Director Michael Paszt and former WCW and AAA Tag Team Champion Vampiro collaborated to present the ‘Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro’ documentary that first premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2019. The film released in limited theaters on September 4th and is available to watch on all major video-on-demand and digital platforms.
The documentary takes a look at the career of Vampiro, the trails and tribulations that he’s had to overcome and it also features his daughter Dasha, who gave her take on her father’s career in wrestling and why despite the obstacles that the business has put in his path, he continues to stay on course.
While speaking with POST Wrestling, Vampiro discussed why it has been difficult to step away from the wrestling business. During the documentary, Dasha stated that her father is going to be involved in wrestling forever and the documentary also touches on how Vampiro considers wrestling an addiction that he didn’t know he had. In our interview, he reiterated those sentiments and said the entertainment portion is what hooks him in every time.
“I hate to use this analogy but, addiction, you kinda gravitate to that stuff. If it’s alcohol, they still go to bars, they have that one drink or if you’re consuming other substances you kinda gravitate towards that crowd, so being that it’s been something that I’ve done for so many years, I think what I discovered it was an addiction that I didn’t know I had. It wasn’t one thing. It was, ‘This is all I know. This is what I’ve been doing for 38 years, I’m addicted to, this is where I believe I need to be’ even though I didn’t understand what I was doing there still. So that was kind of a conflict thing but I think the business, the politics, all the bad things, we could talk about that for six months. It doesn’t mean anything, it did then but I do believe what I love doing more than anything else in the world is the entertainment part, the entrance. That coming out of the curtain and that moment with the fans, that three-to-four minutes, that’s what I miss the most. That’s what I’m striving to do in other projects so yeah, that’s the tough part.”
Over the past decade of Vampiro’s in-ring career, one of the feuds that is regularly brought up while discussing that stretch is his feud with Pentagon Jr. in Lucha Underground. The two men worked on-screen together or in some form for the greater part of Lucha Underground’s run on El Rey Network. Vampiro spoke highly of Pentagon and said he doesn’t deserve a bit of credit for what Pentagon has accomplished in wrestling.
Vampiro added that it is his job as a veteran to pass knowledge on to the next generation and that Pentagon Jr. is/would be talented and charismatic all on his own, even if they didn’t have their storied feud.
“I pride myself on not taking credit for any of that. I don’t like veteran wrestlers who say, ‘In my day’ or, ‘It’s because he wrestled with me and that’s why he’s famous’ or, ‘I opened the door for him.’ It’s not true. I was helped when I was younger by a lot of guys that had been around a long time when I was guided, and that’s what we do, it’s our job. That’s my responsibility. We work on the same show and if the character I’m portraying in that storyline is gonna elevate you where you can go out and make a better living for yourself and your family, God bless it and go for it. I’m not responsible. He’s talented and charismatic on his own. It just so happens that the match that they say boosted him was with me. I’d like to say because of my experience, I was not only able to come out stronger than I was going in but also elevated another person so I hope younger wrestlers see that when you do get to that point in your career, your responsibility to the fans and to this industry is to pass the torch because it doesn’t belong to me or any other veteran. It belongs to the fans and the fans deserve the best and if what you have can help somebody continue to give the best product then that’s your responsibility. You don’t get a pat on the back for that. So I won’t take credit is what I’m trying to get at.”
Back in July, AAA announced the postponement of their 2020 Triplemania event. During that press conference, AAA owner Dorian Roldan stated that the company was exploring other options and is still looking to hold the event in 2020. When asked about the possibility of AAA presenting their biggest show of the year during the COVID-19 era of pro wrestling, Vampiro does not see it happening and also explained why it shouldn’t happen.
“I don’t see it. There’s too much money involved to do that event and they rely heavily on sponsors for that. That’s one thing. The date has already passed, that’s another thing, fan safety. Even if you put on an event like that, I think it would backfire because the fans would go, but 90 percent of them would look down on it because you’re not playing on the team. The world needs to get better first so I’m pretty sure — I actually think it’s good the fans have a rest from seeing the same old guys doing the same old things. The guys are gonna come back reinvigorated, I believe it’s a good break and you’ll have the chance to reset everything and you come up with new graphics, new looks, new music, new storylines and just come back stronger with a new version of the product. I think it’s actually going to be better. If they rushed it and did an event this year just because of their ego, I believe that would be more detrimental than it would be positive for sure.”
Michael Paszt has ten-plus years of experience in producing and directing. Michael has his name on films such as ‘Turbo Kid’ and ‘It Came from the Desert’. He’s seen how wrestling is shot and produced in the COVID-19 era of the sport was asked how he would produce a wrestling show in this climate. Michael had a similar idea to the one that New Japan Pro-Wrestling recently put into effect for their Jingu Stadium show, which is to have fans pump crowd noise into the building via a mobile device.
“Man oh man. I like what they’re doing right now and immediately when it first kind of happened, I thought about some sort of a thing where you’re pumping in crowd noise, but it’s based off of Twitter. I had this whole idea and as you monitor the internet activity, so when everybody’s booing a character or just that’s going, the audience, they could pipe that in, and I was just thinking they’re controlling like a video game. The fans control the audience piping. That’s what I thought was an idea, but then the new stuff they’re doing with Zoom and all that, I think that’s pretty cool.”
‘Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro’ is available to watch on most video-on-demand services. Vampiro can be found on Twitter @vampiro_vampiro and on Instagram @vampirovudu. Michael Paszt can be found on both Twitter and Instagram @michael_paszt.
The video version of our interview is live on the player at the top of this article and on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.