AAA and Lucha Underground commentator and legendary Canadian luchador Vampiro revealed on Thursday on his Facebook account that he received word from his doctor that he was in the early onset of Alzheimer’s.
In his full statement he said:
Got some results from the doctor yesterday
Not the best of news
But in my heart I know it’s a fight I am gonna win
I am not worried about anything
I am worried about how I can give more back to everyone who needs support
I don’t give a fuck about being sick, as me and my doctors have a plan! And I will be fine!
Alzheimer’s is bullshit. I am scared about potential Parkinson’s disease because it might fuck up my PlayStation time
I have been beaten up for so long, this is an easy one
Look at the news of the world
Bullshit going down
Just do what’s right and be cool to everyone
Don’t get involved in the stupid shit
Not worth it
Be safe y’all and talk soon
Following a flood of well wishes and sympathies, he responded with a video on his Facebook page where he furthered his discussion on the announcement and thank the fans for the support. “I just want to say thank you,” he stated. “It’s tough times, but it’s f**king awesome times. I’ve got some serious brain trauma for all the concussions…It’s a serious situation, I had to leave Mexico. I think I saved my life by coming here and getting therapy.”
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Vampiro got his start in the Montreal indies in the mid-1980s, working for International Wrestling. But he got his big break in 1991, when he moved to Mexico to begin work with Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL), the top promotion in Mexico (shortly before it was rebranded as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL)), where he wrestled as Vampiro Canadiense. During his time in Mexico, one of his biggest feuds was against Mexican megastar Konnan, a feud that would be revisited for decades, both on-screen and behind the scenes.
In 1998, he jumped to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during the Monday Night Wars, becoming an emerging singles star in his first year with the company. In 1999, he joined Raven‘s new stable, Dead Pool, that also featured Insane Clown Posse (Shaggy 2 Dope & Violent J). Following Raven’s return to ECW, the faction was renamed The Dark Carnival, and added New Japan’s Great Muta and the KISS-inspired Demon. In 2000, Vampiro and Muta teamed up to win the WCW World Tag Team titles. He suffered an injury near the end of 2000 and during his recovery, WCW was purchased by WWE in early 2001. He was released by WWE from his WCW contract.
Following his recovery, he headed to Japan to work with All Japan Pro Wrestling, before returning to Mexico and CMLL in 2002. He continued to work Mexico, adding Puerto Rico to his travels in 2003 with IWA Puerto Rico, where he became a 4x IWA Puerto Rico Hardcore Champion. He also became an early star with upstart US indie Major League Wrestling (MLW) before the company went on hiatus for over a decade.
He briefly joined TNA/IMPACT Wrestling in 2003, attacking his former mentor Raven, but he only lasted a few months before returning to Mexico once again. In 2005, he jumped from CMLL to intercountry rivals AAA, where he’s primarily remained in some capacity. With Joe Lider, he captured the AAA World Tag Team titles in 2012.
As nearly 30 years of injuries began to pile up, Vampiro began to wind down on the amount of in-ring appearances, and in 2015 he joined the AAA English Commentary booth, joining Matt Striker, whom he shared a similar position with Lucha Underground, which he joined a year previously. In 2017, he was named AAA’s Director of Talent, although he was replaced by his archrival Konnan last year following some controversial booking, although he remains on the commentary team and working backstage.
We wish Ian Hodgkinson, the man known as Vampiro, all the best in what will surely be a tough road ahead, and wish him nothing but the best in life.