Following doing the two years of Laguna results, I still wanted to find other areas. (I really want to find Mexico City, I have not found Mexico City.) It did occur to me that since El Siglo de Torreon listed their newspaper archive search called “hemeroteca”, maybe I could just search that “hemeroteca mexico” and find other papers. Obvious idea worked, though not perfectly. Some, like National Archive, only have too old newspapers with most of the runs ending well before the 1930s. Others turn out to be only available in person or temporary suspended, where temporary may be forever. Others don’t go back so far; El Universal has it’s archive only back to 1999 (and you have to hunt around to find that much and they don’t cover lucha much.) I’m sure there are some I’m missing, since the one I started with never turned up, but I did find a useful one.
Guadalajara’s El Informador has a newspaper archive online. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is the search function seems to be mostly broken. The search for lucha libre found entries in December 1949, January 1950 and then skipped ahead 30 years, and then skipped again 10 more. It also has a digital copy of every edition of the newspaper, so you can just start flipping thru looking for lucha libre content if you’re very persistent. And so that’s what I did.
The 1950 (and a few scattered 1949) lineups have all already. I can do produce a list of the ones I added if someone wants it; don’t think that was being used and they’re also much easier to pick out because they’re pretty much the only 1950 results. They’re generally only results. El Informador wrote about the shows in January, but then appeared to stop. They continued printing the poster for the show, and I’ve gotten the lineups from those. Shows were usually on Tuesdays and Sundays (exactly as today), and I started looking at almost only editions for those days. The posters typically only listed the top couple matches, so there’s a lot of blanks even on what I do have. This is pretty complete of what could be found in that paper, but maybe another source would have more.
– Maybe the lack of coverage of the shows corresponded to a downturn of business? There appeared to be a second promotion running on New Year’s Day, which disappear by February. The arenas that group was using, Coliseo Olimpico and Arena de las Barranquitas, go unmentioned the rest of the year. (It also could be they stopped paying for the ad in the paper.) The remaining promotion, which also has no name, cuts down from Sunday and Tuesday shows to only Sunday shows in June. They resumed running Tuesdays back in August.
– That group used two buildings, an “Arena Canada Dry” and “Plaza de Toros el Progreso.” The bullring of that time is forerunner of today’s Plaza de Toros de Nuevo Progreso which exists today. The Canada Dry arena appears to be the smaller one; it’s definitely the one they retreat to during the slower periods. There’s no hint of how it got that name. Both buildings also host boxing on Saturdays and of course bull fighting.
– Cards in 1950s look a lot different than cards in 2010s! They’re still at the point where two luchador teaming up to face two other luchadors is a crazy wonder. A match on December 19th was billed as the first ever trios match ever to be held in Guadalajara. Another more frequent stip was to announce eight guys in a battle royal to determine singles matches.
– Most matches were singles matches. And they had title matches. And the title matches generally made sense! They were using Jalisco state championships for lightweight (Juventino Romero), welterweight (Stronger Flores -> Black Bird) and middleweight (Al Amezcua -> El Halcon). Guys were always listed with their titles on the cards no matter the match, so it was easy to keep track. Challengers frequently put up money or their mask just to challenege for the titles. The championships seemed very important!
– a man was named STRONGER FLORES.
– if you weren’t doing a title match feud and had a rematch, it was usually a Super Libre match. There were a lot of Super Libre matches and the poster was also made sure to mention that Supre Libre meant you were allowed to strangle your opponent. This was very easy to understand!
– The Mexican Lightweight championship was the only national title to be defended in these pages, but I’m not quite sure what was going on. There was a #1 contenders match between Juventino Romero and “The Black Shadow” (as he’s always listed) on 04/23, and then Black Shadow faces champion Joe Marin for the title 04/30. The problem is we have Black Shadow as champion at that point, not Marin. We probably got that from wrestling-titles, who has the same thing – but Luchas 2000 also researched that title and didn’t find a reign. Missing title change? Phantom reign? I’m not sure.
– There definitely were people playing a bit of games. An angle in September starts with Pablo Romero facing the mysterious El Asesino on a show where national star (and Pablo’s brother) Rito Romero is appearing to say hi to the crowd. Rito’s feuding with Asesino by next week, and beating him a mask versus hair match a few weeks later. Asesino is unmasked as Don Cesareo, the same guy Rito Romero unmasked five years ago. Who knows where else they’d done the same bit in between. El Asesino was 18 months away from becoming Medico Asesino and a giant TV star.
– El Santo appears! El Santo is still a rudo at this point (they’re two years away from Santo/Shadow too) but Santo is still winning masks. He takes the Golden Terror (Al Amezcua) on Christmas day 1949 and makes a few appearances thru the year. The “Terror” gimmick seems to be popular, becuase a Red Terror turns up later.
– top 10 most appearances
44 Pablo Romero 43 Saul Montes 36 Al Amezcua/Golden Terror 32 Black Bird 26 Stronger Flores 26 El Asesino 25 Torbellino Negro 24 El Jarocho 23 El Halcon 20 Juventino Romero 20 Indio Mejia
El Halcon isn’t the one who’d be around 20 years later. There’s also an unrelated El Fantasma, right next to the comic strip in the paper. Every name has been used before. Demonio Rojo, the grandfather of the current Arena Coliseo Guadalajara lucahdor, apepars a few times.
Not sure what I’m going to do next. I browed thru some newspapers from the first year of Arena Coliseo Guadalajara but don’t see their lineups in the paper. (Which again makes me think maybe the paper just wasn’t printing them.) Maybe back to Laguna? Maybe some place else?