Origins of Lucha Libre In The Chicago Area

Origins of Lucha Libre In The Chicago Area

It is said this sport “Lucha Libre Mexicana” arrived in Mexico in 1863 during The French Intervention. However, we also found in archives that in 1910 the company of the Italian Champion Giovanni Relesevitch arrived at El Teatro Principal. In that same year Colon Antonio Fournier also arrived bringing with him El Conde Koma y Nabutaka el Choque from different companies, great emotions.

In 1921 Constand Le Marin also arrived in Mexico bringing with him Leon Navarro, Al Romano Sond and others as well. In 1930 another athlete of color arrived named George Gadfrey accompanied by Sargeant Russell.  Historians claim this is how Lucha Libre was born in Mexico

Chicago is a cosmopolitan city where immigrants bring from their countries the origin of their traditions and Lucha Libre is not the exception. Thanks to Baltazar “Pulgarcito” Luna and Arturo “Paquin” Mendoza this spectacular industry arrived at this city.

For the very first time in 1969 El Coliseo on Wabash and 14the street introduced us in the Chicago area to Mexican gladiators, Luchadores. The famous cards boasted names like “Profesor El Santo” accompanied by his inseparable partner ‘Gory Guerrero“, who were victorious over “Potro de Hierro” Ray Mendoza and the father of aerial lucha libre style, Black Shadow.

Paquin Mendoza continued promoting this spectacle we would call lucha libre in this city and surrounding areas like Waukegan bringing in well known wrestlers like  Mil Mascaras, Villanos I and II, Enrique Vera, locals like Black Guzman, and female luchadoras like the late Chela Salazar, and long  Jarochita Rivero, Irma Aguilar & Irma Gonzalez- known as “Las Irmas“, Vicky Carranza and Lola Gonzalez.

The famous Aragon and Uptown Theatres where breaking testimonial grounds for these grand events that afficionados of the old guard still remember to this day.

After these originating promoters emerged others followed with a little less fortune like Omega Lucha Libre.

The luchador Chacho Herodes set up barracks for his luchadors mostly at Los Globos in Little Village, the west side hispanic neighborhood of Chicago.  Don Jaime Santillana with with his company ran Triple L and a few other promotions as well, which names fail my memory at the moment.

Current promotions like, El MEX, El Coleccionista and Arenas de Chicago Lucha Libre along with FMLL, Fuerza Mexicana Lucha Libre are the feds that bring Chicago’s local scene some of the best Lucha Libre entertainment, best Mexican Luchadores along with some of Chicago’s best American wrestling talent that are regulars like El Nuevo Ciudadano, The Great Malaki and The Great Cheyenne. Together this crew and these local feds make the public eager to come back for more spectacular events and fill the arena at the main stay with a regular crowd of about 3,000 at every event. Our afficionados, regular fans at The Congress Theatre and Chitown Los Globos revitalize our faith in the present day lucha libre era on the Chicago scene.

These current promoters have broadened their base to reach out to surrounding areas like Waukegan, Elgin, Minnesota and Milwaukee. If you are looking for a fun family time see you at the next event! Come and join in the fun and support your local wrestlers, luchadores.

Peace! Written by Pancho Arenas  Translation brought to you by none other than “THE BEAST, The Great Cheyenne

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