WWE NXT’s Memo Montenegro following in family footsteps
By Jim Varsallone The Miami Herald
Teaming with brother Alberto Del Rio on Oct. 26 in South Florida
By Jim Varsallone
A family first, WWE NXT up-n-comer Memo Montenegro will team with his older brother, WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio, during a WWE NXT show on Friday, Oct. 26 at the West Palm Beach National Guard Armory.
“I’m really, really excited about this,” Montenegro said, “and I can’t wait. Even training, I never did something like this, a tag team with him, but I think everything is going to be very good, because we’re brothers. We know each other.”
Montenegro grew up in Mexico supporting and watching his famous wrestling family. Dad is Mexican legend Dos Caras, and his uncle is WWE Hall of Famer Mil Mascaras, an international superstar. Del Rio competed successfully in Mexico as Dos Caras Jr., sporting a mask like his father and uncle, before joining the WWE family and trading the eleborate headware for elaborate vehicles.
“I think he will have a classic 1965 Mustang on Friday [in West Palm Beach],” Montenegro said. “He asked if I wanted to ride with him. I said of course.”
Ricardo Rodriguez will be announcing them to the ring or at least Del Rio. The brothers will face WWE NXT superstars Kassius Ohno (formerly Chris Hero), who has Punk-like tendencies, and the deranged South African Leo Kruger.
The match will not only be the first time the brothers team together but also the first time WWE NXT, formerly FCW, visits West Palm Beach.
A family friendly environment, WWE NXT offers contests, giveaways, raffles, autograph signings and photo ops with talent. Del Rio will sign and pose for photos as well. The show will feature eight matches including WWE NXT champ Seth Rollins, Bo Dallas, Ashley Charlotte Flair, Briley Pierce, Roman Reigns, Richie Steamboat, Bray Wyatt and other superstars and divas.
WWE NXT is the official developmental system for the future stars of WWE, and Montenegro wants to develop into one. He felt his passion early in life. Surrounded by it, he loved it.
“Every time I was in the arena with my dad, I wanted to be a wrestler. That was my dream as a child,” Montenegro said. “So when I was 15-years-old, I told me dad I wanted to become a wrestler.”
When Montenegro told his father of his career choice, Caras said first get a degree. Montenegro listened, earning a degree in Mexico as a veterinarian.
“About eight years after I [first] asked him, I said to my dad, ‘This is my diploma; this is my degree. Can I be a wrestler now?,’” Montenegro recalls, “and my dad said, ‘Yea, you can do whatever you want to do. I just wanted to protect your future.’”
Montenegro, 24, began training roughly two years ago in Mexico. Del Rio encouraged him to train in Florida, grasping the American style, a more lucrative style if successful.
What did Montenegro’s father think of his decision to go American.
“My dad loved it,” Montenegro said. “In Mexico, it’s a good business, but here it’s bigger, and it’s a bigger opportunity for me. My dad said in the future if something happens, ‘you’ll have the background working in the states, and it’ll be easier for you to work in Japan, Europe and even in Mexico.’
“My dad likes that I’m following in the steps of my brother. My brother followed in the steps of my dad, and I’m following in the steps of my brother.”
Montenegro is very close with his brother.
“When he decided to come here, that was a little difficult for me,” Montenegro said. “I was in Mexico doing my studies, but I called him a lot. He is my best friend.”
Montenegro learned from his father, uncles, brother and family friend, Pablo Marquez, a CCW indie wrestler who trains talent in South Florida. Marquez worked for the original ECW, IWA, Michinoku Pro, WWC and briefly in WWE as Babu.
“Pablo is one of my good friends in Florida,” Montenegro said. “I appreciate everything he did for me.”
Montenegro got a tryout with WWE NXT, then known as FCW, based in Tampa.
“I almost started wrestling in Mexico for CMLL,” Montenegro said. “but then I spoke with John Laurinaitis [who was the WWE’s senior vice president of talent relations], and he told me they were going to sign me.
“There’s a really big difference between the Mexican style and the American style. There’s more psychology in the American style. So to prepare, I also started working with American wrestlers in Mexico.”
Montenegro is 6-1, 225 pounds.
“My brother is 6-4, and he weighs more than me,” Montenegro said, “but for me I have good size here in America. I try to mix a little of the Mexican style with the American style. I do high-risk moves and combine it with the American style, so that helps me a lot.”
Montenegro loves animals almost as much as wrestling.
“I had two dogs, a cat, fish, and a lot of animals growing up,” he chuckled.
His father practiced what he preached as he earned a degree, too, in health and fitness, becoming a chiropractor.
Good to have a chiropractor in the family with all the bumps and bruises, aches and pains from wrestling.
Montenegro is learning to adapt and improving each day. What is it like training for WWE with WWE NXT’s staff?
“It’s an incredible experience,” Montenegro said. “In the three, four months I’ve been here, I’ve already learned so much. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned so far. I want to thank Bill DeMott, Norman Smiley, Joe Mercury, Ricky Steamboat, because they really help me and tell me my mistakes to learn from and improve and get better.”
Norman Smiley, who grew up in Miami, is best known as Screamin Norman Smiley (with Ralphus) in WCW, but in Mexico, he had a successful run as Black Magic.
“I remember in 2003 that was his last match in Mexico,” Montenegro said. “I know a lot of the career of Norman. I have a good relationship with him. We’ll talk after my match about my match. He’s my coach, and he’s my friend. ”
Montenegro can check one off the bucket list after Friday’s show. Another would be to team with his brother and father in a six-man tag. Never say never. That occurred in FCW for the Rhodes family (Cody, Dustin, Dusty).
“That’s another dream match, being with my dad and my brother,” Montenegro said.
Montenegro lives in South Tampa. He’s not fond of the weather but enjoys the city.
Dos Caras, 61, competes on special occasions in Mexico and Japan for legends’ matches.
“He really likes it when some promoter calls him,” Montenegro said. “For him, staying at home is like being in prison.”
Montenegro records his matches and sends them to his father, which pleases him.
Montenegro’s uncle, Mil Mascaras, is in very good shape.
“I want to be like him at his age  in his shape, if I reach that year,” said Montenegro, who watched from backstage when his uncle was inducted by his brother into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania Week in March in Miami. “That was one of the best precious moments in the career of my family...Watching my brother inducting my uncle was beautiful.”
Montenegro mentioned that Mil Mascaras was like the Hulk Hogan of Mexico, and Dos Caras was like Macho Man Randy Savage, another main guy. Mascaras had the charisma, and Caras had the aggressive, wrestling experience. Mascaras combined the lucha and American styles, bridging the two successfully to break barriers in Japan and the United States. A man of 1,000 marks, he was very popular no matter where he wrestled.
“When they are together, it’s like the big combination in Mexico,” Montenegro said.
Sicodelico, another famous Mexican wrestler, is also his uncle, and his cousins, Sicodelico Jr. and El Hijo del Sicodelico, expand that wrestling family.
WWE NXT conducts its inaugural show in West Palm Beach on Friday, Oct. 26 with a special guest appearance by WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio who will sign autographs prior to bell time. The event is at the West Palm Beach National Guard Armory with bell time 7:30 p.m.
VIP ticket holders receive access to the autograph session featuring Del Rio at 6 p.m. Other ticket levels will receive access at 6:30 p.m. WWE NXT superstars and divas will also sign autographs and pose for photos.
Eight big matches are on the wrestling card, featuring the WWE NXT superstars and divas. WWE NXT, formerly FCW, is the official developmental system for the future stars of WWE. With contests, giveaways, raffles and more, it’s fun for the family and best bang for your buck.
Tickets range from $10 to $35 and will be available online at www.nxtwrestling.com
and participating Buddy’s Home Furnishings locations. The West Palm Beach National Guatrd Armory is at 3193 Gun Road, West Palm Beach, Fla. 33406.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/2...#storylink=cpy