Daga has enjoyed a ten-year run in professional wrestling and now brings his talents to IMPACT Wrestling. He was a featured star for Dragon Gate and on the Mexican wrestling scene as a former member of Los Perros del Mal, he now looks to show people that while he does have a strong background in Lucha libre wrestling, that’s not all he is capable of.
Daga teamed up with TJP and Fallah Bahh against the Desi Hit Squad on last week’s episode of IMPACT, but he didn’t have an advertised match leading into IMPACT’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view. Daga ended up making an impromptu appearance as a substitute wrestler after the Brian Cage versus Rob Van Dam match was stopped due to an apparent injury to Cage, and he said he’s going to show people not only what he learned internationally and fight against being typecast as a ‘typical’ luchador.
“The Lucha libre style is my background, but traveling all over the world and going to Japan to work with Dragon Gate, coming to the States, England and having these types of matches,” Daga said, “the thing I want to show people in America is that I’m not like a typical luchador. I don’t want them to just expect big spots or big dives, stuff like that. I want to show the people in America that even with a Lucha libre background I can do any style. I went to Japan and I worked their style, I had to work to be on the same level as them and that’s what I want to do here. I want to learn more about the American style, but also show everything I’ve been learning all over the world.”
Daga is trying to build his name in the United States, but domestic audiences will be a bit familiar with him due to his appearance on Lucha Underground as part of Kobra Moon’s Reptile Tribe. He says despite having some televised wrestling experience, working in Mexico is completely different than the El Rey Network series and IMPACT Wrestling’s format. Daga says the Lucha libre style is performed at such a fast pace that the athletes don’t have as much time to work for the cameras, and although Lucha Underground did introduce him to what he needs to be ready for, IMPACT provides another new challenge for him.
“Lucha Underground introduced me to this new world where you have to be ready for a camera angle, things you never learned in Mexico. With IMPACT, it’s a different thing because it’s more like an American style of wrestling. When I say American style, I’m talking about the action inside the ring, so you need to be able to do everything to perform—be good for the camera, good in the ring. It’s a little bit different because Lucha Underground, to me, was a mix of Lucha libre and they tried to reintroduce Lucha libre to the world. We haven’t had that since ’96,” Daga said, “when Rey Mysterio and Psicosis and all of these people in WCW came to the States and showed the Lucha style. I think Lucha Underground tried to do that at that point, but with IMPACT I have to work at a different level.”
Daga says two of his favorite matches in 2019 were when he faced TJP on the show that aired December 17 and last week’s six-man tag team contest on IMPACT. When asked to pick a match from his past that would best highlight his work, he also pointed out a 2015 bout against Fenix and a Lucha de Apuestas (hair versus mask) match against Psicosis as two of his favorites.
The former AAA World Cruiserweight Champion says there are many possibilities with the X Division or tag team titles being potential goals, but he could also see himself eventually contending for the IMPACT World Championship, previously held by Sami Callihan and now around the waist of Tessa Blanchard, who happens to be his fiancée. He notes his decorated past and looks forward to potentially winning more gold in IMPACT and AAA in the new year, noting that he would like to face Kenny Omega if the opportunity presents itself.
“For most of my career, I’ve been part of factions or teams. In AAA, I was part of Los Perros Del Mal, right? When we left the company, Garza Jr, the Lucha Bros and I, we started La Rebelión and I had always been part of a team. Now I want to be by myself to prove to everyone what I’m about. In 2020 I want to have a Mega Championship match, the champion now is Kenny Omega. That’s one of my goals in Mexico,” Daga said, “but I also want to hold an IMPACT title.”
Daga acknowledges the fact that Perros Del Mal was such a big part of his career and gave him plenty of opportunities to grow, but says his overall focus is building his name on his own with IMPACT Wrestling.
“Perros Del Mal is one of the more popular and more successful stables of all time in Mexico. Sharing the ring with legends like Psicosis or Perro [Aguayo] Jr, Halloween or Hector Garza, Teddy Hart at one point. To me it was a huge opportunity to learn about this business,” Daga said, “because at that point I was really young. I think I learned everything I needed from them, but I want to build my name now on my own.”
Note: This interview was conducted prior to IMPACT’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view