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Ian Richard Hodgkinson (May 31, 1967) is a semi-retired Canadian professional wrestler and Color commentator known by his ring name Vampiro.

Career

Early career

Ian got his start in the business working for International Wrestling out of Montreal, Quebec. He often set up the ring before events and would train with the wrestlers before their WWC Umatches. He made his debut as a jobber in 1985 with little training, although he has credited Abdullah the Butcher as his trainer.

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre

After a few years in Montreal, Hodgkinson headed down to Mexico City, Mexico looking for work in the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) wrestling promotion. He met with CMLL officals Paco Alonso and Antonio Peña who named him Vampiro Canadiense (Canadian Vampire) because he told them he liked vampires. Vampiro became an overnight superstar, as his rock star appearance and natural good looks caught on with the young Mexican women in the audience. He quickly became the biggest superstar in the promotion, as the women would scream loudly for him to make his comeback and gain victory. He won many hair matches during the height of his popularity.

Whilst working in Mexico Vampiro began a real life feud with fellow CMLL headliner Konnan. Konnan had been the top star in the promotion prior to Vampiro's arrival and did not take well to Vampiro's superstardom. The feud stems from Vampiro being offered a part in a Mexican soap opera, but then the producers changing their mind at the last minute when they learned that Vampiro's command of the Spanish language was poor, and went with Konnan, a fluent Spanish speaker, instead. Vampiro considered Konnan to have sabotaged his chance to parlay his ring success into mainstream stardom, as Konnan did become a mainstream star in Mexico as a result of the role. The rivalry lasted for several years until the two resolved their differences whilst working in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where they became very close friends and business associates.

World Championship Wrestling (1997-2001)

In the late 90s, Vampiro was signed by WCW. He formed a stable with the Insane Clown Posse and Raven called the The Deadpool (initially called 'The Necro-Ward'). Even though the stable was short-lived, they gained popularity and had a heated feud with Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and rival Konnan. His popularity was on the rise, but was allegedly held down by backstage politics by older stars such as Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash. It has also been alleged that Konnan buried him to bookers by fabricating stories about substance abuse. His situation was not helped any by his outspoken attitude and complaining about the way he was booked, making him unpopular among the other wrestlers, who considered him a whiner. It was commonplace to hear him on WCW Live! where he would air his grievances. He constantly called the Insane Clown Posse to complain about working for WCW and ICP would then broadcast these phone calls on the Internet, which didn't help him. Vampiro would later bring the Misfits into WCW, and began a feud with Oklahoma and Dr. Death Steve Williams. Vampiro had a match with Dr. Death at the WCW Mayhem Pay Per View, in which the stipulation was if Vampiro won, he would get five minutes alone with Oklahoma in the ring. Williams was disqualified, and Vampiro fought Oklahoma. Surprisingly, Oklahoma was able to mount a good bit of offense. The ending came when Vampiro took Oklahoma's cowboy hat and then pinned him following the Nail In The Coffin. In Early 2000, he formed an Alliance with Sting, as the Brothers in Paint (after helping Sting defeat Lex Luger in a lumberjack match). This didn't last too long, with Vampiro turning on Sting when WCW split into the New Blood and the Millionaire's Club. They had several encounters, including a First Blood Match, where gallons of blood fell from the top of the Arena to drown Sting. They would feud throughout the spring, with Sting getting the upper hand on Vampiro in nearly all their encounters. This set up the Human Torch match, in which Vampiro won by setting Sting fire. Vampiro would then focus on The Demon due to his defection from the ICP formed stable, The Dark Carnival. He would kidnap his fiancée, Asya, in a skit resembling the 1988 film Spoorloos. Afterwards, he challenged him to a Graveyard Match, which sparked the return of Sting.

Vampiro would be entered in the United States Championship Tournament, with his first round opponent being The Great Muta, whom Vampiro lost to. Vampiro later joined up with Muta to attack Ernest 'The Cat' Miller. Vampiro won his first and only title in WCW with The Great Muta, by defeating KroniK in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on August 13, 2000 to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. However, this reign was very short lived, as they lost the Tag Championship the very next night to Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Vampiro would later turn his back on Muta, setting up an 3 Way match at Fall Brawl 2000 with himself, Sting and Muta, which was won by Sting. Vampiro would then take time away from the sport as his wife had a baby. He returned a month later, where he defeated Crowbar in a Hardcore Match. Vampiro next faced Mike Awesome to a match at Halloween Havoc 2000.

International appearances and return to Mexico

After his run in WCW, Vampiro headed back to CMLL. He also took tours with All Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with his idol, The Great Muta. Vampiro also wrestled in Puerto Rico between tours of CMLL.

In 2003 Vampiro had a short run in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), joining Father James Mitchell and The New Church in their attempt to rid TNA of Raven. After losing to Raven in a Dream Blood Blood Gallows of Retribution match he left TNA.

In 2005 he jumped with Shocker from CMLL to Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA). On March 10, 2006 Vampiro won the Rey de Reyes by winning a Twelve Man Elimination Match.

Wrestling Society X

On January 26, 2007 he was featured in a pilot for a new wrestling show produced for MTV called Wrestling Society X. He competed in a 10-man Battle Royal, eventually securing one of two contracts earning him a spot in the inaugural WSX Championship match against Sean Waltman which he won.

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves
  • Entrance themes

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him # 294 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 1995.
    • PWI ranked him # 305 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 1996.
    • PWI ranked him # 199 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 1998.
    • PWI ranked him # 119 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 1999.
    • PWI ranked him # 31 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 2000.
    • PWI ranked him # 216 of the 500 best singles wrestlers 2003.
    • PWI ranked him # 162 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 2005.
    • PWI ranked him # 128 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 2006.

Luchas de Apuestas record

Luchas de Apuestas
Wager lost/won Winner Loser Where Date Note
Hair Vampiro Bestia Negra II Xochimilco, Mexico City March 21, 1992 -
Hair Vampiro Rick Patterson Monterrey, Nuevo León June 28, 1992 1
Hair Vampiro Pirata Morgan Mexico City July 17, 1992 -
Hair Vampiro Aaron Grundy (Mike Shaw) Monterrey, Nuevo León August 23, 1992 2
Hair Vampiro Sangre Chicana Monterrey, Nuevo León December 10, 1992 -
Hair Vampiro Pirata Morgan Houston, Texas September 1, 1998 -
Hair Vampiro Rey Bucanero Mexico City December 13, 2002 -
Hair Shocker Vampiro Mexico City April 4, 2003 -
Hair Cien Caras & Máscara Año 2000 Vampiro & Pierroth, Jr. Mexico City December 17, 2004 -
  1. Triple threat match involving Sangre Chicana
  2. "Relevos Suicidas" match with Vampiro teaming with Grundy against Brazo de Plata and Sangre Chicana

External links

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