Blue Demon

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Blue Demon
BlueDemonMask.png
A replica of the mask worn by Blue Demon.
Birth name Alejandro Muñoz Moreno[1]
Born April 24, 1922[2]
García, Nuevo León, Mexico[2]
Died December 16, 2000(2000-12-16) (aged 78)[3][2]
Mexico City, Mexico[4]
Cause of death Myocardial infarction[5][1]
Spouse(s) Gregoria Moreno[4]
Children Blue Demon Jr. (adopted)[5][1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Alejandro Cruz[2]
Blue Demon ("Demonio Azul")[5]
Billed height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)[5][4]
Billed weight 77 kg (170 lb)[5]
Trained by Rolando Vera[5]
Debut March 31, 1948[5][1]
Retired August 27, 1989[5]

Alejandro Muñoz Moreno (April 24, 1922 – December 16, 2000), better known by the ring name Blue Demon (Demonio Azul in Spanish), was a Mexican film actor and luchador enmascarado (Spanish for masked professional wrestler). Blue Demon was one of the original "big three" of the lucha libre tradition in Mexico (the other two being El Santo and Mil Máscaras). He was affectionately referred to as "Blue" and was known for his signature blue wrestling mask.[3][5]

Early life[edit]

Alejandro Muñoz Moreno was born April 24, 1922 in García, Nuevo León, Mexico.[6] He was the child of farmers and was the fifth of twelve children. At a young age, Alejandro dropped out of school and moved to Monterrey, where his uncle gave him a job working on the National Railroad. His co-workers gave him the nickname 'Manotas', referring to his large, powerful hands.[6][2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

A graphic drawing of Blue Demon.

A chance meeting with the famous Mexican wrestler Rolando Vera piqued his interest in Lucha Libre, Vera even offering to tutor him and help him start a career. He began wrestling without a mask in Laredo, Texas. His first match was against Chema Lopez on March 12, 1948.[6] Adopting the mask and persona of The Blue Demon, he headed back to Mexico to start a full time in ring career. His first appearance as The Blue Demon was in Mexico City in September 1948, where he fought Benny Arcilla. Blue Demon began his career in the ring as a rudo (a bad guy).[7] [8] From there, he formed a tag team with another masked luchador named The Black Shadow, and the two became known as Los Hermanos Shadow (The Shadow Brothers).[6]

In 1952, the famous wrestler Santo beat and unmasked Black Shadow in the ring, which triggered Blue's decision to become a técnico (a good guy) in the ring, and a legendary feud between The Blue Demon and Santo was started.[7][8] The storyline feud between the two culminated with Blue Demon defeating el Santo in a well-publicized series of matches in 1952 and 1953. In 1953, Blue won the NWA World Welterweight Championship from Santo, and held it until 1958.[6][9] Their rivalry never entirely abated in later years (although they co-starred over the years in a number of Mexican horror films) since Santo always remembered his defeat at the Blue Demon's hands.[7][8][7]

During the 1960s, one of Blue Demon's rivals was el Rayo de Jalisco. In 1988, the year he retired, Blue Demon defeated Jalisco in a mask vs. mask match, taking the mask of another of Mexico's wrestling legends.[8][7][10][11]

Blue Demon retired from the ring in 1989, aged 67, at the Monterrey Arena, where he appeared in a final match, teaming up with his adoptive son, Blue Demon Jr..[6]

Acting career[edit]

Blue Demon first appeared in cameos in a couple of luchador films released in 1961-1962, "The Killers of Lucha Libre" and "Fury in the Ring", in which he was one of several wrestlers more or less in the background. But in 1964, Enrique Vergara, the producer of the then-successful Santo movies, decided to diversify by allowing the 42-year-old Blue Demon to star in a series of luchador films of his own. The plots of the Blue Demon films are thought to be extremely similar to those of Santo's films. Santo was asking for a salary increase at the time and Vergara wanted to cultivate a second movie star.[12][13]

From 1964 to 1977, Blue Demon starred in a total of 25 action/horror/science fiction films. Of those 25 films, Santo co-starred with him in nine of them. In three of his films, Blue Demon starred as the leader of a squadron of masked superheroes known as Los Campeones Justicieros (The Champions of Justice). Membership in the Champions included such legendary Mexican wrestling figures as Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras, Tinieblas, Rayo de Jalisco, El Medico Asesino, El Fantasma Blanco, El Avispon Escarlata and Superzan.[14] In 1989, Blue Demon was the subject of a feature-length Mexican documentary entitled Blue Demon, the Champion (1989).[15]

Death[edit]

Muñoz died just before noon on Saturday, December 16, 2000, from natural causes.[3] He suffered a fatal heart attack on a park bench near a subway kiosk while on his way home from his regular morning training session at The Blue Demon Instituto Atletico, where he was teaching others his fighting skills. Although an attempt was made to get him to a hospital, he was unable to be revived. He was 78 years old. Blue Demon was buried wearing his trademark blue mask, the mask he never removed in public as he always kept his true identity a secret.[8]

Legacy[edit]

The Blue Demon mask icon used on Wikipedia

Blue Demon is considered one of the biggest legends of lucha libre second only to El Santo in terms of popularity and influence both in and outside of Mexico.[7][8] Through Blue Demon Jr. the distinctive blue and silver mask image has been spread across the world as an instantly recognizable symbol of Lucha libre.[7][8][Note 1] On October 27, 2000, only months before Muñoz' death, CMLL held the first ever Leyenda de Azul ("The Blue Legend") tournament in honor of Blue Demon. [16][17]The tournament has been held on a semi-regular basis ever since,[16] first endorsed by Blue Demon Jr. and later endorsed by Muñoz' son Alfredo Muñoz after Blue Demon Jr. stopped working for CMLL. In 2018 Blue Demon Jr. announced that his son was training for a wrestling career and would be known as "Blue Demon III", but was still at least a year away from making his debut.[18]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Blue Demon (mask) Jorge Allende (hair) Unknown Live event Unknown [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Moloch (mask) Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico Live event Unknown [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Baby Olson (hair) Unknown Live event Unknown [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Tony Borne (hair) Unknown Live event November 27, 1953 [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Cavernario Galindo (hair) Unknown Live event March 12, 1954 [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Conde Giuseppe Daidone (beard) Mexico City, Mexico Live event March 12, 1955 [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Espanto II (hair) Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico EMLL Show June 1964 [23][24]
Blue Demon (mask) Espectro II (mask) Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico Live event December 3, 1971 [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Máquina Salvaje (mask) Mexico City, Mexico Live event December 2, 1979 [23]
Blue Demon (mask) Rayo de Jalisco (mask) Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico Live event July 30, 1989 [23][11]
Blue Demon (mask) Matemático (mask) Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico Live event August 27, 1989 [23][25]
Blue Demon (mask) Matemático (hair) Mexico City, Mexico Live event September 6, 1989 [Note 2][23]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Original Title English title Role Notes
1961 La Furia del Ring The Fury of the Ring Himself [15]
1962 Asesinos de la Lucha Libre Wrestling Assassins Himself [15]
1965 Demonio Azul Blue Demon Himself [15]
1966 Blue Demon vs. el Poder Satánico Blue Demon vs. the Satanic Power Himself [15]
1968 La Sombra del Murciélago The Shadow of the Bat Himself [15]
Arañas Infernales Hellish Spiders Himself Final black and white film[15]
Blue Demon Contra Cerebros Infernales Blue Demon vs. The Infernal Brains Himself First color film[15]
Blue Demon Contra las Diabólicas Blue Demon vs. The Diabolical Women Himself [15]
Blue Demon: Destructor de Espías Blue Demon: Destroyer of Spies Himself [15]
Pasaporte a la Muerte Passport to Death Himself [15]
1969 Blue Demon y las Invasoras Blue Demon and the Invaders Himself [15]
1970 Santo Contra Blue Demon en la Atlántida Santo vs. Blue Demon in Atlantis Himself [15]
Santo y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos Santo and Blue Demon vs. the Monsters Himself [15]
Santo y Blue Demon en el Mundo del los Muertos Santo and Blue Demon in the World of the Dead El Caballero Azul (The Blue Knight) [15]
1971 Los Campeones Justicieros The Champions of Justice Himself [15]
1972 Vuelven los Campeones Justicieros The Champions of Justice Return Himself [15]
Las Momias de Guanajuato The Mummies of Guanajuato Himself [15]
1973 Blue Demon y Zovek en La Invasión de los Muertos Blue Demon and Zovek in The Invasion of the Dead Himself [15]
Santo y Blue Demon contra Drácula y el Hombre Lobo Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolfman Himself [15]
Las Bestias del Terror The Beasts of Terror Himself [15]
1974 El Triunfo de los Campeones Justicieros Triumph of the Champions of Justice Himself [15]
Santo y Blue Demon Contra el Doctor Frankenstein Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dr. Frankenstein Himself [15]
1975 Noche de Muerte Night of Death Himself [15]
La Mafia Amarilla The Yellow Mafia Himself [15]
1976 El Hijo de Alma Grande The Son of Alma Grande Himself [15]
1977 La Mansion de las 7 Momias The Mansion of the Seven Mummies Himself [15]
1979 Misterio en las Bermudas Mystery in the Bermuda Triangle Himself [15]
1989 Blue Demon, el Campeón Blue Demon, The Champion Himself Documentary, direct-to-video[15]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ On Wikipedia the Blue Demon mask is used for many pro wrestling related tags and notices
  2. ^ Triangle match that also included Rayo de Jalisco

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Harris M. Lentz III (21 October 2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4766-0505-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Harris M. Lentz III (1 June 2001). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2000: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7864-1024-8. 
  3. ^ a b c "SLAM! Wrestling International -- 2000: The Year-In-Review Mexico". Canoe.com. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Tim Hornbaker (3 January 2017). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-61321-875-4. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Blue Demon". Cagematch.net. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Madigan, Dan (2007). "Los Enmascarados (the masked men): El Demonio Azul (the Blue Demon)". Mondo Lucha a Go Go: the bizarre& honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 79–90. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Various (2005). "El Demonio Azul / Blue Demon". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. pp. 162–186. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g L.L. Staff (2008). "Lucha Libre: Conoce la historia de las leyendas de cuadrilátero". Blue Demon (1922 - 2000) (in Spanish). Mexico. p. 11. Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre. 
  9. ^ a b Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2006). "Mexico: EMLL NWA Welterweight Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 390. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  10. ^ John F. Molinaro, The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time, (Winding Stair Press: 2002), page 195.
  11. ^ a b Enciclopedia staff (October 2007). "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Rayo de Jalisco (in Spanish). Mexico. p. 6. Tomo IV. 
  12. ^ Robert Cotter (21 April 2008). The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography. McFarland. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4766-0419-0. 
  13. ^ Doyle Greene (29 May 2012). Mexploitation Cinema: A Critical History of Mexican Vampire, Wrestler, Ape-Man and Similar Films, 1957–1977. McFarland. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-1-4766-0072-7. 
  14. ^ Various (2005). "El Demonio Azul / Blue Demon". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. pp. 162–186. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Various (2005). "Furia Azul contra Capucha Dorada / the Blue Fury versus the golden hood". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. pp. 38–51. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  16. ^ a b "Leyenda de Azul 2000". ProWrestlingHistory.com. October 27, 2000. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  17. ^ Box y Lucha staff (January 9, 2001). "2000 Especial!". Box y Lucha Magazine (in Spanish). pp. 2–20. issue 2488. 
  18. ^ El Reda, Jad (May 15, 2018). "Deportes Otros Blue Demon Jr. será parte de una velada en Los Ángeles en la que recuerda a un amigo". Hoy! Los Angeles (in Spanish). Retrieved June 24, 2018. 
  19. ^ Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: National Tag Team Titles". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 396–397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  20. ^ "Los Reyes de Mexico: La Historia de Los Campeonatos Nacionales". Lucha 2000 (in Spanish). 2004-12-20. Especial 21. 
  21. ^ Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: National Welterweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 392. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  22. ^ "Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Retrieved June 23, 2018. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Luchas 2000 staff. "Luchas 2000". Blue Demon y sus Victimas (in Spanish). Juárez, Mexico: Publicaciones citem, S.A. de C.V. pp. 4 –5. Especial 30. 
  24. ^ Encyclopedia staff (July 2007). "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Los Espantos (in Spanish). Mexico. pp. 27–28. Tomo II. 
  25. ^ Enciclopedia staff (October 2007). "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Matemático (in Spanish). Mexico. p. 31. Tomo III. 

External links[edit]