One of the best things about writing articles and doing interviews is the opportunity to get to know the talent. In the short time I’ve been doing this, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and talented people in the business. Sometimes when you spend time with someone and have the opportunity to get to know them, you find out how amazing some people truly are. This interview was no exception about Guerrero De Neon.
Guerrero De Neon is an emerging talent here in the Pacific Northwest. He made his DEFY debut this last January at the promotions two-year anniversary. He competed in the Ten Man Survivor Tournament and made a strong showing in a field of impressive talent. While he didn’t win the tournament, this young man won more than a few fans that night.
Even though that was his first time at Washington Hall, this was hardly his first appearance here in the Pacific Northwest. Guerrero has been working the independent scene for a couple years. He has performed at such promotions as Lucha Libre Volcanica, Prestige, Big League Wrestling among many others.
Some of you may be familiar with Guerrero De Neon from his vlog. He has graciously opened his life up to his followers talking about his training, travels and we even get to see some of his fellow wrestlers. If you haven’t seen any of his vlogs check them out at YouTube, Wrestle Panda: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrEk3kbEvroKYBLDQMvDjcg
It isn’t always easy to get some of Guerrero De Neon’s time considering how hard he works and how busy he is. Not only was I lucky enough to get some of his time, but he was incredibly open and willing to discuss some very personal questions. I would like to personally thank this talented young man for his candid honesty and willingness to discuss some of the things he has struggled over come in his life. I hope you enjoy meeting Guerrero De Neon!
Philip: How long have you been training? Where? With whom?
Guerrero De Neon: I first started training in the style of Lucha Libre at Lucha Libre Volanica in October 2014, right after my 17th birthday. Then, in November of 2017 I had the honor of being the first student accepted into the Buddy Wayne Academy after his passing. This was my official introduction to the American style.
Philip: How long did you train before you had your first match? Tell us about that first match and what it was like for you.
Guerrero De Neon: I had my first match in April of 2015, 6 months after training. I got thrown into the fire pretty quick and personally didn’t think I was ready. I was in a Tag Team match with my partner being Acero and my opponents being Guerrero Aguila & current CMLL signee, La Avispa Dorada (FKA La Avispa). They had more experience than me & it was a huge crowd, so I was understandably nervous.
Philip: Have you always been a fan of Professional Wrestling? Was there a moment when you fell in love? Or did it develop over time?
Guerrero De Neon: I started watching wrestling when I was 5 years old. My mom was about to come yell at me for jumping on her bed, which I did all the time, so I quickly laid down and turned the TV on to act as if nothing was wrong while I heard her coming down the hallway. While flipping through channels I saw WWE Smackdown and I was instantly captivated.
Philip: Who are your biggest inspirations in the wrestling world? Who do you look up to? Who inspires you?
Guerrero De Neon: Oh, I’ve been thinking about this lately actually. My top 3 biggest inspirations from top to bottom are: Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, & Chris Benoit. Jericho because he’s a wrestling Rockstar. Just like him I have a lot of things I’d like to accomplish in life and he just does it all. And damn well too. Eddie because he not only is an amazing performer, he had a special way of connecting with the audience and I don’t think anyone could ever put their finger on what it actually was. Benoit because of his focus and intensity.
Philip: Tell us about who some of your biggest supporters are in your journey into Professional Wrestling.
Guerrero De Neon: My #1 supporter is my mother, 100%. She bought me my first pair of wrestling shoes and paid for my training when I first started. I told her it’s what I wanted to do since I was a kid but when I got to be 14 & 15, I think that’s when she realized how serious I was. She never told me no, never batted an eye. She knew I fell in love with Pro Wrestling and she stood by my dream. I also have my brother who is pretty supportive, my best friend Danika Della Rouge, my trainers of course, and a slew of others that support me chasing my dream.
Philip: What is your goal? WWE? Where do you want to go with all of this?
Guerrero De Neon: My goal is WWE eventually. My ultimate goal is to live well doing what I love while being able to support my future family. The best way to do that is in WWE. Though, the wrestling world has been interesting lately.
Philip: Tell us about your gimmick. How did you come up with it?
Guerrero De Neon: Ahh yes, my character. Well, my previous one was dark, evil, wore a mask, and that just wasn’t me. So, I thought about what I like doing and what makes me happy other than Wrestling of course, and that’s EDM. I love going to raves and getting lost in the music. Just forgetting about life for a while and meeting new people from many different backgrounds that are just trying to do the same thing. So, in came the bright colors, sparkly gear, and flashy jacket.
Philip: You finally made your Washington Hall debut with DEFY at the January 19th show! How was that for you? How likely is it we will see you perform there again sometime soon?
Guerrero De Neon: My DEFY debut was insane! I started helping out with the shows 2 years ago at their second show and after all the hard work I did to be a better performer and a better athlete I finally had the opportunity show the Defyance what I’m made of. Sonico kicking me in the head to take the feeling of euphoria from that moment away from me isn’t forgotten, so I’m sure you’ll see me again soon to take care of that.
Philip: When you consider your arsenal of big moves which ones are your favorite? Are you working mastering anything right now? Is there a move you haven’t learned that you would like to integrate into your repertoire?
Guerrero De Neon: Big Moves? I’d say maybe a Swanton Bomb, a TKO, and the Tope Con Hilo over the top rope. I’m always working on new moves or things to add to my arsenal.
Philip: Tell us about your favorite three matches and your three dream matches.
Guerrero De Neon: My 3 favorite matches in no specific order are a triple threat I had with Classic Cody Chhun & Kingpin Jonny Flynn in Canada, A champion vs champion singles match I had with La Avispa Dorada, and a tag team match I had down in Mexico. And in case you don’t know who Kingpin Jonny Flynn is, he’s one of the best professional wrestlers in the entire Pacific Northwest. As for dream matches, Chris Jericho, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens.
Philip: You have been doing a vlog now for a while. What inspired you to open your life up to your fans?
Guerrero De Neon: Initially I started vlogging because of my depression. Vlogging motivates me to go do something and have fun rather than letting my depression control me. I talked about my depression in my first vlog just so that I was transparent with whomever started to follow me. I don’t want others to feel alone because that feeling sucks. My hope is that I can give others motivation to fight their battle with depression and chase their dreams even when it gets hopelessly difficult.
Philip: Between your wrestling gigs and your vlogs, have you ever been recognized in public?
Guerrero De Neon: Yeah, funny enough I have been. Once in a Walmart checkout line, another time at an Applebee’s and a couple times at WWE events I attended. It’s flattering being recognized while out and about.
Philip: You spend a lot of time on the road going from one place to the next. What do you usually have playing on the open road?
Guerrero De Neon: While driving I play anything from EDM to country, metal to R&B, pop to rap and even podcasts.
Philip: Tell us something about Guerrero De Neon that we don’t know about you.
Guerrero De Neon: Something no one knows, hmm…I like riding horses. So, there’s that. But if I could just end by saying something, it’s just that you should follow your dreams no matter how far along in life you are. Also, don’t forget to check on somebody today, they might need it.
Philip: You’ve been very open about the struggles you’ve dealt with around depression. When did you first realize you had issues with depression? What were the warning signs and how was it impacting your life?
Guerrero: I first realized I had depression right around my early teens. I didn’t know it was depression at the time though. I convinced myself that maybe all growing teenagers and kids went through and the same mental hurdles I used to and still do go through.
Philip: At what point did you come to the realization you needed to deal with this head on? Was there a turning point or an a-ha moment?
Guerrero: I was about 17 when I realized it was bad. I hit my low point and my mom was scared about my wellbeing. After seeing how it was having an effect on her, I decided that I needed to do something. I started seeing a therapist and got officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression with I was 17.
Philip: What was the beginning of your plight to deal with your depression?
Guerrero De Neon: I’d say the hardest thing about starting to fight it is not being motivated. I really didn’t like the idea of talking to some “stranger” about “all my problems.” It wasn’t until weeks into my sessions I felt more comfortable and started to see progression within myself.
Philip: What are the biggest struggles you face in the day to day in dealing with depression?
Guerrero De Neon: Motivation. To this day motivation is such a struggle. Sometimes I just want to give in and lay in bed or be a couch potato because I can’t get out of my head and simply just feel like shit. But I think about how wrestling inspires me, how other people my age are grinding, handling business and putting in the work; that usually helps motivate me.
Philip: I think sometimes people think depression is feeling sad all the time. I know from my own experiences it isn’t necessarily like that at all, it can be about lacking motivation and struggling to manage responsibilities. How do you keep motivated in the face of these kinds of challenges? Being a professional wrestler and managing a day job to pay the bills requires a lot of work after all!
Guerrero De Neon: Yeah, being sad all the time is a very small portion of being depressed. It’s a consistent battle every single day to stay focused, do simple things like getting out of bed or the house, and other things. Professional Wrestling is tough. Straight up. But I’m either going to chase my dream or let my mind stop me and I refuse to let that happen. I’m in a fortunate position now that I’m managing everything way better than I used to but staying with that constantly and pushing myself is the challenge.
Philip: When you look back at the darker times in your life and see how bad it got and then see where you are today how does that feel? What does that tell you about yourself?
Guerrero De Neon: People say not to look back at certain things. Honestly, I think it’s very healthy to. I still think back to when I hit my lowest point and I just grin to myself in disbelief of how far I’ve come with depression, anxiety, weight loss, personal life, professional life, everything. I’m very proud of it and no one can take that from me. But just because I’ve made great progress, doesn’t mean I can relax now. I have to continue my journey to the life I want to live being a Professional Wrestler.
Philip: Thank you for being so frank about dealing with depression. It is an incredibly brave thing to talk about.
Guerrero: I chose to be so open about this because yes, in Pro Wrestling you need to be tough, tougher than most, but I know people personally that go through the same struggles and feel like they’re outliers or alone. You’re not. Keep chasing your dreams, being a Pro Wrestler that has depression and anxiety is possible. Take care of yourself, get proper treatment, and please keep fighting.
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“Hard working kid with a lot of heart, he’s shown great improvement over the last year, excited to see what’s in store for his future!” – Sonico, Professional Wrestler
“Guerrero De Neon is always looking to improve himself and others. He is also one of the most improved individuals I’ve seen in the business. Neon has a bright future ahead of him and I’m thankful to have been able to witness it in the making.” –Danika Della Rouge, Professional wrestler
“He’s a supper hard working dude. He trains at two different schools, one American, one Lucha. He works his ass off every training class and I’m sure he’ll get somewhere big!” –Nick Wayne, professional wrestler
“Love that dude. I’m inspired by Guerrero De Neon’s work ethic and abilities. He is definitely one to watch in the Pacific Northwest wrestling scene!” –Steve Migs, local radio personality, professional wrestler and ring announcer
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It is incredibly important to be open about what we are going through. We all struggle with various challenges. Depression is one of the most common problems people face. However, we rarely talk about it and the impact it has our on lives. Whether you have a chronic problem with depression or the equivalent to an emotional flu due to difficult life circumstances, we’ve all dealt with it on some level. It is only through discussion and open honest discourse that we can overcome the stigma associated with mental illness.
It was an incredible honor to have Guerrero De Neon openly talk about what he has gone through and give us a glimpse into the challenges he has had to manage on top of the massive amount of time and effort he has put into perfecting his craft. We don’t overcome obstacles with luck, it comes with hard work and determination. Both are difficult to illicit in ourselves when our own mind and instincts work against us. To do so requires the kind of emotional labor and the kind of determination that only a few people can fully understand. Thank you, Guerrero De Neon, for showing us it can be done.
Interested in seeing Guerrero De Neon in action? Take a look at these videos:
Guerrero De Neon vs. La Avispa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3XK17hF1PE
Guerrero De Neon vs. Chase James: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dZm9d_a27s
2 Badd Dudes vs. Santa Muerte & Guerrero De Neon:
Danika Della Rouge vs. Guerrero De Neon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y1tLOOtMJo
Guerrero De Neon vs. Johnny Flynn vs. Cody Chhun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VniJizKfpyw
King Khash vs. Guerrero De Neon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEto9FGNix8
Sonico vs. Guerrero De Neon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5-y-EK-Na8
Bryan Cook vs. Guerrero De Neon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g_lOSrYE-A
Per Guerrero De Neon’s request, we are adding a Suicide Hotline to this article: 1-800-273-8255
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone on the phone, they do accept text messages at the name number.
Statistics on Depression from the National Network of Depression Centers:
- Depression ranks among the top 3 workplace issues in the United States, along with family crisis and stress.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44.
- Two thirds of people with depression do not actively seek nor receive proper treatment.
- 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in symptoms within four to six weeks of starting treatment.
- One in five Americans will be impacted by mental illness during their lifetimes.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-44.
- There is one death by suicide every twelve minutes in the United States.
- 22 Veterans lose their lives to suicide every single day.
To read previous interviews here on Pro Wrestling Post click here.