Murciélago Velázquez

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Murciélago Velázquez
MurcielagoVelazquez.jpg
Birth nameJesús Velázquez Quintero
Born(1910-02-22)February 22, 1910
Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
DiedMay 26, 1972(1972-05-26) (aged 62)
Mexico City, Mexico
Cause of deathCirrhosis
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)El Murciélago Enmascarado
Murciélago Velázquez
Billed height170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Billed weight75 kg (165 lb)
Trained byCasino de la Policía
DebutApril 18, 1938
Retired1956

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[edit]

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).[1][2] 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.[3] 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.[3] 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.[1][2] 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.[2][3] 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.[3] The storyline had its desired effect, portraying El Murciélago Enmascarado as a heartless villain or rudo.[3] 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.[4] 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.[2]

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.[5] 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.[6][7] 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.[1] 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.[6][7] 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.[5][7] 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.[2]

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.[4][8] 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.[9] Guzmán adopted a new ring character, El Santo, and in subsequent years became one of the most popular wrestlers in Mexico.[9] 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.[4][8] 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.[2] 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.[3] The ban ended the team of Velázquez and Saleem as Velázquez left professional wrestling a short time later to become an actor.[3]

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.[2] 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.[3]

Movie career[edit]

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.[3][10] Over the next 10 years Velázquez had roles in a number of different films, including luchador films starring El Santo and Blue Demon.[2] During this time period he also began writing screenplays and stories, the first being Triunfa la pandilla ("The triumphant gang") that premiered in 1963.[10] 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.[10]

Personal life[edit]

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.[3] 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.[2]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask) Merced Gómez (hair) Mexico City EMLL show June 23, 1940 [6]
El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask) Bobby Bonales (hair) Mexico City EMLL show June 30, 1940 [6]
El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask) Dientes Hernández (hair) Mexico City EMLL show July 4, 1940 [6]
El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask) Ciclón Veloz (hair) Mexico City EMLL show July 11, 1940 [6]
Octavio Gaona (hair) El Murciélago Enmascarado (mask) Mexico City EMLL show July 18, 1940 [6]
El Santo (mask) Murciélago Velázquez (hair) Mexico City EMLL show January 1943 [11]

Filmography[edit]

Actor

Year Original title English title Role Notes Refs.
1957 Ladron de Cadaveres The Body Snatcher Uncredited   [10][12]
1957 La momia azteca The Aztec Mummy El Murciélago Credited as Murcielago Velazquez [13]
1957 La maldición de la momia azteca The Curse of the Aztec Mummy El Murciélago credited as Murcielago Velázquez [13]
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 [13]
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   [10]
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 [10]
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   [10]
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 [14]
1968 Blue Demon contra cerebros infernales Blue Demon vs the internal brains   Credited as Jesus Velazquez 'El Murcielago' [15]

Writer

Year Original title English title Wrote Notes Refs.
1959 Triunfa la pandilla The triumphant gang Screenplay   [10]
1959 La pandilla se divierte The gang has fun Screenplay   [10]
1959 La pandilla en acción The gang in action Screenplay   [10]
1959 Aventuras de la pandilla Adventures of the gang Screenplay   [10]
1960 Venganza fatal Fatal Vengeance Story Credited as Jesus Murcielago Velazquez  
1961 El duende y yo The Goblin and I Story   [10]
1961 El mundo de los vampiros The world of vampires Story   [10]
1962 Tlayucan Tlayucan Story   [10]
1963 El señor Tormenta Mr. Storm Story Credited as Jesús Murcielago Velazquez [10]
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   [10]
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 [14]
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 [16][17]
1974 La mujer del diablo Devil Woman Story    

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Enciclopedia de las Máscaras". Murciélago Velázquez (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. October 2007. p. 37. Tomo III.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre". Murciélago Velázquez (in Spanish). Portales, Mexico. November 2008. p. 41. 17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Madigan, Dan (2007). "El Murciélago". Mondo Lucha a Go Go: the bizarre and honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 100–102. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3.
  4. ^ a b c d "Los Reyes de Mexico: La Historia de Los Campeonatos Nacionales". Lucha 2000 (in Spanish). December 20, 2004. Especial 21.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Lourdes Grobet; Alfonso Morales; Gustavo Fuentes & Jose Manuel Aurrecoechea (2005). Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Trilce. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-933045-05-4.
  7. ^ a b c Madigan, Dan (2007). "The Mask in the match". Mondo Lucha A Go-Go: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3.
  8. ^ a b c Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: National Middleweight Championship". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 392. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  9. ^ a b 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.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "VELÁZQUEZ Quintero, Jesús "Murciélago"" (in Spanish). Cine Mexicano. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  11. ^ L.L. Staff (2008). "Lucha Libre: Conoce la historia de las leyendas de cuadrilátero". Santo (1917–1984) (in Spanish). Mexico. p. 54. Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre.
  12. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (2010). "Ladron de Cadaveres (The Body Snatcher)". Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1982. McFarlane. pp. 132–133. ISBN 9780786457663.
  13. ^ a b c Rovin, Jeff (1989). The Encyclopiedia of Monsters. New York, New York: Facts on File Inc. p. 15.
  14. ^ a b Pitts, Michael R. (2010). "La Sombra del Murcielago (The Shadow of the Bat)". Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1982. McFarlane. p. 223. ISBN 9780786457663.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Various (2005). "the villain of the small screen". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. pp. 150–183. ISBN 968-6842-48-9.
  17. ^ "the Films of El Santo". D. Wilt. Retrieved February 24, 2009.