Thursday, December 1, 2011

¡Mas Luchadores Magnífico!

The world of Lucha Libre is a big one, and there are many, many Luchadores we could talk about, but let's hit a few highlights.

Blue Demon was a former bad-guy/heel wrestler who became a good guy after his tag-team partner was unmasked. He was a rival of Santo, despite their being on the same side, and Blue Demon's defeat of Santo is a thing of Lucha Legend. Blue Demon is easily second only to Santo in popularity and mythic stature. He did twenty-five films altogether, nine of which costarred Santo. Several had him in charge of a league of wrestlers as in The Champions of Justice (Federico Curiel, 1971).

Irma González was a National Women's Wrestling Champion and the UWA World Women's Champion. She and partner Irma Aguilar were the National Women's Tag Team Wrestling Champions. [via Lucha Women] I can find very little on the web, en Inglés at least, about Irma, but apparently she is still active in training wrestlers today. According to Wikipedia, "in the early 1960s a female wrestler called La Novia del Santo (Spanish for 'the Bride of El Santo') worked the Mexican circuit. Under the silver mask was Irma González, a well known wrestler who had promised her fiancé that she'd stop wrestling, but went back in the ring under a mask when she could not resist the draw of competition. La Novia got El Santo's blessing to use the name and is the only non-family member ever given the right to use the Santo name. Gonzáles only wrestled as 'La Novia del Santo' for 7 months until she got married." According to the IMDb, Irma appeared in three films as a wrestler; Doctor of Doom (René Cardona, 1963), Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (René Cardona, 1964), Los Hermanos del Viento (Alberto Bojórquez, 1977, possibly not a wrestling film)

An entry that I just learned about via Lucha Women is April Hunter. I have known about April for quite a while. She was a fitness model, adult model, and American wrestler, but apparently has quite a following on the Mexican and Japanese Lucha Libre circuit. Like our other entrants today, April has several film credits, including Â! Ikkenya Puroresu (Ah! House Collapses, aka House of Wrestling, aka Oh My Zombie Mermaid, Naoki Kudo, 2004, a Japanese wrestling-sort-of-zombie movie), Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy (Kim Sky/Evan Seplow, 2006), and Hell House (2009). She has wrestled under other names including April Kincaid, The Prize, Big Red, and Beautiful Soldier.

Lastly, we'll look at Tinieblas, a wildly popular wrestler who appeared in films with Blue Demon, and was apparently the second Luchador to have a comicbook made based on his character. His backstory, according to a comment made here by CRwM of And Now the Screaming Starts): "Tiniblas was supposedly the lone survivor of a race of ancient space travelers that perfected themselves mentally and physically by harnessing a sort of zero energy that permeated the universe. His mask protects him from harmful cosmic rays that can penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. If he loses the mask, these ray will disintegrate him instantly. Being the perfect physical and mental specimen, Tiniblas didn't just wrestle, he also had a long-running column in a Mexico City newspaper that was a sort of 'ask the perfect space alien anything?' column. People asked him about the ultimate purpose of existence, the mysteries of the universe, relationship troubles, financial matters, and cooking hints. It was probably the single most helpful feature ever run by a newspaper anywhere." He could not be any more wrong than most advice columnists, now could he?


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T. Roger Thomas said...

A wrestler with a newspaper advice column? Awesome

Darius Whiteplume said...

Mexico is miles ahead of us in entertainment.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I love how serious all the Luchadors take their work. I watched SUPER AMIGOS awhile ago whcih was a documentary about Luchadors that carry their wrestling identities into their real world lives. They help people and support various social issues. I can really respect a society where masked performers have so much of an impact. It just feels right.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I will have to look for that one. It is interesting the extremes they go to. Santo never appeared publicly without his mask, but took off his mask on a talk show shortly before he died. It created a sensation, or so I hear/read.

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