An unmasked Ángel Blanco wearing a championship belt
|Birth name||José Ángel Vargas Sánchez|
|Born||August 2, 1938
Atoyac, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||April 26, 1986
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico
|Family||Ángel Blanco Jr. (son)
El Hijo de Ángel Blanco I (son)
El Hijo de Ángel Blanco II (son)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Ángel Blanco
El Gato Negro
El Ranchero Vargaz
|Trained by||Diablo Velasco
José Ángel Vargas Sánchez (August 2, 1938 – April 26, 1986) was a Mexican Luchador or professional wrestler best known under the ring name Angel Blanco. Vargas is the father-in-law of the first Ángel Blanco, Jr. and the father of the current Ángel Blanco, Jr. and Hijo del Ángel Blanco I and II and the grandfather of Horus. Vargas made his professional wrestling debut in 1958 and worked for the majority of his career for the Mexican professional wrestling promotion Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL). As Ángel Blanco he worked most of his career as an enmascarado, or masked wrestler until losing his mask to El Solitario 1972. Along with Dr. Wagner, Vargas formed one of the premier tag teams of the 1960s and 1970s called La Ola Blanca (Spanish for "the White Wave").
José Vargas was born on August 2, 1938, son of Francisco Vargas and Francisca Sánchez, in the small town of Atoyac, Jalisco, Mexico. Growing up in Jalisco he became a fan of Lucha libre which was the most popular pastime of the 1930s and 1940s. When he was old enough he began training under famous Jalisco wrestling trainer Diablo Velasco and Miguel Navarrete.
Professional wrestling career
By 1960 Vargas was ready to make his professional wrestling debut, choosing the name "Ranchero" Vargas as his ring name. In 1962 Vargas became an enmascarado, or masked wrestler, when he adopted the ring persona "Gato Negro" (Spanish for "Black Cat"). His run as a masked wrestler came to an end after less than a year when Vargas lost a Luchas de Apuesta (bet match) to José Gómez and was forced to unmask afterwards. Following his stint as Gato Negro he began working as "Cruz Diablo", teaming with Black Gordman to form Los Hermanos Diablo ("The Devil Brothers").
Vargas worked as Cruz Diablo until Gonzalo González, a promoter in Torreón, decided to rename him Ángel Blanco ("White Angel"), giving him a pristine white mask and outfit. One of Ángel Blanco's early tag team partners was El Enfermero ("The nurse"), with whom Ángel Blanco replaced his previous partner Médico Asesino who had died in 1964.
La Ola Blanca
In early 1966 Ángel Blanco began teaming with another white clad wrestler, Dr. Wagner to form the team La Ola Blanca ("The White Wave"). The team quickly became one of the most well coordinated, talented teams as the two masked wrestlers' style complimented each other so well. La Ola Blanca began headlining cards all over Mexico, drawing full crowds whenever they faced the top local talent. In late 1969 the team won a several weeks long tag team tournament to earn a shot at the Mexican National Tag Team Championship held by El Santo and Rayo de Jalisco, a team that was virtually unbeatable up until that point in time. La Ola Blanca defeated Santo and Rayo in three very closely contested falls to take the championship. Over the next couple of years La Ola Blanca defended their titles against top teams such as Mil Máscaras and Black Shadow and Los Rebeldes (René Guajardo and Karloff Lagarde). The team were voted Box y Lucha magazine's "Tag Team of the year" in 1966 and again in 1967. Early on in their career La Ola Blanco became a trio when they added El Enfermero ("The Nurse") but the trio did not last long as El Enfermero was to old to keep up with the intensity of Wagner and Ángel Blanco. La Ola Blanca would become a trio once more when rookie El Solitario joined the group. El Solitario had both the talent and the charisma to keep up with Wagner and Ángel Blanco. Beyond teaming with Dr. Wagner and El Solitario, Ángel Blanco also worked storylines with Ray Mendoza and Dory Dixon. Blanco defeated Mendoza to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship on May 9, 1969, losing it back to Ray Mendoza on Christmas Eve 1968. Ángel Blanco went on to win the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship from Raúl Reyes in 1969. By 1969 the group was the biggest Rudó team in all of Mexico, but El Solitario started to gain quite a following among the fans. El Solitario's popularity only skyrocketed when Dr. Wagner and Ángel Blanco turned on him one night during a match and attacked him. The attack on El Solitario started one of the biggest and longest running storylines in wrestling, spanning three decades. In 1972 El Solitario defeated Ángel Blanco in a Luchas de Apuesta match, unmasking him in the process. The feud between La Ola Blanca did not slow down due to the unmasking and drew full houses all over Mexico as La Ola faced El Solitario and various partners such as El Santo or Rayo de Jalisco. On October 26, 1973, Ángel Blanco finally lost the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship to Enrique Vera, ending a more than three-year-long title reign.
Following his unmasking Vargas sometimes wrestled as "Ranchero" Vargas, but kept returning to his "Ángle Blanco" name. When the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) was created by splitting away from EMLL Ángel Blanco was one of the wrestlers who left EMLL and helped make UWA a big hit in the late 1970s. By the late 1970s La Ola Blanca had split up with the two now wrestling each other instead of teaming together, even taking it so far as to defeating Ángel Blanco in an Apuesta match on January 1, 1979, leaving his former teammate bald. On November 13, 1983, Ángel Blanco became the inaugural Mexican National Cruiserweight Champion when he defeated El Insólito in the finals of a 16-man tournament. Blanco held the title for almost a year before losing it to Adorable Rubí on October 7, 1984.
On April 27, 1986, Vargas was scheduled to team with his son to face the team of Dr. Wagner and Dr. Wagner, Jr.. While driving to Monterrey from Nuevo Laredo the car carrying Vargas, González, Dr. Wagner, Mano Negra, and Jungla Negra crashed when one of the tires exploded. Vargas, the driver of the car, was killed on impact while González suffered severe spinal damage and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The remaining three wrestlers, all passengers in the back seat, only suffered minor injuries from the crash. González had to have steel wires inserted into his spinal column in order to stabilize him, but the injury left him wheelchair-bound. The doctors told him he would never walk again but he would later learn to walk with the use of a cane.
Over the years several members of Vargas' family have become professional wrestlers, most of them using the "Angel Blanco" name that Vargas established. The original Ángel Blanco, Jr. was not the son, but the son-in-law of Vargas and was officially allowed to take the name. The original Ángel Blanco, Jr. is now known as Rey Salomón as Vargas son took over the Ángel Blanco, Jr.. The wrestlers working as "El Hijo de Ángel Blanco" ("The son of the White Angel") I and II are also sons of Vargas. In recent years a third generation Vargas has made his debut, son of the second Ángel Blanco, Jr. he works as Horus.
Professional wrestling highlights
Championships and accomplishments
- Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre
- NWA Los Angeles
Luchas de Apuestas record
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|José Gómez (hair)||Gato Negro (mask)||Iraputo, Guanajuato||Live event||Unknown|||
|Ángel Blanco (mask)||Tony Reyna (hair)||Unknown||Live event||Unknown|||
|La Ola Blanca (masks)
(Dr. Wagner and Ángel Blanco)
|Pantera Negra (mask) and Enrique Vera (hair)||Unknown||Live event||Unknown|||
|Ángel Blanco (mask)||Rizado Ruiz (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||May 21, 1967|||
|Ángel Blanco (mask)||El Ángel Exterminador (mask)||Mexico City, Mexico||EMLL 34th Anniversary Show||July 29, 1967|||
|Ángel Blanco (mask)||Raúl Reyes (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||July 28, 1972|||
|Ángel Blanco (mask)||Ray Mendoza (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||November 10, 1972|||
|El Solitario (mask)||Ángel Blanco (mask)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||December 8, 1972|||
|Ray and Ringo Mendoza (hair)||Ángel Blanco and Kim Chul Won (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||EMLL 40th Anniversary Show||September 21, 1973|||
|El Solitario (mask)||Ángel Blanco (hair)||Guadalajara, Jalisco||Live event||February 3, 1974|||
|La Ola Blanca
(Dr. Wagner (mask) and Ángel Blanco (hair))
|Enrique Vera (hair) and Super Star (mask)||Mexico City||EMLL 41st Anniversary Show||September 20, 1974|||
|Ray Mendoza (hair)||Ángel Blanco (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||July 6, 1975|||
|Dr. Wagner (mask)||Ángel Blanco (hair)||Naucalpan, Mexico State||Live event||January 28, 1979|||
|El Canek (mask)||Ángel Blanco (hair)||Naucalpan, Mexico State||UWA Live event||May 4, 1980|||
|Ángel Blanco (hair)||Dory Dixon (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||July 26, 1981|||
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- "Los Reyes de Mexico: La Historia de Los Campeonatos Nacionales". Lucha 2000 (in Spanish). December 20, 2004. Especial 21.
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- Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2006). "Mexico: EMLL NWA World Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 389. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
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- Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: National Cruiserweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 393. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Los Angeles: NWA Americas Tag Team Titles". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 126. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Enciclopedia staff (August 2007). "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Ángel Blanco (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. p. 14. Tomo I.
- Centinela, Teddy (May 21, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 1967: Ángel Blanco rapa a Rizado Ruiz… 1961: Gori Guerrero vs. Relámpago Cubano". SuperLuchas Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved July 1, 2015.
- "Historia de Los Aniversarios" (in Spanish). Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- Ruiz Glez, Alex (September 7, 2010). "CMLL: 79 historias, 79 Aniversario, las 79 luchas estelares". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Centinela, Teddy (July 28, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 1985: Hijo del Santo desenmascara a Aristóteles… 1972: Alfonso Dantés retiene el Campeonato Mundial Semicompleto NWA ante Ray Mendoza". SuperLuchas Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- Centinela, Teddy (May 4, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 2000: Fallece Sugi Sito… 1980: Canek vs. Ángel Blanco, máscara contra cabellera". SuperLuchas Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved July 1, 2015.