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Americo Rocca vs. El Talisman (3/29/85)

 

On 9/21/84 at EMLL’s 51st Anniversary show, El Talisman lost to Atlantis in a mask vs. mask match, revealing his identity to the lucha public for the first time.

 

One thing I only just learnt about this match was that they did the same finish as the 1993 Mano Negra/Atlantis mask match where Atlantis won the third fall in 15 seconds with the the La Atlantida torture rack.

 

Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

 

This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show.

 

Since this is a popular match on the set, people might like to know (or alternatively be gutted to hear) that there was a super libre revancha match the following week, as cubsfan discovered on his trip to Mexico.

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Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

 

This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show.

 

Since this is a popular match on the set, people might like to know (or alternatively be gutted to hear) that there was a super libre revancha match the following week, as cubsfan discovered on his trip to Mexico..

 

 

Man, you're breaking my heart.

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Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

 

This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show.

 

Since this is a popular match on the set, people might like to know (or alternatively be gutted to hear) that there was a super libre revancha match the following week, as cubsfan discovered on his trip to Mexico..

 

 

Man, you're breaking my heart.

 

 

This reminds me of the story that apparently, a week before the Santo vs Casas mask vs hair match in 1987, they had an even better double bloodbath.

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Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

 

This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show.

 

Since this is a popular match on the set, people might like to know (or alternatively be gutted to hear) that there was a super libre revancha match the following week, as cubsfan discovered on his trip to Mexico..

 

 

Man, you're breaking my heart.

 

 

This reminds me of the story that apparently, a week before the Santo vs Casas mask vs hair match in 1987, they had an even better double bloodbath.

 

Guys. Stop it.

 

Actually don't. It may kill me but I love hearing about these matches we'll never see.

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Espectro Jr, Satanico y MS-1 vs. Mocho Cota, Sangre Chicana y La Fiera (9/30/83)

 

This was a rudos contra rudos trios a week after the Anniversary show.

 

Since this is a popular match on the set, people might like to know (or alternatively be gutted to hear) that there was a super libre revancha match the following week, as cubsfan discovered on his trip to Mexico..

 

 

Man, you're breaking my heart.

 

 

This reminds me of the story that apparently, a week before the Santo vs Casas mask vs hair match in 1987, they had an even better double bloodbath.

 

Guys. Stop it.

 

Actually don't. It may kill me but I love hearing about these matches we'll never see.

 

 

I heard that two weeks before the mask vs hair match they had a Misioneros de la Muerte vs Santo, Casas and Black Shadow Jr. super match where Casas turned on Santo, and a week later they had the bloodbath. I believe I heard this from Kurt Brown and/or read it on a Lucha Libre (Ben Mora, who promoted the show) magazine. IF that's true, it was esentially a one week build-up to one of the 80s top classic matches.

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Sangre Chicana vs. Perro Aguayo (Hair vs. Hair) (2/28/86)

 

This was another match several years in the making.

 

Chicana and Aguayo first began as a tag team in September of 1982, taking on Riki Choshu and Gran Hamada at El Toreo on 9/19/82. This was at a time when the economic crisis was hitting Mexico mercilessly, and promoters had to make the cards increasingly attractive to draw the fans. The sight of two of the biggest rudo names in the sport aligning brought back memories of the great rudo tag teams of the past like La Ola Blanca, Blue Demon y Black Shadow, Mendoza, Guajardo y Lagarde and the Espantos. They continued to tag together a few more times until the violent Chicana/Faraon vs. Aguayo/Fishman feud erupted, spanning Arena Mexico and El Toreo in some of the bloodiest matches ever recorded. Over the next few years, Chicana and Aguayo met in mano a mano matches, and title matches, and trios matches and elimination bouts, but never until this point a hair match.

 

In 1985, Chicana began tagging with the newly turned Cien Caras and together they formed a formidable tag team. EMLL at the time had a lot more focus on their tag team division, which had been dominated for almost three straight years by the Mendoza brothers. Los Hermanos Mendoza had seen off the threats of Perro Aguayo and Fishman, Satanico and his Infernales partners Espectro Jr. and MS-1, and Los Brazos de Oro y Plata, but on 4/12/85, they succumb to the unholy alliance of Cien Caras and Sangre Chicana. Chicana, for much of ’85, was feuding with Tony Benetto, whose hair he took on 3/31/85, and it would be Benetto and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. who lifted the tag belts from Chicana and Caras on 10/28/85.

 

Tensions then began to develop between Chicana and his regular partners Caras and El Faraon, leading to Chicana and Faraon brawling with one another after a trios match. Aguayo got involved somehow, and the end result was a three-way match at Arena Mexico where the first person to earn a submission or pinfall over the two over combatants was eliminated and the losers forced to have a lucha de apuesta match the following week. Faraon cheated to win, and Chicana and Aguayo had a huge post-match brawl.

 

One thing I’ve always admired about Aguayo is his honesty about getting into the business. Most luchadores of his era claim they were inspired by Santo, Blue Demon or Black Shadow, but Aguayo says he was an amateur luchador for 14 years and got into it out of hunger. Born on a ranch in the town of Nochistlan, Zacatecas, the land his family worked didn’t give them enough to eat, so they moved to Guadalajara where eventually Aguayo had to leave school and go to work in Mexico City as a baker. Eventually, he returned to Guadalajara, where he took up boxing to stand up to the street gangs that harassed him. A luchador named Apolo Romano convinced him to take up wrestling training, and he eventually moved to Mexico’s Olympic Center where he won a national championship before Diablo Velasco convinced him to turn professional.

 

Aguayo’s star was made with his legendary 10/3/75 apuesta with El Santo, where according to luchawiki: “Perro ripped Santo's mask and bloodied him like few had before, and Santo retaliated by going back to his beginnings for rudo tactics of his own.” Chicana himself called this match with Perro the high point of his career. In the immediate aftermath, Chicana took Faraon’s hair on the 3/7/86 Arena Mexico show, and later in the year Faraon took Aguayo’s hair in Monterrey. Two hair losses in the same year was a pretty big deal for a wrestler who in 1985 the magazines had called the wrestler of the year, but the Aguayo/Chicana feud would continue for many years, and Aguayo took Chicana’s hair in 1989 in Baja California and again in 1990 at Arena Mexico. This one, however, was the big one, as the later hair matches were overshadowed by the rise of Konnan as a main event player.

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Lizmark, Alfonso Dantes y Tony Salazar vs. El Signo, El Texano y Negro Navarro (8/15/86)

 

And finally we come to the Misioneros.

 

For those of you looking for a detailed write-up on the trio, look no further than the obituary which Steve Sims wrote for El Texano in 2006. Some of the dates are off, but it’s an excellent resource. I’ll go over the basics and add a few points.

 

It’s a shame that the only televised footage we have of the Misioneros is from the end of their drawing run, because their EMLL appearances don’t really convey what a big deal they were in the early part of the decade. We do have some grainy and incomplete footage of them at El Toreo, but it pales in comparison to people’s recollections and the magazine photos we have from their pomp.

 

At some point in ’86, the Misioneros lost their UWA World Trios Championship titles to the Villanos and then left the UWA to begin working at Pavillón Azteca where they feuded with Trio Fantasia and the exotico pairing of Adorable Rubi, Sergio el Hermoso and Bello Greco. EMLL brought them in over the summer to headline their 53rd Anniversary show where they fought Americo Rocca, Tony Salazar and Ringo Mendoza in a rare triple hair match. A few weeks prior, they had defeated El Dandy, Talisman and Jerry Estrada (substituting for the masked Fuerza Guerrera) under the same stipulations, and it remains somewhat odd that EMLL used the Misioneros to put over their midcard stalwarts instead of giving Dandy and Estrada the rub.

 

After all, the Misioneros began as wrestlers in Dandy and Estrada’s position. As the story goes, Francisco Flores noticed that despite the fact the best heavyweights in Mexico were working at El Toreo, often against top class international competition, EMLL promoter Salvador Lutteroth was still able to draw using smaller wrestlers like Fishman, Sangre Chicana and Satoru Sayama. Flores’ response was to scout young light-weight talent, the first group of which included Signo, Texano, Navarro, Brazo de Oro, and his brothers.

 

At the end of 1977, Flores instructed Shadito Cruz, the patriarch of the Brazo family and a referee and trainer at the time, to take his boys and the young Misioneros to one of the smaller venues in Mexico City, and work a series of Sunday shows culminating in a Brazo de Oro vs. El Texano mask vs. mask match. The lucha magazines soon got behind the two trios, and in 1980 a fortuitous, if nearly tragic, incident occurred during an El Toreo match between the Misioneros and El Santo, Blue Demon and Huracán Ramírez when Santo had the first of several heart attacks that eventually claimed his life. Santo was laid up for several months while he recuperated, and the Misioneros were instantly hailed as the rudos who almost killed the biggest legend of all-time. The magazines lapped it up and the Misioneros became an overnight sensation.

 

The climax of El Santo’s retirement tour in 1982 was a huge atomicos main event at El Toreo that saw him team up with Gori Guerrero, Huracan Ramirez and El Solitario to take on the Misioneros and Perro Aguayo. As with the Wagner/Solitario mask match, the ticket prices were raised but the show still drew 25,000 and set a box office for El Toreo.

 

Over the next few years, the Misioneros were involved in a number of high profile feuds with various different trios teams, some of which we have already documented, such as their role in turning Villano III technico. As I’ve mentioned before, El Toreo was by far the “bloodiest” of the major arenas in Mexico City, and to this day the Misioneros have a reputation for being one of the bloodiest, most violent trios teams this side of the Brazos and Villanos, who also bled buckets in the 80s. El Signo was usually the captain of the team and was involved in a number of memorable hair matches during their run with Villano III, El Solitario and Babe Face, and all three were decorated singles workers in their weight classes.

 

In ’87, as their star was fading, the Misioneros won the UWA World Trios titles back from the Villanos and held onto them for a few months before losing to the Brazos, but rumours persisted about differences between the team members. Then on 11/13/87, during a match against the Villanos, El Texano threw in the towel when it seemed like El Signo was losing consciousness in a submission hold. After the match, Signo and Navarro turned on Texano, and the Misioneros as we know them were no more. Texano was laid out and left for EMLL, and Flores and subsequent UWA bookers’ efforts to replace him with a new member fell increasingly limp. The Misioneros never drew again, and strangely when just about everyone was picked up by either CMLL or AAA after UWA fell apart, Navarro and Signo had only the briefest of runs in AAA before working the independents for the rest of their careers. Texano was much more successful, enjoying a 90s international run with El Dandy and then Silver King as Los Cowboys.

 

Negro Navarro still wrestles today and has changed his style to more of a mat based one. He is considered one of the finest maestros in the sport today. Signo, who may have been the best worker of them all, retired only a few years ago, while Texano died of pneumonia in 2006 after a number of years of poor health and wrestling related injuries.

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Rayo De Jalisco Jr. vs. Mascara Ano 2000 (8/15/86)


Mascara Ano 2000 had turned heel by this point and formed the original version of Los Hermanos Dinamita with his brother Cien Caras, which would later become a trio when their younger brother Universo 2000 started working Mexico City. Los Hermanos Dinamita had taken the Mexican National Tag Team titles from Rayo and Tony Benetto on 4/16/86, and now MA2k was after Rayo's NWA World Light Heavyweight title. This was a belt that Mascara had held for several months back in '82 before losing to El Faraon, and he would have another rematch for the title in December of '86. Later on, he became a frequent challenger for the title during Lizmark's three year run as the top light heavyweight in Mexico.


La Fiera vs. Babyface (8/15/86)


Sometime, in I want to say early '86, La Fiera turned technico. (I think, you can never be sure with this patchy lucha history of ours.) On 2/23/86, he had a hair match with El Faraon right in the middle of all that Faraon/Chicana/Aguayo drama, and by the summer he seems to have definitely turned. Babe Face, you'll remember, was one of the original UWA wrestlers. He had a number of bloody hair matches over the years, always with great opponents like Villano III, Brazo de Oro, El Signo, Texano, and even his old partner Perro Aguayo. Like many people, I've always assumed that there was a working agreement that allowed UWA wrestlers to appear on EMLL shows and vice versa, but the last time I spoke with Jose Fernandez he claimed this wasn't the case and that the wrestlers simply took bookings for both companies. Looking at some of the records we have, it seems this wasn't the first time Babe Face worked EMLL and it didn't end with this hair match as he was back for more dates in the final third of '86, but I believe this was the only time he booked in any sort of program at Arena Mexico. La Fiera took several months off in '87 due to injury and returned late in the season where he had a hastily arranged hair match against Sangre Chicana, but according to hardcores he was never the same after his return.

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In the immediate aftermath, Chicana and Mocho Cota took Faraon and Talisman’s hair on the 3/7/86 Arena Mexico show

 

This looks like it was two singles matches and not a tag match. I have corrected the original entry.

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Espanto Jr. vs. El Hijo del Santo (Mask vs. Mask) (8/31/86)


You’ll recall that a wrestler by the name of Jesus Andrade asked the original Espanto II, Fernando Cisneros Carrillo, for permission to carry on the Espanto name and was granted that permission during 1984. Immediately, Andrade was put into a feud with the son of the Espanto family’s greatest rival, and from the moment they opposed one another a mask match was inevitable.


The history here goes back a long way.


Los Hermanos Espanto (Espanto I y II) originally tagged with El Santo while Santo was still a rudo. When the time came to turn Santo, it was the Espantos who did the dirty work. On a Friday night show at Arena Mexico, June 22nd, 1962, the team of Rito Romero, Rayo de Jalisco and Henry Pilusso showed Los Hermanos Espanto and El Santo up in an embarrassing two falls to nil loss. Espanto II was so livid with Santo that he attacked him after the bout. A melee ensued and Santo fought back, leaving Espanto II bloodied and bruised; his mask a mess. In true lucha fashion, Santo was abandoned by his rudo partners and left alone with the technicos he was still offside with, and on July 5th he made his debut as a face tagging with Pilusso against the Espanto brothers. (In other versions of events, the details differ slightly, but the upshot is that Espanto II turned on Santo, thereby turning Santo face.)


Santo’s face turn was an instant success, and he began regularly tagging with the biggest technico names against the Espantos, who brought a third brother, Espanto III, into the fold. Rubén Juárez ended up taking Espanto II’s mask at the 30th Anniversary show on September 9th, 1963, but just over a month later Santo took the mask of Espanto I in one of the bloodiest Arena Mexico mask matches in memory, dubbed “La Lucha de la muerte” by the magazines. A match that is famous for Santo being so beaten and battered that after the match he turned to known lucha aficionado Don Garcia Erastus and asked who’d won.


3535912331_1e2a33e85a_m.jpg


The Espantos continued to tag together successfully after their unmaskings until tragedy struck as it so often does in these lucha stories. After working a show in Monterrey on May 30th, 1968, Espanto I and another wrestler were shot and killed by a canteen owner during a barroom brawl after he refused to serve them any more drinks. The owner then fled and was on the run for eight years until he was finally caught on March 16th, 1975; however he hung himself in his cell before he could be sentenced.


Espanto II was devastated by the loss of his best friend and shirked the limelight after his death, though he continued to wrestle in the Northern part of Mexico and occasionally in other territories. When Andrades took on the lineage, this rematch of the “Fight of Death” was the inevitable course of action, but the El Hijo del Santo vs. Espanto feud didn’t finish here, as we’ll see as the set continues.

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Ringo Mendoza, Atlantis y Ultraman vs. Satanico, Masakre y MS-1 (September 1986)

 

This was the third incarnation of the Infernales that began after Satanico and Pirata Morgan had a falling out, which isn't that surprising since one claimed to be "El Número Uno" and the other "El Mejor Luchador del Mundo" (the best wrestler in the world.) That altercation not only led to hair matches between Morgan and MS-1 and Morgan and Satanico, but a whole new rudo faction known as Los Bucaneros. The original version of the Bucaneros featured Morgan's brother Hombre Bala and a slightly repackaged Jerry Estrada, who swapped the Iron Maiden t-shirts for an eye patch and pirate bandana.

 

The Infernales replaced Morgan with a wrestler by the name of Masakre. Masakre was a guy who was something of a late bloomer. Originally, he intended to be a fireman and was only interested in wrestling as a means of staying in shape. He trained for nearly five years under Raul Reyes before training at the Arena Mexico facilities with Rafael Salamanca. Finally, he made his debut at Pista Arena Revolución on 5/1/83 and was soon given a push as MS-2. That fell by the wayside when EMLL saw the potential in MS-1, and Masakre's career floundered for a few years before he finally got his big break joining the Infernales. He was unmasked by The Kiss, a wrestler from Baja California, on the 8/29/86 Arena Mexico show, and from that point on was a perfect fit for the Infernales as the same type of tall, ruggedly handsome rudo as MS-1. Together they won the Mexican National Tag Team Championship from Los Hermanos Dinamita in March of '87 and began a new chapter in the Infernales' history. Eventually there would be another bloody falling out, but we'll get to that later.

 

Aside from some old rivalries, I don't think there was anything particular important about the match-up here. The last few minutes of the Satanico/Morgan hair match aired on Japanese TV but were fairly disappointing. No blood and they made a real hash of the finish.The match took place on the 12/5 Arena Mexico show in a double billing with the Atlantis/Hombre Bala mask match.

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Pirata Morgan, Babe Face y Cien Caras vs. La Fiera, Lizmark y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (September 1986)

 

This is a fairly straightforward match that likely took place in July of '86. The only confirmed date I have for the trios matches leading into the Babe Face vs. Fiera hair match is La Fiera, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Benetto vs. Babe Face, Satanico y MS-1 from 7/18/86.

 

Since there's not much to talk about with this one, I thought I'd tell the story of how Morgan lost his eye. In December of 1981, when Morgan was still an unknown, he was wrestling a match against El Jalisco in Guadalajara. They traded the first two falls and the match was going pretty well when Morgan launched himself at Jalisco who was on the floor outside the ring. I'm not sure who was to blame, but Jalisco was out of position for the tope and Morgan crashed head first into the ground. The impact of the crash burst Morgan's eye open. Fans who were in the front row were sprayed with blood, and when they looked down they saw Morgan was a bloody horror and had no eye. Medical assistance arrived and in the panic it was feared that Morgan might die as Sangre India had done in 1979. Morgan survived, but he needed surgery to remove the remaining part of his eye.

 

When Morgan returned to the ring, he had to wear an eye patch to cover his missing eye, and used the disability to cultivate the Pirata Morgan gimmick, naming himself after the Welsh 16th century pirate Henry Morgan, one of the most ruthless privateers of his era.

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Americo Rocca, Cacharro Mendoza y Kung Fu vs. El Talisman, El Dandy y Guerrero Negro (September 1986)

 

This trio of El Talisman, El Dandy and Guerrero Negro are sometimes referred to on the internet as "Los Bravos." The more famous version of Los Bravos was Fuerza Guerrera, Talisman and El Dandy, a trio which ran from 1985 through to some time in '86; and while I've seen a magazine cover that also calls the Guerrero Negro version Los Bravos, I'm not sure how often they tagged together or how long their association was. Talisman and Dandy often appeared without Fuerza, especially on smaller shows, and it's possible that they gained a new partner along the way.

 

Guerrero Negro was a talented wrestler from Monclova, Coahuila, who was brought to Mexico City by Herodes. Apparently, he didn't adapt to life in the capital so well and returned to Monclova some time after the 1985 earthquake, so whether he was working full time in the Federal District at this point is unclear. In the Coahuila area, he had a long running rivalry with Remo Banda, who later became Volador/Super Parka, and the two had several apuesta matches. Negro wrestled for CMLL up until 1991 and then worked a bit for AAA through to the end of the 90s. He then suffered a stroke and was in poor health for some time before his death in 2006.

 

Kung Fu was a veteran worker who had made his pro debut at the end of the 60s. During the mid-70s, he capitalised on the kung fu craze by changing his gimmick to a masked martial artists fighter and had success in EMLL both in singles and teaming with another practitioner of the martial arts, Kato Kung Lee. In 1979, they formed a trio with Satoru Sayama called "El Triangulo Oriental," a forerunner for the UWA trio they formed with Black Man, "Los Fantasticos." The Fantasticos were one of the most exciting trios acts of the 80s, working a fast paced, all action style that was a perfect blend of high flying, martial arts kicks and lightning quick lucha exchanges, but by this stage they had broken up and gone their separate ways. Kung Fu moved back to EMLL, Kato Kung Lee was working for Mora in Tijuana and Black Man stayed with UWA. So long as he was masked, Kung Fu received a solid push from EMLL. He won the NWA World Middleweight title from Gran Cochisse on 10/17/86 and again from El Dandy on 10/7/87 before losing the belt to Atlantis in 1988; a rivalry that would culminate in Atlantis taking his mask on a 1990 Arena Mexico show. This was in stark contrast to his partners, who lost their hoods shortly after breaking up, but once the public realised how old Kung Fu was, his career took a steep nosedive. He also died relatively young, just shy of his 50th birthday, from a heart attack.

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Babyface, Cien Caras y Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Lizmark, Rayo De Jalisco y La Fiera (September 1986)

 

This was another trios from before the hair match.

 

Babe Face, so called because when he came up from his native Colima to Mexico City he was like a boy amongst men, was forced into wrestling by his mother because he was a troublemaker. What he lacked in height, he made up for with his bulky physique and he was said to have been one of the hardest punchers in the business. He also showed surprising vigour and agility for a man his size, however these qualities took their toll on his body and he wound up wrecking his hip. He worked for UWA for practically its entire existence and had one last run with AAA in the late 90s, but by that stage he was a wreck and needed a hip replacement. Babe retired for good and now runs a food stall behind Arena Mexico where he serves Japanese inspired rice dishes and Mexican huaraches. Somewhat amusingly, when this career rudo was touring Japan in the 70s and 80s, he'd spend his off days taking cooking classes and that's where the Japanese inspiration comes from.

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Americo Rocca, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Salazar vs. Negro Navarro, El Signo y El Texano (Hair vs. Hair) (9/19/86)

 

This was a triple hair match from the 53rd Anniversary Show. In my previous entry about the Misioneros, I stated that they left the UWA around this time, but a quick look at the bills we have from this time shows that's clearly not true. They may have taken on more dates for Mora, but they still worked for UWA fairly regularly. There's a record of one more appearance at Arena Mexico on 12/12/86 taking on Chamaco Valaguez, Javier Cruz and Tony Salazar, and for what it's worth there was an earlier match at El Toreo on 4/13/86 where they took on La Fiera, Ringo Mendoza and Tony Salazar.

 

Blue Panther, El Talisman y El Dandy vs. Stuka, America Rocca y Chamaco Valaguez (11/86)

 

This was right around the time that Panther was getting his first big push at El Toreo. He'd gotten his initial break in Monterrey after his trainer recommended him to booker Rene Guajardo. Guajardo was impressed with Panther's skill level for a rookie and not only gave him a small push on the Northern circuit but sent him to Mexico City less than a year after his debut. Within six months, he was working for Francisco Flores and spent the early part of the 80s fighting an array of talented light weights in what was arguably the most stacked under card of any promotion in wrestling history. Throughout 1984 he continued to take minor masks on the smaller shows and then at the end of the year he teamed with Black Man to take the masks of Las Sombras de Plata I & II at El Toreo, his first apuesta match on the big stage. A few weeks later he won his first major title, the UWA World Welterweight title, which he took from El Matematico, and held onto it until 2/86 where he lost it to Black Man. A week later, Black Man took on Panther in an apuesta match and lost his mask in a move that severely hurt the Fantastico's career.

 

blackmanunmasked1.jpg

Heading into the winter season, Panther took the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight championship from Gran Hamada on 11/16/86 right around the time this match is meant to have taken place.

 

Talisman had spent much of 1986 as the Mexican National Middleweight champion, having won the title from Atlantis in March. During his reign he defended the title against both Americo Rocca and Stuka. Stuka was a young high flying wrestler from Durango, who'd been trained in part by the father of Espanto Jr. He'd spent the early part of his career wrestling under his real name of Joel Garcia before adopting a masked gimmick based around the World World II German dive bombers; his mask adorned with iron crosses and other Luftwaffe insignia. True to his name, he was an aerial artist with a number of big dives. He didn't reach terribly great heights with EMLL, and as the decade flicked over he became a regular in Monterrey where he lost his mask to Perro Aguayo in a triangle match with El Hijo del Santo. He then worked for a long time in the Northern district as well as for AAA. The Stuka Jr that currently wrestles in CMLL is his younger brother, who was born the year after Stuka debut.

 

Talisman would lose the middleweight title to rising star Mogur on 11/30/86 while his rivalry with Rocca spilled over into another hair match in '87. El Dandy was also feuding with Americo Rocca at this time. Dandy had won the NWA World Welterweight title on 8/24/86 from Javier Cruz and lost it to Rocca on 11/3/86. The pair were booked for a rematch on the 12/12 show.

 

So there's quite a lot going on in this match.

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Americo Rocca, Cacharro Mendoza y Kung Fu vs. El Talisman, El Dandy y Guerrero Negro (September 1986)

 

This trio of El Talisman, El Dandy and Guerrero Negro are sometimes referred to on the internet as "Los Bravos." The more famous version of Los Bravos was Fuerza Guerrera, Talisman and El Dandy, a trio which ran from 1985 through to some time in '86; and while I've seen a magazine cover that also calls the Guerrero Negro version Los Bravos, I'm not sure how often they tagged together or how long their association was. Talisman and Dandy often appeared without Fuerza, especially on smaller shows, and it's possible that they gained a new partner along the way.

 

I forgot here that Fuerza Guerrera supposedly left EMLL in August of '86, vacating the Mexican National Welterweight title.

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Jerry Estrada, Pirata Morgan y Hombre Bala vs. Atlantis, Alfonso Dantes y Rayo De Jalisco Jr. (Feb 1987)

 

I believe the date on this match is 2/13/87.

 

This marks the first appearance on the set of Los Bucaneros, the trio that was formed in the wake of Morgan's falling out with Satanico. Joining Morgan were Jerry Estrada, the young rudo whom Herodes brought in from Monclova and who was able to foot in Mexico City, and Morgan's older brother Hombre Bala.

 

Bala was nine years older than his brother and had been wrestling for nearly a decade when Morgan made his debut. He was never a big star like his brother, but enjoyed a 40 year career where he managed to successfully wrestle under several different aliases. He began his career as 'Chamaco Ortiz' and drew comparisons to Raul Mata as a chubby worker who was extremely fast and spectacular, as well as effective. As a young man he was involved in a number of apuestas matches, mostly notably against the popular midcard worker Dr. O'Borman Sr and was a noted bleeder.

 

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Hombre Bala was his second pirate gimmick having previously worked as Rey Pirata. He adopted the Bala gimmick some time in the early 80s and worked under a mask for a good five or six years. He lost the mask to Atlantis on the 12/5/86 Arena Mexico show, which was one of Atlantis' big apuestas triumphs along with Talisman's mask at the 1984 Anniversary Show.

 

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After his unmasking, it was acknowledged that he was the older brother of Pirata Morgan and the two joined forces in his struggles against the Infernales. Estrada would eventually leave the Bucaneros and be replaced by another Morgan brother, Verdugo, but the original incarnation enjoyed a barnstorming 1987. On 8/30/87, they took the Mexican National Trios Championship from the team of Kiss, Ringo Mendoza and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. and ruled the roost for the final part of the 1987 season.

 

Bala also had an extremely bloody hair match with El Dandy in August of '87, which I'm sure we all wish we could see.

 

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After Morgan's run with the Bucaneros was over, and he re-united with the Infernales, Bala shifted gimmicks to Cromagnon in the fun undercard trio 'Los Cavernicolas' (w/ Popitekus and Verdugo) and then enjoyed a successful late career run under the AAA gimmick of Monsther, forming a comedy duo with a mini version of Chucky from the Child's Play movies. Bala injured his knee training young wrestlers and was forced to retire in 2010. He had a benefit show in September that year in an effort to pay for his surgery. His son currently wrestles in the CMLL midcard as Hombre Bala Jr.

 

Alfonso Dantes, Atlantis and Rayo were regular trios partners either with each other or in combination with other technicos. It was Dantes and Rayo who were Atlantis' partners in the trios matches that built to the Atlantis vs. Bala mask match, and Atlantis had also partnered Dantes and Rayo in their feud against Cien Caras and Mascara Ano 2000. Dantes was the reigning Mexican National Heavyweight Champion at this time having defeated Caras for the title on 8/20/86 and had successfully defended the crown against Herodes a few days prior. He would lose the title to Super Halcon in September, aka Danny Ortiz, aka El Halcon/Halcon Ortiz. That wasn't the end of Dantes though, as he took the title again in '88 from Gran Markus Jr. despite the fact he was inching towards retirement.

 

Atlantis had a quiet '87 as his push cooled off, and Rayo dropped the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title to MS-1 a month after this trios and also had a quiet year, losing all of his titles and dropping down the card slightly in favour of other workers. Both workers would enjoy renewed pushes as the television era approached.

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Lizmark, La Fiera y Kung Fu vs. Pirata Morgan, Hombre Bala y Jerry Estrada (2/27/87)

 

Another Bucaneros trios. Fairly run-of-the-mill stuff. I don't believe any of the participants were feuding with each other. It was your standard sort of Arena Coliseo trios. Kung Fu was enjoying a run as the World Middleweight champion. He took the title from Gran Cochisse the previous October and would feud with El Dandy later in the year.

 

Americo Rocca, Javier Cruz y Chamaco Valaguez vs. Talisman, El Dandy y Guerrero Negro (3/13/87)

 

Los Xavieres vs. Los Bravos.

 

I have a 3/6 date for this match-up, but it's possible that there was a return match as it was part of the build to a Guerrero Negro/Chamaco Valaguez hair match. The great thing about this match-up is that not only were Valaguez and Negro feuding, but they were also tagging with fierce rivals in Dandy & Cruz and Rocca & Talisman. Dandy and Cruz had been involved in a bloodbath in August of '86 and Rocca and Talisman would have yet another hair match in the Distrito Federal in '87. Los Xavieres, who alternated between Javier Llanes and Javier Cruz as their third member, spent the latter half of '87 feuding with the original Los Destructores (Tony Arce, Vulcano and Emilio Charles, Jr.) The feud and immediate aftermath was built around a triple hair match on 7/31 and would extend to a series of individual apuestas matches the following year (Emilio vs. Cruz, Cruz vs. Arce, and Llanes vs. Arce.)

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El Satanico, MS-1 y Masakre vs. Rayo de Jalisco Jr., La Fiera y Tony Salazar (3/20/87)

Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Atlantis y Alfonso Dantes vs. MS-1, El Satanico y El Dandy (3/27/87)

 

These were a pair of matches centered around MS-1's title shot against Rayo on 3/20 (making the first date almost assuredly wrong.) Rayo had defeated MS-1 almost two years earlier to claim the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, and if Fuentes needed any additional reason to hate Rayo then don't forget it was Jalisco who unmasked him in '82. These matches either book-ended the title shot or occurred before the match. Rayo had managed to fend off the challenge of Los Hermanos Dinamita throughout his title reign, but his luck ran out against the Infernales. MS-1 dethroned Rayo in the title match, ending Jalisco's 21 month run as NWA champ and capping off a tremendous start to the '87 season where he also took El Egipcio's hair and won the National Tag Team Titles with Masakre. In fact, the only thing that really alluded MS-1 in the first part of '87 was the National Trios Titles.

 

Tony Salazar had one last major run in '87 before being repackaged as Ulises. On the 54th Anniversary Show, he was booked in an apuestas match against Pirata Morgan. Not quite his last hurrah, but certainly the end of an era in his career.

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Atlantis, El Hijo del Santo y Tony Salazar vs. El Satanico, El Dandy y Espectro Jr. (4/3/87)

 

The only real significance to this match was that it was another of Santo's Arena Mexico appearances. EMLL brought him in again in June where he worked a similar match w/ Lizmark subbing for Tony Salazar. Then they used him on the Anniversary Show where he tagged with Eddy Guerrero against Dandy and El Hijo Del Gladiador (aka Talisman.) But the real stuff took place in the independents where Santo had another bumper year taking a pair of masks and half a dozen scalps. The list of names he faced is salivating, such was the strength of the lightweight division even after the Misioneros and other trios had broken up. In the span of a few months, he took on Black Terry, Ray Richard, Lobo Rubio, Negro Cass and Espanto Jr. His long reign as UWA World Lightweight champion came to an end, however, when he fell to Espanto Jr. in Coahuila. Eventually, he would win back the title on the big stage at El Toreo and hold on to it until 1991 when he elected to no longer wrestle as a lightweight.

 

He also took the mask of a very young Silver King, who was dejected afterwards:

 

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Tony Salazar, Mogur y Alfonso Dantes vs. Hombre Bala, Talisman y Tony Bennetto vs. Satanico, MS-1 y Masakre (4/10/87)

 

This was a one night only Cuadrangular de Tercias tournament. The teams were:

 

Tony Salazar/Mogur/Alfonso Dantes

Hombre Bala/Talisman/Tony Bennetto

Satanico/MS1/Masakre (Los Infernales)

Javier Llanes/Atlantis/Cachorro Mendoza

 

The first two matches are single fall semi-finals. The final is 2/3 falls.

 

The only new wrestler here is Mogur, who we'll get to in more detail with the Anniversary Show match. He had some heat here with Talisman, who he'd vanquished for the National Middleweight title, and Satanico, who was trying to take it off him. There was also long standing heat between Satanico and Dantes with the pair of them having been in a hair match in '85.

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Cien Caras vs. Siglo XX (4/10/87)

 

Luchawiki has a 4/12/87 date for this, which is itself a typo as the match actually took place on 12/4/87.

 

EMLL would usually have a double bill of apuestas matches on the first Friday in December, which more or less served as their year end show. In 1987, they ran a hair match between Irma Aguilar and Rossy Moreno and a mask match beween Caras and Siglo XX.

 

The women's match was actually quite significant as women's wrestling had been banned in the Federal District from the early 50s until the end of 1986. In the early 1980s, the Nacional de Luchadores, Referís and Retirados (National Association of Wrestlers, Referees, and Retirees) began working on a repeal on the ban on luchadoras, which they were able to push through when the Comisión de Box y Lucha Libre Mexico D.F was restructured following the death of Luis Spota, who had been president of the commission since 1957. Apparently, during the course of the repeal, the NLRR union discovered that the commission had never been granted legal authority and that lucha libre had no binding regulations. That greatly loosened the commission's control over lucha libre and by the turn of the decade lucha would be back on television in the Federal District and essentially under the control of Televisa. From all accounts, women's wrestling enjoyed a surge in popularity with its return to the capital and there were several apuestas matches at Arena Mexico in the late 80s starting with Pantera Surena vs. Chela Salazar in June of '87.

 

Anyway, back to the match. Siglo XX was the brother of Enrique Vera and had a reputation for being a terrible worker, kind of like the Sicodelico to Vera's Mil Mascara/Dos Caras. He'd come up through Guadalajara and won a couple of local workers' masks, but really hadn't done anything special. The match was set uo in the usual way with trios matches such as La Fiera/Siglo XX/Villano III vs. Caras/Mascara Ano 2000/Sangre Chicana the week before. More noteworthy than the match itself was that a month after he unmasked, Siglo was back under a hood at El Toreo, this time as 'El Asesino de Bronx' The Killer.

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Luchadores aren't supposed to change masks quite that quickly, but as I mentioned the commission had lost a lot of power by this stage. Billed as two meters tall, to hide his identity he dyed his hair blonde and rumours spread that he was American. The Killer was a regular with the UWA until they closed and was a three time UWA World Junior Heavyweight champion. He feuded extensively with his brother and for a number of years the UWA teased a hair vs. mask match between the two. Later, he had runs in both AAA and CMLL and he continues to work the independent circuit even now.

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El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas (Mask vs. Hair) (7/18/87)

 

This is the most well known lucha match of the 80s and was included in Jeff Bowdren's Top Matches of the 80s in the 1989 WON Yearbook.

 

"This was a Hair vs Hair match that without any local television, drew more than 7,000 fans to the Olympic Auditorium," wrote Bowdren. "More than either Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan, both of whom were appearing in Los Angeles regularly at the time, had been able to draw. Many people who were there live swear this was the greatest match that they ever saw."

 

It's difficult to find any information about what Negro Casas was doing in 1987, but legend has it that two weeks before the match there was a trios between Misioneros de la Muerte vs. Santo, Casas and Black Shadow Jr. which started the angle, and a week later there was a Super Libre double juice brawl with Casas vs Santo, which was supposed to have been even better than the mask vs. hair match.

Casas and Santo were rivals right from the outset of El Hijo del Santo's career. In fact, it was Casas whom Santo defeated for his very first title when he claimed the UWA World Lightweight title on 10/28/84. Casas would chase Santo for the title for the next five years before feuding with Santo over the UWA World Welterweight title in the early 90s. The pair wrestled each other countless times across Mexico, but to the best of my knowledge the other time Casas beat Santo in a title match situation was in 1995 when he beat Santo for the vacant NWA World Welterweight Championship.

 

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As many of you will be aware, the most famous chapter in their rivalry began in 1996 about a year after Santo jumped to CMLL. Casas had just turned technico and someone in CMLL came up with the brilliant idea to shock Mexico City by turning Santo heel. Business went through the roof, leading to their famous hair vs. mask match on the 64th Anniversary Show, a decade after their LA match. The 1997 match is considered one of the great matches in lucha history and a must-see if you haven't seen it. A long, drawn out face turn followed for Santo, and the two wound up becoming tag partners in a feud against their former rudo partners, Bestia Salvaje and Scorpio Jr., which led to another famous 90s apuesta match where they took each other on in a rare double hair/mask vs. hair/mask match.

 

Santo's disputes with CMLL over money eventually ended the rivalry, but not before the pair had delivered over twenty years of classic lucha libre.

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Mogur vs. As Charro (Mask vs. Mask) (9/18/87)

 

When you get to this point in the discs, you're probably thinking "who is Mogur?"

 

Mogur was a young wrestler from Jalisco named José de Jesús Pantoja Flores. He'd only been wrestling for a few years when he caught someone's eye enough to be repackaged as the masked gimmick, Mogur, 'El Gato Egipcio' (The Egyptian Cat.) EMLL's interest in Mogur didn't end there, though. Coming out of the 1986 Anniversary Show, the promotion decided it was time to push a hot young star. The company's modus operandi has always been to push a new young star every few years, either by debuting them on top or giving them a fast promotion to the top of the card. They did it with Atlantis in '84 and again with Mogur in '87. There were a number of parallels between the two pushes with veterans Talisman and Satanico being used to give both wrestlers credibility, and both wrestlers winning masks on the company's Anniversary Show.

 

Unfortunately for Mogur, Charro wasn't the biggest of names at this point. A journeyman from the 70s with a Valente Perez gimmick, Charro's body was completely broken down by '87. In his prime, he had apparently been a big bumper, and created his own signature kick, the 'Patada Charra.'

 

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His gimmick, like most of Perez' creations, was a fun one, and his rough style had earned him the nickname of 'El Regional Rudo' after he made it to Mexico City.

 

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As fun as these photo shoots are, Charro looking for a last big payday didn't give much of a rub to Mogur. Certainly not as much as taking the masks of Talisman and Hombre Bala had done for Atlantis. Thirty years later and Atlantis is a legendary gimmick while Mogur is a guy who most people don't know despite the fact he worked for CMLL for another 20 years. Charro lasted a couple of more years for the promotion, lost his hair to a green Konnan and feuded on and off again with Pirata Morgan on the indie scene. Not bad for a washed up character gimmick.

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