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Birth nameManuel Leal
Born (1939-06-08) June 8, 1939 (age 80)
Mexico City, Mexico
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tinieblas
el Gigante
Billed height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Billed weight109 kg (240 lb)
Trained byRafael Salamanca
Dick Medrano
DebutAugust 20, 1971

Manuel Leal (born June 8, 1939), better known as Tinieblas ("Darkness"), is a Mexican luchador.[1]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Tinieblas began as a body builder and stunt man who was spotted by luchadores Black Shadow and Dory Dixon. Impressed by Leal's physique they convinced him to begin a career as a "luchador". In 1968, "Lucha Libre" magazine editor Valente Pérez, came up with the idea of a character that would act as a rival for luchador Mil Mascaras. He created a character with a faceless hood and named him "Tinieblas" (Darkness). Perez selected the former body builder turned luchador to wrestle as that character. Tinieblas debuted as a face on August 20, 1971. He would become a large draw in Mexico and toured internationally. Tinieblas was also one of the first luchadores to tour Japan in 1974.[2]

Comic series[edit]

Tinieblas was the second luchador (after El Santo) to have a comic book series based on his character. His first comic book was printed between 1976 and 1979. In 1991, a second series titled, "Tinieblas, El Hijo de la Noche" (Tinieblas, Son of the Night) was created. It was printed until 1995. The Tinieblas comic series was relaunched in the year 2000.[3]

Film career[edit]

Tinieblas also made appearances in luchador films. In 1971, he starred as a member of a squadron of masked superheroes in the film '"Los Campeones Justicieros"' (The Champions of Justice). Membership in the Champions of Justice included such legendary Mexican wrestling figures as Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon, El Rayo de Jalisco Sr., El Medico Asesino, El Fantasma Blanco and Superzan. He guest-starred in many low-budget foreign series, such as Vendetta and Rederiet.


Tinieblas debuted at a relatively old age of 32, so he never reached the same physical peak as many other popular luchadores of his generation. However, his character remains popular with young lucha libre fans, primarily due to his appearance in comic books and films. Tinieblas still wrestles occasionally and has appeared alongside his son Tinieblas Jr.


The 2D wrestling arcade game Saturday Night Slam Masters released by Japanese game company Capcom in 1993 featured a final boss character called "El Escorpión" (The Scorpion), whose appearance was inspired by Tinieblas. The character's name in the original Japanese edition of the game was "The Astro" (アストロ, Asutoro).


  • Los Campeones justicieros (The Champions of Justice) (1971) (credited)
  • Superzan el invencible (Superzan the Invincible) (1971)
  • Una rosa sobre el ring (A Rose in the Ring) (1973) co-starring Mil Mascaras
  • El Castillo de las momias de Guanajuato (The Castle of the Mummies of Guanajuato) (1973)
  • Leyendas macabras de la colonia (Macabre Legends of the Colony) (1974) (co-starring Mil Mascaras)
  • Las Momias de San Ángel (The Mummies of San Angel) (1975)
  • El Investigador Capulina (Investigator Capulina) (1975)
  • El Puño de la muerte (Santo in "Fist of Death") (1982) co-starring Santo
  • La Furia de las karatecas (Santo in "Fury of the Karate Experts") (1982) co-starring Santo

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Lucha de Apuesta record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Tinieblas (mask) El Internacional (mask) N/A Live event N/A  
Tinieblas (mask) TNT (hair) Mexico City Live event July 24, 1973  
Tinieblas (mask) Red Terror (mask) N/AUnknown Live event April 24, 1982  
Tinieblas (mask) Super Máquina (hair) Mexico City Live event November 13, 1983  
Tinieblas (mask) Bill Anderson (hair) Los Angeles, California Live event 1987  
Tinieblas (mask) Abdullah Tamba (hair) Los Angeles, California Live event 1987  
Tinieblas (mask) Médico Asesino Jr. (mask) Torreón, Coahuila Live event April 4, 1999  
Tinieblas (mask) El Enfermero 2001 (mask) Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua Live event January 21, 2001 [Note 1]
Tinieblas (mask) Zombie II (mask) Ensenada, Baja California Live event January 24, 2003 [Note 2]


  1. ^ Relevos Suicidas against Máscara Sagrada and Fishman Jr.
  2. ^ finals of a 12 wrestler Ruleta Rusa


General sources - Championship Information
  • Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 389–402. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
General sources - Career
  • Madigan, Dan (2007). "Los Enmascarados (the masked men): Tinieblas". Mondo Lucha A Go-Go: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3.
  • "El Gigante Sabio / the Wise Giant". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2005. pp. 125–131. ISBN 968-6842-48-9.
  • "Lucha Libre: Conoce la historia de las leyendas de cuadrilátero". Tinieblas (1939) (in Spanish). Mexico. 2008. p. 61. Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre.