definition of Wikipedia
|Ring name(s)||Mil Máscaras (A Thousand Masks / Man of a Thousand Masks)
|Billed height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Billed weight||111 kg (240 lb)|
July 15, 1942 |
San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
|Trained by||Diablo Velasco
|Debut||July 16, 1965|
Aaron Rodríguez (born July 15, 1942), best known as Mil Máscaras (A Thousand Masks), is a semi-retired Mexican professional wrestler and actor, who has starred in several films with fellow luchadores. He is a member of one of Mexico's most prominent wrestling families—his brothers José and Pablo respectively wrestle as Dos Caras and Sicodélico, José's son Alberto wrestles as Alberto Del Rio, and Pablo's son Aaron is better known as Sicodélico, Jr.
Mil Máscaras made his professional wrestling debut in April 1965 in Guadalajara. Máscaras became popular in Mexico for being one of the best conditioned luchadores in the heavyweight division, which was dominated by foreigners at the time. It was also his size which permitted him to wrestle in the US and Japan under the heavyweight division. Máscaras was one of the first masked luchadores outside of Mexico to play a non-heel role. He rarely resorted to rule breaking, instead relying on his repertoire of moves and counter-moves. Máscaras was also one of the first wrestlers to introduce the high-flying moves of lucha libre, such as the plancha and tope suicida, to Japanese fans. This brought him international fame as one of the first high-flyers, something he was not considered in Mexico where he fell under the mat-power category.
A year after his wrestling debut, Mil Máscaras starred in his first film, a self-titled picture. As with many luchadores, his character is that of a superhero. He has since starred in several films spanning five decades, the best known is Las Momias de Guanajuato (a reference to the actual mummies of Guanajuato).
Máscaras made his international wrestling debut in 1968 at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, getting involved in great rivalries against the likes of Ernie Ladd, John Tolos, Black Gordman, and Goliath. In Mexico City, he unmasked El Halcon in a triangular tournament that included Alfonso Dantés in the 1970s.
Máscaras performed for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) during the '70s. In his Japanese debut on February 19, 1971, he defeated Kantaro Hoshino in Tokyo. It was during this time that he had his best known international feud with American masked wrestler The Destroyer. During the '70s, Máscaras also had feuds with Mexican wrestlers such as TNT, El Canek, El Halcon, and Angel Blanco. These feuds took place mostly in Mexico and the US, and were broadcast on Spanish language stations in the U.S. Mascaras was also the heavyweight champion of the IWA wrestling promotion, which was founded by Eddie Einhorn, and still holds the title to this day.
Mil Máscaras appeared in World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now called WWE). He performed at Madison Square Garden several times after a ban on masked wrestlers was lifted for him, making him the first masked wrestler in the Garden, he defeated The Spoiler (who was not permitted to wear his mask). During this time, he feuded with "Superstar" Billy Graham over the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Máscaras made many apparences during the 80s and the 90s at the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico.
Mascaras also wrestled in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where his most notable match was a match with Cactus Jack at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shootout on February 6, 1990 in the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, Texas.
On September 10, 1991, at the age of 49, Máscaras won his final title, the WWA (Mexico) World Heavyweight Championship. He held the title until 1994 and assumed a state of semi-retirement after his final reign.
Máscaras' first American pay-per-view appearance was competing in WWF's 1997 Royal Rumble match. He eliminated himself, diving off the top rope out of the ring onto Pierroth, Jr., whom he himself had just eliminated. Such a move is common in lucha libre but it is technically a mistake in the Royal Rumble as it leads to elimination.
On December 5, 2002, Mascaras defeated Manny Fernandez at the inaugural show for Legacy Wrestling Enterprises in Fort Worth, TX.
Máscaras also achieved fame outside of the ring, starring in a series of seventeen luchador action films from 1966 through 1990. (He later appeared in several recent horror films as well.) His first starring role was in the self-titled film "Mil Máscaras" which was shot in black and white and gave Máscaras a comic book style origin story. According to the film, an infant Máscaras was found clutching his dead mother's arms in a war-torn area of Europe during World War II. A group of scientists adopts Máscaras as a boy, and subjects him to an intensive regimen of physical and mental training as he matures. When Máscaras reaches adulthood, he has developed into a super-human, achieving both mental and physical perfection. The scientists then send him out into the world to help downtrodden people everywhere, to fight criminals and to right wrongs.
In 1970, Máscaras starred alongside Blue Demon and El Santo in Las Momias de Guanajuato (The Mummies of Guanajuato). Las Momias de Guanajuato became the highest grossing Mexican luchador film of all time, pitting the three masked luchadores against a group of reanimated mummies. Mascaras also starred as a member 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, Tinieblas, El Rayo de Jalisco, El Médico Asesino, El Fantasma Blanco, and Superzan. Mil's original film career ended in 1990, but in recent years, he has made a comeback of sorts, appearing in a few recently-made horror films.
In 2007 Máscaras starred in Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy (also known as Mil Mascaras: Resurrection), the first lucha film featuring any of the so-called "Big Three" stars of the genre (Máscaras, Blue Demon, Santo) to be produced in English. The film screened at festivals around the world garnering awards and award nominations along with positive critical reviews.
Multiple wrestlers have publicly complained of Mascaras' unwillingness to sell moves and put opponents over. One of the most vocal critics is Mick Foley who, in his book Have a Nice Day!, complained about Máscaras' refusal to sell moves in their match. In his book, A Lion's Tale, Chris Jericho describes the stories of Máscaras' large ego and states that, if anything, "The tales were toning it down." In a 2007 shoot interview, "Superstar" Billy Graham confirmed that during his series of matches with Mascaras, Mascaras was unwilling to sell properly.
Mascaras did a job to Jackie Fargo in a stretcher match at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on January 29, 1979, where Fargo and Jerry Lawler faced Mascaras and Austin Idol. Owing to his reputation, this led to debate between those involved with Memphis wrestling for years afterward as to whether it really was Rodríguez under the mask. Jim Cornette insisted it was Pepe Lopez, in spite of the fact that he died in 1975. Jerry Jarrett confirmed that it was in fact Rodríguez.
In 1975, Máscaras was voted "The Most Popular Wrestler of the Year" by the company that now publishes the US magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated.  Satoru Sayama, the original Tiger Mask, has described Máscaras' impact on Japanese professional wrestling, "If it weren't for Mil Mascaras, there would be no Jushin Liger, no Último Dragón or the Great Sasuke today,". Mascaras' success in the US also paved the way for other luchadores such as Rey Mysterio, Jr., who has become one of the most popular luchadores in US wrestling. Now well into his 60s, Máscaras continues to perform sporadically. In 2001, he was inducted into the Southern California Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In 2006, Máscaras was honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club, a fraternal organization of both retired and active wrestlers. The Destroyer, one of Máscaras legendary rivals, presented him with an award at the event. The Destroyer also commented on Máscaras' wrestling style, "He was the best competitor that I ever wrestled. He never gave you anything -- it's true -- but I didn't give him anything either. You talk about a shoot or a half-shoot, and that's the kind of match that it was."
On October 7, 2011, Máscaras returned to Japan to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his debut in the country. He teamed with Dos Caras and the original Tiger Mask to defeat CIMA, Último Guerrero and Tiger Mask IV in a six man tag team match.
Mascaras has never been unmasked in the ring, and like most masked luchadores, he goes to great lengths to conceal his true appearance and personal life. Máscaras has two brothers who wrestled, Dos Caras and Sicodélico. He has two sons and two daughters with his first wife, who died in 1975, and two daughters with his second wife, whom he married in 1995. His nephews are Alberto Del Rio, formally known as Dos Caras, Jr, Sicodélico, Jr, & Hijo Del Sicodelico.
Mascaras is an avid golfer and plays in many charity golf tournaments around the world, including annually at the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Benny Galant||Mexico City, Mexico||April 22, 1966|
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Black Gordman||Los Angeles, California||September 19, 1969|
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Bull Ramos||Los Angeles, California||October 10, 1969|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||Barón Escarlata||Unknown||January 2, 1971|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||Frankenstein||Tijuana, Baja California||1974||Triangle match that also included Texas|
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Alfonso Dantés||Mexico City, Mexico||February 22, 1977||Triangle match that also included El Halcon|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||El Halcón||Mexico City, Mexico||July 29, 1977|||
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||El Halcón||Japan||September 13, 1978|||
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Popitekus||Tijuana, Baja California||August 1988|
|Hair||Mil Máscaras||Principe Battu||Dallas, Texas||November 20, 1994|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||Gran Markus, Jr.||Naucalpan, Mexico State||June 29, 1997||Triangle match that also included Tinieblas|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||Venom||Reynosa||March 17, 2007|
|Mask||Mil Máscaras||El Yuma||Reynosa||March 20, 2007|
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