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Luchador Wrestler Mil Mascaras Announced for 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Class: A Fan’s Take
The WWE RAW and Smackdown episodes for Oct. 17 and Oct. 21 pre-taped in Mexico City, joining Raw as the first WWE events to ever broadcast from the country. It was a big and exciting experience for the promotion and they made it even bigger for the fans in Mexico City when Triple H came to the ring and announced that Mil Mascaras was going to be one of the wrestlers inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012, the day before Wrestlemania.
Many younger fans may not know much about Mil Mascaras while older fans remember him fondly as one of Mexico's greatest wrestlers. He also holds a place in Mexican lore as one of the masked wrestlers who made the transition to movies in such films as "Mil Mascaras vs. The Aztec Mummy." In 2012, the WWE will honor this masked wrestling legend, and with that in mind, here are some of the greatest wrestlers to hail from Mexico.
Wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio were born in the United States, El Paso and San Diego respectively, so they are ineligible for this list.
The name Mil Mascaras itself translates to "A Thousand Masks" and Mascaras is one of the men who helped introduce the American world to the glories of Luchador wrestling. He wrestled outside of Mexico as a fan favorite Luchador competitor, helping introduce the United States to high risk moves such as the plancha and suicide dive. Fans today now recognize these moves as basic staples for men like Rey Mysterio. Mascaras wrestled for the WWE and WCW in the United States, most recently in the 1997 Royal Rumble.
Just as Mil Mascaras appeared in horror movies as a superhero Luchador, El Santo remains one of the most popular to foray into the movies, starring in over 50 films. He first began wrestling in the '30s and became one of the country's most popular superstars. He continued to wrestle up until the '80s, when he finally turned the role over to his son Jorge, who became El Hijo del Santo.
El Santo's biggest rival was The Blue Demon, another masked wrestler that began his wrestling career in 1948. Blue Demon feuded with Santo for many years and the two became the most popular faces of Mexican Luchador wrestling for decades. Demon went on to win the NWA World Welterweight Championship, a belt governed by the United States based NWA but remained primarily based in Mexico. The Blue Demon retired in 1988 and continued to train wrestlers up until his death in 2000 at the age of 78.
One of the problems with masked wrestlers is that anyone can put on the mask and portray the character while audiences are none the wiser. It happened recently in the WWE with Sin Cara and also happened many years ago with La Parka. Many people might remember La Parka from his stint in WCW but courts banned him from using the name after a promoter in Mexico made copyright claims to the title. Now known as L.A. Park, he still competes today in the AAA federation in Mexico.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has been a professional wrestling fan since the rock and roll days of the 80s. Shawn watched all the promotions, but held an affinity for the more rugged ones in the Mid South and Dallas focused World Class regions. He still watches wrestling today, enjoying the WWE, TNA and ROH, watching all three on television weekly.
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