John Torres (JT) and Abraham Guzman (AG)
JT: My dad, he would always tell me to put him in a chokehold, and he would easily break it. And I was always so impressed by that strength. He was my hero, man.
I remember he had the white boots, the white mask, with kind of like a red beak.
AG: It was ”The Falcon.”
JT: He was ”The Falcon”, yes. And my dad was a neat freak. So he’d fold things a certain way. And everything was in this giant gym bag. And every day I would look at that bag and say, ‘Man, there’s stardom in that bag!’ But he would discourage me when I was young. He always said, ‘You can be something better than that. Doctor, lawyer.’
And then, our relationship collided. There was a lot of absences from him, growing up. But the thing that always brought us back was wrestling. Over the phone we would talk about wrestling for like, hours.
And I remember he said, ‘I want to tag team with you one day.’ And so you started training me.
AG: I learned that you wanted to start wrestling. So I said, ‘Well let’s see what I could do.’
JT: And I trained almost every day. I told my dad. And he said, ‘I’ll be there Saturday for your debut match.’ That Thursday, I get a phone call from my cousin. And he’s like, ‘Did you hear?’ and I was like, ‘No, what?’ And he was like, ‘Your father.’ And when he said, ‘My father,’ I already knew. And I said, ‘My dad died?’ and he could barely say ‘Yeah’ over the phone. I remember leaning against the wall, and just breaking down crying.
And on the day of my debut, I was at the cemetery burying my dad. And that’s when I decided that wrestling was my legacy.
One of the things I think about, if he was still alive today, like how would he feel?
AG: I think he would be proud. Because I see a lot in you in him. Your certain wrestling moves, I’m like, ’I’ve seen that before. ’And sometimes, when I talk to you I feel like I’m talking to your dad again. Even the laugh. People don’t know it –
AG: — but when you laugh, I hear him all the time!
JT: You know, I want to keep his name alive. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.