Ian Richard Hodgkinson (born May 31, 1967), better known by his ring name Vampiro, is a Canadian semi-retired professional wrestler currently working for Lucha Underground as a color commentator. Hodgkinson is also member of the citizen crime patrol organization Guardian Angels, acting as head of the group's chapter in Mexico City. Also, he is the current Director of Talent for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA).
Vampiro in 2015
|Birth name||Ian Richard Hodgkinson|
|Born||May 31, 1967|
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
|Residence||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Vampiro Canadiense Casanova|
El Vampiro Canadiense
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|Billed from||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mexico City, Mexico
|Trained by||Abdullah the Butcher|
Hodgkinson has wrestled for various wrestling promotions. In the United States, he is best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling, where he held the WCW World Tag Team Championship with The Great Muta. However, his greatest success was achieved in Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre during the 1990s. In his professional wrestling career, Hodgkinson is a three-time World Champion having won the NWE World Heavyweight Championship once, the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship once, and the UWA World Heavyweight Championship once.
Hodgkinson used to be a bodyguard for the pop group Milli Vanilli. Prior to wrestling, Hodgkinson was an ice hockey goaltending prospect who was drafted by the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Early career (1984–1991)Edit
Hodgkinson got his start in the business working for International Wrestling out of Montreal, Quebec. He often set up the ring before events and would train with the wrestlers before their matches. He made his debut as a jobber in 1984 at the age of 16 with little training, although he has credited Abdullah the Butcher as his trainer.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (1991–1998)Edit
After a few years in Montreal, in 1991, Hodgkinson headed down to Mexico City, looking for work in one of Mexico's premier wrestling promotions, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. He met with Paco Alonso and Antonio Peña, who took him as a joke because of his unique look (he had long dreadlocked blue hair and several tattoos). They decided to throw him in the ring as Vampiro Canadiense (Canadian Vampire) because he told them he liked vampires. To their surprise, with his very limited moveset that only consisted of punches, kicks, and headbutts, he became an overnight sensation, as his rock star appearance and natural good looks caught on with the young Mexican women in the audience.
In 1992, Vampiro would be part of multiple hair vs hair matches. The first of which would be on March 21 defeating Bestia Negra II. Throughout the months Vampiro would beat Rick Patterson, Pirata Morgan, Aaron Grundy and Sangre Chicana in hair vs hair matches. In late 1992, Vampiro participated in the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship tournament and reached the semi-final before being defeated by Black Magic. In early 1993, Vampiro would team up with Pierroth Jr. to take part in the CMLL World Tag Team Championship tournament and progressed to the final where the two would take on Dr. Wagner Jr. and El Canek in a best two out of three falls match. Going into the last match between the two teams where drawing with one win each, Dr. Wagner Jr. and El Canek would win the last match and therefore the vacant CMLL World Tag Team Championship. In the first round of the Gran Prix 1994 he lost to Yamato in the first round. In mid to late 1994, Vampiro would begin to team up with Pegasus Kid, in the final of the Trios Tournament along with El Rayo de Jalisco Jr. the pair would lose to El Dandy, El Texano and Silver King. Vampiro and Pegasus Kid would lose to El Texano and Silver King in the quarterfinals of the CMLL World Tag Team Championship number one contendership tournament. Vampiro would go on to team up with Apolo Dantés and lost to Dr. Wagner Jr. & Pierroth Jr. in the semi-final of the CMLL World Tag Team Championship number two contendership tournament. In July 1995, Vampiro reached the final of the Gran Prix 1995 before losing to Headhunter A. In what was perhaps the biggest matches of his career to this point, he took on Apolo Dantes in a best out of three falls match for the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship. In 1996, Vampiro would leave CMLL to join other top Mexican promotions such as International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG), Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA) and Promo Azteca (AZTECAS). However, in 1998 he would return to CMLL, he would take part in the CMLL World Trios Championship tournament and Gran Prix 1998 and would lose both. His last match for CMLL for many years would take place on December 11, 1998.
Real life feud with KonnanEdit
While working in Mexico, Vampiro began a real-life feud with fellow CMLL headliner Konnan. Konnan had been the top star in the promotion prior to Vampiro's arrival and did not take well to his superstardom. The feud stems from Vampiro being offered a part in a Mexican soap opera, but then the producers changing their mind at the last minute when they learned that his command of the Spanish language was poor, and went with Konnan, a fluent Spanish speaker, instead. Vampiro considered that Konnan had sabotaged his chance to parlay his ring success into mainstream stardom, as Konnan did become a mainstream star in Mexico as a result of the role. The rivalry lasted for several years until the two resolved their differences whilst working in WCW, where they became very close friends and business associates.
Universal Wrestling Association (1991–1993)Edit
On October 19, 1991, Vampiro would team up with Villano III to defeat Dos Caras and El Canek in a CMLL and UWA joint promotion event. In 1991 he would continue to take part in CMLL and UWA joint promotion events and in 1992 he debuted for Universal Wrestling Association in a single promotion setting. On January 31, 1993, Vampiro defeated El Canek in a two out of three falls match to become the UWA World Heavyweight Champion. He would defend his Championship over the course of 1993 in both single promotion and joint promotion events. He would lose the championship to El Canek on December 19, 1993, holding the championship for almost a year, this would also be his last match for UWA.
Early tours of Japan (1993–1994, 1996)Edit
On October 3, 1993, Vampiro would debut for Wrestle Association R defeating Top Gun. In June 1994, Vampiro would start on a two-month tour of Japan where he won almost all his matches and also took part in a tag team tournament where he teamed up with Lionheart and The Warlord and would be knocked out in the first round. On his second tour of Japan, between the months September and October, Vampiro would once again win the majority of his matches. He would also team up with Bob Backlund and Dos Caras to take on Hiromichi Fuyuki, Gedo and Jado for the WAR World Six-Man Tag Team Championship, which Vampiro's team lost. Vampiro would also sporadically take part in WAR events and his last match came on December 4.
World Championship Wrestling (1998–2001)Edit
In 1998, after spending nearly his entire career to that point in Mexico, Vampiro was signed by WCW. His first match was on the June 29, 1998, episode of WCW Monday Nitro, defeating Brad Armstrong. He would not return to WCW until the March 18, 1999 episode of WCW Thunder, when he defeated Prince Iaukea.
Later that year, he formed a stable with the Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and Raven called 'The Dead Pool' (initially called 'The Necro-Ward'). Even though the stable was short-lived, they gained popularity and had a heated feud with Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr., and rival Konnan.
Vampiro then feuded with Berlyn. The feud began when Vampiro beat Berlyn in the WCW World Title tournament on Nitro. To exact revenge later in the night, Berlyn cost Vampiro his match against Buff Bagwell and, as a result, Vampiro was eliminated from the tournament. This feud led to the 1999 Mayhem event, where the two fought in a Dog Collar match and Vampiro made Berlyn submit to the Camel Clutch.
Vampiro later brought The Misfits into WCW, and began a feud with Oklahoma and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Vampiro and Dr. Death then faced off at Starrcade, with the stipulation that if Vampiro won, he would get five minutes in the ring against Oklahoma. After Williams was disqualified, Vampiro had his match with Oklahoma. Surprisingly, Oklahoma was able to mount a bit of offense, until Vampiro took Oklahoma's cowboy hat and then pinned him following the Nail In The Coffin.
In early 2000, he formed an alliance with Sting, as the "Brothers in Paint," after he helped Sting to defeat Lex Luger in a lumberjack match. This did not last long, with Vampiro turning on Sting when he pulled Sting underneath the ring at Spring Stampede 2000. They feuded throughout the spring, with Sting getting the upper hand on Vampiro in nearly all their encounters. This set up the Human Torch match, in which Vampiro won by setting Sting on fire. Vampiro then focused on The Demon due to his defection from the ICP formed stable, "The Dark Carnival." He kidnapped his fiancée, Asya, in a skit resembling the 1988 film Spoorloos. Afterward, he challenged him to a Graveyard Match, which sparked the return of Sting.
Vampiro entered the vacant WCW United States Title tournament, with his first-round opponent being The Great Muta, who Vampiro lost to. Vampiro later joined up with Muta to attack Ernest 'The Cat' Miller. Vampiro won his first and only title in WCW with The Great Muta, by defeating KroniK in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on August 13, 2000. This reign was very short lived, however, as they lost the Tag Team Championship the very next night to Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Vampiro later turned his back on Muta, setting up a 3 Way match at Fall Brawl with himself, Sting and Muta, which was won by Sting. Vampiro then took time away from the sport as his wife had a baby.
He returned a month later, where he defeated Crowbar in a Hardcore Match. Vampiro then challenged Mike Awesome at Halloween Havoc, losing via pinfall after a top rope Awesome Bomb. He was put out with an injury and did not recover before WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation. Thus, his final WCW appearance was on the November 1, 2000, episode of WCW Thunder when he teamed up with Jeff Jarrett to take on Sting and Mike Awesome, which led to a loss for Jarrett and Vampiro after Awesome performed a running powerbomb on Vampiro and pinned him.
Hodgkinson has claimed that he was hospitalized during the purchase of World Championship Wrestling by Vince McMahon. Hodgkinson was informed that WWF creative team had no plans for him and would not pick up his contract post-merger. He had also claimed that he planned on leaving WCW before he broke his neck.
Return to CMLL (2001–2005, 2007)Edit
With WCW out of business Vampiro headed back to CMLL and returned to action in June, 2001. In 2002, Vampiro would appear on several Pay-per-views and mostly teamed up with top CMLL name Shocker. On September 13, at CMLL 69. Aniversario, Vampiro and Shocker took on Los Guerreros del Infierno for the CMLL World Tag Team Championship and lost. Vampiro's last match for CMLL for two years came on April 3, 2005, where Shocker would defeat him. In 2007, Vampiro would return to CMLL for a second time where he competed for only a few months.
World Wrestling Council (WWC) (2002)Edit
In 2002 Vampiro Toured in Puerto Rico for Puerto Rican Promotion World Wrestling Council (WWC) Where he won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship once.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (2001, 2006–2007)Edit
On August 26, 2001, he would start his first tour of All Japan Pro Wrestling lasting only a month where he would participate in mostly opening card matches and very few TV tapings. Vampiro would return in October, 2006 to participate in World's Strongest Tag Determination League 2001 and would team up with George Hines, the team would only win one match and draw another leaving them with three points and not enough to win progress to the semi final. Vampiro would go on two more tours of AJPW one in September 2006 and the second April 2007. In his last match for the promotion, Vampiro teamed up with The Great Muta to take on Taiyo Kea and Toshiaki Kawada for the World Tag Team Championship and lost.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)Edit
September 17, 2003, Vampiro made his TNA debut costing Raven a Hair vs Hair" match against Shane Douglas. On September 19, Vampiro defeated CM Punk in an “Open Challenge” match. Then on October 1, Vampiro teamed with Sinn and Slash to face 3Live Kru (Konnan, Ron Killings, BG James) with the match ending in a DQ. The next week, Vampiro attacked Raven and tried to hang him but Raven was saved by the Gathering. The following week, Vampiro and Slash defeated CM Punk & Julio Dinero. On October 29, Vampiro faced Raven in a “Blood Gallows of Retribution” match where he lost. This was Vampiro's final match with TNA.
Xtreme Pro Wrestling (2001–2002, 2008)Edit
Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2005–2013, 2015–present)Edit
In 2005, he jumped from CMLL to their rival promotion AAA with Shocker and various other CMLL talents. While at AAA, both he and Konnan held booking positions. During that time, he stated that he had no plans to return to TNA or work for WWE. He stated in interviews with the UK's Power Slam Magazine that he had no objection to joining TNA - although he suspected it would not happen due to the presence of Sting on their roster. On April 3, 2005, Vampiro returned to the AAA ring in a six-man tag match. Vampiro would team up with Shocker to help him deal with Abismo Negro and Cibernético after Cibernético attacked Shocker's father. In his two years with AAA, Vampiro would mainly appear on TV show tapings and rarely competed at house shows.
In April 2008, Vampiro made his return to AAA by challenging El Mesias to a match at TripleMania XVI. The match took place on June 13, 2008 in Mexico City, Mexico. The two fought each other in a Hardcore match which ended in a draw. Vampiro defeated Konnan at Rey de Reyes (2009) with the help of Marco Corleone. At Triplemania XVII Vampiro represented Team AAA in a match where they defeated Konnan's La Legión Extranjera to regain control over AAA and force Konnan out of the company. On April 17, 2010, Vampiro turned rudo and aligned himself with El Zorro of La Legión Extranjera. On August 15, 2010, at Verano de Escandalo Vampiro unsuccessfully challenged Dr. Wagner Jr. for the AAA Mega Championship in a three–way match, which also included Silver King. After not appearing for the promotion again for four months, Hodgkinson gave his notice and quit AAA on December 20, 2010.
Vampiro returned to AAA on December 16, 2011, at Guerra de Titanes, saving El Mesías from La Sociedad and pledging his loyalty to the promotion. Vampiro then started feuding with La Sociedad member Chessman. On October 7 at Héroes Inmortales, Vampiro and Joe Líder defeated Abyss and Chessman to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship. On December 2 at Guerra de Titanes, Vampiro lost his hair to Chessman in a six-way steel cage Lucha de Apuestas, which also included Cibernético, Dr. Wagner Jr., L.A. Park and El Hijo del Perro Aguayo. On May 22, 2013, Vampiro and Líder were stripped of the AAA World Tag Team Championship.
On February 17, 2017, Vampiro was named AAA's Director of Talent.
In the summer of 2017, Taya was stripped of her AAA Reina de Reinas Championship for an unknown reason. She later posted a comment on Twitter saying she was "backstabbed by AAA" and announced that she was no longer a part of the AAA Roster. At a TV taping, Sexy Star returned and defeated Big Mami, Lady Shani, Faby Apache, Goya Kong and La Hiedra for the title. Taya later stated she had lost all respect for Sexy Star which started a shoot feud between Johnny Mundo (Taya's husband) and Taya and Kevin Kross. With Mundo and Vampiro having heated conversions backstage, Vampiro chose Texano Jr. to face Mundo for AAA Mega Championship, with Mundo coming out victorious. At a Triplemanía XXV press conference, Vampiro announced that Mundo would face El Hijo del Fantasma and Texano in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the AAA Latin American, World Cruiserweight and Mega Championships.
Wrestling Society X (2007)Edit
On January 26, 2007, he was featured in a pilot for a new wrestling show produced for MTV called Wrestling Society X. He competed in a 10-man Battle Royal Death match, eventually securing one of two contracts earning him a shot at the inaugural Wrestling Society X Championship against 6-Pac (Sean Waltman). He won the WSX Championship, on the February 6th episode, after sending Waltman into an exploding coffin with a Tombstone piledriver.
Vampiro was involved in a what MTV claimed was a controversial angle which led to MTV canceling the fourth WSX show, due to air on Tuesday, February 20. In the (pre-taped) show, he was the recipient of a fireball to the face thrown by Ricky Banderas which resulted in Vampiro's head momentarily catching fire. The footage has since been leaked onto the internet. Later in his debut WSX match, Ricky Banderas defeated Vampiro to claim the WSX Championship.
In addition to appearing as an on-screen talent, Vampiro held a backstage position as the main booker.
Juggalo Championship Wrestling (2011–2013)Edit
On February 23, 2011, Vampiro officially came out of retirement and returned to Juggalo Championship Wrestling as both a wrestler and a company consultant. He raised hopes of developing talent, taking the company international, and, more specifically, bringing it to Latin America. At Monster's Island, he was placed in a rivalry with giant wrestler Kongo Kong. Raven interfered in the match and attacked Vampiro, resulting in him losing by pinfall. Vampiro lost his rematch with Kong at Juggalo Championship Wrestling's first internet pay-per-view Hatchet Attacks. On August 14, Vampiro took on Corporal Robinson for the JCW Heavyweight Championship at Bloodymania V which Vampiro lost. Vampiro returned August 12, 2012, defeating Colt Cabana at Bloodymania 6. On August 11, 2013, Vampiro made his return at Bloodymania 7 teaming with 2 Tuff Tony defeating The Boogeyman and Kongo Kong.
Lucha Underground (2014–present)Edit
On September 5, 2014, it was announced Vampiro signed with Lucha Underground as the color commentator for the English and Spanish-language airings. He made his in-ring debut for the promotion at the Ultima Lucha tapings on April 19, 2015, where he was defeated by Pentagón Jr. It was revealed after the match that he is the master of Pentagon Jr. In a podcast interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vampiro revealed that he wasn't supposed to be Pentagon Jr's opponent at Ultima Lucha but after Pentagon Jr's original opponent backed out of the match, Vampiro went up to creative and requested to work the match with Pentagon Jr. and put him over because of how over Pentagon Jr. is with the fans despite being portrayed as a villain.
The following season Vampiro would mentor Pentagon until Ultima Lucha Dos where Pentagon (now renamed Pentagon Dark) turned on Vampiro saying that "he was the master now".
During season 3 of Lucha Underground, Vampiro started mentoring Prince Puma.
During Ultima Lucha Tres Vampiro turned on brand new champion Prince Puma during his match against Pentagon Dark. Thus costing Puma his belt and his Lucha Underground career, as well as pairing him back up with Pentagon Dark.
The documentary film Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero was produced by Odessa Filmworks and Zed Jamaica and screened in Canada on November 12, 2008. He was involved in a relationship with Mexican actress Stephanie Salas and Mexican/US rock singer and Songwriter Ana Sidel co-star of the movie The Dead Sleep Easy. He has a tattoo on his left arm that reads "Mexico City", where he had many of his matches. He is fluent in Spanish.
During the height of his wrestling career in Mexico, Hodgkinson starred in an action film entitled Guerrero De La Noche, which was similar to the El Santo films of the 1960s and 1970s. He has also made a cameo appearance on Vanilla Ice's Bi-Polar as well as recording an intro to Psychopathic Records Twiztid's "Maniac Killa".
In July 2009 Hodgkinson reportedly had a break-in at his house; he got startled and jumped 15 feet to the ground from his bedroom window, which broke his back. The Sun reported that he broke four vertebrae in his back and needed several months to heal. In a letter posted on the JCW website in 2012, Hodgkinson admitted to having a brain tumor and stomach cancer.
Hodgkinson has stated his interest in world religions, particularly occult religions such as voodoo and vampirism. Hodgkinson also claims that two spirits from Guatemala are presently following him as the result of an unfinished ritual.
As of 2011, Hodgkinson makes occasional appearances on the Mexican show Extranormal, which deals with paranormal activities in the world. He made his acting debut in La Mujer de Judas, 2012 telenovela produced by TV Azteca. Hodgkinson also appeared on Fuse's ICP Theater as a heckler to the Insane Clown Posse.
Vampiro made his debut on the album FREEKSHOW by the band Twiztid on the track "Maniac Killa" where he recorded the introduction of the song.
On the Insane Clown Posse album Forgotten Freshness 3 the spitball recording for that intro on the Twiztid album was released as one of the gag tracks on the cd.
In 2006, Hodgkinson formed the industrial metal band Droch Fhoula. In January 2007 Carpatos Records released the band's debut maxi-single Alter Deus. A year later in June 2008, the band released its first 6-track EP under the same title of the single.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Lucha Libre AAA World Wide
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- Federacion Internacional de Lucha Libre
- FILL Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Fiend Wrestling Germany
- FWG Championship (1 time)
- International Wrestling Association
- International Wrestling Revolution Group
- Juggalo Championship Wrestling
- Nu-Wrestling Evolution
- NWE World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him No. 31 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2000
- Universal Wrestling Association
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Wrestling Council
- Wrestling Society X
1Even though CMLL still uses the NWA initials in the title's name, the National Wrestling Alliance itself no longer recognizes or sanctions the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship since CMLL is no longer an NWA affiliated promotion.
Luchas de Apuestas recordEdit
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Vampiro (hair)||Bestia Negra II (hair)||Xochimilco, Mexico City||Live event||March 21, 1992|
|Vampiro (hair)||Rick Patterson (hair)||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Live event||June 28, 1992||[Note 1]|
|Vampiro (hair)||Pirata Morgan (hair)||Mexico City||Live event||July 17, 1992|||
|Vampiro (hair)||Aaron Grundy (hair)||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Live event||August 23, 1992||[Note 2]|
|Vampiro (hair)||Sangre Chicana (hair)||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Live event||December 10, 1992|
|Vampiro (hair)||Pirata Morgan (hair)||Houston, Texas||Live event||September 1, 1998|
|Vampiro (hair)||Rey Bucanero (hair)||Mexico City||Sin Piedad (2002)||December 13, 2002|||
|Shocker (hair)||Vampiro (hair)||Mexico City||47. Aniversario de Arena México||April 4, 2003|||
|Cien Caras and Máscara Año 2000 (hair)||Vampiro and Pierroth (hair)||Mexico City||Sin Piedad||December 17, 2004|||
|Vampiro Canadienese (hair of Joaquin Roldan)||Konnan (hair of Arturo Rivera)||Guadalajara, Jalisco||Rey de Reyes||March 15, 2009|||
|Chessman (hair)||Vampiro (hair)||Zapopan, Jalisco||Guerra de Titanes||December 2, 2012||[Note 3]|
- This was a three-way match that also involved Sangre Chicana.
- This was a "Relevos Suicidas" match with Vampiro teaming with Grundy against Brazo de Plata and Sangre Chicana, the team lost and had to wrestle each other as a result.
- This was a six-way steel cage match, which also included Cibernético, Dr. Wagner Jr., L.A. Park and El Hijo del Perro Aguayo.
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Vampiro gave notice that he was quitting the promotion on 12/20. He hadn’t wrestled there in a while and he and creative were on different pages regarding going forward. There had been discussions in recent weeks but the impression I had out of them even before he quit was that they were going nowhere.
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