In professional wrestling, every indie star is looking to latch on with a mainstream promotion – be that WWE, AEW, Impact, or New Japan Pro Wrestling – and turn their passion into a full-time job.
Sure, traveling the highways going city to city can be an incredible thing, with established stars occasionally even making their way back to the small promotions they frequented back in the day in order to give back to the roots of their career, but in the end, professional wrestling is a business and making money is an important part of doing business.
And yet, just because finding a home with a major promotion is the goal of many, if not most professional wrestlers, doesn't mean performers don't have their preferences. No, as Gringo Loco, a standout of GCW who has since appeared on Ring of Honor regularly, pointed out in an appearance on Haus of Wrestling, while he won't close the door on WWE for obvious reasons, he would prefer to land with one of Tony Khan's companies, AEW or Ring of Honor.
“I mean, I will always keep the doors open to WWE. Who wouldn’t? You’d be a fool not to. But I think right now, at this chapter where I’m at, I think Ring of Honor and AEW is where I’m trying to be,” Loco said via Fightful. “There’s a lot of people who are my friends who, we could absolutely create magic with in that ring. I’m a fan of Tony Khan, to be honest with you. I think he’s a great guy.”
Discussing his appearance on Ring of Honor so far, Loco complemented Khan's booking and for his willingness to really focus on wrestling, especially lucha libre, the high-flying style of action that himself, Komander, Dralistico, and El Hijo del Vikingo use to great effect.
“I really like it. I think it’s pure wrestling to the best of everybody’s ability,” Loco said. “You’re talking Ring of Honor. I’ve seen pure lucha libre that is blowing people’s minds. Everybody is talking about that match with Vikingo versus Komander, everything that Dralistico’s doing. I think that the product, it just fits me so well. I’m sure you saw that interview that I did where I was like, ‘This is where I belong. This is where I feel the most at home.’ Every time that I’m backstage in any capacity, I just tell myself, ‘I want this forever. This is what I’ve been working for my entire career. It just feels right.”
At 5-foot-7, 253 pounds, the 37-year-old Gringo Loco probably isn't going to be drawing too much interest from WWE, as they're currently more focused on signing college athletes like the Cavinder Twins over established stars like “Switchblade” Jay White or the Guerrillas of Destiny. Still, if Loco likes what Khan is putting together, then it sounds like the two sides may have found a match made in heaven.
Loco details the issues that nearly derailed his career pre-mainstream interest.
Elsewhere in his appearance on Haus of Wrestling, Gringo Loco explained the “cardiac arrest situation” situation he experienced earlier in his career that resulted in him having to get a pacemaker and almost ended his career.
“It was a pretty unfortunate situation,” Loco said via Fightful. “I felt like, before that situation, I felt like I was finally on the rise, I was finally creating some noise, I was making more towns, I was getting flown places. Then, low and behold, without ever being in a hospital for a flu, a broken finger, or anything, my heart decides to stop, and I wake up in a hospital saying, ‘Hey, man, what happened?’ The doctor’s looking at me like, ‘You’re a miracle to be here.’ I was like, ‘No way. What happened?’ They explained that there was a cardiac arrest situation, and we don’t know why it was,” Loco said via Fightful. “Went through all these tests for six days, and they decided, just as a precaution, we’re gonna go ahead and put a pacemaker, just in case to make sure that, if this does decide to happen again, that you’re gonna be completely fine. A lot of people don’t know that. There’s actually a mini-documentary in the works right now that will tell more in-depth on that story. But yeah, that actually happened. I think that this is my second chance, and I think I’m taking full advantage of what’s been given to me.”
Discussing how he feels now, Loco noted that he's doing much better and plans to take “full advantage” of his second chance at life.
“I personally feel great,” Loco said. “The doctor said, ‘You’re completely cleared to wrestle, do whatever you want to do.’ I definitely don’t mention that I’m going to put two humans beings on top of myself and slam them to the mat, but we ran a bunch of tests the first year, of strenuous activity, and how did it look after this match? Everything looks fine, so I just think that, again, a second chance you have to take full advantage of it.”
In professional wrestling, sometimes the best stories are the ones with a nugget of truth in them. If Gringo Loco really wants to get himself over as an empathetic babyface, leaning into his past struggles to prove that anyone can succeed in their field of choice if they push hard enough, be that in WWE, AEW, or elsewhere, is a good way to get there with the crowd.