Here’s all the 1966 Mexico City lineups and results that are now in the database, in case that’s something you need. I haven’t gone deep in checking it out. I can already see a date discrepancy over a hair match and I’ve fixed things after making that backup.
7 things I took away from this year beyond the results:
- EMLL’s booker passes away midway thru the year. Nothing really changes. Referee Jesus Lomelin is said to be the lead programmer and had been for a long time when he passed away in June. There are slight changes; Black Shadow gets flipped to being a heel, there are some new pushes later in the year. Those might have happened anyway. There’s no huge change in direction obvious through the rest of the year, with the replacements sticking close to those who were already on top. This felt a bit instructive to the current day CMLL situation.
- Lucha libre movies were hurting lucha libre shows (in the short term.) 1965 was the Mexico City introduction of Mil Mascaras. 1966 should’ve been his big year. It was a big year for him to film two movies instead. Mil Mascaras is still around a fair amount, but EMLL never pushes him to the top. Santo is in and out filming movies as well. Blue Demon also spends most of his year filming movies, though it is unclear if he’s medically able to wrestle this year. Even Ray Mendoza is missing for a movie early on.
- EMLL had played the same hand too long. I’d like to have Box Y Luchas from this time period (or any time period) to balance things out; Lucha Libre is pushing for new blood at the top even before this year starts. As best as we can tell based on the one source, it seems like the fans have tired of seeing the same people at top. This is year six of Rene Guajardo being the perennial middleweight champion, the rudo who is also acknowledged as the best guy (similar to today Ultimo Guerrero) and some sort of change is needed. It should be Mil’s moment but being seen as the Santo replacement film star stops him from being the Santo replacement in-ring star for this year. Lucha Libre magazine stumps hard for Jerry London in that top spot, though it seems unlikely to go to a foreigner in that time period. The answer seems to be Ray Mendoza, but EMLL deluding itself into believing Gory Guerrero would come back to Mexico City and do a job delay his ascension. It feels a protest vote when Lucha Libre calls Mendoza wrestler of the year. Guajardo’s the one who has had actual success but they’re tired of him.
- This was a nothing year for Karloff Lagarde. I felt less positive about Karloff Lagarde’s Wrestling Observer HOF value. He’s NWA Welterweight champion without once defending in Arena Mexico all year. His only title match in Arena Mexico is losing the Arena Mexico Tag Team Championship. Lagarde’s only apuesta match is a hair loss to Jerry London, a setup match for the Aniversario. Lagarde is frequently in main events but typically only to be Rene Guajardo’s junior partner. He does get one singles win over Black Shadow early in the year, but he not main eventing much else on his own. It’s an accumulation year, but not one with any particular glory.
- There is help on the way. The year ends with Angel Blanco & Dr. Wagner on the way up. Solitario’s getting some notice as a future star, though he hasn’t jumped out of the pack yet. Anibal has just made the leap to EMLL. The stars of the 70s are on their way.
- Jerry London had one of the better years of an EMLL foreigner. Lucha Libre praised him so much that I was surprised they didn’t give him the wrestler of the year. It doesn’t look as impressive just in the results – a short title win, a hair match win and a hair match loss. It reads in instead like he was only supposed to be in for the title match, maybe not even the title switch, and he kept impressing enough that EMLL kept extending his stay. It appears to be his choice to leave, not EMLL letting him go when he loses again to Guajardo.
- There are so many tournaments. Very few of them go anywhere or mean anything but I guess it must be over as a gimmick if they keep doing it.