Velázquez wearing the Mexican National Middleweight Championship
|Birth name||Jesús Velázquez Quintero|
|Born||February 22, 1910|
Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
|Died||May 26, 1972 (aged 62)|
Mexico City, Mexico
|Cause of death||Cirrhosis|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||El Murciélago Enmascarado|
|Billed height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Billed weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Trained by||Casino de la Policía|
|Debut||April 18, 1938|
Jesús Velázquez Quintero (February 22, 1910 – May 26, 1972), better known under the ring names El Murciélago Enmascarado ("The Masked Bat" in Spanish) and Murciélago Velázquez ("Bat Velázquez"), was a Mexican luchador or professional wrestler who was active from 1938 until 1956. Velázquez was the fourth wrestler in Mexico to wear a wrestling mask and the second Mexican to work as an enmascarado ("masked wrestler") in the history of lucha libre. He became the first wrestler in Mexico to be forced to unmask, losing a lucha de apuestas, or "Bet match" to Octavio Gaona, creating the most prestigious match type in lucha libre. He once held the Mexican National Middleweight Championship and after his retirement was the head of the Mexico City boxing and wrestling commission for a while.
Near the end of his in-ring career Velázquez began acting in various Mexican films, including several Luchador films, working both with El Santo and Blue Demon. He also became involved in the creative aspects of movie making, writing several screenplays and stories over the years. The last movie he wrote the story for, La mujer del diablo, opened two years after his death.
Professional wrestling career
Jesús Velázquez made his professional wrestling debut on April 3, 1938 in the original Arena México, working for Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL). He started out his career wrestling as the enmascarado (Masked) character "El Murciélago Enmascarado", or "The Masked Bat". Velázquez was the fourth wrestler in Mexico to wrestle in a mask, and the second Mexican wrestler to do so, second only to "El Enmascarado" (The Masked Wrestler). Velázquez was one of the first native Mexicans to really play up the show aspects of lucha libre, wearing a black leather vest with a hood as he would stalk towards the ring and wrestle in black trunks and mask. His entrance theatrics would at times include him hiding a couple of live bats under his vest, releasing them in the arena during his in-ring introduction, letting them fly free among the audience. His rough, brutal in-ring wrestling style added to the aura of El Murciélago Enmascarado, quickly pushing him up the rankings as he was wrestler that drew fans by the fact that they wanted to see him lose. Within a few months of his debut he was wrestling against some of the top names in EMLL such as Bobby Bonales and Dientes Hernández. One of the defining moments of Velázquez' early career was his storyline feud with Merced Gómez that began only a few weeks after his debut. During a match against Gómez a kick from Velázquez hit Gómez in the face, knocking him down. Moments later the crowd was shocked to discover that Gómez' eye was missing, supposedly from the brutal kick from Velázquez. Gómez had actually lost the eye due to boxing several years prior and had a glass eye that he popped out after the kick to give the impression that Velázquez caused him to lose an eye. Some lucha magazines tried to claim that it was Gómez "good eye" that had been injured in the match, trying to keep the illusion that it was a legitimate injury, but the fact that Gómez would continue to wrestle for years underscored the fact that this was indeed a storyline. The storyline had its desired effect, portraying El Murciélago Enmascarado as a heartless villain or rudo. In 1939 Velázquez participated in a tournament for the vacant Mexican National Middleweight Championship where he defeated the likes of Jack O'Brien and Ciclón Veloz but lost to eventual tournament winner Dientes Hernández. During the early parts of his career Velázquez also worked as a policeman, both to make money but also to gain access to the Casino de la Policia training facilities to further his physical abilities in the ring.
In 1940 EMLL began a storyline between El Murciélago Enmascarado and Octavio Gaona that would lead to one of the pivotal moments of the early years of lucha libre. In the United States masked wrestlers were common place and there had been matches where a masked wrestler was forced to unmask as far back as 1926 where Jim Londos defeated the Masked Marvel and he was forced to reveal himself to be Ray Steele. The storyline between played out in a way that the brutal rudo Murciélago drew the normally more technical Gaona into a series of brawls, matches that often ended inconclusively. After a particularly violent match Gaona challenged Murciélago to put his mask on the line in a match. With El Murciélago being lighter than Gaona he demanded that Gaona put his hair on the line as well. With the challenge the Lucha de Apuestas or "Bet match" was created. In the build up to the high profile match El Murciélago Enmascarado faced and defeated a number of other wrestlers in Luchas de Apuestas matches leaving Merced Gómez, Bobby Bonales, Dientes Hernández and Ciclón Veloz bald as a result as they built to the match with Gaona. On July 14, 1940, Gaona defeated El Murciélago Enmascarado, forcing him to unmask after the match and reveal his birth name, something that became a lucha libre tradition. Since then Apuesta matches have become the highest profile match in Mexico; winning the mask of an opponent is considered a higher achievement than winning a championship match. After being unmasked he modified his ring name to Murciélago Velázquez and continued to be a hated rudo wrestler as his natural charisma was even more obvious without the mask.
In 1942 Velázquez would gain a measure of revenge on Octavio Gaona when he defeated Gaona in the finals of a tournament for the vacant Mexican National Middleweight Championship. In the late 1930s a young wrestler, Rodolfo Guzmán, began working as El Murciélago II in and around Mexico City, but Velázquez complained to the Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Commission that the name was too close to his own ring name and that Velázquez had not given permission for the use. The Commission ruled that Velázquez had the rights to the name, forcing Guzmán to choose a different name. Guzmán adopted a new ring character, El Santo, and in subsequent years became one of the most popular wrestlers in Mexico. By 1943 EMLL paired the two up for a long running feud that saw the masked El Santo defeat Velázquez in a Luchas de Apuestas match in January 1943, leaving Velázquez bald as a result. Two months later, on March 19, 1943, El Sando won the Mexican National Middleweight Championship from Velázquez as well. By 1943 other Mexican wrestlers, such as El Santo, rose to the top relegating Murciélago Velázquez to the lower ranks, working shows all over Mexico but not making as many headlines as his heyday from 1937 through 1942. In 1955 he experienced a career resurgence, teaming with Samar Saleem, forming a tag team that quickly gained a reputation for disregarding the rules and engaging in out of control brawls with their opponents. The team received a push from the promoters as they were given victories over Cavernario Galindo and El Verdungo, another team known for their wild wrestling style, as well as "Tough" Tony Borne and Tony Barbetta, El Santo and Pancho Valentino, Los Hermano Shadow ("The Shadow Brothers"; Black Shadow and Blue Panther) and the team of Tarzán López and Enrique Llanes. One particular match, against López and Henry Pilusso, got so out of hand and bloody that the Mexico City wrestling and boxing commissioner Manuel Muñoz decided to ban both Velázquez and Saleem from wrestling in Mexico City for life. The ban ended the team of Velázquez and Saleem as Velázquez left professional wrestling a short time later to become an actor.
While he retired from in-ring competition in 1955 he never truly left lucha libre. Over the years he trained wrestlers such as Dick Angelo, Fili Espinoza and Humberto Garza. He also worked in several luchador films in his acting career. In the early 1960s he was the Distrito Federal boxing and wrestling commissioner, going from being a hated rule breaker to the highest authority.
In 1957 Velázquez had a small, uncredited role in a Mexican movie called Ladron de Cadaveres ("The Body Snatcher") before making his first credited on screen appearance in La momia Azteca where he played a villain known as El Murciélago and being billed as "Murciélago" Velázquez, taking his ring name onto the silver screen. Over the next 10 years Velázquez had roles in a number of different films, including luchador films starring El Santo and Blue Demon. During this time period he also began writing screenplays and stories, the first being Triunfa la pandilla ("The triumphant gang") that premiered in 1963. Among his other credits were El mundo de los vampiros ("The world of Vampires"), Tlayucan and Santo contra los jinetes del terror ("Santo vs. the Riders of Terror"). the final movie he wrote the story for, La mujer del diablo ("The Devil Woman"), opened in 1974 a year after Velázquez' death.
While Velázquez' in-ring character was brutal and bloodthirsty, the man behind the character was the complete opposite, something not revealed publicly until years after his death. His wrestling peers described him as very friendly and well-read. Velázquez stayed active, writing movie scripts and various stories until his death on May 27, 1972. The autopsy revealed that Velázquez died from cirrhosis of the liver which led to a heart attack.
Championships and accomplishments
Luchas de Apuestas record
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask)||Merced Gómez (hair)||Mexico City||EMLL show||June 23, 1940|||
|El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask)||Bobby Bonales (hair)||Mexico City||EMLL show||June 30, 1940|||
|El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask)||Dientes Hernández (hair)||Mexico City||EMLL show||July 4, 1940|||
|El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask)||Ciclón Veloz (hair)||Mexico City||EMLL show||July 11, 1940|||
|Octavio Gaona (hair)||El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask)||Mexico City||EMLL show||July 18, 1940|||
|El Santo (mask)||Murciélago Velázquez (hair)||Mexico City||EMLL show||January 1943|||
|Year||Original title||English title||Role||Notes||Refs.|
|1957||Ladron de Cadaveres||The Body Snatcher||Uncredited|||
|1957||La momia azteca||The Aztec Mummy||El Murciélago||Credited as Murcielago Velazquez|||
|1957||La maldición de la momia azteca||The Curse of the Aztec Mummy||El Murciélago||credited as Murcielago Velázquez|||
|1957||Furias desatadas||Fury Unleased||Credited as Jesús Velázquez|
|1958||La momia azteca contra el robot humano||The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy||El Murciélago||Credited as Murcielago Velázquez|||
|1959||El hombre del alazán||The sorrel man|
|1960||Los Tigres del Ring||Tigers of the Ring||Credited as Jesús Velázquez|
|1960||Ladrón que roba a ladrón||To rob a thief||Uncredited|||
|1960||El torneo de la muerte||The tournament of death||Credited as Jesús Velázquez|
|1961||Guantes de oro||Golden Gloves||Credited as Jesús 'Murcielago' Velázquez|
|1962||Camino de la horca||Road to the gallows||Uncredited|
|1963||El señor Tormenta||Mr. Storm||Credited as Murcielago Velazquez|||
|1963||Las luchadoras contra el médico asesino||Doctor of Doom||Marcado||Credited as 'Murcielago' Velazquez|
|1964||Las Luchadoras contract la momia||Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy||Mao||Credited as Murcielago Velasquez|
|1966||Duelo de pistoleros||Duel of the gunmen||Toribio|||
|1967||La isla de los dinosaurios||The island of the dinosaurs||Caveman|
|1968||La Sombra del murcielago||The Shadow of the Bat||Entrenador del murcielago||Credited as Murcielago Velazquez|||
|1968||Blue Demon contra cerebros infernales||Blue Demon vs the internal brains||Credited as Jesus Velazquez 'El Murcielago'|||
|Year||Original title||English title||Wrote||Notes||Refs.|
|1959||Triunfa la pandilla||The triumphant gang||Screenplay|||
|1959||La pandilla se divierte||The gang has fun||Screenplay|||
|1959||La pandilla en acción||The gang in action||Screenplay|||
|1959||Aventuras de la pandilla||Adventures of the gang||Screenplay|||
|1960||Venganza fatal||Fatal Vengeance||Story||Credited as Jesus Murcielago Velazquez|
|1961||El duende y yo||The Goblin and I||Story|||
|1961||El mundo de los vampiros||The world of vampires||Story|||
|1963||El señor Tormenta||Mr. Storm||Story||Credited as Jesús Murcielago Velazquez|||
|1963||Tesoro de mentiras||Tresury lies||Story|
|1964||Yo, el valiente||I, the brave||Adaptation|
|1965||Los Tales por cuales||The tales by which||Story||Credited as Jesus Velazquez|
|1965||El pozo||The Well||Story|
|1965||Las lobas del ring||The wolves of the ring||Scenario / Adaptation|||
|1965||Audaz y bravero||Bold and brave||Adaptation|
|1966||Esta noche no||Not tonight||Adaptation|
|1967||Mi caballo prieto rebelde||My black horse rebel||Story / Adaptation||Credited as Jesus Murcielago Velazquez|
|1967||Los hombres de Lupe Alvírez||The men of Lupe Alvirez||Credited as Jesus Murcielago Velazquez|
|1967||El centauro Pancho Villa||Pancho Villa the Centaur||Story /Screenplay||Credited as Jesús Murcielago Velázquez|
|1968||La Sombra del murcielago||The Shadow of the Bat||Screenplay||Credited as Jesus Murcielago Velazquez|||
|1969||El Yaqui||The Yaqui||Writer|
|1969||La maestra inolvidable||The Unforgettable master||Writer|
|1970||Santo contra los jinetes del terror||Santo vs. the Riders of Terror||Screenplay / Story||Credited as Jesus Velazquez Quintero|||
|1974||La mujer del diablo||Devil Woman||Story|
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