A Mexican wrestler has died at the age of 26 after sinking to the floor following a series of blows in a match in Mexico, drawing tributes from two of the stars of the sport as the shocking footage was shared among stunned fans.
Principe Aereo did not initially appear to be in any obvious trouble after absorbing punches to his chest and a kick to his stomach during a MexaWrestling card at the Arena San Juan Pantitlan in the State of Mexico.
As his opponent bounced off the far ropes and jogged towards him in search of another attack, Aereo tumbled backwards and to his left in front of a packed crowd, causing his fellow wrestler to immediately drop to the canvas in an attempt to help him.
The referee also tried to save Aereo as he lay sprawled near a corner of the ring before another wrestler appeared to charge from the opposite side of the ropes and launch a misjudged kick at his opponent.
Príncipe Aéreo, luchador que recibe dos pierrothazos, se desvanece y pierde la vida durante una lucha en la Arena San Juan Pantitlán de EdoMex. QEPD. pic.twitter.com/poWHxzQ7W9
What a tragedy 😔
Several people approached the stricken fighter and a stretcher could be seen being placed on the ring near Aereo, although it is unclear whether any expert medical facilities were available at the relatively small event.
He is said to have been treated by the designated doctor of the Boxing and Fighting Commission of the State of Mexico and transferred to the Torre Médica Santa Anita clinic, with Mas Lucha reporting that he had suffered from a heart problem in the ring.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, who saw the chilling clip and read another report that said Aereo had died of a stroke, responded by offering his “deepest condolences” to those who knew the man known outside of the ring as Luis Angel Salazar.
Current WWE interim cruiserweight champion Santos Escobar added: “What sad news. Rest in peace.”
Twenty six years old. Jesus Christ.
Tragic… Condolences to his family & friends. ☹️
Fans also spoke of their shock after reading of the death of the long-serving luchador.
“Mexican wrestling is in mourning,” said one.
“Our Mexican fighters are true examples of overcoming, discipline and perseverance.
“Mexico is number one in wrestling worldwide. My respect and admiration for those gladiators. A hug of solidarity for the mourners.”
Broadcasters Tampicosos, who shared the footage, dismissed claims from some viewers that the situation had been unneccessarily dangerous.
“Unfortunately, wrestling is always scrutinized in these cases by media and people who are not fans,” they said.
“We reserve the right to comment because we do not know what happened next.
“Nobody is going to carry anything on their conscience. Accidents happen in wrestling and they know it.”