El Brazo (1961-2013)

El Brazo, Juan Alvarado Nieves, passed away Tuesday night. Reports say he was in a diabetic coma since Sunday. He was 62.

El Brazo

El Brazo followed his father, luchador/referee Shadito Cruz, into a lucha libre career. He was the middle brother of the three most famous Brazos – Brazo de Oro, Brazo de Plata and El Brazo – but the last of those original three to debut. Many more would follow. The brothers formed the “Mosqueteros del Diablo”, a hard brawling rudo side which made it’s name in the 80s UWA. Their family versus family mask match against the Los Villanos is one of the most famous matches of that era.

The Brazos lost their masks and changed as a team. The trio became more comedic, the other two playing off Brazo de Plata’s natural charisma. Their family had long history in UWA and were very loyal, but decided to move to EMLL in 1991 (right before the UWA started going down.) The trio turned tecnico and remained were a regular act in EMLL/CMLL after AAA started. The trios broke up and faced each other in hair matches in 1995. El Brazo was the rudo, and defeated his brother Brazo de Oro in a three way hair match with Brazo de Plata.

El Brazo left CMLL in 1996, permanently splitting the famous trio. There’s always been a suggestion he had some falling out with his brothers, but I’m not sure if that’s true or what the details were. El Brazo would never return to CMLL while Brazo de Oro has forever stayed connected with the promotion, though it does appear they teamed on indy shows a little. El Brazo jumped to Promo Azteca for a couple years, then floated around the indies.

El Brazo joined AAA in the early 2000s and worked a variety of roles in AAA, including the standard creative Antonio Pena character (Tio Lucas), and was moved to an veteran role to work with youngsters. In recent years, he’s been a member of Los Guapos (feuding with Brazo de Plata in his one year visit to AAA), a luchador doing impersonations of other characters (most frequently the Latin Lover parody named Latin Broiler), and an exotico as La Braza. El Brazo had not been in a TV match since February 2012, but continued wrestling on off TV events. Brazo lost his hair once again last month in an all exoticos cage match, and wrestled semi-frequently in Arena Cuatro Caminos in Nuevo Laredo. Brazo had also transitioned to a behind the scenes role, representing the AAA office on those spot shows.The entire family was brought together once again for a all Alvarado charity show earlier this year. El Brazo was not allowed to work the show (they could not get the CMLL family members if the AAA were in matches), but the trio stood in the ring together, for what would become the final time.El Brazo is survived by his wife and children. A El Brazo Junior has wrestled in recent years, most frequently in IWL, and has been billed as the son of the original. El Brazo is the second Brazo brother to die – Brazo Cibernetico/Robin Hood passed away in 1999.

Both CMLL and AAA will honor El Brazo at their events this Friday. In a coincidence, both shows include Brazo family members in major roles. Brazo de Plata puts his hair on the line in a Super Libre Plus match, drawing on those old days as a rough brawler. Psycho Clown challenges for the AAA Mega Championship, and has reminded Texano how he was scared of the Devil’s Musketeers when he was little and should be equally scared of Psycho Clown. Both figure to be emotional matches under the circumstances.

No funeral arrangements have been announced.

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5 thoughts to “El Brazo (1961-2013)”

  1. My favorite memory of El Brazo will always be of him in the Guapos and him doing Latin Broiler which was hilarious. He was one of the most entertaining luchadors whether technico or rudo and he will be missed.

    RIP El Brazo, Vaya con Dios

  2. My grandfather was in a diabetic coma for two days before he passed. It was horrible. God bless El Brazo and his entire family.

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