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Enrique Vera vs. Dos Caras (2/26/84)

 

Enrique Vera, known as the Lion of the West, was one of the favourite students of legendary trainer, Diablo Velazco. A Guadalajara native, he came up through the territory, wrestling at Arena Coliseo Guadalajara and the surrounding Jalisco area before making the move to the Federal District. He may not have been a legit six-footer, but he was close enough by Mexican standards, and at around 220 lbs his wrestler's build made him one of the top young heavyweight prospects at a time when most of the existing stars were aging. 

 

His first taste of success came when he defeated Indio Jeronimo for the Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship, which was one of the state championships of the Guadalajara box y lucha libre commission and a reasonably important regional title at the time. After moving to Mexico City, he had a surprising title victory for the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship over Raul Mata (some sources say this was on 6/18/72, some say 12/23/72.) He eventually lost the title to Dr. Wagner on 3/16/73 at Arena Mexico in a match that greatly enhanced the reputation of both men. Vera would then score the biggest upset of his career to date when he defeated Angel Blanco for the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship on 10/26/73. EMLL continued to groom Vera with a long championship run, as well as keeping him strong with hair match wins over the likes of Indio Jeronimo, El Nazi and Alfonso Dantes. His biggest loss during this time was at the 1974 Anniversary Show where the team of Dr. Wagner and Angel Blanco took the hair of Enrique Vera and the mask of a worker named Super Star. 

 

By the time the 80s rolled round, Vera was the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship holder and had left EMLL for the independents. The biggest victory of his career came when he won the UWA World Heavyweight Title, which is the belt that Vera defends in this match. There seems to be some confusion over how Vera came to win the title, particularly at luchawiki where it's claimed that Vera was an unofficial champion for a week and that the belt was held up. What happened was that on 10/23/83 there was a triangular de apuestas match between Vera, Canek and Dos Caras where Vera put up his hair, Caras his mask and Canek his title. Vera emerged victorious with the title and this match was a straight title shot after Caras defeated Canek in a number one contender match on the New Year's Day show for 1984. 

 

canek_vera_uwa.jpg

 

Vera went on to wrestle right up until last year where he had a retirement show in September. True to form, he wrestled a few matches after that, much like Satanico and others have, but for the most part he remains retired.

 

Dos Caras I'm sure you're all familiar with as the younger brother of Mil Mascaras and father of Alberto Del Rio. Caras was the number one native rival for Canek and arguably would have been in Canek's position if he hadn't spent so much time working lucrative All Japan tours with his brother. Most people's first exposure to Caras came with the Michinoku Pro Mask Tournament World League 95 commercial tapes, where Caras worked a considerably different style from his heavyweight days at El Toreo. The Michinoku Pro matches are closer to the maestro version of Caras who even now continues to work the indies. In his prime, he worked a mixed style, blending elements of lucha libre with a mat style more customary to both US and Japanese style wrestling. This version of Caras would occasionally work a lucha style hold at the end of a fall, but nothing like the exhibitions he put on in Michinoku Pro. Nevertheless, or rather because of this, he was regarded as one of the very best heavyweights in Mexico.

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Jerry Estrada vs. Ultraman (3/2/84)

 

This was a match for Ultraman's Mexican National Middleweight Championship, which he won in a match against Aguila Solitaria after Lizmark had won the NWA World Middleweight Championship and vacated the national title. Aguila Solitaria's not a guy who features on the set, but he was one of the most promising newcomers of the early 80s and worked a gimmick where he brought an eagle to the ring and let it fly around the arena before his matches. According to Luchawiki: "Obviously this led to some wacky situations where the eagle would refuse to return to his master or would actually attack various fans or his opponents." I believe this is also the first match on the set from Arena Coliseo, which is CMLL's secondary arena in Mexico City.

 

Ultraman was a guy who came up through the Guanajuato area. Like a lot of luchadores, he made his start in boxing before crossing over into wrestling. Most of his polishing came under Alejandro de Alba, who was an experienced exponent of Greco-Roman wrestling and helped Ultraman earn his professional license in 1968. He was quite good in his rookie years as Milo Ventura. Good enough to sometimes get a rub by having El Solitario work as his second. I spoke earlier about the accident that almost cost Ultraman his career. During a Dick Angelo y Bruno Victoria vs. Milo Ventura y Javier Llanes tag match on 5/28/74, Ventura hit his head on the canvas while attempting a hurracarana on Angelo and fell unconscious. The accident left him unable to walk for a time and he was bed ridden for several months before making his recovery. While training for his in-ring return, he found the inspiration for his new gimmick on television. As mentioned before, the Ultraman gimmick became a tremendous success with Ultraman taking a string of masks from '75 to '83, my favourite being that of Ismael Rodriguez whose gimmick was "The Charles Bronson of Mexico." It also led to tours of Japan where the idea that someone was working an Ultraman gimmick led to quite a sensation. Apparently, UWA were booking to a four way mask match with Los Enfermeros and regular ally Kung Fu when Ultraman had another setback in the form of a serious car accident on route to Monterrey (or possibly Queretaro, I'm not quite sure.) Ultraman recovered, but it seems that he was never really the same afterwards. He got the win over Aguila Solitaria that I mentioned at the outset on 8/12/83 and had several title defences, but was moved into trios and never really featured in any title picture afterward, at a time when titles were important and had a strong correlation to a wrestler's push. 

 

After the Space Cadets ran their course, Ventura fell on hard times and ended up losing his mask three times on a tour of the North in September '87. The first was officially vs. Brazo de Oro in the Auditorium of Tijuana, B. C. (Thursday Sept 3 ), then against Cinta de Oro in the Municipal Auditorium of Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua (Wednesday Sept 9 ) and to close with Sangre Chicana  in Arena Nuevo Laredo, in Nuevo Laredo (Monday Sept 14.) DJ Spectro, who did a five part write-up on Ultraman on his Facebook page this month, claims he also had further mask matches against Brazo de Oro (in Los Angeles), Halcon de Oro (Reynosa), another with Chicana (Torreon) and against Estrada and Atlantis (in Monterrey), which is pretty wild if true. As Ventura, he wrestled hair matches against Jerry Estrada, exotico Babe Sharon and Perro Aguayo in 1988 before getting involved in some sort of local politics where he'd campaign with his mask on. I believe he tried to make a comeback as Ultraman in 1990 complete with mask, but it fizzled out. Later he returned on the indy circuit where we still see him today at the age of 66, still wearing his mask. 

 

If anyone is interested in Ultraman, I recommend DJ Spectro's series, which obviously goes into more detail than I'm capable of. 

 

Jerry Estrada made his start in Monclova, in the northern state of Coahuila. He was trained by ex-luchador, Alberto Mora, who trained Volador/Super Parka and the legendary L.A. Park among others, and sadly passed away last year. Herodes, who was a Coahuila native, used to promote cards in the North with Chicana and it was him who brought Estrada to Mexico City along with Guerrero Negro in 1982. Guerrero Negro couldn't handle working in Mexico City, but Estrada survived the initial hardship and by this time ('84) was already enjoying the fruits of his labour. I believe he'd been part of the tournament to decide the vacant Mexican National Middleweight title, so he'd been there or thereabouts in '83. After taking the title, he got a few title defences under his belt before putting over Atlantis, but he really made a name for himself when he changed his look and took on the nickname of "El Puma" Jerry Estrada, but we'll get to that later.

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Tony Salazar vs. Herodes (3/2/84)

 

There's really nothing I can add about this that you don't already know. It was a mano a mano grudge match between Salazar and Herodes after Salazar had taken Herodes' hair at Arena Mexico in September of '83. 

 

What I will reiterate is that this period of lucha ('84-85) really is toward the end of the competitive careers of many of these unmasked guys. Salazar would go on to become the masked Ulises, Talisman would become Hijo del Gladiador, Tony Benetto "Gran Markus Jr," Halcon Ortiz "Super Halcon" and Americo Rocca "Ponzoña," though that was slightly later on. Even Herodes would get re-gimmicked as a crazy man who would: "wear strange hair cuts and dye his hair with different colours, while showing up dressed like a roman emperor or a boxer and acting like he believed that was what he was." 

 

It's not that uncommon for older luchadores to take on new masked identities after their money making days are over, but it's interesting that workers like Ringo Mendoza and El Faraon never had to.

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El Hijo del Santo, Cachorro Mendoza y Chamaco Valaguez vs. Jerry Estrada, Fuerza Guerrera y Talisman (3/9/84)

 

Santo's partners here are Cachorro Mendoza and Chamaco Valaguez. Mendoza is the guy in blue trunks with white boots and Valaguez is the guy in tights with the longer hair. 

 

I wish I could tell you a lot about Chamaco Valaguez, but the only information I could find about him is the standard bio stuff. The most interesting thing about Valaguez is that after he reached EMLL in 1980 he had three really lengthy title reigns, firstly for the Mexican National Lightweight Championship, then the Mexican National Welterweight Championship and NWA World Welterweight Championship, where he never lost the titles, instead vacating them each time because he moved up a weight class or held two belts at the same time. He wouldn't lose a belt to another wrestler until Gran Cochisse took the NWA World Middleweight title away from him on 5/18/85. What this means is that unless Luchawiki is wrong somehow, Chamaco Valaguez was undefeated in title matches from 6/12/80 until 5/18/85. What he did to deserve this kind of protection, who knows. It wasn't as though he was that big a star, but somebody in the EMLL front office liked him. As is usual in a lucha trios, there was a historical issue between Valaguez and Estrada, who had met in a hair match in January the year before. 

 

Cachorro Mendoza was the young brother of Ringo Mendoza, cachorro meaning "puppy" in English and referring to Cachorro being the youngest of the Mendoza brothers. Cachorro's rep has always been that he wasn't as good a worker as his brother and rode his coattails to a certain extent. I don't know how fair that is, but it's worth keeping in mind that EMLL lost a ton of young talent to the LLI/UWA in the late 70s, and thus the guys who stayed probably got pushes they wouldn't have received if the stars had still been around. Cachorro announced his arrival as Ringo's little brother by shocking the lucha world by beating Sangre Chicana for the vacant National Middleweight title on 6/8/79. 

 

CahorroMendoza.jpg

 

Sangre Chicana had been the undisputed king of the middleweight division for the previous two years claiming 28 title defences as National Middleweight champion before the Comision de Box y Lucha Libre Mexico D.F. made him vacate the title for some complicated reason (though knowing Chicana he was probably suspended.) Cachorro's reign would only last a short time, but it catapulted him into feuds with both Sangre Chicana and Satanico, which ultimately led to his brother getting involved and a Mendozas vs. Satanico y Chicana hair vs. hair match in '82 where the Mendoza brothers went bald.

 

For continuity's sake, this trios took place during Valaguez's Mexican National Welterweight title run and the Mendoza brothers long run as National Tag Team Title Champions.

 

The main issue in this trios was the feud between Santo and Guerrera, which led to a title match later in the year after Santo claimed the UWA World Lightweight Championship. Talisman would go on to the form the trio Los Bravos with Fuerza and El Dandy the following year.

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 a Mendozas vs. Satanico y Chicana hair vs. hair match in '82 where the Mendoza brothers went bald.

 

 

ARGH

 

Life isn't fair.

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All the non-taped 80s stuff, and how good what made tape is, really makes you think that the best wrestling match of all time might not have even made tape.

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I wish I could tell you a lot about Chamaco Valaguez, but the only information I could find about him is the standard bio stuff. The most interesting thing about Valaguez is that after he reached EMLL in 1980 he had three really lengthy title reigns, firstly for the Mexican National Lightweight Championship, then the Mexican National Welterweight Championship and NWA World Welterweight Championship, where he never lost the titles, instead vacating them each time because he moved up a weight class or held two belts at the same time. He wouldn't lose a belt to another wrestler until Gran Cochisse took the NWA World Middleweight title away from him on 5/18/85. What this means is that unless Luchawiki is wrong somehow, Chamaco Valaguez was undefeated in title matches from 6/12/80 until 5/18/85. What he did to deserve this kind of protection, who knows. It wasn't as though he was that big a star, but somebody in the EMLL front office liked him.

 

Chamaco Valaguez was part of the ownership of Arena Isabel de Cuernavaca in Morelos which was an arena EMLL used to always run. I believe his father (not a wrestler) owned it. So of course when he started wrestling he became the idol of said arena and was one of the few locals who got to be involved with matches involving top EMLL wrestlers. Soon enough he got to go to Mexico City. A very identical comparison would be Stigma right now as his family owns Arena Puebla and tonight he is going to win his second mask of the year in that building and is slowly moving up cards in Mexico City.

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Lizmark vs. El Satanico (April 1984)

 

This was one of the premier match-ups in Mexico at the time as you had two guys who were almost always near the top of their weight class, one of whom was one of the best technico workers in lucha and the other one of the best rudo workers. Unfortunately, the match we have of theirs perhaps doesn't do the match-up justice, but it was a rivalry which stretched all the way to their AAA days.

 

Lizmark made his debut in 1976 under the tutelage of former rudo Braulio Mendoza. He worked for a few years at Arena Coliseo Acapulco and the surrounding Guerrero area before moving to Mexico City. On 4/18/79, he defeated Americo Rocca for the Mexican National Welterweight Championship in his hometown of Acapulco, which kick started his national career. The reason for Rocca dropping the belt was that he was slated to beat Mano Negra for the NWA World Welterweight Championship on 4/30/79. Lizmark immediately became a challenger to Rocca's world title and the pair fought in Mexico City on the undercard of the 6/15/79 Satoru Sayama vs. Alfonso Dantes hair match. Somewhat ironically, Rocca lost the world's title to Kato Kung Lee and took Lizmark's national title on 3/29/80. Undeterred, Lizmark went after new NWA World Welterweight champ El Supremo and on 6/4/80 won his first world title in Acapulco only four years after his debut.

 

Lizmark enjoyed a year long run with the title, fending off the challenges of deposed champ El Supremo and early career rival Rocca, as well new rudo on the block Mocho Cota, before finally losing the title to another rising star, La Fiera, on 10/23/81. In the wake of his world title loss, he put on some muscle and moved up to the middleweight ranks, where he met El Satanico for the first time. Lizmark would beat Satanico for the National Middleweight Championship on 2/10/82, a belt Satanico had taken from Solar  I, just to get your mouth watering. As National Middleweight champ, Lizmark feuded extensively with both El Faraon and Espectro Jr., who they pulled a title switch with, before challenging for Satanico's NWA World Middleweight Championship. Lizmark won that title on 6/3/83, making him a duel middleweight champ, and lost the title back to Satanico at the end of '83 on the 12/3 Arena Coliseo show. Which brings us to this title defence in April of 1984.

 

One notable fact about Lizmark for those struggling to grasp the esteem he was held in was that when he later moved up to the light heavyweight ranks, he became the first Mexican since Gori Guerrero in 1960 to win NWA world championships in three different weight classes. Another interesting fact about Lizmark is that despite some intense, often bloody feuds against the likes of Satanico, Sangre Chicana and others, he was very rarely involved in apuestas matches. His two biggest scalps were Americo Rocca and El Faraon, but it's unclear when those matches took place. It wasn't that apuestas matches weren't teased, they just never materialised. 

 

Satanico, as we know, started coming into his own in 1980 when he defeated Satoru Sayama for the NWA World Middleweight title on 3/28/80 and then impressed everyone by successfully defending the title against Ringo Mendoza in Acapulco and El Faraon at Arena Mexico. He also had another coming out party of sorts when he tagged with Fantasma on a 10/3/80 Arena Coliseo show against Sangre Chicana and Mocho Cota, a short time after he'd taken Cota's hair and just before he faced Fantasma for his mask on 10/24. Satanico apparently got over big on this Arena Coliseo show and was basically the king of the middleweight division for the next few years as Chicana had been in the late 70s.

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Chamaco Valaguez was part of the ownership of Arena Isabel de Cuernavaca in Morelos which was an arena EMLL used to always run. I believe his father (not a wrestler) owned it. So of course when he started wrestling he became the idol of said arena and was one of the few locals who got to be involved with matches involving top EMLL wrestlers. Soon enough he got to go to Mexico City. A very identical comparison would be Stigma right now as his family owns Arena Puebla and tonight he is going to win his second mask of the year in that building and is slowly moving up cards in Mexico City.

 

Thanks.

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There's not much I can add to the following two matches:

Satanico vs. Shiro Koshinaka (Hair vs. Hair) (7/30/84)

For those of you who don't know, Koshinaka was originally an All Japan wrestler before jumping to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In March of '84, Baba sent Koshinaka and Misawa overseas on a learning excursion. They were expected to stay in Mexico for a year, but Baba called them back to Tokyo just a few months after this match. These Mexico stints were a real eye-opener for most Japanese wrestlers as in the early '80s Japan was still experiencing its post-war period of miracle economic growth, while Mexico was in the throes of a debt crisis that had caused its worst recession since the 1930s. Add to that the language barrier, no money and nagging concerns over safety and drinking water, and a lot of young Japanese guys found these tours a bit hairy.

While in Mexico, Koshinaka and Misawa took on the names Samurai Shiro and Kamikaze Misawa and worked on the technico side, however because this match involves a foreigner there's an element of the crowd cheering for Satanico. Had they stayed in Mexico, it seems that Koshinaka may have gotten some sort of a title shot similar to Misawa's title shot against Satanico for the NWA World Middleweight Championship a few months prior, but Baba had bought the rights to the Tiger Mask character and was eager for it to make its debut. Ironically, when they returned from Mexico, Koshinaka saw the writing on the wall with the Misawa push, and after the deflections in '85 left New Japan shorthanded he made the jump.

El Satanico y Espectro Jr. v. El Faraón y La Fiera (8/12/84)

This was rudos contra rudos and I believe part of the longstanding Satanico y Espectro Jr. vs. Sangre Chicana y El Faraon feud.

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Was there ever anyone else who jumped from AJ to NJ back then? That's a pretty rare thing. 

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And another question: how did the Relevos Australianos ("Australian Rules") name and concept come about? Since Mexico uses it so much why is it "Australian Rules"? 

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IIRC, "Australian Rules" became a widely used term for a tag match in the early days of wrestling, because one of the first popular tag teams was the original incarnation of the "Fabulous Kangaroos" - who were obviously Aussies.  I believe that they became synonymous with one-guy-out/one-guy-in and having to make contact in the corner in order for partners to switch.  Thus it became known as "Australian Rules". 

 

Some of this may just be legend, more so than fact...

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"Australian Rules" was used by promoters when they first started booking tag matches to make them seem like they were something special and exotic. I assume it was the same in Mexico when they began booking trios matches. Remember prior to the trios explosion, standard tag matches were much more common than six man tags.

As for All Japan wrestlers jumping ship, the only one I can think of is Brody, if you think of him as an All Japan worker. One thing I didn't really mention in my post is that Baba tried to set-up his own juniors division in the early 80s to provide some sort of counterpart to the success New Japan were having with Tiger Mask and initially he had Onita as his juniors ace feuding with Chavo Guerrero Sr. When Onita was forced to retire, Baba bought the Tiger Mask rights to have something to replace him with.

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Gran Cochise vs. Satanico (9/14/84)

Gran Cochisse was a trainee of Diablo Velazco in Guadalajara and made his debut at 14 years old. While working in the Jalisco region, he adopted a Native American gimmick and began calling himself "Gran Cochisse" ("The Great Cochise") after the famous Apache chief, Cochise. Gran Cochisse wore traditional feathered headdresses and face paint, and even carried a tomahawk to the ring at times. Why there were so many Native American gimmicks at this time, I'm not sure. It may have had something to do with Cochisse's generation being reared on a healthy dose of Cowboys and Indians, or perhaps it was just a popular gimmick in the Guadalajara region as there were other workers with similar gimmicks such as Indio Jeronimo and Indio Medina, who formed the Los Indios Bravos tag team in the early 70s. When Gran Cochisse and Águila India began tagging in the Jalisco territory, they also took on the Los Indios Bravos nickname, a gimmick they took with them to EMLL.

Pareja04.jpg

Unlike most of the wrestlers we've profiled, Gran Cochisse didn't win a million titles. A real rough, physical type, Cochisse was more accustomed to bloody hair matches than ten pounds of gold. In the late 70s to early 80s period, he had hair match feuds with Americo Rocca, Sangre Chicana, Chamaco Valaguez and Mocho Cota, to name some of the workers now familiar to you. He even had a hair match feud with his Los Indios Bravos blood brother, Aguila India, in the summer of '83, just before Aguila India was repackaged as the masked worker Unicornio. With their partnership dissolving, Cochisse experienced something of a purple patch. On 8/18/84, he won the NWA World Middleweight title from Satanico at Arena Mexico, which led to the title defence you see here. After Satanico won the return bout, EMLL pulled another title switch in Guadalajara on the 30th. Cochisse then dropped the title to Gran Hamada at El Toreo on 11/18/84, clips of which are on YouTube. Cochisse ended his career year with a hair match victory over Cota on the 12/7 Arena Mexico show. The following year it seemed as though he was heading into the twilight of his career when he was used to put over the younger El Dandy, but he managed to stretch out those last rays of sunlight by winning the world's middleweight title for a third time on 5/18/86 when he became the first man to defeat Chamaco Valaguez for a major wrestling title.

By the end of '86, Cochisse gave way to the new generation of middleweights such as Kung Fu, Atlantis, El Dandy and Emilio Charles Jr, but he enjoyed one last title run as UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight champion, a belt he took from Blue Panther in September of '88. After dropping the title to Ringo Mendoza, Cochisse was phased out of competitive wrestling and given the masked gimmick Espectro de Ultratumba ("The Ghost from Beyond the Grave.") Eventually, he took over as one of the trainers at Diablo Velazco's school in Guadalajara, but he lost that position when CMLL weren't happy with the quality of the workers coming out of the school.

Incidentally, there was also a phasing out of Satanico from the title picture around this time. Once he lost the UWA World Middleweight title in early '85, he became more heavily involved in trios wrestling and the various hair match feuds he was embroiled in. Presumably the reason for this was to push some of the young workers that EMLL had high hopes for in terms of reclaiming ground from the UWA.

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Sangre Chicana vs. MS-1 (Hair vs. Hair) (9/21/84)

 

This one is pretty straight forward. 

 

The most interesting thing about this match is that Sangre Chicana had his finger in so many pies at this point that it's interesting that they went with a return match for the Anniversary Show. Not only did he have a personal vendetta with each of the Los Infernales members, he also had bad blood with Fishman, Perro Aguayo and the Mendoza brothers. Hell, he'd even taken Los Guerreros over to El Toreo in '83 and started something with the Misioneros that led to a Super Libre match, which is basically a no DQ match. On the undercard of the 7/1/83 Mendoza brothers vs. La Fiera and Mocho Cota hair match, Chicana and Aguayo had a mano a mano bout that was so bloody the doctor stopped the fight. So, there was any number of ways Paco could have gone if he wanted a Chicana fight in the main event, and you can judge for yourselves if you think it was the right choice. 

 

Atlantis, Ringo Mendoza y Tony Salazar vs. El Satanico, MS-1 y Espectro Jr. (9/28/84)

 

There doesn't appear to be anything special about this other than it's another bout with the original Infernales.

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Villano III vs. Perro Aguayo (10/7/84)

 

This marks the first appearance on the set of one of the biggest names of the decade, Villano III. The match is from a Japanese commercial tape that was released in the 80s. The tape was basically a one hour special release dedicated to Villano, heralding him as the 1984 MVP, an award given to him by LLI at their annual awards dinner. The full length version features footage of Francisco Flores, El Toreo, and the lengthy post match scenes. 

 

As many of you will know, Jose Fernandez wrote a lengthy and detailed bio of Villano III a number of years ago which is hosted on the Luchawiki website, so I'll just bring you up to speed on how Villano got to this point. Villano began his career working as a rudo in a lot of the smaller arenas on the UWA circuit. This was basically how he cut his teeth. He'd come in and work spot shows where they'd build to hair vs. mask matches or mask matches with the local talent. It was a formula that served him well for the entire decade, even when he became a big star at El Toreo, as he grew to become one of the lucha de apuestas guys in the independents. When he'd feature at El Toreo, it was usually on the undercard either tagging with his father or brother, but in 1981 Flores gave him his first big push by having him upset Fishman for the UWA World Light Heavyweight Title, which was a huge deal at the time and got tongues wagging about how the younger Mendoza was following in his father's footsteps. Flores next move was to turn Villano technico, which he did by having him feud with Los Misioneros. For weeks on end, the Misioneros would beat Villano up, tearing his mask and making him bleed. This wasn't come across on the set, but in the 80s UWA was by far the bloodier of the two major lucha libre promotions, and the Misioneros in particular were notorious for having bloody matches. As Jose mentions, Villano would blade not only his forehead but his arms and chin as well. Villano challenged the Misioneros leader, El Signo, to a hair vs. mask match which took place on 8/1/82, and when Villano won the reaction he got cemented him as a technico. El Signo's partner, El Texano, tried to avenge his captain a few weeks later and suffered the same fate. After a tour of Japan, Villano officially turned technico by forming a trios with two of the biggest masked superstars of the era, El Solitario and Anibal. The trio were known as "Los Tres Caballeros" (The Three Gentlemen), and were basically the personification of what you imagined masked technico luchadores to be. 

 

Now that Villano was the top light heavyweight technico it was only fitting that he feuded with the top light heavyweight rudo, Perro Aguayo, who was the number two rudo to El Canek (Canek had this weird thing where he was a technico against foreigners and a rudo against Mexicans.) On 3/20/83, Villano defeated Aguayo for the WWF World Light Heavyweight Title. In August of that year, they had a massive three match series. First Aguayo won the title back on the 7th, then the following week they had a super libre match that Jose describes a blood bath, then on the 21st they had one of the most famous matches in Villano's career when he defeated Perro Aguayo in a hair vs. mask match. 

 

Much like Sangre Chicana, Aguayo continued feuding with everyone through '83 and '84, before the Villano feud was restarted in late '84. Aguayo had dropped the WWF strap to Gran Hamada in Tokyo on 4/17/84 and Villano won it from him at El Toreo the following month. This match was Aguayo's first challenge during Villano's second run with the belt. What you see here is a bout that is a lot cleaner than these bloody El Toreo matches I've been describing and one that's a teeny bit junior heavyweight influenced as this was really the world's light heavyweight championship at the time and picked up a lot of different influences from a lot of different places. 

 

Villano would go on to hold this title for a full two years until Fishman took it from him on 8/24/86. The Villano vs. Aguayo feud would carry on until the late 80s though it abated somewhat as Villano moved on to feuds with Sangre Chicana and Rambo and Aguayo became caught up in a web of bloody hair matches with Chicana and El Faraon.

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Satanico vs. Super Astro (10/84)

 

The date on this one is 10/14/84. It was the semi-final of the show that featured the Perro Aguayo vs. Sangre Chicana vs. El Faraon vs. Villano III elimination match.

 

Super Astro debut in May 1974 in Ensenada, Baja California under the name Rey Bucanero. Despite possessing the talent and charisma to succeed, Astro had a hard time breaking in the business due to his size. At only 5'3", he was the shortest guy in the ring no matter where he worked and was often told he couldn't make it as fighter. In his early years, he drifted between Tijuana and Los Angeles trying to catch a break. After a while, it dawned on him that he might be more successful as an enmascarado, and in the late 70s he took a sketch of mask he'd made when he was only 9 years old and developed it into the Super Astro mask. At the same time, he took advantage of being unable to get a booking by lifting weights and adding muscle to his frame. He managed to secure a booking at the Olympic Auditorium and on the opening match of the card debut his Super Astro character against Principe Hindu. People were taken with his mask and signature spots and the gimmick was enough to secure him a spot on the Baja California circuit. Then came his big break when Francisco Flores brought him down from Tijuana to the Federal District. 

 

1984 was a big year for Super Astro. Los Cadetes del Espacio were formed that year, possibly for the UWA World Trios Tournament which ran for two months from late January until the middle of March. The Cadetes shocked the lucha world by defeating the pre-tournament favourites on 1/29/84. They also defeated La Ola Lila and Los Temerarios on the way to the final, the Cadetes vs. Exoticos match possibly being the one from the set. The final took place on 3/18/84 against Los Fantasticos, however an hour before the show, Super Astro found out his mother had died and immediately left for Tijuana with Gran Hamada taking his place in the final. 

 

Singles success then came in the form of the UWA World Middleweight Championship, which Astro won from Gran Hamada in Guadalajara on 7/6/84. It was that championship victory and this semi-final match against Satanico at Arena Mexico that convinced Astro that he had finally made it in the pro-wrestling business. Astro fell prey to Satanico in both this match and the 1/85 rematch at El Toreo, highlights of which you can see online, but for a guy who they said would never make it the experience was a big deal. 

 

Astro went on to have a lengthy career working for EMLL, AAA, the independents and Japan, as well as working in the States. In 1999, he dropped his mask to Villano III in Tijuana in a Relevos Suicidas match with Lizmark and Fishman, but continues to wear his mask even to this day, claiming that the promoter never paid him. Initially, this got him in trouble with the commission, and he occasionally worked under different names in order to keep wrestling under the mask, but these days nobody seems to mind. He also owns a cafe in Mexico City, which is run by his ex-wife. It's famous for its giant torta, which is free if you can finish it in 15 minutes.

 

Super_Astro_Torta_Gladiador.jpg

 

As of 2011, only 99 people had ever succeeded in 20 years of trying.

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These are pretty awesome, even to someone who isn't a Lucha newbie.

 

He also owns a cafe in Mexico City, which is run by his ex-wife. It's famous for its giant torta, which is free if you can finish it in 15 minutes.

 

There are now TWO Super Astro restaurants within blocks of each other. The original as you mentioned and now he has his own. His is the more popular since the wrestlers are always going there to eat. The one his wife now owns is not thought of highly because she doesn't allow people to come in and take photos. But all the original memorabilia is still there. I don't think she offers the giant torta deal but Super Astro still does.

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Javier Cruz, Impacto II y Solar II vs. El Dandy, Franco Colombo y Panico (10/84)

 

This was part of the Javier Cruz/El Dandy feud, which was an important feud in the young careers of both men. There's a good chance it took place on the undercard of the 10/14/84 show, but I can't find any evidence of it. 

 

We'll get to El Dandy vs. Javier Cruz in due course. For now here's a quick look at their partners: 

 

Panico and Franco Colombo are most notable for being present day CMLL bookers. Panico came from a lucha family, his father Manuel Robles being one of four brothers who wrestled (two as "Robles" and two as "Sitos.") Despite the fact that his father was a popular wrestler, Panico refused to take advantage of his family's reputation and tried to make his own way in the wrestling business as a luchador enmascarado. 

 

Probably the most interesting story about Panico is the story of how he unmasked. On August 17th, 1982, Panico lost his mask tagging with his father against Franco Colombo and Faisan, who later became Rocco Valente of Los Destructores. Where it gets interesting is that while everybody agrees that Panico lost his mask, nobody can seem to agree with how it happened. As the story goes, the match ended in a draw and that's where things start to get hazy. Because lucha was governed by an actual regulatory body, there had to be a winner in wager matches. Draws were unheard of for the first 50 or so years of lucha libre. From all accounts, the first instance of a draw in a luchas de apuestas match was the MS-1/Gran Jalisco draw on 7/23/82. On that occasion, both competitors were forced to lose their hair, but with the Panico match accounts of how the draw was dealt with is murky at best. Some claim that one of the refs declared the technicos the winners while the other raised the rudos' hands, while others say only the rudos were declared the winners and therefore the technicos were forced to lose the wager. One person even claims there was an official fourth fall but that the crowd were on the verge of rioting and nobody noticed the fourth fall amid all the confusion. Whatever the case, it seems Faisan unmasked and Colombo lost his hair, and after a week of controversy the commission forced Panico and Robles to do the same. 

 

Colombo was a Diablo Velazco protege and part of the same group of trainees as Satanico, Espectro Jr., Asesino Negro, Sangre India (who sadly died doing a tope at Arena Coliseo on Christmas Day 1979), Cesar Curiel, and others. He had a brief run with the Mexican National Welterweight title from late '80 through to early '81, but like an NBA bench player who goes on to be a head coach he spent most of his national career as a JTTS. In fact, he gave up his hair to Cruz twice after this in 1985 and '86.

 

Impacto II is an enigma in that nothing is known about him. I think it's better that way. Solar II is the brother of Solar I, who in Solar I's own words he brought with him to Mexico City because he wanted him to become an accountant or get a good job, but while he thought his brother was studying he was in fact training to be a wrestler. So, Solar formed a tag team with his brother. Solar II had a much more modest career than his famous brother, but he had a few moments in the sun, including taking Enfermero Jr.'s mask and winning the NWA World Welterweight Championship. 

 

I don't think it's difficult to make out who's who, but Panico is the guy in the black amateur singlet and Colombo is the guy in the green trunks.

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All you need to know about Astro's mega torta is that the Headhunters were unable to finish it. THE HEADHUNTERS.

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Perro Aguayo vs. Sangre Chicana vs. El Faraon vs. Villano III (Elimination Match) (10/84)

 

This was the main event of the 10/14/84 show.

 

Chicana, Faraon and Villano III all had issues with Perro Aguayo. We've covered them before, but let's recap:

 

After Faraon was unmasked by Fishman in April of '76, the first big feud he was involved with was a program with Perro Aguayo. They feuded over the NWA World Middleweight title and later the NWA World Light Heavyweight title, but their feud was so heated that it led to a hair vs. hair match on the 43rd Anniversary Show and a double hair vs. hair match between Faraon & Ringo Mendoza vs. Perro Aguayo & Joe Palardy on the year end show for '77 after Faraon had beaten Palardy for the World Middleweight title a few weeks earlier. 

 

The great thing about lucha at this time is that they didn't stop feuding when Faraon became a rudo. In 1982 there was an atomicos match at Arena Mexico that paired El Solitario, Mascara 2000, Ringo y Cachorro Mendoza and Perro Aguayo, Fishman, Sangre Chicana y Faraon against each other. In the third fall, Fishman accidentally hit Faraon with one of his kicks, which ignited a brawl between the two. Aguayo immediately entered to attack Faraon and when Chicana intervened in support of the Pharaoh, Arena Mexico apparently became a madhouse with just this incredible reaction at seeing the rudos fight. The following week there was a wild Chicana/Faraon vs. Aguayo/Fishman fight that was said to be one of the most memorable rudos contra rudos fights ever seen with no quarter asked and none given. That led to an even wilder super libre match where Aguayo bled so much he couldn't finish the third fall and had to leave because of blood loss. The violence didn't stop there, however, as they took the feud to El Toreo in February of '83 for a pair of revenge matches, where as you can see for yourself, the blood continued to flow:

 

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Fishman bled so much in that match the doctor wanted to stop the fight.

 

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But Fishman ultimately forced Chicana to submit in a match people still talk about as one of the bloodiest in Mexican wrestling history.

 

And of course, Villano and Aguayo had their own war the same year with their hair vs. mask bout. And what more can be said about Sangre Chicana, voted 1983's most outstanding wrestler by Box y Lucha Magazine, which was a tremendous honour for the 50th anniversary of lucha libre, his three feuds with MS-1, Satanico and Aguayo sealing the deal.

 

CHICANACINCUENTNARIO.jpg

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Hell, he'd even taken Los Guerreros over to El Toreo in '83 and started something with the Misioneros that led to a Super Libre match, which is basically a no DQ match.
 
I want to make a correction to this. Los Guerreros did work El Toreo in '83 but it was against Perro Aguayo, Fishman and Babe Face. In the Misioneros matches, El Faraon subbed for Cota. 

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