Lucha Libre 121-130 magazine recaps

new champ Mil Mascaras

I’m continuing a series of going thru issues of “Lucha Libre” magazine from 1966 and recapping some of the features. These issues run from February 4, 1966 to April 17, 1966. These aren’t in full, I’m not translating articles because I’m not good at that and there’s only so much time in the day. It is giving me a bit of an idea of what 1966 lucha libre felt like, and what people were concerned about

You can see previous posts in this series here.

Lucha Libre 121 – issue date 02/13/1966 (all magazines cover the shows nine days before, so this is really the 02/04 one)

  • Ray Mendoza beats El Nazi in a hair match. In 1960s lucha libre, Nazis were punched all the time. Or maybe just one.
  • Profile on Benny Galant, who is declared to be too Guapo to be a rudo. He’s still a rudo, but they’re softening him compared to the Guajarado/Lagarde pair
  • The results page for this issue is a little bit iffy by their standard. No mention of the Coliseo main event, one person in the Arena KO main goes unnamed, Orizaba main event losers unnamed.
  • Profiles on El Bizarro, Local champion: Carlos Sanchez (Orizaba Welter), and “Pepe” Gomez
  • The look back at an old card feature goes to the 06/13/1952, where Tarzan Lopez beats Sugi Sito win the vacant NWA MIDDLE title. Enrique Llanes was the champion; here, it’s said Llanes got his head filled up with smoke and jumped to another promotion. The Televecentro promotion would fit the time period, but the other promotion is never specified.
  • There’s an article on 1966 predictions, but they’re less predictions and more demands for what should take place
    • should rise up: Mil Mascaras, Alberto Munoz, Apolo Curiel, El Nazi, Rizado Ruiz, Dr. Wagner
    • should keep their spot: Karloff Lagarde, Rene Guajardo, Rayo de Jalisco, Rey Mendoza, Felipe Ham Lee, Ruben Juarez, Espanto I, Cavernario Galindo, Black Shadow, El Santo
    • should arrive in Mexico City: Vick Amezcua, Black Gordman, Pato Soria, Vikingo, Corsario Negro, Espectro II, Goliath, Pantera Negra, Bufalo Reyes, Javier Meza, el Beduino, el Condor, El Lince, Gori Medina, Anibal, Hermanos Muertes and Pepe Casas.
    • should say goodbye: Daniel Aldana, the Gray Shadow, Dientes Hernandez
  • Alberto Munoz, current national lightweight champion, also won the national welterweight title. He gave up the lightweight title right away. This is mentioned at the end of a title match round-up (where the other titles mentioned are simple defenses; this isn’t played up as a big deal in this magazine.)

Lucha Libre 122 – 02/20/1966

  • Ray Mendoza & Benny Galant beat Rayo de Jalisco & Black Shadow in a Friday show that was said not to be good.
  • Ray Mendoza and 1966 queen of lucha libre Martha Ida Porras post for a series of “the beauty and the fury” photos.
  • Dr. Wagner at home, aiming for the national heavyweight championship. He’s pictured with his wife and kids. The younger baby is Dr. Wagner (Jr.) based on his birthdate
  • Alberto Munoz’s title win gets mentioned in the results round-up page this time.
  • Local star: Chamaco Sombra, Veracruz lightweight champion
  • Gory & Ruddy Casanova are declared the top rudos in Central America
  • Karloff Lagarde is rated a 99 of 100. A 9 in technical ability deprived him fo the perfect store
  • a column on the union is upset a luchador fought with a mask at 1 pm show, then unmasked as a different character at a 6 pm show.
  • “La Asociacion Nacional de Redatores y Fotografos de Lucha” (writers and photographers) handed out awards
    • Luchador: Rene Guajardo
    • Team: Rene Guajardo & Karloff Lagarde
    • Revelation: Mil Mascaras
    • Novato: Alberto Munoz
    • Best Match: Alberto Munoz vs Rodolfo Ruiz
    • Best Referee (big arenas): Eddie Palau
    • Best Referee (small arenas): Abel Castro (Clavelito)
    • Most highlights in small arenas: Hermanos Muertes, Raul Rojas, Genaro Contreras, el Lince, Javier Meza, El Beduino

Lucha Libre 123 – 02/27/1966

  • Benny Galant & Ray Mendoza beat El Santo & Rayo de Jalisco on the Friday Arena Mexico show. The promotion and people around it expected a sellout for Santo’s first match here in a while and it did not happen. This becomes a sticking point for a few issues.
  • The Piquetes a Los Ojos column says Gori Guerrero hasn’t defended his title in 90 days and is in danger of being stripped. This comes up again later, with it being the (Mexico City) commission saying Guerrero reached 90 days without defending the title as of 02/14. There’s a proposal for Lutteorth promotions to hold a tournament and similar tournaments in Central America and the US, with the winners meeting for the title.
  • El Nazi profile compares the trials at Nuremberg to Ray Mendoza taking El Nazi’s hair. Later, the En Super Libre column says that hair match had a gate of 79,814 pesos
  • Mil Mascaras has signed to be in 6 films. Three will be filmed this year, the rest next.
  • Trivia: El Santo has wrestling license number 42.
  • Other profiles include Rizardo Ruiz (coming for El Santo) , Local Champion: Polo Araujo, Veracruz Light Heavyweight champ, and an Antonio Montoro profile
  • Tony Stone is rated 80.
  • Cavernario Galindo suffered a two vertebra injury (bruise?) and will be out a couple months.
  • Jose Velazco is in now in charge of the Jalisco lucha libre commission.
  • Referee Pompin was in the hospital with a heart issue but is now fine.

Lucha Libre 124 – 03/06/1966

  • El Santo & Mil Mascaras beat Benny Galant & Ray Mendoza, though only after Galant & Mendoza got into a between match brawl with Lagarde & Guajarado as they were passing each other.
  • Santo in the movies feature. He’s said to make 100,000 pesos per movie.
  • Braulio Veliz, 27, recommended by Tito Kopa, will debut on 2/26 in Arena Puebla. He hangs around the undercard for a few weeks.
  • Gory Guerrero update: he’ll travel to Mexico City to face the winner of a tournament, which is now just for a title shot. No dates to when any of this might happen, just that Guerrero will have 21 days from the end of the tournament to defend the title against the winner or else. This tournament doesn’t happen in this period, and this NWA Light Heavyweight championship gets tabled for a while.
  • With the NWA LH title figured out (more or less), the magazine is now greatly concerned about the lack of a lightweight championship tournament since it has been vacated. It does not seem as much a problem for the promoters, who had treated that title like an Acapulco regional title until Munoz won it (and then quickly was moved on to a bigger title.) The commission has worked on title issues – there’s talk about a 90 day rematch guarantee for any dethroned champion, and vague plans for Latin American championships which would also be recognized in Venezuela, Panama, Guatemala and Colombia. The last three come up fairly often in these issues but I haven’t seen much on a Venezuela scene.
  • Red Terror (billed as an American) took Raul Reyes hair in Guadalajara on 03/06. A recent Halcon Negro/Rayo de Jalisco vs Ray Mendoza/Benny Galant in the same venue is said to be the worst match the writer has seen in 10 years.
  • rudo Jean Safont profile
  • The retro pages include a lineup for 05/17/1957 in Arena Coliseo, a tournament billed as for the first tag team championship. Teams are Blue Demon & Black Shadow, El Enfermero & Chico Casasola, Tarzan Lopez & Enrique Llanes, Rolando Vera & Dorrel Dixon, Sugi Sito & Huroki Sito, Espectro & Karloff Lagarde, Cavernario Galindo & El Gladiador and Carnicero Butcher & Ray Mendoza. The article picks the last team as the favorite. (It’s unclear if this is what becomes the national tag team titles, the Arena Coliseo tag team titles, or just gets forgotten. There’s no mention of who wins.)
  • An article writes about the decline of lucha libre in Mexico, sighting the poor attendance of the 12/25/1965 show as proof. Matchmakers/EMLL mostly at blame, but the union and the commission also get in trouble for lack of vision. The belief is that TV helped a lot last decade, but now that’s out, those names are played out, and they need new stars. Luchadors are blamed only in only that they need to be replaced, not anything they’re doing. This is a bit of an eye opening take considering the HOF and near-HOF names on all of these cards, though it’s also just one magazine’s take.
  • Antonio Posa is rated 80 of 100.

Lucha Libre 125 – 03/13/1996

  • Ray Mendoza & Benny Galant are the surprise winner of a tag team tournament. Looking thru these results, it is less of a surprise; they’re going places with them right now.
  • Karloff Lagarde starts about his career so far.
  • Espanto III gets a psychological test. Or they test him without him being there and make assumptions on his thinking. Seems unsound.
  • New wrestlers: luchadora Charito Silva
  • an interview with Dory Dixon
  • a day with Mao Chang
  • Jorge Gallende rates a 81 of 100.
  • buried near the back (which is now more obvious as the pages that get finished last): El Santo has given up the Mexican Light Heavyweight championship as of 03/01. It’s strange for him to give it up, because he just won the title in December from Espanto I. It makes a little more sense later when it is revealed the union is running another show with all the national championships defended, but it is instead explained he wants to focus on his middleweight championship. It is not explained why Santo was allowed to have two titles when others have not. Perhaps the answer is just “he’s el Santo, so ok” but the two quick title changes plus one of them happening in the outpost of Mexicali suggests some weird political issue.

Lucha Libre 126 – 03/20/1966

  • Ray Mendoza & Benny Galant beat Karloff Lagarde & Rene Guajardo in a rudo/rudo match compared to something you’d see at a Roman Coliseum for the level of barbarism
  • Blue Demon suffered an ankle injury during filming of a movie. Not serious but it is delaying the film (and he isn’t wrestling right now.)
  • Antonio Posa talks about his start as a wrestler. He studied medicine in Barcelona, learned wrestling in the US.
  • a tournament for the vacant national lightweight title will start on 03/20 in Plaza de Toros el Cortijo. Later, it’s aid it started last weekend. Javier Mesa, Reyes Oliva, Tom Mix, Tizoc, Pedro Nieves, Raul Rojas are participating.
  • the 02/06 Alberto Munoz/Huracan Ramirez title match in Guadalajara is said to have drawn a gate of 36,500.
  • a recap of all the big shows of February fills in some gaps. They list the top contenders for each title (Ray Mendoza still listed as #1 contender to Gori Guerrero), and the top 10 tecnicos (Black Shadow) & rudo (Rene Guajardo)
  • Local star; Relampago Azul from Veracruz
  • Alfonso Dantes profile, entitled “Quiere Seguir Soltero” – he wants to stay single. He has no time for love when he’s trying to win championships.
  • “El Enfermero could be a good president.” (He did not become president.)
  • Angel Blanco rated 83 out of 100.
  • Zingaro, from New York, has arrived.

Lucha Libre 127 – 03/27/1966

  • The team of Henry Pilusso, Benny Galant, Ray Mendoza beat El Santo, Rayo de Jalisco, Mil Mascaras in the Arena Mexico main event. Alfonso Dantes defeated Vick Amezuca to get a shot at the national middleweight championship, which is coming soon.
  • Alberto Munoz profile, including what would seem to be a rare show of him posing with both the national lightweight and the welterweight title. The article wonders if Lagarde’s NWA Welterweight Championship will be next.
  • a tournament for the Mexico State light heavyweight title has not happned the last two weeks due to money issues. Later, an article has the Mexico State commissioner saying he’s considering all his championships vacant. The middleweight title was last held by Muerte II, but he was way too heavy to be a middleweight. Canaima is the welterweight champion but appears to be retired. The light heavyweight champion Octavio Gaona had returned his title. The lightweight title is mentioned as existing but no idea the former status.
  • A Pantera Negra vs Chico Casasola heavyweight title match went 45 hard minutes.
  • The third Carnival of Champions show will take place at Arena Mexico on March 22nd. The announced card has five matches.
    • Pantera Negra defends the heavyweight championship against Henry Pilusso
    • El Santo will do the same with the middleweight championship against Alfonso Dantes
    • Alberto Munoz defends the welterweight championship against Rizado Ruiz
    • Santo gave up the light heavyweight championship, and Ray Mendoza & Mil Mascaras will battle for it. No tournament here, someone just picked the names
    • Javier Meza (Coliseo) & Raul Reyes (Cortijo) won tournaments to face off for the lightweight title, though the magazine is noticeably not impressed with either wrestler at this point.
    • Don’t write any of this down, the results are different.
    • a Q&A with Espanto II.
    • Cesar Valentino profile
    • Mil Mascaras is rated 98 out of 100. He loses a point for tecnica and recursos.

Lucha Libre 128 – 04/03/1966

  • Rene Guajardo, Karloff Lagarde beat Ray Mendoza, Benny Galant in the Arnea Mexico main event, though the recap thought the better team lost. They love the Galant/Mendoza team.
  • Rene Guajardo profile. He says he isn’t resting on what he has done so far.
  • Some strange things on the Carnival of Champions show. (You can find full results here.)
    • None of the champions defending their titles lost them.
    • Mil Mascaras won his first title by defeating Rey Mendoza for the vacant light heavyweight crown.
    • The lightweight title tournament strangely ended with no winner. Rolando Costa and Raul Rojas went to a double countout, and the title remains vacant. This seems like the intended finish for reasons that become clear later.
    • The Munoz/Ruiz welterweight title match ended up being a hair match, won by Munoz. Maybe Ruiz was declared not a welterweight? It is isn’t explained.
  • Braulio Veliz admits that lucha libre is his life.
  • “El Nazi, a sadistic.” Well.
  • Huroki Sito rates an 80 out of 100. His only 10 is aggressiveness, and he gets a 7 in popularity.

Lucha Libre 129 – 04/10/1966

  • Jerry London makes his Arena Mexico debut, going to the final of a tag team tournament with fellow foreigner Halcon Negro. They lose to Espanto I & Dr. Wagner, who hasn’t been in main events often here.
  • Promoter Alberto Gomez is accused of ripping off fans with shows full of untrained or barely trained wrestlers in Colima.
  • photo story on Ricardo Ruiz, who is very bald following that hair match
  • Rafael Barradas is conducting new luchador testing.
  • Humberto Garza working out photos
  • article on small arena wrestler Ray Jimenez (Dionisio Hilario Jimenez)
  • Black Shadow thinks he can dethrone Rene Guajarado for the middleweight championship
  • Javier Meza: Rudo Revelacion
  • El Intocable is rated 55 of 100. “Un medicore de la Lucha Libre”. The guide for the chart only goes down to 60 and no one’s been close to it so far.

Lucha Libre 129 – 04/17/1966

  • the front story is on Benny Galant, instead of the usual Friday night results. There are no results in the magazine (except for a title recap); My hunch is this issue is essentially a fill-in issue so the staff could take Easter off.
  • Who is the best tag team in Mexico? The fans want to know. It seems pretty obviously Rene Guajarado & Karloff Lagarde, since they’re both singles champions. They’re also mentioned as the Mexico tag team champions, the first time that championship has come up here. It is never mentioned in the championship articles. There are no details about the title and is treated as no big deal. They’re said to definitely be the best team in 1965, but Mendoza & Galant might have caught up with them. On the tecnico side, Santo & Mil Mascaras and Shadow & Rayo de Jalisco are good mixes of experience and you. Esapnto I & Espanto II and Henry PIlusso & Benny Galant are mentioned. The article settles on Mil & Rayo as the best possible team.
  • Of the 8 (!) people who tried out for a wrestling license, only 3 passed the test.
  • an Espanto I profile
  • star outside Mexico City: Sombra Verde
  • an interview with Beto Veloz
  • Benny Romero, triumphant in Central America
  • Tony Lopez rates a 77 of 100.
  • Mexico has a lightweight champion. Rolando Costa and Raul Rojas rematched in Plaza el Cortijo, with Rojas dominating the match but losing by DQ when he accidentally fouled Costa on the ropes. Pompin was a referee. Both the DQ here and the double countout in the previous match seem like designed weirdness. Both arenas running tournaments got to hold a tournament final, and Rojas gets an excuse for losing to set up a rematch. (That’ll happen in the next set.) It doesn’t do much for the title, but it seems like lucha libre title booking hasn’t changed all that much.

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