Juan Manuel Rodriguez was a Mexican luchador, best known by his ringname Bestia Salvaje, who competed in Mexican and international promotions during the 1980s and 1990s, most notably with Emilio Charles Jr. and Scorpio Jr. as part of the stable Los Talibanes. A second generation wrestler, he was the son of Espectro II and the brother of Corazón Salvaje as well as the brother-in-law of Charrito de Oro. During his career he wrestled for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre known as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, he had several feuds during his career including ones against Ringo Mendoza, Mano Negra, Héctor Garza. He won the CMLL World Tag Team Championship twice with Scorpio Jr. and the CMLL World Trios Championship with Emilio Charles Jr. and Sangre Chicana. He wrestled the last match of his career two months before his death in January 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rodriguez made his professional debut on June 12, 1983, wrestling under the name Freddy Rodriguez at the Arena Jalisco in his hometown of Guadalajara.
He continued in that role until 1986. By the late 1980s, he had become a leading rudo. In October 1988, he lost a hair vs. hair match to El Dandy and feuded with him over the CMLL World Middleweight Championship during the early 1990s. Rodriguez defeated him for the title on September 4, 1992, but lost it to El Dandy three months later. Teaming with Mano Negra in the CMLL World Tag Team Championship Tournament, he and Mano Negro were eliminated in the opening rounds by Apolo Dantes and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. on February 26, 1993. He would team with Scorpio Jr. and Sangre Chicana defeating La Ola Blanca for the CMLL World Trios Championship on March 31, 1995, would hold the titles for over a year before losing them to Dos Caras, Héctor Garza and La Fiera on March 22, 1996. During the Torneo Gran Alternativa, he would team with Chicago Express defeating Dos Caras and Bronco, El Hijo del Santo and Olímpico and Atlantis and Atlantico in the tournament finals on June 7, 1996; the following month, he competed in the 3rd Annual Grand Prix Tournament defeating Yone Genjin in the opening rounds before being eliminated by the Great Sasuke in the semi-finals.
During the late 1990s, he formed the rudo stable Los Guapos with Scorpio Jr. and Emilio Charles Jr. who were involved in one of the biggest controversies in Mexican professional wrestling when, during a 6-man tag team match with Scorpio Jr. and El Felino against Negro Casas, El Dandy, Héctor Garza, El Felino turned on his brother Negro Casas allowing him to be attacked by Carrillo and Scorpio Jr. However, El Felino unmasked revealing himself to be longtime tecnico El Hijo del Santo in his first appearance since his loss to rival Negro Casas at the 63rd CMLL Anniversary Show in September 1996. Attacking Casas, this would result in minor rioting in the arena. Teaming with El Hijo del Santo for two years and Scorpio turned on El Hijo del Santo during a 6-man tag team match with Santos' partners Villano III and Fuerza Guerrera, he and Scorpio,Jr. Later won the CMLL World Tag Team Championship Tournament defeating The Headhunters and Lizmark and El Satánico and Dr. Wagner Jr. on November 13, 1998, in the finals to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship.
That year, he and Scorpio Jr. would team with Zumbido in the CMLL Trios Championship Tournament defeating Shocker, Mr. Niebla and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in the opening rounds, Vampiro, El Dandy and Héctor Garza in the semi-finals before being eliminated by Blue Panther, Black Warrior and Dr. Wagner Jr. in the finals on December 18, 1998. Feuding with El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas over the CMLL Tag Team titles, they lost to El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas by disqualification on February 5, 1999, although El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas refused to accept the titles, they would lose the titles in a hair vs. mask match to El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas on March 19 at the 1999 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show. In December 1999, he and Moto Cross would be eliminated in the opening rounds of the Toreno Gran Alternativa by Negro Casas and Flecha. In 2000, he and Blue Panther would enter the CMLL World Tag Team Championship Tournament defeating Olímpico and Brazo de Plata in the opening rounds before being eliminated in the semi-finals by Lizmark and Lizmark Jr..
In early 2001, he lost to La Parka in a three-way hair vs. hair match that included El Dandy. Teaming with Los Capos and the other members of Los Guapos, at this point known as Los Talibanes, he feuded with Shocker and his breakaway rudos faction of Mascara Magica and El Terrible concluding in a 6-man cage match with El Terrible defeating Carrillo in a hair vs. hair match in August 2003. Rodriguez wrestled the last match of his career two months before his death in January 2008 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rodriguez died on March 2008 of liver disease. Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre CMLL World Middleweight Championship CMLL World Tag Team Championship – with Scorpio Jr. CMLL World Trios Championship – with Emilio Charles Jr. and Sangre Chicana Torneo Gran Alternativa – with Chicago Express Copa Arena Coliseo – with Cachorro Mendoza Mexican National Tag Team Championship – with Pierroth Jr. Mexican National Welterweight Championship Salvador Lutteroth Trios Tournament – with Emilio Charles Jr. and Sangre Chicana Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI ranked him #326 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003 Wrestle Association "R" WAR Light Heavyweight Championship List of premature professional wrestling deaths
Jerry Estrada is a semi-retired Mexican luchador. For most of his career, he has portrayed a rudo character, nicknamed "El Puma", his rudo persona was pattered on various Glam Rock bands, complete with colorful spandex and what was described as a "rock and roll" attitude in the ring. He was active from 1978 until 2003 when he was forced to retire due to chronic injures caused by his signature bumps outside the ring. Estrada began working select matches again in 2018. Estrada was a major star for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre during the 1980s but was one of the first wrestlers to leave EMLL to work for Antonio Peña's newly started Asistencia Asesoría y Administración in 1992, he had a brief run in the World Wrestling Federation in 1997 and 1998 when AAA and WWF had a working agreement. From 1991 to 2008 Mini-Estrella Enrique del Rio worked under the ring name Jerrito Estrada, a mini version of Jerry Estrada. Over the years Estrada has held a number of championships for both AAA and CMLL, including the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship, the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship, the Mexican National Middleweight Championship as well as the Mexican National Trios Championship with Hombre Bala and Pirata Morgan, collectively known as Los Bucaneros.
He was in the main event of AAA's Triplemanía II-A show, losing a Lucha de Apuestas, or bet match, to Heavy Metal and was forced to have all his hair shaved off as a result. Gerardo Hernández Estrada was born on January 10, 1958, in Monclova, part of the northern Mexican state of Coahuila; as a teenager, two local transit agents, who worked part-time as professional wrestlers, offered to train Estrada but ended up breaking Estrada's foot during their first session by accident. While recovering Estrada worked to support himself by selling chewing gum, polishing shoes, driving tracks and working as a line chef. During his various jobs, he met professional wrestler Herodes, who started to train him alongside notable wrestling trainer Alberto Moras. After his initial training under Alberto Moras and Herodes, he would receive further training, early in his career by Rafael Salamanca, Gran Cochisse, Gori Medina Enrique Llanes, Ringo Mendoza, Alfonso Dantés. In an interview with Estrada from around his 2003 retirement, he revealed that he wrestled under a masked identity, using either the name "Guardián Blanco" or "Halcón Blanco".
After unmasking, Estrada began working under the name Jerry Estrada, the only name he has used since 1978. He developed a "rock and roll" style in-ring character, inspired by various early to mid-1980s bands. Where most wrestlers at the time wore more traditional wrestling tights and trunks Estrada opted to wear black or dark colored spandex with bright colored tassels and bandanas, similar to the onstage outfit worn by glam rockers such as Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snyder. Ricardo Vega, a magazine publisher, coined the nickname "El Puma" for Estrada, a nickname Estrada had throughout his career, it led Estrada to sporadically walk to the ring with a living Puma. It was not long after making his in-ring debut that Jerry Estrada began working for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre, the world's oldest and one of Mexico's largest wrestling promotions; the company decided to make Estrada the next Mexican National Middleweight Champion, which happened on March 4, 1984, when he defeated Ultraman. Over the subsequent 273 days, he defended the championship against Águila Solitaria, Cachorro Mendoza and Mogur.
Estrada was slated to wrestle at the EMLL 52nd Anniversary Show on September 20, but it was canceled due to the Mexico City earthquake the day before. On November 30, 1984, Atlantis defeated Jerry Estrada to win the Mexican National Middleweight Championship. In 1986 EMLL decided to team Estrada up with Pirata Morgan and Hombre Bala to form a trio known as Los Bucaneros as part of its emerging Trios division. For his stint with Los Bucaneros, Estrada had his hair cut short and began wrestling wearing a faux eyepatch as part of the Pirate image. Los Bucaneros went on to defeat the trio of Kiss, Ringo Mendoza, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. to win the Mexican National Trios Championship on August 30, 1987. Their reign ended when Los Destructores were chosen by EMLL to become the next champions, taking the titles on January 31, 1988. Estrada departed Los Bucaneros not long after the title loss, being replaced on the team with El Verdungo. Estrada left the team because he wanted to shed the pirate image and return to the wrestling style of his "El Puma" character.
In 1990, EMLL created a Mini-Estrella division and several of the small-sized wrestlers were given ring characters matching the regular-sized wrestlers. While he was a smaller version of Jerry Estrada, EMLL's conservative booking style kept the regular-sized wrestlers and the Mini-Estrellas from appearing or wrestling together. By late 1991, EMLL changed their name to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and created a number of "World" championships to help usher in the new name. CMLL held a tournament in late 1991 that saw Jerry Estrada defeat MS-1, Mascara Año 2000 and Black Magic on his way to the finals, where he defeated Pierroth Jr. to become the first champion. Estrada held the championship for 175 days. In early 1992, then-CMLL booker An
Aniversario de Arena México
The Aniversario de Arena México show is an annual major professional wrestling show produced by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956. The event takes place in April with few exceptions in place of the promotion's regular Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Detailed results of a number of older events have not been found and in some cases no results or planned matches have been found documented, leading only to the knowledge that an event took place, but no confirmation of date or other details were found; the most recent show was the 58. Aniversario de Arena México show that took place on April 27, 2014. Up until 1991 CMLL operated under the name Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre or some times as NWA-EMLL, to promote their association with the National Wrestling Alliance that ended in 1991 and prompted the name change; the 9. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956.
The event took place on April 3, 1965 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 12. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 26, 1968 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 14. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 24, 1970 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 16. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 21, 1972 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows.
Results The 18. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 24, 1974 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 19. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on May 25, 1975 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. The 19. Anniversario show was one of the few Aniversario shows not held in April. Results The 20. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 23, 1976 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows.
Results The 20. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 21, 1977 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 22. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 21, 1978 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 23. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 21, 1979 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 24. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956.
The event took place on April 4, 1980 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 25. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 3, 1981 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 26. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major professional wrestling show produced by Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to commemorate the opening of Arena México, the promotion's main venue, in 1956; the event took place on April 2, 1982 as part of a special Friday Night Super Viernes series of shows. Results The 27. Aniversario de Arena México show was a major profession
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre Co. Ltd. is a lucha libre professional wrestling promotion based in Mexico City. The promotion is referred to by its previous name Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre. Founded in 1933, it is the oldest professional wrestling promotion still in existence. CMLL has been nicknamed "The serious and the stable", referencing their conservative booking style and their traditional structure to how wrestlers are used and allowed to express themselves. Outside live television broadcasts, CMLL has not shown, they have a few steel cage matches and on occasion have Super Libre matches where there are no disqualifications, but otherwise do not promote any variety of matches that would be considered hardcore wrestling, nor match types such as Ladder matches. CMLL has on occasion fired wrestlers for excessive violence, like the use of chairs, during a match or for using profanity while addressing the crowd during a show. CMLL recognizes and promotes twelve "World Championships" for various weight divisions and classifications, six national level and six regional level championships.
The CMLL Anniversary Show series is the longest running annual major show, starting in 1934, with the CMLL 84th Anniversary Show being the most recent. CMLL regularly promotes major events under the names Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, Sin Piedad, Sin Salida, Infierno en el Ring during the year. CMLL has promoted their regular weekly Super Viernes on a regular basis since the 1930s. Founder Salvador Lutteroth funded the building of Arena Coliseo in 1943, making it the first building in Mexico built for professional wrestling. Prior to 1933, lucha libre shows in Mexico were promoted by foreign promoters doing the occasional match through Mexico or a few scattered local promoters along the U. S. border, who brought in American professional wrestlers as their main attractions. In 1929, Salvador Lutteroth, who at the time was a property inspector for the Mexican Tax department, moved to Ciudad Juárez near the Mexico/U. S. Border. During a trip to El Paso, Texas Lutteroth witnessed a professional wrestling show and was intrigued by the show and the main event Greek wrestler Gus Pappas.
Four years Lutteroth, along with his financial backer Francisco Ahumada chartered Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre, the first Mexican owned wrestling promotion in the country. EMLL held their first shown on September 21, 1933, considered the "birth of Lucha libre" and led to Lutteroth being known as "the father of Lucha Libre". EMLL tried to book Arena Nacional, the premier boxing venue in Mexico City but the promoters would not let him rent it, forcing Lutteroth and EMLL to take up residence in Arena Modelo, an abandoned and run down facility that Lutteroth was able to use as his home base; the concept of Lucha Libre became popular, so much so that the EMLL 1st Anniversary Show drew a sell out crowd of 5,000 paying fans. In 1934, an American wrestler debuted in Mexico under a black, leather mask, Lutteroth dubbed him "La Maravilla Enmascarada" or "The Masked Marvel". In the United States the concept of the masked wrestler was more of a mid-level attraction, but the reaction to La Maravilla Enmascarada led to Lutteroth and the EMLL officials to introduce more masks, starting with a wrestler known as El Enmascarado and late on El Murciélago Enmascarado.
Through the use of the masks and ring characters EMLL helped create the sacred position of the mask in Lucha libre, making it the ultimate status symbol for luchadors. In the early days of EMLL most of the top names were Americans, but with time EMLL introduced several Mexican natives that became so popular that they began to main event most of the EMLL shows. In order to expand their business EMLL began working with a number of local wrestling promoters across Mexico, allowing them to use the EMLL name and some of their contracted wrestlers while gaining access to local wrestlers in return; each booking office was independent of each other but the main office in Mexico City had the final say if there were disputes over who would be able to book certain wrestlers. In 1942, a masked wrestler clad in silver known as El Santo, a man who go on to become a cultural icon in Mexico and is cited as the greatest Mexican wrestler of all time. With the popularity of El Santo as well as other Mexican stars such as Bobby Bonales, Tarzán López, Cavernario Galindo and Gory Guerrero Arena Modelo became too small to accommodate the demand for tickets.
To solve the problem Lutteroth financed the construction of Arena Coliseo in Mexico City, the first arena in Mexico built for professional wrestling and the first sports building in Mexico to have built in air conditioning. The arena, nicknamed the "Lagunilla Funnel" due to its interior shape would hold over 8,800 spectators when configured for Lucha libre or boxing. Arena Coliseo began hosting EMLL's annual Anniversary shows starting with the 10th Anniversary show. In 1953, Salvador Lutteroth joined the US based National Wrestling Alliance, becoming the official NWA territory for all of Mexico, known as "NWA-EMLL" outside Mexico. By joining the NWA, Lutteroth and EMLL gained control of the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, they were able to re-brand their "World Middleweight Championship" to become the NWA World Middleweight Championship and their "World Welterweight Championship" became the NWA World Welterweight
Eduardo Gory Guerrero Llanes was an American professional wrestler and a prominent member of the Guerrero wrestling family. Guerrero performed in Mexico and Japan for several major professional wrestling promotions, in the United States performed for Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, most notably World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment. Guerrero's gimmick was that of "Latino Heat", a crafty, resourceful wrestler who would do anything to win a match, his catchphrase became "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!" and was used in one of his entrance themes. Despite being a heel for most of his career, he was popular in and out of the ring and was at the peak of his career as a face during 2003–2005, becoming the top wrestler on the SmackDown brand in 2004, he experienced various substance abuse problems, including alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers. Guerrero spent his early career wrestling in Mexican promotions and forming a popular tag team with Art Barr. After the death of Barr, Guerrero received his first mainstream exposure in the United States in 1995 by joining ECW and winning the ECW World Television Championship.
That year, Guerrero moved to WCW, where he became WCW United States Champion, WCW Crusierweight Champion and led the Latino World Order. He left WCW in 2000, he moved to WWF with his WCW colleagues Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn, who formed a group called The Radicalz. Guerrero went on to win the WWF European Championship and WWF Intercontinental Championship before he was released in 2001 due to addiction issues. After being rehired in 2002, he formed Los Guerreros with his nephew Chavo, winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, established himself on the SmackDown brand, he climbed to main event status and won the WWE Championship, his sole world championship at No Way Out 2004. He lost the title that year but remained a popular main eventer until his untimely death on November 13, 2005. Guerrero left an impact and legacy on the professional wrestling industry as one of the most beloved performers of his generation and an inspiration to many future professional wrestlers, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE, AAA, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Hardcore halls of fame.
Guerrero was born and raised in El Paso, where he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1985. He attended the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands University on an athletic scholarship, it was there that Guerrero entered collegiate wrestling before moving to Mexico to train as a professional wrestler. He followed in the footsteps of his brothers and father, who had wrestled in Mexico; as a boy, he would attend the wrestling promotions held by his father Gory Guerrero at the El Paso County Coliseum. Guerrero's father allowed his nephew Chavo to wrestle each other during intermissions. Guerrero began wrestling as the original Mascara Magica in CMLL until his departure in 1992, he left the company to pursue a career with AAA. Although the Mascara Magica gimmick was popular, CMLL owned the rights to the character. Guerrero appeared on a televised AAA show as Mascara Magica, only to unmask himself along with the aide of his tag team partner that night, Octagón. Being physically attacked by the opposing tag team for doing so.
In Mexico, he wrestled for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, teaming with El Hijo del Santo as the new version of La Pareja Atómica, the tag team of Gory Guerrero and El Santo. After Guerrero turned on Santo and allied with Art Barr as La Pareja del Terror, the duo became arguably the most hated tag team in lucha libre history. Along with Barr, Chicano Power, Madonna’s Boyfriend, Guerrero formed Los Gringos Locos, a villainous stable. Guerrero said that no matter how many people joined Los Gringos Locos, the stable was all about Barr. Locos feuded with El Hijo del Santo and his partner Octagón ending in a Hair vs. Mask match at the first lucha pay-per-view in America, When Worlds Collide, which they lost. Guerrero and Barr's first break would come when they were noticed in late 1994 by the owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling, Paul Heyman, were approached about wrestling for him in 1995. Barr, died before he could join ECW with Guerrero. In 1993, Guerrero began wrestling in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he was known as the second incarnation of Black Tiger.
He became more successful upon his return when he won the Best of the Super Juniors 1996 tournament of junior heavyweights. He received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion The Great Sasuke at Skydiving J, but lost the match. Guerrero won the ECW World Television Championship from 2 Cold Scorpio in his debut match for Extreme Championship Wrestling, went on to have a series of acclaimed matches with Dean Malenko before they both signed with World Championship Wrestling that year. Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship to Malenko on July 21 of that year, but Guerrero regained the title on July 28. Guerrero lost the ECW Television Championship back to 2 Cold Scorpio on August 25; the next day, they had their last match which ended in a draw in a two out of three falls match at the ECW Arena. After the match, the locker room emptied and the two were carried around the ring by their fellow wrestlers while the crowd chanted "please don't go". Guerrero debuted in WCW in 1989 as a jobber.
In 1991, he would retur
Lucha libre is the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling. Since its introduction to Mexico in the early 20th century, it has developed into a unique form of the genre, characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as "high-flying" maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States and elsewhere; the wearing of masks has developed special significance, matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling is prevalent in lucha libre matches with three-member teams, called trios. Although the term today refers to professional wrestling, it was used in the same style as the American and English term "freestyle wrestling", referring to an amateur wrestling style without the restrictions of Greco-Roman wrestling. Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores, they come from extended wrestling families who form their own stables. One such line integrated to the United States professional wrestling scene is Los Guerreros.
Lucha libre has become a loanword in English, as evidenced by works such as Los Luchadores, ¡Mucha Lucha!, Lucha Mexico and Nacho Libre. Lucha libre appears in other pop culture such as mainstream advertising: in Canada, Telus' Koodo Mobile Post Paid cell service uses a cartoon lucha libre wrestler as its spokesperson/mascot; the rules of lucha libre are similar to American singles matches. Matches can be won by pinning the opponent to the mat for the count of three, making him submit, knocking him out of the ring for a predetermined count or by disqualification. Using the ropes for leverage is illegal, once a luchador is on the ropes, his opponent must release any holds and he will not be able to pin him. Disqualifications occur when an opponent uses an illegal hold, move, or weapon, hits his opponent in the groin, uses outside interference, attacks the referee, or rips his opponent's mask off. Most matches are two out of three falls, abandoned for title bouts in North America and Japan in the 1970s.
A rule unique to lucha libre applies during tag team matches, when the legal wrestler of a team touches the floor outside the ring, a teammate may enter the ring to take his place as the legal competitor. As the legal wrestler can step to the floor willingly, there is no need for an actual tag to a teammate to bring him into a match; this allows for much more frenetic action to take place in the ring than would otherwise be possible under standard tag rules. The history of Mexican wrestling dates back to 1863, during the French Intervention in Mexico, Enrique Ugartechea, the first Mexican wrestler and invented the Mexican lucha libre from the Greco-Roman wrestling. In the early 1900s, professional wrestling was a regional phenomenon in Mexico until Salvador Lutteroth founded the Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre in 1933, giving the sport a national foothold for the first time; the promotion company flourished and became the premier spot for wrestlers. As television surfaced as a viable entertainment medium during the 1950s, Lutteroth was able to broadcast his wrestling across the nation, subsequently yielding a popularity explosion for the sport.
Moreover, it was the emergence of television that allowed Lutteroth to promote lucha libre’s first breakout superstar into a national pop-culture phenomenon. In 1942, lucha libre would be forever changed when a silver-masked wrestler, known as El Santo, first stepped into the ring, he made his debut in Mexico City by winning an 8-man battle royal. The public became enamored by the mystique and secrecy of Santo's personality, he became the most popular luchador in Mexico, his wrestling career spanned nearly five decades, during which he became a folk hero and a symbol of justice for the common man through his appearances in comic books and movies, while the sport received an unparalleled degree of mainstream attention. Other legendary luchadores who helped popularize the sport include Gory Guerrero, credited with developing moves and holds which are now commonplace in professional wrestling, he achieved international fame as one of the first high-flyers, something he was not considered in Mexico, where he fell under the mat-power category.
Luchadores are traditionally more agile and perform more aerial maneuvers than professional wrestlers in the United States, who more rely on power and hard strikes to subdue their opponents. The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that luchadores in the cruiserweight division are the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre. Luchadores execute characteristic high flying attacks by using the wrestling ring's ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, applying complex submission holds. Rings used in lucha libre lack the spring supports added to U. S. and Japanese rings.