El Signo

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El Signo
Birth name Antonio Sánchez Rendón
Born (1954-09-04) September 4, 1954 (age 63)
Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) El Signo
Piromaniaco
Billed height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Billed weight 98 kg (216 lb)
Trained by Billy Robinson
Chamaco Azteca
El Carnicero
Debut September 16, 1971
Retired May 1, 2010

Antonio Sánchez Rendón (both September 4, 1954 in Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico), is a retired Mexican luchador, or professional wrestler best known under the ring name El Signo (Spanish for "The Sign"). Rendón was part of Los Misioneros de la Muerte ("The Missionaries of Death") with Negro Navarro and El Texano a team that is credited with popularizing the Trios match in Mexico to the point that it became the most common match for in Mexican Lucha Libre. Sánchez made his professional wrestling debut in 1971 and officially retired in 2010, after 38 years of active competition. At least one of Sánchez's children is also a professional wrestler, working under the name Hijo del Signo ("Son of the Sign", born 1985) since 2008.

Personal life[edit]

Most wrestlers in Mexico try to maintain a separation between their professional career and their personal life, which is also true of Antonio Sánchez Rendón, confirming only the most basic details of his life such as birth age and location etc. He was born on September 4, 1954 in Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico and trained for his professional wrestling career under Billy Robinson, Chamaco Azteca and El Carnicero. Sánchez has at least one child, a son born in 1985 who now wrestled as the enmascarado, or masked character Hijo del Signo, but since he is an enmascarado his birth name is reported on out of respect of lucha libre traditions.[1][2] It is not documented if he has other children or if he is still married to the mother of Hijo del Signo.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Sánchez made his professional wrestling debut on September 16, 1971 a few weeks after turning 17 years old. He began wrestling as the enmascarado character "El Signo" ("The Sign"), wearing a mask (most often black) with an upside down question mark on the front of it.[3] Sánchez started his wrestling career in the lighter weight divisions, often in the Lightweight or Welterweight divisions, where the official limits were around 70 kg (150 lb) and 78 kg (172 lb).[4] In 1974 El Signo lost a Luchas de Apuestas, or bet match to Gatúbedo and as a result was forced to unmask and reveal his birth name as per Lucha Libre traditions.[3] While he had unmasked he retained the ring name El Signo and began working for the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA), one of two major wrestling promotions in Mexico (the other being Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL)). In the UWA he defeated El Matemático to win the UWA World Lightweight Championship, his first championship ever.[5] During that time period he formed a regular tag team with Lobo Rubio, and the two hand an extended storyline feud with the team of El Matemático and Black Man that started with the UWA title match and came to an end on January 29, 1978 when Signo and Lobo Rubio lost a tag team Luchas de Apuestas match and both were forced to be shaved bald as a result.[3] In late 1978 El Signo vacated the UWA World Lightweight Championship for unexplained reasons, although the most likely being that he moved up into the Welterweight division and was too heavy to be considered a Lightweight. On June 24, 1979 El Signo won the UWA World Welterweight Championship from Bobby Lee, fully establishing him as a Welterweight wrestler.[6]

Los Misioneros de la Muerte[edit]

In the late 1970s the UWA promoters were noticing that rival EMLL had achieved financial and critical success with their lighter divisions, often having Lightweights or Welterweights in their main events while the UWA relied primarily on their heavyweight division for their main event matches. promoter Francisco Flores wanted to develop his own group of smaller, faster wrestlers into top level competitors and came up with the idea to team El Signo up with two similar sized wrestlers Miguel Calderón Navarro, known as Negro Navarro and Juan Conrado Aguilar Jáuregui, who was working under the name El Texano, forming a trie known as Los Misioneros de la Muerte ("The Missionaries of Death"). They were paired up against another trio of young, lightweight and high flying wrestlers, a trio of brothers dubbed Los Mosqueteros de Diablo (The Devil's Musketeers), Brazo de Oro ("Golden Hand"), Brazo de Plata ("Silver Arm") and El Brazo ("The Arm"). Early on in the storyline Brazo de Oro defeated El Texano in a Luchas de Apuestas, or bet match, which forced El Texano to unmask. The storyline expanded and saw the unmasked Misionaros clash with the masked Mosqueteros on UWA promoted cards all over Mexico. The fan reception to those matches and the positive coverage in various Lucha Libre magazines was so big that other promoters around Mexico wanted to book them on their shows, not as individuals but as teams, which was the start of the trios match becoming more and more prominent in Lucha Libre. With the team being so in demand UWA started to feature Los Misioneros more often that by 1981 Los Misioneros began working high on the card, often working the main event match starting a trend of having trios matches instead of singles matches as the regular main event match format, something that helped make that match format the most common match type in Lucha Libre since then.[2][7]

In 1981 the Los Misioneros de la Muerte name became a household name after a match in El Toreo de Quatro Caminos, UWA's main venue. During the main event Los Misioneros faced off against then 64-year-old El Santo, who was teaming up with Huracán Ramírez and Rayo de Jalisco. During the match El Santo collapsed in the middle of the ring, suffering a heart attack after a hard blow to the chest. His life was only saved due to the actions of Ramírez who administered CPR at ringside.[8] After the match the Lucha Libre magazinez, prompted by Francisco Flores, played off the real life tragedy by promoting Los Misioneros as the team that nearly killed the biggest name in Lucha Libre ever.[8] The event made the team the most hated trio in Mexico for years to come and helped fill El Torero arena to the brim when Los Misioneros teamed up with Perro Aguayo to face El Santo, Gory Guerrero, Huracán Ramírez and El Solitario in El Santo's retirement match.[8][9] Following Santo's retirement Los Misioneros feuded with the top faces (wrestlers portraying "good guy" characters) such as Los Tres Caballero (Aníbal, El Solitario and Villano III) both in trios and in individual competition. During the storyline El Solitario turned on his two partners, when he attacked El Signo with a bottle and costing Los Tres Caballeros an important match. The attack made the smaller Los Misioneros more sympathetic to the crowd, who began to support them more and more despite Los Misioneros being booked on the shows as heel characters ("bad guys"). On June 10, 1983 El Signo won the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship from El Solitario as part of their long running storyline, marking the third division El Signo had won the UWA title in.[10] He would later be stripped of the title for making an unsanctioned title defense on a non-UWA show.[10] Their popularity as a trio also led to them being invited to tour Japan, facing off against New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) light weight wrestlers such as Gran Hamada, Tiger Mask, George Takano, Akira Maeda and Osamu Kido.

In 1984 Los Misioneros won the UWA World Trios Championship for the first time, although it is not documented for exactly how long.[11] On January 1, 1985 Negro Navarro won his first singles championship, the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship, when he defeated the then champion Anibal. The title run only lasted 50 days, ending on February 25, 1985 when he lost to Mano Negra.[10] In the mid-1980s the "War" between the UWA and EMLL had cooled off enough for Los Misionerios to actually wrestle on the EMLL 53rd Anniversary Show, losing a trios Luchas de Apuestas to Ringo Mendoza, Américo Rocca and Tony Salazar.[12][13] Los Misionerios regained the UWA World Trios Championship in 1987 defeating Los Villanos (Villano III, Villano IV and Villano V), after what was considered the "peak" of Los Misionerios. With an influx of other popular trios both in the UWA and in Mexico in general Los Misioneros days on the top of the Trios scene came to an end, which was followed by the end of Los Missioneros de la Muerte in its original form. During a UWA World Trios Championship match against Los Villanos El Texano threw in the towel to save his partner El Signo any more punishment. After the match and title loss his partners turned on El Texano and attacked him after the match. The attack was done primarily to write El Texano out of the UWA storyline as he had given notice that he was leaving.

UWA Promoter Francisco Flores decided to try to keep the Los Misioneros de la Muerte team active even after the departure of El Texano and experimented with a number of different partners for Navarro and El Signo. Teaming with the masked wrestler Black Power Los Misioneros defeated Los Villanos (Villano I, Villano IV and Villano V) to win the UWA Trios Championship. Negro Navarro won the UWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship from Shu El Guerrero on December 27, 1993 and would hold that title until the promotion closed in 1995.[10] The trio held on to the Trios Championship for 454 days, until May 1, 1993 where they lost them to El Engendro, Shu El Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr., they regained the championship later that year, on December 25 and held them into 1994 where they lost the belts back to Engendro, Shu el Guerrero and Scorpio, Jr.[11] Black Power was later replaced by Rocky Santana and that version of Los Misioneros did win the UWA World Trios Championship on two occasions, holding the distinction of being the last team to hold the titles before the UWA closed in 1995.[11] After the end of the UWA Los Misioneros made a few appearances for AAA, UWA's successor of sorts and one of the two biggest wrestling promotions in Mexico along with CMLL. The appearances included a match at Triplemanía III-A where a version of Los Misioneros (Navarro, Signo and a masked wrestler called "Misionero") defeated the team of El Torero, El Mexicano and Dragón de Oro.[14]

Independent Circuit[edit]

After the closure of the UWA in 1995 Negro Navarro and El Signo split up, going their separate ways on the Independent circuit, only teaming together for special occasions. Signo joined AAA and was given a new ring character, a masked heel character called "Piromaniaco" (Pyromaniac) but he only made a few appearances under that name before reverting to his unmasked El Signo identity. In 1996 El Signo began working for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL; previously known as EMLL) during a time where CMLL were given the rights to the Mexican National Trios Championship by the Mexican boxing and wrestling commission. El Signo teamed up with Blue Panther and Fuerza Guerrera, two wrestlers with a similar background and age to compete in the tournament for the titles. On July 6, 1996 the team defeated El Brazo, Brazo de Plata and Super Electra in the tournament finals to win the championship.[15] During his time in CMLL he had an occasion to team up with Negro Navarro again, for the Salvador Lutteroth Memorial Tag Tournament held as part of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL; formerly known as EMLL)'s 1999 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas: El Santo y Salvador Lutteroth show on March 19, 1999. Navarro and El Signo teamed up to represent the "old school" wrestlers of Lutteroth's era and defeated Olímpico and Tony Rivera in the first round of the tournament. In the semi-finals they lost to eventual tournament winners Mr. Niebla and Shocker.[16] El Signo stopped working full-time for CMLL in 1999 or 2000, despite still being part of the Mexican National Trios Championship team, leaving the title to be mainly inactive and not highly promoted. El Signo made a special appearance for CMLL on March 3, 2001 on their Juicio Final ("Final Justice") show, losing the Mexican National Trios Championship to Mr. Niebla, Olímpico and Safari.[17] In 2003 El Signo worked a number of matches for AAA, including a match where the original Los Misioneros were reunited for AAA's 2003 Guerra de Titanes show where they defeated El Brazo, Sangre Chicana and Pirata Morgan.[18] In the following years El Signo primarily worked on the Mexican independent circuit, wrestling other wrestlers who were considered "Old School", wrestlers who made their debut in the mid-1980s or before. He had a number of matches against Villano III, including at least two occasions where he lost a Luchas de Apuestas against him.[19] El Signo had his last professional wrestling match on May 1, 2010 as he participated in a ten-man steel cage match that was the main event of the "El Signo Retirement Show" in Arena Neza. The match saw Halcon Dorado, Jr. lose the match and was forced to unmask.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Gatúbedo (mask) El Signo (mask) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event 1974 [3]
El Cobarde II (mask) El Signo (hair) Unknown Live event Unknown [3]
El Texano (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event Unknown [3]
Perro Aguayo (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event Unknown [22]
Rambo (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event Unknown [3]
El Signo (hair) La Gacela (hair) Unknown Live event November 20, 1977 [3]
Black Man and El Matemático (masks) El Signo and Lobo Rubio (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event January 29, 1978 [3]
El Signo (hair) Gran Hamada (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event December 17, 1978 [3]
Gran Hamada, Enrique Vera and Kobayashi (hair) Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Mexico City, Mexico UWA Live event June 7, 1981 [3][23]
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Takano, Saito and Kobayashi (hair) Mexico City, Mexico UWA Live event June 13, 1982 [3]
Villano III (mask) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event August 1, 1982 [19]
El Solitario (mask) El Signo (hair) Tijuana, Baja California UWA Live event June 12, 1983 [3]
Babe Face (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA Live event June 24, 1984 [Note 2]
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
El Dandy, Talismán and Jerry Estrada (hair) Mexico City, Mexico UWA Live event September 5, 1986 [24]
Ringo Mendoza, Américo Rocca and Tony Salazar (hair) Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
Mexico City, Mexico EMLL 53rd Anniversary Show September 19, 1986 [12][13]
El Signo (hair) Kato Kung Lee (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State UWA 14th Anniversary Show January 29, 1989 [3][25][26]
Enrique Vera (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State Live event March 4, 1990 [3]
Brazo de Oro (hair) El Signo (hair) Mexico City, Mexico Live event November 28, 1990 [3]
El Signo (hair) El Engendro (hair) Mexico City, Mexico Live event July 19, 1993 [3]
Latin Lover (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State Live event May 1, 1994 [3]
Villano III (mask) El Signo (hair) Puebla, Puebla Live event July 25, 1994 [19]
Ringo Mendoza (hair) El Signo (hair) Mexico City, Mexico Live event September 6, 1998 [3]
El Signo (hair) Brazo de Oro (hair) Oaxaca, Oaxaca Live event February 11, 2001 [3]
El Signo (hair) Challenger (mask) Oaxaca, Oaxaca Live event March 18, 2001 [3]
El Signo (hair) Challenger (hair) Oaxaca, Oaxaca Live event March 25, 2001 [3]
El Signo (hair) Ray Alcántara (hair) Oaxaca, Oaxaca Live event June 10, 2001 [3]
Villano III (hair) El Signo (hair) Mexico City, Mexico Live event July 29, 2001 [3][19]
El Solar (mask) El Signo (hair) Pachuca, Hidalgo Live event December 17, 2002 [3]
Justiciero (hair) El Signo (hair) Coacalco, Mexico State Live event June 1, 2003 [3]
Villano III (hair) El Signo (hair) Querétaro, Querétaro Live event August 13, 2004 [19]
Villano III (hair) El Signo (hair) Naucalpan, Mexico State Live event January 16, 2005 [Note 3][19][19]
El Dandy (hair) El Signo (hair) Pachuca, Hidalgo Live event September 14, 2009 [Note 4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Prior to 1997 the WWF title was promoted almost exclusively in Mexico under an agreement with the World Wrestling Federation. In 1997 the WWF decided to promote the Light Heavyweight Championship on their own shows, not officially recognizing the title lineage from before that point in time.
  2. ^ This was a Los Misioneros vs. Los Tigres trios match where the captain of teach team put their hair on the line.
  3. ^ This was a Los Misioneros vs. Los Villanos trios match where the captain of teach team put their hair on the line.
  4. ^ Last two men in a seven-man steel cage match that also included El Fantasma, El Oriental, Villano III, Villano IV and Super Muñeco.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. "Hijo de Signo". Forjando un Idolo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Madigan, Dan (2007). "Okay... what is Lucha Libre?". Mondo Lucha Libre: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 29–40. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  3. ^ 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 "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Signo (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. September 2007. p. 31. Tomo V. 
  4. ^ Arturo Montiel Rojas (2001-08-30). "Reglamento de Box y Lucha Libre Professional del Estado de Mexico" (PDF). Comisión de Box y Lucha Libre Mexico D.F. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 30, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-03. Articulo 242: "Ligero 70 kilos / Welter 78 kilos" 
  5. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Lightweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 400. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  6. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: Universal Wrestling Federation Welterweight Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  7. ^ Lano, Mike (January 20, 2006). "El Texano helped trios gain respect". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Madigan, Dan (2007). "El Santo". Mondo Lucha a Go Go: the bizarre& honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 71–78. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  9. ^ Various (2005). "The Silver Masked-Man". Lucha Libre> Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. p. 286. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: Universal Wrestling Federation Junior Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  11. ^ a b c d Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Trios Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  12. ^ a b Ruiz Glez, Alex (September 7, 2010). "CMLL: 79 historias, 79 Aniversario, las 79 luchas estelares". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). 
  13. ^ a b "Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre". Américo Rocca (in Spanish). Portales, Mexico. November 2008. p. 33. 17. 
  14. ^ "Asistencia Asesoría y Administración TripleManía". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Los Reyes de Mexico: La Historia de Los Campeonatos Nacionales". Lucha 2000 (in Spanish). December 20, 2004. Especial 21. 
  16. ^ "Salvador Lutteroth Tournament 1999". Pro Wrestling History. March 19, 1999. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ "March 2001 PPV "El Jucio Final"". Pro Wrestling History. March 30, 2001. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion Guerra de Titanes". ProWrestlingHistory.com. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "Luchas 2000". Villaño III y sus Victimas (in Spanish). Juárez, Mexico: Publicaciones citem, S.A. de C.V. pp. 24–27. Especial 30. 
  20. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Lightweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 400. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  21. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Mexico: UWA WWF World Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  22. ^ "Luchas 2000". Perro Aguayo y sus Victimas (in Spanish). Juárez, Mexico: Publicaciones citem, S.A. de C.V. pp. 12–15. Especial 30. 
  23. ^ Centella, Teddy (June 6, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 1981: Promociones Mora llega a la Arena México, Los Misioneros, pelones… Black Shadow se despide de Pantitlán" (in Spanish). SuperLuchas Magazine. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Rudos - Negro Navarro". Fuego en el Ring (in Spanish). Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  25. ^ "14th Anniversary Show". Pro Wrestling History. January 29, 1989. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ Centinela, Teddy (January 29, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 1989: Aniversario en El Toreo. Canek contra Konan por el Campeonato Mundial de Peso Completo UWA". SuperLuchas Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved July 2, 2015.