I added 1930s lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database in the last few days. This covers every year from 1930 to 1939. They’re integrated into the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results. The project is done! I can move onto other equally futile endeavors.
Really, it’s all done. I couldn’t find a reference of lucha libre prior to 1934. The Guadalajara newspaper had lucha libre mentions pre-Salvador Lutteroth. Torreon didn’t get it until a few months after EMLL was founded, or at least it didn’t come up. The lineups resemble the cards of the early days in Mexico City in style if not the same talent, with just one or two singles matches on early cards. It starts to expand to about four matches with the occasional tag match or battle royal by the end of the decade. With no more than 8 people per show, it was quicker to go thru a month of lineups than it is to do one card today, so this was quick to finish.
Shows added by year that include some link to El Siglo de Torreon
This was very much a still figuring out how lucha libre worked period. There are only a couple title matches, there were no real apuesta matches, the shows are in venues which would quickly disappear. The posters would show up more days in advance than later years, probably because there was more space needing to be filled.
There also isn’t much news on lucha libre outside of lineups and results. There are occasional stories about lucha libre in Mexico City and the odd wire story from New York slips through. Even in the 1930s, there were recaps of shows complaining about how silly things had become.
I got a lot of lineups in this project. I didn’t get many results, but the lineups alone were helpful in getting a sense of what lucha libre looked like in Torreon and Gomez Palacio during different points of time. This has always been a busy area for lucha libre, and the newspapers gave indications when the business was going up and down. I felt like I learned some, and also learned that I, even more, wish there was a public newspaper archive like this for a Mexico City or Monterrey paper that covered lucha libre. I do have plenty of magazines which did so, and I should go back to figuring those out.
I added 1940s lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database last month. This covers every year from 1940 to 1949. They’re integrated in the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results, which is finally nearing completion.
I had been hoping to finish this in August. It is now October. It didn’t go quickly. There was a lot of lucha.
Not as bad as 1950s. It still turned out to be a lot, though it varied quite a bit per year.
I think the pattern is no one pays much attention if there’s only one promotion, but pay a lot more attention if there are two or more groups. (Until today, where shrinking newspapers mean no one pays attention.) There also weren’t as many sports to cover in 40s, so wrestling was covered as a way to fill up one of those eight pages they were putting out a day.
Another reason the shows might have gone up starting with 1945 is that was the year Palacio de los Depotes was opened. That building, or others with the same name, have been in use since that year.
My favorite find is buried in Casos Deportivos column, which occasionally mentioned lucha libre at this point. In 1949, there’s a mention that Salvador Lutteroth was looking to put together enough money to build a Madision Square Garden level arena in Mexico City to host boxing, lucha libre and basketball. This is the plan for Arena Mexico, which is still 7 years away from coming into existance. The story has always been the Black Shadow/El Santo mask match selling out while turning lots of people away spurred Lutteroth into building Arena Mexico. That was in 1952. It might have pushed him to finally do it, but the idea had been in his head for a few years by that point.
I added 1950s lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database earlier this month. This covers every year from 1950 to 1969. They’re integrated in the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results.
This was a terrible idea! It took me two months to get to this post. I was expecting more like two weeks.
Lucha libre was covered like a sport in 1950, at least in the pages of El Siglo de Torreon. It’s not just that there were so many more cards listed, but results were fairly common in some years. My searching is a lot better at finding posters than articles, which means I’ve probably missed more cards this decade than any other. There were definitely shows that didn’t have a poster but did have someone writing the results up. I only pulled articles that mention lucha in them, and there’s probably a few more to be found if someone went back and read every paper for ten years in detail. I would not recommend that use of time, but you might want to try if you think see I’m missing something.
Arena Olimpico opened late in 1954. The paper listed lineups for that building and Plaza de Toros (and sometimes a third building) for 1955 and 1956, which explains the high total for those years. The volume of events probably never changes from that point, but the mentions of them in the newspaper drop until the 80s.
The only simple part of this was these were generally short card to enter. Tag matches are uncommon for the first half of the decade, and cards may have as little as ten people on them before then. It’s a lot of the same group of people, with very occasionally appearances by national stars. The more noteworthy names are those just starting out, with Karloff Lagarde and Rene Guajardo showing up in undercards more at the end of the decade. The Norte Heavyweight and Norte Lightweight champions are the most visible titles, though it’s the usual bit of belts disappearing for months at a time (or being defended elsewhere in the north.) I have enough Norte championship info that I could put together a sort of title history page, but it seems pointless without the Monterrey title matches.
I added 1960s lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database earlier this month. This covers every year from 1960 to 1969. They’re integrated in the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results.
Again, that’s an inflated number, including events found from other sources (including the old magazines that I should’ve gotten back to by now but no.) There’s actually 133 posters in this batch, down from 274 in the last group. That’s why this one is a turnaround.
The events included are mostly ones at Plaza de Toros Torreon. Posters/reports from the period confirm there were other buildings holding events, but they’re not advertising in the paper. It’s also for certain not all the events at the Plaza de Toros, though the bullfights themselves seem to happen more often in this time period. There are fairly regular event listings from 1966 to 1968 and rare information otherwise.
That poster is maybe the most useful stuff I found. It’s the September 25, 1966 lineup and appears to be a title change that’s usually been reported as being in November. It’s a small correction, but we can give Polo Torres an extra 40ish days for his title reign.
There are a few serious crimes that get mentioned. The most serious are the murders of Espanto I & Misterio Negro II in Monterrey, a shocking enough story that it makes Espanto’s hometown paper. Both are shot in a bar by the owner. The police note it happened so suddenly that they didn’t have time to defend themselves.
I added 1970s lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database a few days ago. This covers every year from 1970 to 1979. They’re integrated the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results.
That’s an inflated number. El Siglo de Torreon does not carry articles or ads for lucha libre events between 1970 and August 1974, with the exception of one show in 1973. All the events from that period are from posters I’ve previously stumbled upon on Facebook pages. There are shows still happening during that period, they just only get written about when there’s something like a fight between a wrestler and a fan. Even when they are mentioned later in the year, it’s only Plaza de Toros and short run Auditoro shows which take out ads. The only Gomez Palacio wrestling shows are two special event type shows (which I didn’t notice until writing these up.) Arena Olimpico Laguna is running, as are other smaller arenas, but go unmentioned until the 80s. The silver lining is it’s about as quick to get thru this whole decade as it is a year in the 1990s because the shows are so few.
There are less pages in the papers, and very few of them are ever spend on lucha libre. There’s a long interview with Cavernario Galindo, who talks about his career. At that time, April 1975, he’d invested 250,000 pesos and sold his car in a Bobby Bonales led project to build a lucha libre/boxing arena in Ciudad Netzahualcoyotl. Arena Neza opened two years later in that neighborhood, so I’d assume that was the plan. Galindo’s plan was to wrestle on the first show in the arena (which he believed would open in May of 1976) and then retire for good. He’d end up wrestling occasionally until 1992.
All the stuff that used to be found in places in like “thecubsfan.com/cmll/events” can now be found in the slightly better “luchadb.com/events” location. The data will not have changed in any way, but it’s just it doesn’t have to share a room with these blogs any more. If you’re using an old link, it should seemlessly redirect to the page on the new domain.
The old data is still around. I’m giving myself some to make sure this works before pulling it off the website entirely. If there’s something you can’t find or a link that doesn’t work any longer, let me know. I end up typing page names instead of clicking links, so there’s probably some some links I just haven’t thought to correct.
luchadb.com has some small content on it. I have some ideas – I’d like to make a list of notable non-Big 2 shows like the AAA & CMLL ones, but I’m not sure how to exactly define what a notable show, and my database is really primitive at identifying different promotions. Maybe if someone can figure out the first part, I can figure out the second part.
I added 1998 lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio to the luchadb database a few weeks ago. They’re integrated the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results. This time, I wrote this post before diving into the next year. It looks like I went fast, but it was actually a lot slower.
(I did 1999 three years ago, because I originally thought I was going to do this backwards and then I just didn’t.)
That’s the most events in a single year. Again, it’s probably not that there were more events, but that the paper was listing lineups for more shows – maybe because of space, maybe one person was just motivated to include them. That’s the highest count to this point, though even more lineups would start turn up later in the decade.
The results for big matches are slightly up too. There’s a lot of previews that mention [X] got his head shaved last week or such the following week. It may just be that the word count on lucha libre stayed about the same overall though, because the news articles have virtually disappeared at this point. The national column is gone, the local column is long gone, and there’s only a handful of other articles. The positive news is the ones that were posted are interesting.
On March 18th, Brillante retires. It’s explained as his son asked him to retire weeks ago and he decided to do it, complete with Brillante writing a touching letter to his son. His son Christian, not Manuel (Sombra) – I didn’t remember he had a brother. It’s lucha libre, so Brillante is back in early 1999, asked to defend a title he never actually gave up and then picking up a second one. He disappears for a few more months, then wrestles under a new mask as Black Ninja for a little while before losing it and continuing back onto this day. I hope Christian got over it.
The end of the year has a big profile of one Ultimo Guerrero. He was not around home much this year, busy elsewhere: this is the year where he took Mr. Aguila’s mask, after jumping from Promo Azteca in 1997 when he was slated to lose his mask. That turned out to be a great call. Guerrero credits Blue Panther for helping him jump to CMLL. Panther previously got him, Pantera del Ring/Ephesto and Ultimo Rebelde/Lucifierno into Promo Azteca and didn’t seem to leave Promo Azteca on the best terms, so he had some stakes in making sure a protege of his made the jump. Ultimo Guerrero had gone to Japan for the first time this year, as part of a CMLL Japan tour, and talks of possibly signing a two year deal with NJPW in 1999. Guerrero says that if that doesn’t work out, he might instead go to the WWF. This interview took place early on in the of the WWF Super Astros run, which included future partners Tarzan Boy & Rey Bucanero among others. It’s possible Ultimo Guerrero really did have a chance to go to WWF at one point, though I wonder if they would’ve asked him to unmasked like they did with Bucanero & Aguila.
This may be the last one of these for a while. I have some 2006 clean up to do, but probably not going to do a post about it. I was able to do half the work for the 1979 one, but the pre-1985 ones don’t have much to them and I might do something like post the 70s in two stacks. I should get back to the magazines I was looking thru for a while, but moving over the luchadb is the next free time priority.
Short version: I’m thinking of taking the luchadb – the sprawling database of lucha libre events, results, and video links – and moving off to it’s own separate domain. It would be the same site, more or less, but in a new place. I haven’t committed to doing this yet. It’s close enough that I’m mentioning it here just in case any one had any comments
Longer version: I’ve had problems with this website overrunning it’s memory limit and crashing for years. I assumed it was just because I have a lot of stuff hosted on the same account. Both this entire thecubsfan.com domain and the entire luchawiki.org domain are on the same hosting server, and were under one user account. That’s definitely part of the problem, and will be an issue if/until I decide to throw more money at the memory issues.
In early March, I discovered another big part of the problem is there was malware hidden in my site. As best I can tell, it never affected anyone’s password by my own servers ones, using the hosting computer to do things. I’m not even totally clear what things: the code was intentionally scrambled and mostly loaded other websites. Maybe spam, maybe DNS attacks, I’m not sure. I’m thinking I must’ve just been too slow on a WordPress or wiki software update and that’s all that it took.
What I am sure of is that is that it was a pain to get the malware out. That too is partly because I had so much stuff under one account. It was about 65 GB of files. Some of those are large MP3 files, some of them are tiny thumbnail images or pages, and it added up to a lot of places to hide malicious code. I tried looking for the malware myself, I had my hosting try, and I paid a third party company to look at the files and do the same, and we’d keep running into the same problem. There was so much to scan thru that we couldn’t keep it all clean at once, with the malware sneaking back in to clean areas before we get it out of the unscanned sections. The outside company convinced me it was just way too much to have all the sites on the same account, and they were right. Once I moved the luchawiki over to it’s own walled off section, it didn’t take long to finally get both sites clean. Everything’s been working fine for about a week now.
I wouldn’t have spent a month plus on this problem if I just had split the websites up under separate accounts to begin with which makes me think I ought to do more of it. If I moved the “luchadb” – the comprehensive results/wrestlers/videos database – onto it’s own domain, then those large amount of files won’t be subject to any problem caused by missing WordPress patch. It’d also have the side effect of making it appear the slightest bit professional if the links were all “luchadb.com/” rather than “thecubsfan.com/cmll/events/whatever”. My problem is it’s entirely not professional as it is. It it’s 100% code I wrote myself, cobbled together with whatever idea I had at that moment and no great overarching plans. It’s going to take a fair bit of work to just move it elsewhere, because it was never written with the forethought it might need to be moved. Moving it also might might cause old links to stop working, though I can set up some general redirects. I’m not sure if the difference really matters to anyone beyond myself, and I’ve long put off this idea thinking the time wasn’t worth the effort it would take. The malware bit has me thinking maybe it’s worth the effort not.
I’m mentioning this now just in case the couple dozen of you who actually use it on a regular basis have some thoughts about why I should or shouldn’t do it. I’ve done some testing around with the idea on luchadb.com account now, and I think I’ll be able to do make the move, at the price of a couple weeks of working on that instead of the other things I might be doing (so maybe less weird posters for that whlie.) I’m not going to start thinking hard about until I finish up with the 1998 laguna data mining, which may be a week or so still off.
And if I can get get luchadb.com to work, and I don’t hate moving things around and setting up redirects by then, the next thing on the roadmap would be to finally move this blog to be really located under luchablog.com. But that’s a ways down the road.
I added 1997 lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio (and an increasing amount from elsewhere), to the luchadb database a few weeks ago. They’re integrated the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results. This time, I wrote this post before diving into the next year. It looks like I went fast, but it was actually a lot slower.
That’s an explosion. I don’t think the lucha scene rebounded. It seems like the paper is just covering more of the smaller shows it might not have before as the page count increases. The visual posters that were the only way the shows were covered are virtually gone, the one up there is the only one I found all year. The non-show writing about lucha libre dries up as well. The last Super Dioses de Lucha Libre national article appears in August, and there’s only handful of local stories in the last few months.
It might also be because I had to do these differently. I usually just use a text search for “lucha”, sort thru the vast majority of articles which don’t have anything to do with lucha libre, and then maybe double check on certain arenas. The text search was broke from July to the end of the year this year. Instead had to find the sports section in each days paper, look for any lucha articles, and go from there. It was slow but it seemed to work, so I’m doing it that way for 1998. It does mean anything lucha libre not in the sports section was missed – like if they covered another area elsewhere in the paper.
There’s a big article on the AAA versus Promo Azteca TV war, noting they claim to be promoting different styles of products but look about the same to casual fans even though Promo Azteca says they’re more serious. CMLL is treated as if they don’t exist, but really all the promotions are treated that way – it doesn’t read like they were interviewed for this article. The idea that lucha libre is scripted is off handily confirmed by Mexico City lucha libre commission official Rafael Barradas, but in way to prove not everything is scripted – Gori Guerrero walking out of EMLL rather than drop the NWA LH title to Ray Mendoza is the example.
Pentagon talks about his injury about one year after it happens. The spine injury meant he didn’t get oxygen to the brain for six minutes, which caused a serious brain injury. He remembers nothing about the following two months, it took six months for him to even be able to move his hand, with his condition improving from there. Last year, articles said AAA didn’t support Pentagon. This year, Pentagon says they helped pay for his hospital bills and will be running 2-3 charity shows for him. One of those shows in Torreon gets canceled, though that’s because they’re running one in Monterrey the same day. It seems to get made up late in the year. Late in the year, Pentagon II wrestles locally, and no one treats it as a big deal after fretting about the possibility in 1997.
Local luchador Gran Kalifa (Luis Alberto Salazar Rosales, suddenly passes away at 24 years of age. There’s no details, though it doesn’t appear to be in-ring related.
Tony Rodriguez and Diamante get profiles before their July apuesta match. There’s onetwo articles about the 64th anniversary of lucha libre, mentioning plans to bring in Haku & Barbarian from WCW. It doesn’t actually happen.
New Winners was X-Fly for about one match. Someone shows up in Laguna saying he’s now 20 year old New Winners, then comes back around Christmas saying he’s changed his name to Disc Jocker Joe but is still training with Pepe Casas. It’s supposed to be Disc Jockey, but no one can spell it. I know this is one of the Andrade brothers and I think it’s Kevin, but I’ve not been able to figure it out when it came up in the 1999 group
I added 1996 lucha libre lineups, mostly from the cities Torreon and Gomez Palacio (and an increasing amount from elsewhere), to the luchadb database a few weeks ago. They’re integrated the different pages of this site, and they’re also just available here. This is a slow continuing project to mine the El Siglo de Torreon archive for lucha lineups and results, where the slowest part is me actually writing this post.
I do that list for my own sanity. I’m creeping thru 1997 now, which will take longer than usual due to issues. I have 1998 to do. I should look thru 2006 to clear that out, and then I’m done? Or I go back to the 70s, which should at least have a lot less of these and move quicker.
The lineup count is back down again; the scene is still Arena Olimpico Laguna and maybe one or two other arenas. The non-Torreon/Gomez Palacio lineups are now virtually gone. The names on these shows are greatly reduced to; there’s few AAA & CMLL talent visiting, and Monterrey isn’t sending people. It’s mostly local luchador, with no TV or any avenue to grow the star power of those local wrestlers. This is pretty much the local scene as it stands two decades later.
The one exception is the existence of PROMELL as the third promotion. Blue Panther introduces the third group to readers early in the year. He claims PROMELL is not a promotion, rather a wrestler co-op where the wrestlers own it owners. Panther objects to fans believing luchadors are simply products of TV and AAA’s work. His guys are upset about Antonio Pena getting both the credit and most of the money in AAA. The economic crisis has cut everyone’s money, so they’ve struck out on their own to see if they can get more that way. Panther does the usual bit of positioning the group as Lucha Libre The Way It Ought To Be: stipulations will be adhered to, those who lose a mask or hair will lose in the ring, no rudo (Tirantes) referee affecting outcomes, no dancing or drunk wrestlers, instead a dignified spectacle. Panther argues fans are tired of watching lucha libre on TV and would return to going to shows instead. Later in the year, Atlantis is less anti-TV but also makes the case for the live experience.
The list of wrestlers mentioned as being on the PROMELL roster include Hermanos Dinamitas, Angeles Azteca, Dragon de Oro, El Signo, Los Destructores, Lizmark, Solar and locals Pantera del Ring, Super Punk, Flanagan. Those last three are who we know today as Ephesto, Luciferno and Ultimo Guerrero, getting their first national break via PROMELL. Pantera del Ring has been traveling for years. Punk & Flanagan seem to leave the arena in January, but don’t get regular work in Mexico City for months. They make their first appearances back in Gomez Palacio as Ultimo Guerrero & Ultimo Rebelde in June, with the paper seemingly unaware of their previous identities. They do figure it out by the next time.
PROMELL doesn’t stay PROMELL or off TV long. The paper covers the October press conference of Promo Azteca, with the TV network creating it’s own lucha libre show and promotion to rival Televisa. In an attempt to make the PROMELL story work, that’s explained to be a separate live event group from the TV promotion, but most people just think of it as Promo Azteca only when it lasts. Konnan is announced as being in charge of the TV product. He infamously had some harsh things to say about Antonio Pena in announcing his new project. The newspaper project seems to ignore them. They focus more on Mascara Sagrada being upset with Pena over control of his name and the guys who’ve replaced him in AAA (who are outed as Kraneo & Aguila de Acero.)
The other national story that resonates locally is Pentagon (Jesús Andrade Salas) near death in a match in Aguascalientes. It comes off as no one fully understanding the extent of it at first, with both AAA and people close to him trying to keep the specifics quiet until they have a falling out over money. The injury happens on March 6th, and the big story on the situation shows up on March 30th in onetwo parts. Pentagon was in a coma for three days, and spent two weeks in the hospital before being transferred to a recovery center back to Torreon. His injury is described as a temporary loss of blood to the brain due to a spine/nervous system trauma, with any connection to drugs being obviously kept quiet. Joaquin Roldan, Octagon and AAA’s doctors are mentioned as visiting Pentagon in the hospital in Agusacalientes.
The article mentions other unnamed wrestlers unhappy with how Pentagon was being treated, and with the match being shown on television. The situation escalates when AAA says Pentagon will return in a couple weeks, while PROMELL says he’ll never be able to return from this injury. What’s probably really going on is AAA getting ready to just put someone else under the Pentagon mask, as they’ve already done with other characters. The press over the situation might have contributed to AAA holding off until 1997 to actually do it. It doesn’t do much for Pentagon himself, who’s later said to have $13K in expenses and living in private hospital. He never does return to the ring, though he appears at shows to talk about this injury thru this day.
The Pentagon name being passed along is a familiar situation to people who keep up with lucha libre today, and there’s an Espanto Jr. in CMLL today. One more of his names also was reused: “Santo Negro” pops up on shows after the Pentagon injury. A Santo Negro is listed on a show in March, on a PROMELL show in May, and an local show a couple weeks later. There’s no attention being paid to it, though the luchador is treated as if he’s the same national star from a couple years ago, before Jesus Andrade Salas had to give up the gimmick due to pressure from the El Santo family. Laguna versions of the AAA Power Raiders are also around with no explanation. Brillante, Zafiro and Diamante are back full time in the area in 1996, so my hunch is they just sold their AAA gimmick (and maybe Espanto’s gimmick) and gear to other people and AAA was busy with a lot of more important things.
The Espantos losing their masks might have been because of other things going on. They disappear for months, then return in early December with the explanation that they’ve been working in Ciudad Juarez. A few days later, their father Espanto III passes away. He’d been living in Ciudad Juarez, so I suppose his sons knew it was coming and moved up there for a time. This is a big story locally, with a second day story on the national star’s his passing and coverage of his funeral.