Sunday, March 18, 2007
Blue Demon - Lucha Libre Wrestling
Ring name(s) Blue Demon
Born April 24, 1922,Rinconada, Nuevo León, Mexico
Died December 16, 2000
Pro Wrestling Debut March 12, 1948,
The Blue Demon (April 24, 1922–December 16, 2000) was the stage name of the Mexican masked wrestler Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, who was widely considered to be one of the greatest Mexican wrestlers of his time.
Alejandro was born April 24, 1922 in Rinconada, Nuevo León . He was the child of farmers and was the fifth of twelve children. At young age, Alexander dropped out of school and moved to Monterrey, where his uncles gave him a job working on the National Railroad. His co-workers there gave him the nickname 'Manotas', referring to his large, powerful hands.
A chance meeting with the famous Mexican wrestler Rolando Vera piqued his interest in Lucha Libre, Vera even offering to tutor him and help him start a career. He began wrestling without a mask in Laredo, Texas. His first match was against Chema Lopez on March 12, 1948, a match which he won handily. Adopting the mask and persona of The Blue Demon, he headed back to Mexico to start a real career. His first appearance as The Blue Demon was in Mexico City in September of 1948, where he fought Benny Arcilla. Blue began his career in the ring as a rudo. From there, he formed a famous team with another well-known masked luchador named The Black Shadow, and the two became known as Los Hermanos Shadow over the next few years.
In 1952, the famous wrestler Santo beat and unmasked The Black Shadow in the ring, which triggered Blue's decision to become a técnico in the ring, as well as a legendary feud between The Blue Demon and Santo that culminated in Blue's beating Santo in a well-publicized series of matches in 1952 and again in 1953. In 1953, he won the NWA World Welterweight Championship from Santo, and held it until 1958. Their rivalry never really ended in later years, although they appeared together in a series of horror films, since Santo always remembered his defeat at the Blue Demon's hands.
Blue Demon first appeared in cameos in a couple of innocuous wrestling/action flicks made in 1961, where he was just one of several wrestlers who appeared in the background. But in 1964, Enrique Vergara, the producer of the then-successful Santo movies, decided to diversify a bit and allowed the 42-year-old Blue Demon a series of action/horror films of his own. The plots of the Blue Demon movies are thought to be extremely similar to those of Santo's, and also that Vergara wanted to cultivate a second movie star, since at the time Santo was looking to get himself a large raise.
From 1964 to 1977, Blue Demon starred in a total of 25 action/horror/sci-fi films, and more recently was the subject of a feature-length Mexican documentary entitled Blue Demon, the Champion (1989). Of those 25 films, Santo co-starred with him in nine of them, though the two were never good friends in real life. In three of his films, Blue Demon starred as the leader of a squadron of masked superheroes known as The Champions of Justice (which for some reason never counted Santo among their ranks). Membership in the Champions included such legendary Mexican wrestling figures as Mil Mascaras, Tinieblas, El Rayo de Jalisco, El Medico Asesino, El Fantasma Blanco and Superzan.
Blue Demon retired from the ring in 1988 at the Monterrey Arena, where he appeared in a final match, teaming up with his son, Blue Demon Jr., who today has a successful career of his own.
The Blue Demon died just before noon on Saturday, December 16, 2000 from natural causes. Apparently Blue Demon suffered a fatal heart attack on a park bench near a subway kiosk while on his way home from his regular morning training session at The Blue Demon Instituto Atletico , where he enjoyed teaching others his fighting skills. Although an attempt was made to get him to a hospital, he was unable to be revived; He was 78 years old. Blue Demon was laid to rest wearing his trademark blue mask, the mask he never took off in public since he always kept his identity a secret.
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