Tragedy of WCW star and movie actor who died in in front of packed London crowd

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Lucha libre star Silver King wowed fans across the world with his talent but sadly passed away at the age of 51 at after collapsing in the ring of a London venue.

King, whose real name is César Cuauhtémoc González Barrón, wowed fans in Mexico for years but it is from his time as a member of WCW’s amazing cruiserweight division in the 90s that saw him get international attention .

Tragically his life was cut short after he suffered a heart attack while wrestling former WCW cruiserweight champion and WWE alumni Juventud Guerrera at the Roundhouse in London on May 11 in 2019.

According to reports, Barrón seemed to be struggling to breath during the match and Guerrera began taunting with the crowd to give him time to recover but he was unresponsive as the referee encouraged him to get up.

Wrestling was in his blood with his father being the legendary Dr. Wagner, an icon of Mexican wrestling.

Juan Manual, Barrón’s brother, was also a successful wrestler and paid tribute to his father with his ring name of Dr. Wagner Jr.

Barrón shared the ring with some of the all time technical greats of wrestling, including WWE superstar Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Jushin Thunder Liger and Ultimo Dragon.

As well as showcasing impressive in-ring ability, both he and several of WCW’s superstars were given a little bit of the spotlight with entertaining segments as part of the late legendary WWE, ECW and WCW star Eddie Guerrero's Latino World Order stable.

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The Latino World Order, or LWO, was the Mexican equivalent of the iconic New World Order (NWO) faction, which was the dominant force in WCW at the time.

Barrón would also enjoy success teaming with fellow Mexican wrestler El Texano under the tag team name Los Cowboys.

On leaving WCW, he would take the mantle left by the late Eddie Guerrero by taking on the Black Tiger character in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).

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Although his WCW days saw him without a mask, instead wearing his trusty cowboy hat, Barrón would later return to being a masked luchador in 2010 under the name Silver Cain in Mexico, decades after losing his mask in a match stipulation.

When news of his death broke, numerous wrestlers paid tribute to Barrón, including WWE, who posted their sadness at his passing with a video of him wrestling Rey Mysterio in WCW.

Former WWE and current AEW star Chris Jericho wrote on Instagram: "Sorry to hear about the in-ring passing of #SilverKing in England. I had so many great matches with him when I worked @cmll_mx in the early 90s …and more importantly he always made me feel welcome.

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"I was a stranger in a strange land and many locals didn’t want me there, but César and his partner Johnny (the amazing #Texano) always treated me like an equal.

"They worked stiff AF, but I loved it and always dished it back, which resulted in dozens of great matches w #LosCowboys vs me and my partner #ElDandy. Thank u for taking care of me and teaching me to become a better worker Cesar….and to me you upgraded to #GoldKing many moons ago. #hermanossiempre"

Former WWE NXT general manager and current AEW star William Regal tweeted: “Very sorry to hear of the passing of my friend, the great Mexican Luchadore Silver King. He was always a pleasure to spend time with and wrestle when we were both in WCW in the 90’s.”

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Eric Bischoff, former president of the WCW 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."

Barrón was also a hit on the silver screen by starring in the Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre, which saw the Hollywood actor play wannabe luchador Nacho.

The wrestling star was cast as the villainous Ramses in the 2006 film and would later reprise the role for certain wrestling events.

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Black also paid tribute to his late co-star by sharing a photograph from the set of Nacho Libre with the words: “César González…vaya con dios, hermano,” which translates to: “Go with God, brother.”

In 2019, he was posthumously inducted into the Mexico's AAA promotion’s Hall of Fame.

The legacy of Dr Wagner and Barrón now lives on in the ring through his brother Juan Manual’s son, who performs under the name El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr in Japanese promotion Pro Wrestling NOAH.

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