When I first started this series there were three luchadores I knew I had to talk about- the trifecta of lucha libre. So far, I have covered El Santo and his "frienemy" Blue Demon, and in this post I will talk about third member of this unholy trinity- Mil Mascaras.
Image from luchalords (El Santo, Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon)
Like the two previous entries in this Know Your Luchador series, I was never lucky enough to see Mil Mascaras fight in his prime. His work, however, has left a legacy that still stands strong and was responsible for opening doors to some of the great luchadors of today all around the world.
Image from Wikipedia
As a little kid there were two things I loved to do: get in trouble and play with my lucha libre action figures. I remember I had a ring that my father had bought me. The ring was a small plywood box with four nails half-hammered into each corner with three rubber bands stretching its perimeter acting as make-shift ropes.
Imagine this minus all the accessories, plus the sweet taste of lead infused paint that usually accompanies Mexican toys.
My ring was cheap and a safety hazard by most modern standards, but it was nevertheless the spot where some of the most epic battles that have ever taken place occurred. One day after coming back from school I remember grabbing my Mil Mascaras action figures and pinning him against a plastic dinosaur that I owned.
The match was intense. The plastic dinosaur was the crowd's favorite, but my Mil Mascaras action figure had a couple of tricks up his sleeves. The real Mil Mascaras always did too.
I don't remember the outcome of the match, but with most matches that the real Mil Mascaras fought in- it didn't matter. His matches weren't about who won or lost- on and off the ring Mil Mascaras was a showman, he knew the people paid to see a spectacle and that's exactly what he presented.
Image from Wikipedia
I've always liked Mil Mascaras' name, which can be translated to Thousand Masks. It sounds the name of a Sergio Leone character: The Man with a Thousand Masks- I'd watch that movie.
His name refers to the fact that he wore a different mask each time he walked down towards the ring. Once on the ring he would take off this "gimmick" mask to reveal his traditional mask underneath.
Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold, throughout the years many of Mil Mascaras' opponents have been critical of his style of Lucha Libre. As a soon-to-be apprentice of the arts of Lucha Libre, I am left befuddled and ask myself to whom does Lucha Libre belong? To the luchador? or to the People? Is it wrong to betray a fellow luchador for the sake of the crowd?
Check out Mil Mascaras profile at International Hero for more info.