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Astaroth talks about his career, the wrestling situation in Peru, his goals and more

168   //    26 Apr 2018, 23:41 IST

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Astaroth is one of the most talented Peruvian wrestlers of today. In this interview, he talks about his career, the wrestling situation in Peru, his goals as a wrestler and the most important anecdote of his career.

How is Astaroth different from other wrestlers? His goal is not to be in WWE, NJPW or any other big company. His goal is to grow the Peruvian circuit of wrestling and help the formation of the next generation of Peruvian wrestlers.

Astaroth has a long way to go. However, he has already competed in the four wrestling promotions in Peru. This is the greatest achievement of his career so far.

1) What can you tell us about your childhood? Where are you born and how do you spend the first years of your life?

Astaroth: I think my childhood was quite common. I come from a family a little big. We are four brothers and I am the youngest. Being the youngest I think that since I was a child I always had the need to be independent and assume my responsibilities alone. 

2) Why did you decide to practice wrestling?

Astaroth: Wrestling was my first love. Out of the world of wrestling I am a musician but even before I started listening to music I discovered wrestling. The first thing I remember is being in my parents' bedroom at 7 pm watching The Rock and Triple H at the Attitude Era. I always watched wrestling while waiting for my parents to have dinner. I have never liked sports. I only played a bit of football with my friends at school, but that did not appeal to me. The wrestling was something different. I liked the artistic aspects and at the same time the physical effort, the show, the lights, the stories, the movements, the intensity and the reaction of the audience. All that seemed very incredible to me. I have similar feelings to music and movies. Two hours in that world and forget about the rest. I decided to practice wrestling because I was given the opportunity. At that time it was not someone who dared to do things. At that time there was a website called Peru Wrestling and they had a forum in Messenger. Everyone was commenting about wrestling. I was 13 years old and they published an advertisement for a wrestling school in Peru. I asked my father for permission to go. That's how I started.

That was 10 years ago. They were people from LWA (Leader Wrestling Association), the oldest wrestling promotion in Peru so far. Those trainings were in Miraflores, in a gym on Schell Street near Kennedy Park. There I began to train. It was the moment when I entered the world of wrestling. I did not make my debut at LWA nor did I have a character. LWA at that time did not do shows and was just starting as a company. Most of my training partners were five years older than me and I was the youngest. I needed my father to take me to training and I did not go as often as I would have liked. At least a couple of months I went without missing a single day. After that I had to prioritize the school and the university and I had little continuity in my trainings at LWA. Just a couple of years ago I got the regularity I needed to dedicate myself to wrestling.

Sometime later I decided that I wanted to get totally involved and train more often. I had the opportunity to return to LWA at any time, but it was very far from my home. I live in Pueblo Libre and going to Surco is very complicated. Another opportunity appeared that was GLL (Generación Lucha Libre), which was closer for me and I returned to wrestling. 


3) What can you tell me about your first match?

Astaroth: My debut was at a GLL show in Barranco. It was three or four years ago. I was not nervous. Generating reactions in the audience was quite exciting. I do not know if someone recorded that match but if I saw it I would be embarrassed because my level was very low compared to the level I have now. I have learned a lot with the passage of time. I think that match was a reaffirmation that I was doing the right thing by dedicating my time to this and that it was not a whim. 

4) What was the best match you have had in your career so far?

Astaroth: I have two. The first was a triple threat match against Heavy Metal and Reptil. The winner would get the GLL Championship. That was my best performance. It was one of the matches in which I had the most fun and learned. The other one is more recent against LJ Night. I think we managed to win the affection of the public. It was a match, a show and a different audience than usual. I think we told a great story and entertained the audience.


5) Who are the wrestlers that were or are important influences for you?

Astaroth: TVK (Tito Victoria Kanno). I saw him from his beginnings. At least for me, he is one who has made the most effort to be a wrestler. Heavy Metal, Reptil and Kassius are very important to me. It was with them that I learned 80% of everything I know. With them I trained and they made me try hard and give more than I could give. I will always be grateful for that.

Outside of Peru my biggest influence is The Undertaker for his character and innovation. 10 or 20 years ago he was different and it was not common to see a wrestler like him. Also Super Dragon, one of the founders of PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla). All his matches are very intense and he always works 100%. He is amazing.

6) How would you define your style of wrestling?

Astaroth: I lean towards the strong style. I'm training to reach a high level in that style. I have some technical movements and I like to do aerial movements occasionally. My favorite movement is kicking. I really like to kick my rivals. 

7) Do you watch WWE programming regularly?

Astaroth: I would be lying if I said that I regularly watch RAW or SmackDown, although I am aware of what happens on a weekly basis. I never miss any episode of NXT. The three companies I watch most regularly are Progress, NJPW and PWG. 

8) Is there a company or promotion that you aspire to reach?

Astaroth: I would like to go to Chile. I would like to be in a show of 5 Luchas Clandestino. They have a format that I quite like. I would like to be in PWG, CZW or Progress although that is not my goal. My goal is to help the wrestling develop in Peru and be able to help younger people here so that they can reach these companies. I have had the opportunity to fight in the four wrestling promotions of my country: LWA, GLL, Imperio and Alpha Wrestling Club. I have had matches in all the promotions of my country and that is an achievement for me. But now I will continue where they call me and I will do the best I can. I probably cannot get very far, but I'm not looking for that either. I prefer to help build the industry of this country and help people who get involved and can go further than me in the future. 

9) What is your opinion about the wrestling situation in Peru?

Astaroth: I think we are on the right track. Wrestling in Peru is growing at a slow pace. I am a wrestler who has been in the four promotions of this country with four completely different audiences. Years ago that was unthinkable. But we have to be prudent. The wrestlers, promotions and promoters have to keep improving. We have to learn from our mistakes and see what we can improve. The hardest job we do is to teach fans to be a true wrestling audience. We need them to be involved and engaged in the action.

10) What is the anecdote of your career that you remember the most?

Astaroth: A year before the historic first show of Imperio I always trained with Reptil. At that time he and I shared the same characters. One was Ricochet and the other was Super Dragon or Zack Sabre Jr. In that show, Reptil, who is practically my brother, faced Zack Sabre Jr. That was a very exciting moment and it meant a lot to me. It gave me a lot of happiness because Reptil deserves everything he has achieved. 

11) Is there anything you can tell me about your future projects?

Astaroth: The history of Astaroth in Peruvian wrestling is just beginning. From now on everyone is going to see me much more often.

Jose Miguel Mercado is a journalist from Arequipa, Peru, specializing in football and professional wrestling. Jose Miguel has worked writing for two of the most important media in Peru (DeChalaca and Movistar Deportes). He not only publishes articles and interviews about football and professional wrestling personalities, but also about athletes from many other disciplines.
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