La Parka Passes Away: AAA’s Icon was 54
The AAA wrestler had unmasked some of the best wrestlers of the promotion.
Jesus Alfonso Huerta Escoboza, known as La Parka (or La Parka II), passed away yesterday. The AAA legend was fighting for his life after an accident in the ring back in October of 2019.
La Parka was arguably one of the most popular wrestlers of AAA. He wasn’t the wrestler that we all remember today in the 1990s. La Parka was first performed by the man that we know today as L.A. Park. When the latter started to wrestler regularly for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Antonio Peña, who owned the rights of the character, repackaged Huerta as La Parka Jr.
When L.A. Park joined CMLL in the 2000s, La Parka Jr. became the official Parka. From then on, he started a role as AAA’s main “técnico” (face). La Parka had memorable rivalries with Cibernetico, L.A. Park, and Mesias. With the latter, he unmasked him in TripleMania, when Mesias was Muerte Cibernética.
Nothing could top the popularity of La Parka in the 2000s. While many recognized the first Parka, who’s L.A. Park, Parka became an essential part of AAA’s rise in the new century. The company employed a WWE-like style, evading the Lucha Libre that characterized CMLL. He had in his early year had the great in-ring ability, had bursts of comedy into the ring.
In the last decade, he finally faced the man who he owed his name, L.A. Park. The filled TripleMania XVIII, with the winner getting the rights of the name. As the reader might notice, La Parka held on to those rights after some controversy.
Lucha Blog, arguably the best source fo Lucha Libre, had this to say about La Parka:
La Parka won Cibernetico’s mask at the 2004 TripleMania, a matchup between AAA’s biggest stars of that era. He later won Muerte Cibernetica (Mesias)’s mask. Parka was a five-time Rey de Reys Champion, the most in the history of the tournament. Those achievements don’t really sum up his value: La Parka was the perfect star for AAA’s traveling caravan. He could go town to town with an easy crowd-pleasing match, doing his signature bits to elicit cheers, and leaving everyone in good shape to do the next day again. La Parka was never a guy who did much in the ring – something that would frustrate & antagonize his contemporaries – but his matches still got over. Parka’s matches became a source of internal tension during attempts to move AAA’s style closer to the rest of the world, but he kept doing his thing, and the company stayed loyal to Parka. Almost all of the great names of his era left AAA or AAA pushed them out, but Parka remained as the company legend.
Dave Meltzer, from The Wrestling Observer, gave a brief view of his career yesterday:
For the past decade, he had been simply known as La Parka.
He had won the Rey de Reyes tournament in AAA five times as well as the Copa Antonio Pena in 2013. He also headlined the 2004 TripleMania in winning a mask vs. mask match over Cibernetico before almost 19,000 fans at El Toreo in Naucalpan. He headlined the 2006 TripleMania beating Muerte Cibernetica in a mask vs. mask match which also sold out El Toreo.
He ended up headlining six different TripleMania shows between 2003 and 2010, including a match with Park where the crowd turned on him somewhat. From that point forward, he was moved down from top star position due to age and injuries, but remained a featured attraction on the shows. He was still one of the company’s signature stars at the time of the accident.
From all of his peers that have been hit by the news, none have been shocked like Rush. He was in the match that Parka suffered his injury.
mi más sentido pésame para toda su familia que en paz descanse
que triste noticia la verdad dios lo tenga en su santa gloria pic.twitter.com/Kl3930NuAL
— Rush oficial (@rushtoroblanco) January 12, 2020
La Parka never held the AAA Mega Championship but was part of many main events in TripleMania. He took off the mask of Cibernetico and El Mesias (Mil Muertes). His popularity made him a household name for the promotion. His entrance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a jam-packed stadium was something to see. Moreover, his match always had something to laugh on.