Wrestler Silver King dies after collapsing on stage at London show
The 51-year-old starred in Nacho Libre alongside Jack Black.
A wrestler and actor has died of a suspected heart attack after collapsing on stage mid-performance.
Cesar Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez Barron, who appeared in the film Nacho Libre alongside Jack Black, died at the Roundhouse in Camden, north-west London, on Saturday night.
The 51-year-old former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) performer known as Silver King suffered a suspected heart attack during the bout, according to promoters.
He is believed to have been facing Juventud Guerrera, or Youth Warrior, when he collapsed.
It was an honor to have been friends & shared the ring with the great Silver King. He & Tejano were an amazing team. He truly was one of the greats & I'm heartbroken to learn of his passing. 🙏 #RIPSilverKing pic.twitter.com/WhM1zM9jfp— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) May 12, 2019
Footage posted online by fans shows Gonzalez struggling to his feet when his opponent appears to kick him in the side, before turning him over to “pin” him for the victory.
Gonzalez is not seen to move again before the referee checks him about 90 seconds later as the show carried on and the victor celebrated.
Then others entered the ring to Gonzalez’s aid and placed him in the recovery position.
Scotland Yard said police are treating his death as “non-suspicious”.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) said medics arrived five minutes after being called at 10.21pm, but the patient was pronounced dead at the scene.
Below is a statement from Lucha Libre World concerning the tragic loss of Silver King last night at the Roundhouse.— Lucha Libre World (@luchalibreldn) May 12, 2019
Rest In Peace Silver King, you will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/nzk9F1jfCa
Fight attendee Roberto Carrera Maldonado said the wrestler’s condition initially appeared “staged” as part of the event, before efforts were made to revive him.
“All of us were really shocked – it wasn’t clear what was happening,” Mr Carrera told the BBC. “I had the impression they didn’t know what to do.”
The Roundhouse said on Sunday that the circumstances of the wrestler’s death are being investigated.
A Camden Council spokesman said: “We will begin investigating the circumstances related to this incident from Monday.”
It is understood that officers will examine health and safety matters, as well as licensing.
Lucha Libre World, which promoted The Greatest Show Of Lucha Libre event, said Gonzalez “suffered what we believe was a cardiac arrest while performing in the show and sadly passed away”.
A statement added: “We have truly lost one of Lucha Libre’s greatest wrestlers and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Cesar’s family and his fans across the world.”
Tributes came from far and wide, with Black posting on Instagram to say “vaya con dios, hermano”, or “go with God, brother”.
Gonzalez had reprised his role as the “evil Ramses” from Nacho Libre during the bout.
He was the son of Lucha wrestler Dr Wagner and brother of fellow performer Dr Wagner Junior.
Lucha Libre wrestling sees competitors wear colourful masks and elaborate costumes.
Silver King competed in the WCW between 1997 and 2000, taking on Juventud Guerrera for the Cruiserweight Championship in 1998.
Luchador El Hijo del Santo wrote that Silver King “died as he wanted: fighting!”.
He added: “Deeply saddened at the death of my great rival and companion at so many battles.”
El Ligero, a British WWE wrestler, wrote: “Absolutely awful news emerging about the confirmation of Silver King passing away this evening. Such a horrible situation, my heart goes out to all involved as well as to his loved ones. Tragic.”
X-Pac wrote: “It was an honor to have been friends & shared the ring with the great Silver King. He & Tejano were an amazing team. He truly was one of the greats & I’m heartbroken to learn of his passing.”
Last night Silver King sadly lost his life during an event at the Roundhouse. At this stage the details are still being investigated so we don't have more information we can share. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and all of the Lucha Libre team.— Roundhouse (@RoundhouseLDN) May 12, 2019
Former WCW president Eric Bischoff said: “I am saddened to hear about the passing of Silver King. Like so many of the great Luchadores that helped Americans appreciate Lucha Libre and make Nitro the success it was, he will be missed. Thank you and RIP.”
The LAS said two ambulances, an advanced paramedic and an incident response officer were dispatched, “with the first of our medics arriving in five minutes”.
“Sadly a person died at the scene,” a spokeswoman added.