Hey peeps, this is Draven & in my next interview for SoCalUncensored.com, I had the pleasure in talking with “El Chido” Hector Canales about his career in professional wrestling. I’ve enjoyed watching him perform in various promotions here in So Cal and I was happy he was able to spend a little time with me to talk for this interview.
Canales: I’m great, Thank you. Very very blessed with many things I don’t deserve.
2. Do you remember the first time you saw a wrestling match & if so do you remember who was wrestling?
Canales: The first match I ever caught on TV was Big Boss Man against a jobber. He squashed him. I was terrified of the police afterwards. What really caught my eye and imagination was the segment after that; Ravishing Rick Rude starts hitting on Jake the Snakes wife. He grabs her and Jake comes running down to make the save.
3. Who was your inspiration to get into the wrestling business?
Canales: I didn’t really have an inspiration. I loved wrestling. I didn’t think I could become a wrestler because of my back problems. I wanted to be a ref just so I could be involved in it somehow. I never thought a 150 lbs dork could ever cut the mustard
4. What was it about pro wrestling that made you decide that this was the thing you wanted to do?
Canales: It honestly didn’t occur to me till I was maybe 2 or 3 years into it that I thought “HEY, maybe I got something here!” I was a musician and a 3rd grade teacher at the time. As far as I thought, I had it made. Wrestling was just a side project. As time went on, I stopped playing music since I was very hesitant in hurting my hands and not being able to play an instrument. I also left teaching, and one of the reasons was because they had a problem with me wrestling… bigger reason was pay and the way they put tons of work on me for the amount of pay.
5. Where did go for your training & who were your instructors?
Canales: UPW! Mostly Shannon & Shane Ballard. A few times I was trainedby Frankie Kazarian, Tom Howard, Hardcore Kid (Aaron Aguilera).
6. How do you feel about where you trained to be a pro wrestler? Where your teachers a positive influence on you?
Canales: I paid tons of cash for my training. Kids now adays pay $15 and complain. I have to say, though, I got some of the best training which many guys could get NOW! Go seek Shannon Ballard at the Santinos Dojo. Many guys think that wrestling is about the moves… Ive wrestled guys who think its about the moves. Its about psychology! About making the audience think it is real. Like a movie. If you know that Christian Bale is just an actor, then thats all it is, but If he makes you believe hes BATMAN, then it becomes more than just a movie. Makes you even go out and get a Batman toy.
7. Who were some of the other students in your class & do they still continue to wrestle?
Canales: There are guys who were more advanced then I was, such as; The Miz, Johhny Goodtime & Chris Masters.
Other guys came after; Ricky Mandel, Brodus Clay, Johnny Yuma, Ezekiel Jackson.
There are more guys who trained with me, but I’m not sure if they are still working.
8. How long did you train before you had your first match?
Canales: I trained for about a year. Then I broke my ankle. I was training about 4 months after, and 4 months later began wrestling infront of a crowd again.
9. Exactly how long have you been wrestling?
Canales: I think its about 8 years. 9 if you count my training.
10. Do you wrestle only in southern california or have you venture out of state or international?
Canales: I wrestled in Northern California, San Diego area, Arizona, Nevada… I haven’t been out of the Country.
11. I know I’ve seen you wrestle for CWF Hollywood & LAW but any other promotions you compete for?
Canales: MPW, LuchaPro, Vendetta Pro, IZW, SoCal Pro, AWS, … cant recall a lot of the Lucha libre places I wrestled at.
12. Any one of the promotions a favorite & if so, why?
I really enjoy Pappys Dome, LuchaPro and a lot of the Lucha shows I do because of the intimacy I have with the crowd. They don’t just want to watch the show but also be included in the show, and my character gives them that space to involve themselves. It makes it easier for me… at first it was hard for me because in my head I have to do “this” or “that”, but if I come up with stuff in the ring, then i have more liberty in the ring to listen to what the crowd would like.
13. Please tell me about EL Chido & how that came about?
Canales: El Chido… This is going to be long bro.
I started with this character as a tag team with my Best friend. We both started training together, going up & down trying to get gigs and what not. We were Los Chidos. He got tired of the bump and grind, the uncertainty of when, where we were going to wrestle, the lack of cash, the soreness, and he jumped ship. I kept going, hoping he’d come back, and he did a few times, so I kept trying to keep the Chido name alive. I guess I have 🙂
Through the years though, the character has evolved from a proud Mexican warrior to a womanizing chip and dale-isq badass, to a drunk, to an effeminate man, to an effeminate male who disgraces and abuses his mother.
14. I want to touch a couple of storylines you’re involved in, in MPW you’re the “Mens” champ, how did you feel when they told you they wanted you to wrestle women matches? Are you comfortable wrestling women?
Canales: How did I feel? I CAME UP WITH IT!!! Ok, not entirely. I messaged the promoter of the idea of me wrestling Nikki after losing to Bo Cooper the previous month. He messaged back saying I had read his mind. I wanted to slowly drop a hint of maybe me winning the title when he wrote back saying he wanted me to win the women’s title.
I’m very comfortable wrestling a girl. To me, its about telling a story. I could be in there with a guy, a girl, a baby, a dog or an invisible person. As long as there is a story I can tell, I will tell it with the best of my abilities. The one problem I do have right now is that Ive gained some muscle mass and it makes the believability a lot harder. It was a lot easier when I wrestled Nikki a few months ago. I had dislocated my clavicle a torn some ligaments, so I couldn’t lift heavy, just a lot of cardio. But now that I’m a little bigger, its more of a stretch to the imagination.
I’m very proud of the match I had with Nikki. I know, some boys must have been laughing behind my back, but to me winning the title off of Nikki is an honor. SHE IS MORE TALENTED THAN A LOT GUYS I HAVE WRESTLED IN SO CAL. We actually said the same thing after our match; “that is the first REAL GOOD match I’ve had in months.” If you ever get a hold of the match, its real good. Psychologically, its very good. It made sense. Yes, it entertained, but it did much more than that. It told a story, which a lot of workers can’t do. A lot of guys think its all moves. They have no clue. Theres no rhyme or reason to what they do.
15. I enjoy watching your youtube videos & how you treat your “mom”, is that something you were comfortable doing too? And how does your actually family feel about you doing these storylines?
Canales: I’ve seen fictional characters doing the whole mommas boy. Ive found it funny. Then I saw real people like that. I found that real pathetic, and sometimes funny. When I came up with the whole thing about bringing out my mom and stuff, it was to get people to REALLY hate me. I started getting pops even though I was a heel. The crowd was turning me face. So I thought of bringing out this fragile old lady and treat her like crap. Make people sympathize for her, and say “Pobresita. Poor lady. What an awful man.” When the whole idea was still in my head, I busted a promo right before I wrestled Bo Cooper. “I locked my mother in her room. Grabbed my bag and headed to the door. I heard my mother say from her room, ‘Good luck, son. I love you.’ I put my bag down, turned back to her room and said [screaming] SHUT UP, MOM! YOU SHUT YOUR STUPID FACE! I DON’T NEED LUCK AND I DON’T NEED YOUR LOVE!! ALL I NEED IS ME!” Bo Cooper’s mom was in the crowd. You should have seen her face of horror and disgust. IT WAS MAGIC! I knew I had something going there.
My family actually helps me with the videos. I told my mom about it. She thinks its funny. I cant show her since she had a minor stroke beginning of the year.
16. You’re currently portraying a “alternative” character, which i find entertaining, how did that come about & how do you feel about it? Do you get a lot of positive or negative comments doing this persona?
Canales: There two “alternative life style” characters I portray; The Lucha Libre “face” character and the Mommas boy “heel” character. The “face’ character came about by me doing a drunk character. About 2 years ago or so, I went out to the ring with a beer in hand. Literally, as my music hit, the promoter took the beer and said I couldn’t do that because he was going to air it on tv (he bought time on channel 22). I was bummed. Now what was I going to be. I needed a character. I couldn’t just walk out in my little trunks. But I did. And the second I came out, some guy screams out “Pinche puto!” And so during the match I started “gaying out.” First it was very subtle, then it just got real funny. Afterwards, some luchadores told me I should keep doing it. That it was very entertaining and there weren’t any guys in So Cal doing it… plus, it was better than the drunk gimmick.
The “heel” character is not even an “alternative lifestyle” person. He is not gay. Or at least, he is not todays definition of “gay.” He is what the world would consider a “man.” I just turn it up a notch. I was watching TMZ, Kanye West I think was on and others. In those 5 minutes I saw how degenerated, how low our society had fallen. 50 years ago, a man was someone who worked hard, fulfilled his dutys as a husband, father, and an American. He took his family to church on Sundays, worked on his car and played ball with his boy. Now… How is a man defined now in days?
Before I continue, I must inform you that almost exactly to this day I accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as My personal Lord and Saviour. Meaning, I turned from my selfish gain, from what I wanted for me, from many bad things I was doing and now I follow Him. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” -Luke 9:23
I know it seems very contradictory for me to play these characters, but there is a strong reason why I still do. Many people have heard, or worst, believe God hates “fags.” They are very incorrect. “-But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 Chirst died on the cross for EVERYONE! No sin is bigger than any other. “For all have sin and fall short of the Glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 Portraying these characters gives me a channel, a “way in” if you will, to be able to connect with people on a certain level. To start conversations, and most importantly a chance to preach the Gospel, “… Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”- Mark 16:15
Many current So Cal wrestlers knew who I was. Now, God is sending me out to show who, through faith in his death and resurrection, by the power of His love, I have become. I’ve done my share of “partying”, and I can tell you it was a ton of waist. Not just that, but I also hurt a lot of people along the way and influenced others to do the same. I could continue with this topic for a long time, but I understand this is getting just a little off course. But it all comes down to this; It is a relationship between us (you) and Christ. It doesn’t matter what sin it is, what matters is that THAT sin is keeping us (you) from God. I came to that point, I came to the cross. I follow Him, live for Him, my family, friends, enemies have been blessed, and I have been more than blessed, I’ve been saved.
A man is a “man” by the car he drives, the clothes he wears, the “bling” he carries, the money he spends and the sexual adventures he has. They are egocentric, self-worshiping, uncompassionate. So, I take this “man” and I give it back to the the world. Hopefully some people may recognize themselves in him and realize what they are doing.
I enjoy enjoy and hate doing the whole character because on one hand, in a way Im making fun of modern “men”, and on the other hand, this character is a bit poisonous to the spirit.
17. Throughout your career, how many championships have you won & is there any that means alot to you & why?
Canales: I first won the So Cal Tag team Championship with Ricky Mandel. We beat the Ballard Brothers. That meant way more than the others because of the fact that I won it with a good friend and wrestled against the men who trained me. I thought winning The So Cal Heavyweight would mean a lot, especially since I had Adam Pearce, THE ADAM PEARCE, celebrate with me in the ring, but I felt so empty.
18. Who are some of the talent you enjoy working with & why?
any matches stand out to you as your favs? (ex: You vs Ricky Mandel, You vs Nikki, etc)
Canales: Hop Sing Lee, Ricky Mandel, Viper Valentine, Indio Chirikawua, SoCal Crazy, … I know Im leaving a lot of guys out. There is one match that really stands out at this moment and that Against John Hudson (not sure if he still works). We were in Arizona doing a show with former WWE wrestlers and current TNA wrestlers. We were on second. Frankie Kazarian was going after us so he came by to watch a little ( I was told later by a friend that he ended up watching the whole thing). John and I just tore it up. Nothing “fancy” just psychology and WORK. We truly just WORKED. We were going back and forth, we forgot how the end was so we went on the fly. Everything after the first 2 minutes was called in the ring. Id remember a piece and call it, then improvise, remember again, and then improvise again. The people were loving it. They didn’t know what was going to happen next… AND NEITHER DID WE!!! We gelled real good together. Later, I was told that Kazarian was mad, saying “now I have to go out there and do all kinds of S*%t just to get a pop.” That was actually a compliment to me afterward. I think the biggest move we did was a crossbody off the top. Wonderful match that I wish were on tape.
19. Do you have any road stories or any fond memories with talent outside the ring you would like to share?
Canales: Road Stories… MY ROAD STORIES… brother, they are not for children, and might just be too much for some adults. They are too much. I could share some of the tame ones, like; Me walking around the Arizona desert lost and drunk screaming for help. Waking up at 4 am after a long night of partying then stepping over bodies to find a sleeping Willie Mack (with his eyes open) so I could give him a ride home (in actuality, there were many nights like that). But a nice one is when Shannon Ballard tricked Chavo Guererro into thinking I was a day laborer. I stood on the side walk saying “Pintar, yo pinto, yo hago cualquier trabajo.” Chavo was so against picking me up. He kept saying I had a knife and I was going to kill them. Then Shannon unlocks the door and I get in. Chavo was pissed. “And your letting him in”, as he turned away from me. “Hes a worker”, Shannon told him. “Yeah, I know hes a worker!” “No, hes a worker as in wrestler.” He felt better but was still a little hot from being tricked.
20. What do you think makes a good match in the ring?
Canales: Psychology. Telling a good story. Making people believe its real again. Doesn’t matter if you could hit a 450 splash… I wont lie, it does a make a match more entertaining, but it doesn’t make the match.
21. Do you watch WWE or TNA? if so what do you think of the product?
Canales: I watch both. I watch WWE for its drama, and TNA for its wrestling. I love WWE’s PG rating because now I can watch wrestling with my daughter. The whole PG rating just makes them have to think more. Its not just flipping the bird and get a pop, now you have to work for your pop.
22. Speaking of the big 2, have you had an opportunity to wrestle for them in any dark matches, tryouts or gut checks?
Canales: I had a tryout years ago for WWE, but really it was for two big twins who just wanted to do movies. They had me, Johhny Gooodtime, and some other guys who could really work… but they just had us there so we could bump around and make the twins look good. Later, not too long ago, I had my real tryout with WWE. At that same time, I was offered the Alberto Del Rios ring announcer job. I turned it down… 5 TIMES! The last time I turned it down they offered it to the guy sitting next to me in catering. You now know him as Ricardo Rodriquez.
23. How do you feel about the current Indy Scene here in So Cal?
Canales: Theres a certain magic missing. You got some guys who are really good. You can tell they are students of the game and took their training humanly and serious. Then you got a lot of guys who… shouldn’t be anywhere near the ring.
24. Some talent has set a goal for themselves saying if they don’t make it, they’ll walk away. Some are in college while wrestling, so do you have a goal in trying to succeed in the buisness or do you have something to fall back on if things don’t turn out the way you want it? Or will El Chido be wrestling & entertaining fans for many years to come?
Canales: I was ready to stop wrestling a year ago… maybe not physically, but my convictions, I was ready to turn away from it. I felt I was wrestling my last shows I had booked until I heard a still small voice, “They knew who you were. Show them who you are now.” I cried knowing this was my ministry, to proclaim the gospel to the other indy wrestlers. Ofcourse, I need to be smart about it and think of how I could best present it to some. Sometimes, its just by not par-taking in some of the things I use to do and showing love. Honestly, I would love to be normal. Just get home after work, and relax and spend time with the family. Maybe join the police force or try being a supervisor at my job. But, right now (its a bit like the movie “the Wrestler” except I have a great relationship with my daughter) I work my eight hours, spend an hour at the gym really putting myself through torture, hit the tanning bed, try to find time for my family, including my old family like my parents. I work the graveyard shift which makes things even more challenging. But when the time comes… I’m ready. I don’t want to get into that ring without God’s true blessing. I think I’ll be a guitarist for my church once its all done. But as long as my testimony is still fresh, I’ll still be wrestling.
25. Last Question: Do you have anything to say to the fans of southern california & especially to the fans of Hector Canales?
Canales: I have tons… come talk with me. I’m always up for a good conversation. Remember, not everything you’ve heard about me is true. So come and ask me, and I wont be ashamed to answer, because I got nothing to hide. Peace and love, may God bless you, and keep in mind what the Lord Jesus Christ offers you. -Men, be the man you were meant to be.
This was a great opportunity to get to know Hector Canales, seeing his sacrifices & achievements in the sport we all enjoy. If you haven’t had the chance to see Hector Canales wrestle, please do so because he’s very entertaining & puts on a great match with whomever he is in the ring with. Thank you for the interview Hector.
Be sure to check back here soon for another Draven interview