Cesar Gonzalez, best known as Silver King, passed away Saturday during a match in London. He was 51.
Silver King is believed to have suffered a massive heart attack during his match with Juventud Guerrera. It was his third match of the day. He’d wrestled on the afternoon show as Ramses, his character from Nacho Libre. The evening show included a CMLL-style battle royal to determine the match-ups. Silver King appeared to have trouble getting to his feet after a pinfall attempt. He stayed in the same position long enough that the crowd started to boo the inaction. Guerrara gave Silver King a light kick to the side seemingly to cover for Silver King not moving, Silver King immediately collapsed fully to the mat, and he never moved again. Both Guerrera and the referee (veteran wrestler Black Terry) seemed more concerned about protecting the integrity of the match than Silver King’s condition. No medical personnel were present while Guerrera struggled to turn over Silver King for the win, or even immediately after as Silver King laid unmoving on the canvas. CPR was started about 5-6 minutes after the start of the incident. An ambulance was called but Silver King was pronounced dead before it arrived.
Video of the incident, from many angles, is easily available on the internet. I will not be linking to it here. Those shooting video included El Hijo del Santo’s Facebook page. They continued to stream throughout the incident as if nothing strange was happening at all, mirroring the inability to comprehend the situation in the ring.
The short time period between when Silver King started showing symptoms and when he appeared to stop moving suggests it is possible there was nothing anyone could’ve done – that, short of Silver King having this episode happen in a hospital (or perhaps near a defibrillator), it all happened too fast for him to be saved. That nothing was done, that this was immediately responded to with inaction, is going to be a lasting memory of Silver King’s death.
I’ll have more about Silver King later on.