Writing and recording songs has given me the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world. One of these individuals is Hernán Lombardero from El Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Let’s learn a little bit about his life, interests, and enthusiasm about professional wrestling.
Particle Don: It’s an honor to have a fan from Buenos Aires. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life in Argentina. What is your age? What do you do to earn money? What is your family and home like?
Unfortunately, I don’t earn money because I’ve been trying to start a podcasting career since I finished high school in 2015. The fact that I cannot pronounce words combined with “r” is a big deal, as they sound like I am saying it with the letter “l”. For example, when I say “crayon”, it sounds like “clayon”.
Apart from that, my home is not very big at all. I live with my mother and sister.
Particle Don: How long have you been interested in pro wrestling? How did you discover the sport?
Hernán: I’ve been interested in wrestling since 2009. I recall going to an ex-friend’s house, where I discovered the video game WWE released in 2007, SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008. I bloody liked it. I bought SvR 2009 once the game came out, and a year later the 2010 edition.
Unfortunately, SvR 2010 was the last WWE game I’ve played since I don’t have any next generation consoles due to their cost. Maybe one day I’ll buy one of these consoles, but as of today, I have zero interest.
Particle Don: Who are a few of your favorite wrestlers, and why?
Hernán: I’m mostly into the promo guys. You know, Larry Sweeney, UltraMantis Black, Zack Gibson, and Prince Nana just to name a few. These people can get your attention with just a few words. They are experts at being cheered or berated by the crowd. They have wonderful presence!
As far as deathmatch wrestling, one guy I enjoy is Matt Tremont. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be into deathmatches.
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite entrance themes? What makes them unique and special?
Hernán: My favorite themes include Edge’s “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge and Mr. Águila’s theme, which was also the opening song for the In Your House: Mind Games PPV. CM Punk also had a good theme in “This Fire Burns” by Killswitch Engage.
I’ll go into more detail. Some people choose good music. Necro Butcher always had the best themes. So did CM Punk.
UltraMantis Black has interesting selections raging from normal rock to death metal.
Another guy that has good music is Illinois’ Craig Mitchell. The man has used a range of hardcore punk and metalcore.
I’m into rock a lot and also enjoy hip-hop. That’s why I love doing theme counts for wrestling promotions, as I discover lots of new music.
Particle Don: What fuels your passion for wrestling theme music? What is it that you love about these songs?
Hernán: To be bloody honest, at first, I wasn’t a guy into music at all. I recall listening to Edge’s theme from the SvR 2008 game and loving it. It was perfect and never gets old. When I got Internet access at my home for the first time in 2009, I searched for themes and bookmarked them in Internet Explorer.
I have always been curious to know who sang each wrestling theme. So, I searched for them on the Internet. Unfortunately, there was not always information about the artists and song titles. Later on I will explain my solution to that part in detail.
What I love about theme songs is that they match each wrestler’s character. They provide identities. I mean, you don’t give Batman a white costume when his whole persona is inspired by dark-colored bats.
Particle Don: Do you still work for Cagematch.net? How did you become affiliated with this excellent website? What did/do you do for them?
Hernán: I do still work for them. At first, I was contributing information while watching indy shows. Sometimes picky things and small details, other times match results.
One day I sent them a tracker. This allows you to suggest something for the website, but unlike an ordinary email, they cannot answer you. If there’s a case where there’s something I am unsure of, I send them a standard email.
My tracker asked for Rachael Ellering’s song, “Cut the Chord” by Shinedown, to be added to their database. In the message, I mentioned that I had a site which compiles wrestling music. This was when the Cagematch guys’ light bulb turned on.
A few days later, I got a message from ARIZA offering me a spot on the team. He asked me for the URL to my site. I was amazed that something like that was happening and obviously, I sent him the link.
He loved the site and asked me what promotions I would like to be responsible for on Cagematch. I told him I could cover the Pennsylvania and New Jersey territories, since I believe this area has the best wrestling in the United States.
So at the end of the day, I took over most of ARIZA’s area, which covers Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. I also take care of other areas at times.
One thing I’ve learned about Cagematch is that you can’t go on a rampage and do whatever you think is right. You have to know you’re not the only crazy cat in charge of the site.
Particle Don: What is your username on r/SquaredCircle? What kind of stuff do you post to the site?
Hernán: It’s u/Hernan_Lombardero.
I post comments from time to time, mostly on r/SquaredCircle. Other times, I post on a subreddit called TipOfMyTongue. This page allows users to help each other remember movie names, song titles, and books.
I’ve learned that that wXw has become associated with the Warner/Chappell music publishing company. This means they have official rights to use copyrighted entrance themes, which is rare in independent wrestling.
Particle Don: Tell us about your Indy Wrestling Entrance Music website. Why did you decide to create this page? How long have you been working on it?
Hernán: Well, everything started when I decided to create an entrance music database for Pennsylvania’s CHIKARA. I asked my friend Kid Ego to help me with some questions, as sometimes old school ROH and CHIKARA themes overlap.
Kid Ego helped me compile the list since he has been always interested in making a CHIKARA theme count. He subscribed to CHIKARATopia (CHIKARA’s On Demand service) and watched every show.
In a matter of months, we had compiled the entire list. Currently, it’s a little out of date as I’m waiting for IndependentWrestling.tv to upload the rest of the shows from 2018 and 2019.
Kid Ego created a Google Drive with folders for each event. Each folder had a .txt file containing a list of known themes from the event and recordings of unknown songs for identification.
Before that, a guy from Xylot Themes, BretC, asked me to create a theme results database so you could check what has been used through the years. However, most people said it was impossible and the idea was forgotten.
It was in April 2016 when I decided to try various free website creators to see if I could make a true theme database. I ended up using Google Sites. With a little inspiration from Kid Ego, I tried making an entrance list for Combat Zone Wrestling. It took me seven months to finish the whole company. In the process, I also compiled lists for IWA Mid-South and Game Changer Wrestling, just to name a few.
Eventually my database was integrated with the Xylot Themes website. With Xylot I was a moderator from March 2015 to September 1st, 2018, the day after All In.
I’m currently enrolled in a web design class so I can attempt to create a site combining the databases of Cagematch and Xylot. It’s also worth mentioning that I work for WrestlingMedia, which is basically a site that tracks wrestling-related discographies. Big thanks to Craig for allowing me the opportunity to work for that site.
Particle Don: Do you watch WWE?
Hernán: Nowadays, I rarely watch WWE. I’m not interested in their stale, predictable product. I typically just watch Royal Rumbles and WrestleManias.
I’m more into the independents than anything else. I like to discover new talent and witness maneuvers that you don’t normally see in other companies.
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite wrestling promotions, and why?
Hernán: CHIKARA is one of them. It has everything I want, from comedy to interesting story lines. They make their stories and outcomes matter. This company helped develop talent such as Icarus, Hallowicked, Eddie Kingston, Larry Sweeney, and many others.
Despite its controversies, IWA Mid-South is another league I follow extensively. It was the proving ground for people like CM Punk, Chris Hero, Colt Cabana, Jonathan Gresham, Matt Sydal, and an endless list of other talented wrestlers. To me, in order to prove your legitimacy, you need to wrestle for IWA Mid-South at least once.
Their peak years were obviously from 2001 to 2006, but I think they are back on the upswing. Currently, they feature top indy wrestlers such as Mance Warner, Calvin Tankman, Adam Slade, Aaron Williams, Shane Mercer, and Project M.O.N.I.X.
Anopther promotion I enjoy is 3-2-1 BATTLE! from Seattle, Washington. Aside from the strange name, they feature a bunch of good talent that always gives their best. Some of their top wrestlers include Daniel Makabe, Mr. Fitness, The Legion of Gloom, The Hall Sisters, Rook Kelly, and Pitfall Jones.
Particle Don: Are there any wrestling promotions in Argentina? Have you ever seen any live wrestling shows?
Hernán: Sadly, I don’t follow wrestling in my country. Ever since I saw a local dude wrestling in a Spider-Man costume, I said “no thanks”.
Particle Don: What are a few of the best wrestling matches you have ever seen? What makes them special?
Hernán: My personal favorite is Travis Banks vs. Zack Sabre Jr. from the now-defunct promotion Defiant Wrestling, formerly known as WhatCulture Pro Wrestling. When I saw Banks flipping and throwing Zach with expert agility, I knew the match would be a classic. I was hoping Travis Banks would win and it happened.
The Togi Makabe and Timothy Thatcher trilogy in 3-2-1 BATTLE! is also one of my favorites. Those contests feature a ton of technical wrestling. It’s basically the obligatory trilogy that you have to watch at least once if you’re into technical wrestling or want to learn about Togi Makabe.
Particle Don: Have you ever met any wrestlers in person? How did the interactions unfold?
Hernán: I haven’t met any of them in person. However, I get in touch with some of them online. Sometimes they reply, other times they don’t.
I often ask wrestlers for match results or info about their themes so I can add them to Cagematch. I mean, I’m sure most people would be happy to publish results from an event they were involved with.
A wrestler from Philadelphia, Shawn Phoenix, normally sends me his match results. The New York Championship Wrestling promotion also sends me results, as well as the Philadelphia outfit known as Pro Wrestling Rampage. I also used to get results from a wrestler named Billy Avery.
Particle Don: Is wrestling on TV in Argentina? If so, what promotions are broadcast?
In the previous decade there was also a regional promotion called 100% Lucha, which lasted four years. I didn’t know it existed until it closed.
Particle Don: Is it difficult to watch American wrestling over there in Argentina? Does the internet make it easy for you to keep up with your favorite promotions?
Hernán: The Internet makes miracles! I know that WWE is on cable, but as I said, I don’t care for them. With the help of the Internet, I keep up with several American promotions that I’m interested in.
Particle Don: Have you seen any shows from the new American promotion AEW? If so, what do you like or dislike about this company?
I mainly watch AEW out of curiosity. It’s good to see people get exposure in a major promotion other than WWE.
Particle Don: How many hours do you spend each week watching wrestling?
Hernán: Currently, three hours (AEW Dark and Dynamite), and four or more if you include PPVs.
Particle Don: Do you collect wrestling action figures or merchandise? If so, what are a few of your favorites?
Hernán: I wish I could collect merchandise. I have no clue if stuff like that is sold around here, but it’s never too late to start a collection.
Particle Don: Do you play video games? If so, what are a few of your favorite consoles or game titles?
Hernán: I used to be into video games a lot as a kid, but this desire has slowed down in recent years. After they stopped releasing WWE video games for PS2, I stopped caring.
Now that WWE games are available on on PC, I could get back into them, but I choose to play other games. Since last year, I’ve started playing Grand Theft Auto games. I’m on a mission to complete every release. So far, I’ve finished San Andreas, Vice City, and GTA 3.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite wrestling video game? Why do you like it?
Hernán: To be honest, I do not. However, I did like the games created by indie developer Mat Dickie (MDickie). They aren’t the best control-wise, but they’re good if you want to kill some time.
Particle Don: Other than wrestling, what are some of your hobbies?
Hernán: Apart from wrestling, I like researching random things on the internet. When I find an intriguing topic, I like to search and search until I have enough information to satisfy my craving. Other than that, I’m more into wrestling than anything else.
Particle Don: Have you ever met any non-wrestling celebrities or athletes? How did you meet them?
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite bands or musical acts? Why do you like them?
I’m the type of guy that listens to singles and hits from many bands. By preference, I mostly like 80’s and 90’s music, specifically rock. However, I’m also into current genres like deathcore and electronicore.
Particle Don: Do you play any musical instruments? If so, how long have you played them for?
Hernán: I hate to say it, but I don’t play any instruments. I’m a simple guy.
Particle Don: What types of food do you enjoy? Why?
Hernán: I enjoy eating pizza, something that my mother makes pretty well. I also like milanesa, which is the best food in my country.
Particle Don: Tell us about the candy and snacks over there in Argentina. What are a few of your favorites?
Hernán: I’m not the kind of guy that eats candy and snacks all the time. Over here, the most common treat is the alfajor, which is basically two pieces of circular flour with caramel between them.
Medialunas, a type of croissant, is frequently served during breakfast or tea time.
Empanadas are a common party snack. There are many varieties of this treat, including those prepared with ham, cheese, or other types of meat.
Particle Don: What types of beverages do you enjoy? Do you drink lots of water? Do you drink sodas or any other types of beverages?
Hernán: I drink a lot of mate, haha. It’s very addictive. The bad thing about it is that it will make you go to the bathroom very often.
I don’t drink much alcohol. If I do, it’s in small doses.
Particle Don: Is there a wrestling show or promotion you have never seen live, but would like to?
Hernán: I’d like to see wrestling live and in person no matter what the promotion. Maybe one day I’ll be able to attend an event; possibly a WWE show since they have started touring here.
Particle Don: Other than wrestling, what are a few of your favorite sports, and why?
Hernán: Besides wrestling, I don’t have any other favorite sports. I remember my father trying to get me into soccer, which failed.
When I got into wrestling, my father was disappointed, as it involves men in underwear. I couldn’t care less, as it is what I like. As of now, I haven’t seen my father for many years.
Particle Don: How did you discover Particle Don?
Hernán: I remember very well. I recall adding the theme songs for Danny Havoc and Drake Younger to the CZW section on my website.
When I posted the info to my site, I figured that the wrestlers had used the songs quite a bit. I was correct. Don’s website even featured a section that listed each time the wrestlers had used his themes, which showed great dedication.
I love the fact that Havoc and Younger wrestled each other during the semi-finals at Tournament of Death XI, both using Particle Don themes.
It might sound dumb, but I think it’s important for independent artists to track down when their theme music had been used. For example, I’ve heard that Nick Diener has recorded a theme for Jordynne Grace. He also created music for Hakim Zane and The Pain Killers. I had sent him a link to Grace’s entrance from ICW New York. He had no idea the song was already in use.
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite Particle Don songs?
Particle Don: What topic would you like to hear Particle Don write a song about?
Hernán: That’s a hard question. I’d go with the wrestler Shawn Phoenix. The man had an accident at an IWC event back in October last year. It took him over a year to recover. Luckily, he’ll return to action next month against Atticus Cogar. I’m pretty sure Shawn isn’t into the rap genre, but he would appreciate it.
Particle Don: If you could see Particle Don perform six songs live, which ones would you pick?
Hernan: I’d choose these songs:
- Drake n’ Bake [Naptown Mix]
- It’s All Because of Dwayne
- Sunday Morning Superstars Veteran
- Steve Had a Cheese Hat (Can You Believe That?)
- Spyder Nest
Particle Don: Other than English, what languages do you speak?
Hernán: My mother language is Spanish. I tried to get the First Certificate in English about two years back, but failed the exam by a few points.
Particle Don: What types of movies do you like? List a few of your favorites and tell us why you like them.
Hernán: I’m not into a whole lot of movies. If I happen to enjoy a movie, it’s a plus for me. I’m not a big fan of horror movies because that’s not my thing.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite TV show?
Hernán: I do not. I don’t regularly watch any television. I think the last TV show I watched was titled Mi Hermano es un Clon (My Brother is a Clone).
Particle Don: Do you listen to any wrestling podcasts? If so, which ones?
Hernán: I do not but I should, especially since I want to begin a podcasting career.
Hernán: To be bloody honest, I don’t believe in UFOs. I have a friend who follows that stuff. When he talks about it, I stare at him and say “What in the blue hell?!”.
Particle Don: Do you have any cats, dogs, or other pets?
Hernán: I used to have dogs. All of them died. We don’t currently have one as my mother says it involves a lot of responsibility.
Particle Don: What types of wild animals do you see when you walk outside? Or do you live in the city and see few wild animals?
Particle Don: If you had three wishes, what would they be and why?
Hernan: Here are my three ideal wishes:
- The first would for my wrestling theme site to be successful. I want to keep people informed about what has been used in the world of wrestling besides your typical main company entrance themes from WWE, WCW, and ECW.
- I’d like to have a son named Leandro Martín. That’s all I’m asking.
- My most important wish is to begin a podcasting career. I’ve already explained why it’s nearly impossible, but I will still give it a try. If I cannot make it, I’m not worthy of my name.
Particle Don: Is there anything else we should know about you? Talk about your websites, YouTube pages, or anything I may have forgotten to ask during the interview.
Hernán: I think I’ve already explained about everything. Aside from completing a web design course and recreating my site from scratch, I hope to find a job in web design. That would help me to to earn some decent money.
Particle Don: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview! It was very interesting learning more about you.
Hernán: The pleasure is yours, jefe. Thanks for allowing me this opportunity.