As some of you may have noticed, there has been a marked change on my social media in that I recently decided to change my name. Now had I realized what a pain in the ass the entire process was going to be (short story: Facebook wouldn’t allow me to change my name, subsequently forced me to convert my “Timeline” to a “Page” ergo deleting most of my pictures—including anything that anyone tagged me in—and all of my posts), I may have waited a bit longer. However with Lucha de Sound III looming on the horizon, I decided March 29th would be as good date as any to debut my new name.
Not unlike actors, an individual performer’s name carries great significance in lucha libre*. Many popular luchadores essentially establish dynasties, wherein the offspring or proteges will take the name of their predecessor, which is both a sort of a formal public blessing, as well as a continuation of the “brand,” so to speak. In a way it allows notable luchadores to live on beyond the end of their respective careers in the ring.
Fénix came to me as being a representation of existentialist philosophy, specifically the idea that we are perpetually creating ourselves at every moment, ergo there is no essence of self. For this same reason I refused to craft any sort of a backstory for Fénix as a persona, as I didn’t want his essence to proceed him—I wanted him to be able to retell his story every time he entered the ring.
For these reasons, the name Fénix was important to me.
However I later found that there is not only a plethora of luchadores with variations of the name “Fénix” (Ave Fénix, Fénix Azul, Fénix Rojo, and so on), but that there is also a quite famous “Fénix” in AAA. I was forced to make a decision: maintain the name Fénix and potentially live in the shadow of eponymous luchador from AAA; ditch the name despite its significance to me in an effort to establish myself as distinctly different from all of the Fénixes**.
Because distinction is important to luchadores, I went with the latter. The selection process actually took weeks, wherein I had a short list of words that I enjoyed for various reasons. Some of these words included:
I won’t go through each one individually, but in short, I found many of these to be unsuitable one reason for another. After tireless deliberation, I landed on a name which my research indicates is unique to me: Ave Rex. The name has a dual meaning: “King of the Birds” in Spanish, or roughly “Hail the King” in Latin—the latter of which gives it a fun semi-blasphemous twist as well.
Since my first year in lucha libre, I knew that I would inevitably have to change my name. Although it took me another 2 years to finally do so, I am content with the name change. Now only if there were a way to expedite all of these cumbersome name-changes across my social media…
*For another discussion, check out Avispa’s recent post about her process for selecting a name.
**the author makes no claim that “Fénixes” is in fact plural for “Fénix.”