The story of a young man, based in Newark, New Jersey, parents via Puerto Rico, is a familiar one. But the differences can be found in a love for a sport, Professional Wrestling, that restored a link to his past. The man known by the ring moniker, Bandido, Jr. was like a lot of wrestling fans in their youth, doing things like taping over his cartoon videos with his favorite performers. Surprisingly, while at a outdoor party, he was introduced to a masked man, a star wrestler, and it would never be the same.
“I was with my mother and a ring was setup in the middle of a block party.”
“We were standing around and sure enough this man, in his long tights, boots and mask, was talking to my mom.”
His mother proceeded to allow the masked mountain of a man to take her son away to a quiet spot and proceeded to explain to this starstruck child that he was his father.
“My response was that, my Dad is a wrestler!!! Its the greatest thing ever.”
The calendar of the pro wrestler known as Bandido was the same as most wrestlers in the business, with very little free time in their lives. His father had started his career in Puerto Rico which explained the lengthy absence in his first seven years.
“I learned why it was in my blood and it was a sign, most definitely.”
Bandido, Jr. went on to follow in his father’s footsteps and made a name for himself in the Indie rings. The irony was not lost on him as he grew up to draw fans of his own who came to cheer the Latino hero on the cards he performed in. He reflected on that.
“Watching people want my father’s autograph and doing magazine interviews, for me to get that same attention he was is surreal.”
Bandido Jr. is proud of heritage and though not outwardly seeking the position of role model, he does not shy away from the notion that he is a hero to Latino youth as well as others.
“To represent Latinos all over the world, to be visualized and noticed as a leader is pretty special.”
On this evening wrestling for FWE (Family Wrestling Federation) he is doing what he loves. As he points out he is blessed to be able to parlay his natural athletic skills to something he enjoys. And it shows in his performances. He can also point back to yesterday to a masked man who took his kid by the hand and removed the mask that allowed them to restart their relationship.
“If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”