Los Misioneros de la Muerte

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Los Misioneros de la Muerte
Tag team
Members Negro Navarro
El Signo
El Texano
Heights Negro Navarro 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
El Signo 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
El Texano 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Former
member(s)
Black Power (II)
Rocky Santana
Misionero
El Texano, Jr.
Debut 1977
Disbanded 2006
Promotions UWA
AAA
CMLL
Mexican Independent promotions
NJPW
Toryumon
UWF

Los Misioneros de la Muerte (Spanish for "The Missionaries of Death" was a Mexican Lucha libre, or professional wrestling Trio that has been credited with making the two out of three falls six-man tag team match the most common match form in Mexico instead of the traditional one-on-one match that is the most common match everywhere else. The original Los Misioneros trio consisted of Negro Navarro, El Signo and El Texano and worked together as a unit from 1977 until 1987. Later versions of Los Misioneros featured Navarro and Signo teaming with wrestlers such as Black Power, Rocky Santana or El Texano, Jr. but their success never approached the success of the original team. The original Los Misioneros would occasionally reunite in the years following their 1987 break-up, but with the 2006 death of El Texano the Los Misioneros de la Muerte was not used by Navarro and El Signo. El Signo retired in 2010, making Negro Navarro the only active competitor left of the trio.

History[edit]

In the late 1970s Mexican professional wrestling promotion Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) were inspired by the success of lightweight wrestlers in other promotions and wanted to create a number of Mexican lightweight stars to capitalize on the success of the division. Promoter Francisco Flores decided to team up three young, smaller wrestlers including Antonio Sánchez Rendón, known under the ring name El Signo, Miguel Calderón Navarro, known as Negro Navarro and Juan Conrado Aguilar Jáuregui, known as El Texano. The trio was dubbed Los Misioneros de la Muerte ("The Missionaries of Death") and played the heel role (wrestlers who portray the "bad guys"), the three were matched up a trio of brothers who like Los Misioneros were young and lightweights, the team of Brazo de Oro ("Golden Hand"), Brazo de Plata ("Silver Arm") and El Brazo ("The Arm"), dubbed Los Mosqueteros de Diablo (The Devil's Musketeers). Early on in the storyline Brazo de Oro defeated El Texano in a Luchas de Apuestas, or bet match, which forced El Texano to unmask, the storyline expanded and saw the unmasked Misionaros clash with the masked Mosqueteros on UWA promoted cards all over Mexico. The fan reception to those matches and the positive coverage in various Lucha Libre magazines was so big that other promoters around Mexico wanted to book them on their shows, not as individuals but as teams, which was the start of the trios match becoming more and more prominent in Lucha Libre, with the team being so in demand UWA started to feature Los Misioneros more often that by 1981 Los Misioneros began working high on the card, often working the main event match starting a trend of having trios matches instead of singles matches as the regular main event match format, something that helped make that match format the most common match type in Lucha Libre since then.[1]

The UWA had a tradition of inviting Japanese wrestlers from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) to come to Mexico for shorter or longer tours, traditionally they used the Japanese Heavyweights, but with the emergence of Los Misioneros they began using younger, lower card wrestlers for matches against Los Misioneros. One such rivalry saw the team of Gran Hamada, Kobayashi and Enrique Vera defeat Los Misioneros in a Luchas de Apuestas match, forcing the three of them to have their hair shaved off as a result.[2] In 1981 the Los Misioneros de la Muerte name became a household name after a match in El Toreo de Quatro Caminos ("The Bullring with four corners"), UWA's main venue, during the main event Los Misioneros faced off against then 64-year-old El Santo, teaming with Huracán Ramírez and Rayo de Jalisco. In that match El Santo collapsed in the middle of the ring, suffering a heart attack during the match, his life was only saved due to the quick witted actions of Ramírez.[3] After the match the Lucha Libre magazinez, prompted by Francisco Flores, played off the real life tragedy by promoting Los Misioneros as the team that nearly killed the biggest name in Lucha Libre ever,[3] the event made the team the most hated trio in Mexico for years to come and helped fill El Torero arena to the brim when Los Misioneros teamed up with Perro Aguayo to face El Santo, Gory Guerrero, Huracán Ramírez and El Solitario in El Santo's retirement match.[3][4] Following Santo's retirement Los Misioneros feuded with the top faces (wrestlers portraying "good guy" characters) such as Los Tres Caballero (Aníbal, El Solitario and Villano III both in trios and in individual competition. During the storyline El Solitario turned on his two partners, when he attacked El Signo with a bottle and costing Los Tres Caballeros an important match, the attack made the smaller Los Misioneros more sympathetic to the crowd, who began to support them more and more despite Los Misioneros being booked on the shows as heel characters ("bad guys"). The trio also continued fighting various Japanese teams, including defeating the team of Kobayashi, Saito and Takano at the UWA 7th Anniversary Show on February 14, 1982, and again a few months later in a Luchas de Apuestas match that saw the Japanese trio leave Mexico with their hair shaved off.[2][5] Their popularity as a trio also led to them being invited to tour Japan, facing off against New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) light weight wrestlers such as Gran Hamada, Tiger Mask, Takano, Akira Maeda and Osamu Kido. In 1984 Los Misioneros won the UWA World Trios Championship for the first time, although it is not documented for exactly how long;[6] in the mid 1980s the "War" between the UWA and EMLL had cooled off enough for Los Misionerios to actually work a series of EMLL shows leading up to the EMLL 53rd Anniversary Show. In the weeks before the show Los Misioneros defeated the trio of El Dandy, Talismán and Jerry Estrada in a Luchas de Apuestas match during CMLL"s weekly Super Viernes show.[7] This was part of the build to the main event of the 53rd Anniversary where Los Misioneros lost a Luchas de Apuestas match to CMLL mainstays Ringo Mendoza, Américo Rocca and Tony Salazar and thus were forced to get all their hair shaved off as a result of the loss.[8][9] Los Misionerios regained the UWA World Trios Championship in 1987 defeating Los Villanos (Villano III, Villano IV and Villano V), after what was considered the "peak" of Los Misionerios. With an influx of other popular trios both in the UWA and in Mexico in general Los Misioneros days on the top of the Trios scene came to an end, which was followed by the end of Los Missioneros de la Muerte in its original form, during a UWA World Trios Championship match against Los Villanos El Texano threw in the towel to save his partner El Signo any more punishment. After the match and title loss his partners turned on El Texano and attacked him, the attack was done primarily to write El Texano out of the UWA storyline as he had given notice that he was leaving.

Los Misioneros Version 2[edit]

UWA Promoter Francisco Flores decided to try to keep the Los Misioneros de la Muerte team active even after the departure of El Texano and experimented with a number of different partners for Navarro and El Signo, the first replacement was a masked wrestler called "Black Power", who teamed up with the remaining Los Misioneros to defeat Los Villanos (Villano I, Villano IV and Villano V) to win the UWA Trios Championship. The trio held on to the Trios Championship for 454 days, until May 1, 1993 where they lost them to El Engendro, Shu El Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr., they regained the championship later that year, on December 25 and held them into 1994 where they lost the belts back to Engendro, Shu el Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr.[6] During their run as a team El Texano returned to the UWA and on one occasion Texano defeated Black Power, now unmasked, in a Luchas de Apuestas match, forcing him to have all his hair shaved off.

Los Misioneros Version 3[edit]

Black Power was later replaced by Rocky Santana and that version of Los Misioneros went on to win the UWA Trios Championship from El Engendro, Shu El Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr. on June 6, 1994. Four months later they lost the championship to VIllano V, Shu El Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr. but regained them only a week later.[6] Los Misioneros were the last team to hold the UWA World Trios Championship while the UWA was an active promotion, still the champions when the UWA closed in 1995.[6] After the UWA disbanded Los Misioneros worked a few shows for AAA, UWA's successor of sorts and one of the two biggest wrestling promotions along with CMLL, the appearances included a match at Triplemanía III-A where a version of Los Misioneros (Navarro, Signo and a masked wrestler called "Misionero", possibly Rocky Santana under a mask) defeated the team of El Torero, El Mexicano and Dragón de Oro.[10]

Independent circuit[edit]

After a few matches for AAA Negro Navarro and El Signo split up, going their separate ways on the Independent circuit, only teaming together for special occasions. One such occasion was for the Salvador Lutteroth Memorial Tag Tournament held as part of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL; formerly known as EMLL)'s 1999 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas: El Santo y Salvador Lutteroth show on March 19, 1999. Navarro and El Signo teamed up to represent the "old school" wrestlers of Lutteroth's era and defeated Olímpico and Tony Rivera in the first round of the tournament; in the semi-finals they lost to eventual tournament winners Mr. Niebla and Shocker.[11] In the mid-1990s Navarro had a brief stint as the masked character Último Vampiro, although others used the name and character after him and are more identified with that name; in 2003 Navarro worked a number of matches for AAA, including a match where the original Los Misioneros were reunited for AAA's 2003 Guerra de Titanes show where they defeated El Brazo, Sangre Chicana and Pirata Morgan.[12] Navarro and El Signo began teaming with Juan Aguilar Leos, son of El Texano who had adopted the ring name El Texano, Jr. as he began to team with Navarro and El Signo under the Los Misioneros name. With the 2006 death of El Texano the Los Misioneros de la Muerte was not used by Navarro and El Signo. El Signo retired in 2010, making Negro Navarro the only active competitor left of the trio.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Only championships won as a team are listed

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Gran Hamada, Kobayashi and Enrique Vera (hair) Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Mexico City, Mexico Live event June 7, 1981 [2]
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Kobayashi, Saito and Takano (hair) Mexico City Live event June 13, 1982 [2]
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
El Dandy, Talismán and Jerry Estrada (hair) Mexico City Live event September 5, 1986 [7]
Ringo Mendoza, Américo Rocca and Tony Salazar (hair) Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Mexico City EMLL 53rd Anniversary Show September 19, 1986 [8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Madigan, Dan (2007). "Okay... what is Lucha Libre?". Mondo Lucha Libre: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 29–40. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Signo (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. September 2007. p. 31. Tomo V. 
  3. ^ a b c Madigan, Dan (2007). "El Santo". Mondo Lucha a Go Go: the bizarre& honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 71–78. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  4. ^ "The Silver Masked-Man". Lucha Libre> Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2005. p. 286. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  5. ^ "7th Anniversary Show". Pro Wrestling History. February 14, 1982. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Trios Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  7. ^ a b "Rudos – Negro Navarro". Fuego en el Ring (in Spanish). Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre". Américo Rocca (in Spanish). Portales, Mexico. November 2008. p. 33. 17. 
  9. ^ a b Ruiz Glez, Alex (September 7, 2010). "CMLL: 79 historias, 79 Aniversario, las 79 luchas estelares". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). Retrieved October 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Asistencia Asesoría y Administración TripleManía". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Salvador Lutteroth Tournament 1999". Pro Wrestling History. March 19, 1999. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion Guerra de Titanes". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved September 12, 2009.