Two weeks before Lucha Libre in the Park 2013 my famed opponent and Lucha Libre Volcánica Champion, X-Man, had to return to his hometown in Mexico due to a family emergency.
Four days before the show, I bruised my coccyx when I unintentionally landed on my ass from the third rope while at practice. The following day I could barely walk and thus had to abstain from my standard cardio regiment, although I was fortunately still able to partake in some weight training.
These are the conditions under which tomorrow’s annual show will take place.
Anyone familiar with live performance art may well know that contingencies are always looming—hence understudies. However in lucha libre there are no such conveniences. When a luchador performs in another luchador’s stead, the personas, interpersonal dynamics, and entire narrative of the match—as well as the entire show—shift dramatically. This is particularly problematic when the luchador being replaced is headlining the show.
Performing with X-Man would have been yet another chapter in our saga of clashes for the championship. Disregarding differences in abilities between X-Man and any other luchador, our history alone would dictate a very different match. This new chapter was the story that I had spent weeks preparing to tell with X-Man. When X-Man could no longer participate in the show, I had to completely disregard weeks of preparation in order to establish a clean slate for my new opponent, with whom I would be telling an entirely different story. Fortunately in X-Man’s stead I will battle Hero, who I have worked with extensively at the Lucha Volcánica gym. Other than Hero, there may be but one other luchador at Lucha Volcánica with whom I could put on such a dynamic show, and in that respect I am more than fortunate to have him as an opponent. It will be an honor and a privilege to fight for the title against such a worthy opponent.
X-Man had been a longtime opponent of mine since he took home the belt at Lucha Libre in la Calle 2012, after which we would have several more encounters. He has been a mentor and colleague in the ring, and has always been great to work with. I wish the best to him and his family in Mexico.