frenzied bump to the floor. He immediately re-entered the ring, which led to the dropkick onto the middle rope. It seems as though the headscissors was what was meant to drop Aguayo on the rope (since the dropkick was immediately following Aguayo's re-entry), and it's possible that Aguayo, in his bump to the outside, could have facilitated the injury there. The video does not show Aguayo's landing, as it happens just outside camera range.
Deaths in the ring do happen, with Mitsuharu Misawa immediately coming to mind. Misawa suffered a cervical spinal cord injury from a back suplex, and the logistics of the Aguayo video made a cervical injury plausible. That doesn't take into consideration what happened on the bump to the floor, though.
In any event, it's a horrible tragedy, and a chilling freak occurrence. It's sad enough for Aguayo's family and loved ones that the internet ghouls don't need to pile on with their ignorant claims that Misterio somehow killed him. Some YouTube uploads are titled with morbid names like "Mexican wrestler Perro Aguayo died after 619 by Rey Mysterio" (which is inaccurate) and "Rey Mysterio accidentally kills a wrestler" (which is inaccurate and maddeningly disheartening). Sensationalist garbage will always spill from the floodgates of tragedy. Whatever provokes, I guess.
Thoughts and well-wishes for Aguayo's family and friends.