R.I.W: Top 60 Best Luchadores

I have been a fan of Pro Wrestling for as long as I can remember, and alongside Horror Movies, Video Games, Rock Music and Comic Books, it’s still something that I enjoy to this very day…sure WWE’s product has been lacking on the creative front for decades with only hints of great booking in stories like The Fiend and the heel turn of Roman Reigns. Over the years I have seen many wrestling events live from companies like WWE, WCW, ECW, Rockstar Pro and many indie federations. I grew up not only watching the above mentioned on TV but also GWF, AWA, NWA, GCW, Impact, ROH, WCCW, AAA, CMLL, FMW, New Japan, All Japan, XPW and so many more thanks to broadcast as well as home media formats. Who remembers the VHS Wrestling Tape Trades that allowed fans to see matches and wrestlers from all over the world? One style of wrestling that has been my favorite from the first time I saw it is Lucha Libre as the fast paced moves and amazing grapplers with superhero style looks and characters has always been my go to for wrestling. For this update I am going to countdown my personal picks for the top 60 Luchadors aka my personal favorites!

While working on Rotten Ink, I started to think about ways to bring in other subjects that I love as well as fun themed updates that I can bust out from time to time stuff to join the likes of Horror Host Icon, SOV Flashback Classics, Sports Mascots Countdown, Talk Back and a few more. So I decided to create R.I.W. that stands for Rotten Ink Illustrated and is a play off of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (P.W.I) that was my favorite wrestling magazine growing up. And with these R.I.W updates, I am thinking that I will not only be doing Top 60 Countdowns but might also talk about PPV events and break them down and who knows maybe even will cover some live events…as I am not sure really just yet what I want to do for these themed updates.

Keep in mind this list is just my opinion and these rankings are just how I am feeling now. Ask me in a year or two and I am sure it could and would change! The rankings for this are based on me seeing matches of these Luchadors and their character and look.  I am ruling out two icons El Santo and Blue Demon as they are the kings of the ring and while I have seen very little of their matches, I grew up watching their films on Commander USA’s Groovie Movies. Oh and by saying “seen matches” I mean watching on TV, Seen Live, Online Matches and old Tape Trade VHS. So if you are ready, let’s head to Rotten Ink Arena and let’s talk Luchadors…and yeah I added one extra for the fun of it!

# 61

Mr. Iguana
Started: 2009      Companies: AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

The super popular Mr. Iguana has made a big name for himself in AAA and is hands down one of the most popular wrestlers with kids in the promotion! Mr. Iguana started in the indies, and after an injury set him back, he quickly made a name for himself upon his return to the ring and got the attention of AAA and was signed to compete in the company. While he is not a main eventer and is a Mid-Card lucha, he is very entertaining to watch in the ring. Mr. Iguana is one that I have seen thanks to AAA’s social media that has allowed me and other US fans to see these guys wrestle. While he is not one of my favorite current Luchadors, I will say he is one that I am going to keep my eye on as I think he could become a very interesting wrestler if given the right feuds and matches.

# 60

El Mosco
Started: 1995      Companies: AAA & WWE     Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

El Mosco, who is now known as X-Fly, was a Luchador I first saw on WWE TV as he was part of their short-lived team up with AAA to help kick off their Lightweight division. He was a big deal in Mexico and ran a faction called “Los Rudos De La Galaxia” up until he left the promotion and his then-name Mosco De La Merced was given to another wrestler. During this time is when the El Mosco character was born, and he went on to work not only for Indie Federations but also at WWE, WCW and ECW many of times wrestling under different names and this started in 1997 and he still takes bookings to this day! And in 2010 he returned to AAA until 2012 and was a part of a major storyline that had him teaming with Halloween and Damian 666. He’s a very skilled Luchador, who I mostly knew from his short WWE run and was one I found myself cheering for. And man, he has had a ton of other in ring names that include Winners II, Pierroth Jr., Johnny and Juan El Mosco to name a few.

# 59

Super Calo
Started: 1990      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Super Calo was a Luchador that I first saw on WCW as part of the Mexican superstars that were showing up to help push the cruiserweight division, and while a super skilled wrestler, he failed to capture my attention like many of the others brought in, but keep in mind that I still enjoyed watching him in matches. Super Calo started his in ring career in 1990 working some indie federations before landing at AAA in 1992 where he became a very popular wrestler and a draw with his rapper gimmick.  His run lasted until around 1995 as by 1996 he had been signed to WCW and helped showcase Lucha Libre to American fans. Super Calo would be used as enhancement talent and would stick around WCW for a few years before heading back to Mexico to work for the Indies. In 2007, he returned to AAA for another brief run and would then go back to the Indies as well as opening his own promotion called FSW.  While Super Calo might not have been a main eventer here in America, he is a well respected Lucha in Mexico.

# 58

Sin Cara
Started: 2011     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok, I know what you readers are saying: why is Sin Cara this high on your list as everyone knows that he was considered a failure in WWE and even had two wrestlers under the mask during his run.  But let me explain.  While he had some very botch filled matches while in WWE and even never really captured a Main Event Spot and was barely a Mid-Carder by the end, he helped paved the way for other masked Luchadors to be signed to WWE and be able to keep their masks on! And I am not going to talk about the history of Mistico or Hunico the two who played the gimmick and will more just talk about Sin Cara in general. In 2011 the WWE held a press conference to talk about the signing of Sin Cara as he was built up to be the next Rey Mysterio Jr. for the company and so much hype and push was placed on him as he was slated to be a main eventer even having him team with the company’s top star John Cena…but sadly his star quickly started to fade as injuries, bad attitude and botches made him fall down the card and with his title wins coming along side fellow Luchador Kalisto when, as the Lucha Dragons, they won the NXT Tag Team belts once. He was let go from the WWE in 2019 and has since made an appearance in AAA and now is going under a new name. While he might not be the best of the WWE Luchadors, he is one I enjoyed seeing on TV and at Live Events.

# 57

Tigre Uno
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes  Seen Live: No

This Luchador started his career like so many working the Indies and making a name for himself.  He did so at California’s WWA (World Wrestling Association) promotion and during this time as well he became more of a Hardcore Wrestler using chairs, tables and ladders in his matches. In 2006, he got the call and joined AAA and climbed his way up the card winning not only some championships but also tournaments. And during this time Impact Wrestling ended up signing Tigre Uno in 2013 where he would become an attraction in the X-Division a belt that he would end up winning in 2015! Tigre Uno would stay with Impact until 2016 and after this he once more went to the Indies and has been there since entertaining fans worldwide. Tigre Uno is one of those wrestlers I have seen a little of his Impact matches and would like to see more of his work as well as see him live in person. Over the years Tigre Uno has also wrestled under the names Tyger Mask, Extreme Tiger, Ultimate Tiger and Xtreme Tiger.

# 56

Kalisto
Started: 2006      Companies: AAA & WWE      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Kalisto is a wrestler who I was happy to see in NXT and WWE as he was a masked Luchador that they allowed for the most part to wrestling in that style…well that was up until his call up to the main roster. Kalisto started his wrestling career working the Indies by the name of Samuray and making a name for himself that ended up leading him to a job with AAA and going from Samuray to Octagon Jr. as he became the student of one of his biggest inspiration Octagon himself! He was in AAA from 2011 and left in 2013 as he became a very in demand wrestler in the Indie scene all over the world and during this time he returned to the Samuray name and worked for companies like CZW, Dragon Gate and AAW! But later in 2013, WWE came calling and hired him to be part of their NXT brand. This would lead to a move up to the main roster in 2015, and during this time he became the United States Champion as well as the Cruiserweight Champion and has been part of the Tag Team “The Lucha Dragons” with Sin Cara and “The Lucha House Party” with Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado and remained a fun draw for American fans who enjoy the Lucha Libre style of wrestling. He also went under the names Bello Greco Jr., The Son Of Superzan, Jordy Stone and Love Warrior. He was let go from the WWE in 2021.

# 55

Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Started: 1994     Companies: WCW & WWE     Active: Yes   Seen Live: Yes

Chavo was born into one of Mexico’s royal families of wrestling, the Guerrero’s! He started wrestling in the indies and even landed himself matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling mastering his craft and building a name for himself. He would be brought into WCW in 1996 as part of the wave of Luchadors being brought in to build the cruiserweight division and he would be a contender off and on throughout the years for the belt even winning it twice and even capturing WCW Tag Team Gold once with partner Lash LeRoux! He would also have a gimmick in WCW that would see him go crazy and carry a stick horse around he called Pepe.  He would leave WCW in 2001 after the company was closed down and would start working for WWE and was part of The Alliance story angle.  During his WWE run, he was mostly used as a Mid-Carder with his biggest run coming when teaming with his uncle Eddie to win the WWE Tag Team Titles twice! He would also win the ECW Championship once as well as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship four times…he would also have one of the worst gimmicks ever while in the WWE when he changed his name to Kerwin White and denounced his Mexican heritage. Chavo would leave WWE in 2011 and would start working for the Indies like WWC before landing at Impact Wrestling in 2012 and would slink around there until 2013 and would make another appearance for them in 2019. After Impact and still taking Indie bookings, he also worked for Lucha Underground as well as the very short lived Nacion Lucha Libre, a federation he co-created with Alberto Del Rio in 2019 (they closed in 2020). While Chavo is still wrestling, he also has gone on to do other media releases like Acting, Comic Books and Podcasting. While Chavo is a still worker, he just never fully captured my attention and never truly lived up to the Guerrero name. He is currently working for AEW.

# 54

Texano Jr.
Started: 1999     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes    Seen Live: No

The bull rope carrying Texano Jr. started his in ring career in the indies under the name Kempo Kid, and it was during his time in the indies during a “bet matches” that Kempo Kid had to unmask and became Texano Jr. as he was the son of Luchador legend El Taxano! Very quickly after unmasking Texano Jr. would go to CMLL.  He started in 2003 and was placed in many big stories as well as feuds and would even have factions like “Perros Del Mal”! But things came to an end for his CMLL run in 2011 when he decided to leave and join Perros del Mal Producciones, an indie promotion created by the iconic Perro Aguayo Jr. and he would leave them the same year and join AAA, where he still is to this day. Texano Jr. has a great look as he reminds me of the cowboy wrestlers of the 80’s and 90’s like Stan Hansen and Outlaw Ron Bass, not to mention he is very skilled in the ring and one I enjoy watching on AAA events.

# 53

Bestia 666
Started: 2009     Companies: AAA & WWA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Bestia 666 is the son of Damien 666 and started his career not only in the indies but also in Perros del Mal Producciones.  This would lead to a small run in AAA that allowed him to team with his father as well as his long tome friend Halloween as a stable, all the while he was still working for Perros del Mal Producciones.  In 2012 he quit them and decided to start his journey of working the indies in Mexico as well as America that would lead him to work such federations as MLW, Lucha Underground, GFW, UWF and EWF and would allow him to get a tryout match in the WWE (he would get two) but sadly he was not signed. Bestia 666 has a great look and is super skilled in the ring, and I for one enjoy watching his matches on YouTube and would like to see more matches as well as would like to see him get signed to one of America’s top four federations WWE, AEW, Impact or ROH. Over his career he has also went under the ring names Leo and Bestia.

# 52

Bengala
Started: 1995     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Not to be confused with the CMLL Luchador named Bengala, I am talking about the one who is working for AAA and has the white tiger look that I discovered thanks to YouTube and AAA’s social media as well as Lucha Underground that has allowed me to see his matches and become a fan! Bengala started like every other wrestler making his mark on the indies and building a name for himself and once his dues were paid, he was signed to CMLL in 1998 and would become a lower card Luchador who would rise to being a popular mid-carder up until he left them in 2003. Because of CMLL he got to work many matches in Japan for Toryumon Japan promotion and even held the NWA World Welterweight Title.  He would wrestle in Japan off and on for many years even when he became signed to Pro Wrestling Noah in 2003 and stayed until 2015 as a featured star for the promotion. He would then come back to Mexico off and on working for AAA from 2007-2008 and again from 2013-2017, and during this time with AAA the Bengala character was born! Starting in 2016 Bengala was played by another Luchador until 2019 when he as well left the company and as of now ended Bengela’s run. While not a household name when coming to Lucha Libre stars, he was an entertaining one that I enjoyed seeing in the matches I watched.

# 51

Abismo Negro
Started: 1987     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: No

First thing I want to say is R.I.P Abismo Negro, who sadly passed away in 2009 as the world of Lucha Libre lost an amazing talent. Like all wrestlers Abismo Negro began his career in the indie scene and in 1991 he was signed to CMLL and only stayed there until 1992 as he left to join the new promotion AAA and this would be his federation that he would stick with for his career, and during this time he would have name changes landing on Abismo Negro in 1997.  He was part of many factions, held many titles and even represented AAA in a tournament that was being held by Impact Wrestling. Abismo Negro was an amazing Luchador and was an amazing Rudo who would use fire in his entrance and captured the attention of every fan who seen him. Sadly I have only been able to watch his matches online and have not got to see many, as I am sure if I was able to have seen him live or even more matches Abismo Negro would have easily made his way into my Top 10 on this list! Over his career he had also went by the names The Winner, Pequeno Samurai, Furor and Alex Dinamo.

# 50

Espiritu Maya
Started: 2017     Companies: Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

In my opinion one of the best Luchadors going in the indies here in America is Espiritu Maya, who has been building a name for himself at many promotions and has been growing his fan base and reputation as a Lucha star. Espiritu Maya has captured titles at many of the promotions he has worked for and has even had some matches with wrestlers from Impact as well as legends at these events. Espiritu Maya is an up and coming Luchador that is one that you should all keep an eye on as he could get the call up to NXT or AEW in the future. Espiritu Maya is also a main stay at Rockstar Pro Wrestling the local Dayton, Ohio federation that I work for, and I have had the privilege of watching him wrestle many times.

# 49

Heavy Metal
Started: 1988     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

I first saw Heavy Metal in WWE as he was one that took part of the AAA team up that lasted a short time in the 1990’s as he even had a match at the 1995 Royal Rumble! With a brief run in some Mexican indie federations, he truly started in CMLL and would stay there until 1992 when he jumped ship and started to work for the newly formed AAA.  He would became a mainstay and big draw for them even being apart of a talent exchange between AAA and WWE and later Impact. During this time with AAA, he would win many titles like The Mexican National Welterweight Championship two times and AAA Campeon de Campeones Championship once not to even talk about all the Bet Matches he was apart of. Heavy Metal would leave AAA in 2004 and by 2005 he was breifly working for IWRG (International Wrestling Revolution Group) and then went back to CMLL from 2005 to 2010 and was once more a big name for the promotion. But AAA came calling again, and by 2010 he was back with them and would stay around for many more years, until going and working indie shows. While Heavy Metal is not the major star he once was, he is still an icon and legend in Lucha Libre, and still to this day I have his AAA figure from 1994! Over his career he also went by the name Canelo Casas.

# 48

Humberto Carrillo
Started: 2012     Companies: WWE & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Humberto Carrillo started his in ring career in the Indies and he is apart of the Garza Family Tree and proved that he was just as skilled as the rest of his family as he became a main attraction at events and even won many belts and tournaments and would compete for federations like Chilanga Mask, The Crash Lucha Libre, Casanova Pro and Lucha Libre Azteca. Humberto would float around the indies from 2012 through 2018, and in 2018 he got his big break by being signed by WWE and wrestling for NXT until being brought up to the main roaster as apart of the 205 Live brand in 2019 and by the end of 2019 he was brought up to be featured on Raw during a draft and this started his push to become a main star on the roster.  Well that was until the out of touch Vince McMahon lost interest in the superstar and moved onto the next wrestler he could push and crush in a short time. Humberto is a great Mid-Carder who puts on top notch matches in WWE and if given the chance, he could easily becomes a mega star just like Rey Mysterio Jr.! Other names Humberto has used in his career is Ultimo Ninja and Humberto Pidorasio, and I should note that when WWE House Shows and Live Events returns to the Dayton area I hope to see Humberto in action.

# 47

Pagano
Started: 2008     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Mexico has many wrestling clown Luchadors and one of the biggest and most popular is Pagano, who started his career in 2008 and was a hardcore wrestler who would wrestle in Mexico and America in the indies that included feds like WWA4, FULL and IWRG before getting signed to AAA in 2016 and being flung into a main event spot and being in the group “La Familiar Fonteriza” alongside Damian 666, Halloween and Psychosis that would last for awhile and as well allowed him to get into feuds with Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. and o this date Pagano is one of AAA’s big stars featured in many high profile matches. While working for AAA, he has also been featured on Impact Wrestling as well has fought and won a MMA match…and has won many belts and tournaments for AAA that including the AAA World Tag Team Championship with partner El Mesias. Super entertaining to watch and a Lucha that puts on great matches both in skill and in brawls Pagano is surly going to be a legend in Lucha Libre when he retires. Pagano has also wrestled under a mask before settling on his classic face paint look. I have mostly seen his work in AAA thanks to their social media and YouTube.

# 46

Andrade
Started: 2003     Companies: WWE & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the biggest recent wasted talents in WWE is Andrade, who is a super skilled Luchador who went from being a Main Event prospect all the way to being a Mid-Carder that was then barely thought about thanks to Vince.  It was a shame as he has all the makings of being a great world champion who could play the rudo role. Andrade started his career in 2003 working for many of the indie promotions in Mexico and started when he was just a teenager and built up his skills as well as impressed those who watched him in action. By 2007 he was signed to the big leagues in Mexico as he got a contract with CMLL and quickly rose up the ranks and became a main eventer and would be placed in many main featured matches and would capture many belts, win bet matches as well as tournament wins! During his run with CMLL he would also have a small run in New Japan Pro Wrestling and during this time is when he caught the eye of WWE. Andrade would leave both CMLL and New Japan in 2015 as he signed with WWE and would make his debut on NXT and would make it to the main roster on 2018.  In his WWE career, he captured the NXT Championship once and the WWE United States Championship only once until he left the company in 2021.  He now wrestles for AEW.  During his career this far he has also wrestled under such names as Brillante Jr., La Sombra, Rey Azteca and Guerrero Azteca to name a few.

# 45

El Dandy
Started: 1981     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

El Dandy is known in America for his run in WCW as part of their Cruiserweight division as well as a member of the stable L.W.O., but for many he is also known for that classic Bret Hart promo that had Bret saying “Who are you to doubt El Dandy?” when he selected him for a match.  I saw El Dandy take on Scott Norton on a WCW Saturday Night taping live here in Dayton, Ohio and a fan behind us was all about cheering El Dandy on during the match. El Dandy, like all pro wrestlers, started his wrestling career in the indie scene starting in 1981 and was quickly respected by fans and fellow workers for his hard work in and out of the ring, and by 1981 he got his big break being signed to CMLL where he was a big star and a numerous champion holding several titles including the CMLL World Middleweight Championship a total of three times! He would be involved with many bet matches as well as was able to take indie bookings as well as work for WWA out of California. But when WCW needed wrestlers for their cruiserweight division El Dandy was called up in 1997 and would be used as an enhancement talent his whole time their losing almost all of his matches with many being squash matches. By 2000 El Dandy was released from WCW along with many of the other Luchadors, and this allowed him to wrestler for not only indies but also a short run in AAA as well as IWRG and he would retire from wrestling in 2014. While he was one of Mexico’s top wrestlers during his run, he sadly never caught on in America and was used as a jobber. El Dandy is awesome and I for one am glad I was able to see him wrestle live a few times before he retired.

# 44

Angel Garza
Started: 2008     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Another member of the Garza family and another that shows that Lucha Libre is alive and well in America when allowed to shine in one of the main companies! Starting out in the Indies, Angel Garza got the attention of many federations including Impact and AAA with the latter signing him to a contract in 2015. He would make his mark on the company by putting on great matches as well as being involved in some high profile ones, but by 2017 Angel had left AAA and started working for the Indies again as well as worked with Impact Wrestling and during this time is stock was rising even more as he was able to get the attention of WWE who signed him to a contract in 2019 and placed him on NXT and then 205 Live before making his main roster debut in 2020 when they placed him into a short tag team with Andrade, managed by Zelina Vega. After the team broke up, he has been used on the mid-card with teases of breaking into the main event soon. So far in WWE, he is a one time NXT Cruiserweight Champion. With tons of skill and a legacy family name Angel Garza could become a big star if given the chance. Over his career he has gone by the names El Hijo del Ninja, Garza Jr. and Humberto Garza.

# 43

Laredo Kid
Started: 2003      Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Laredo Kid is a super popular Luchador who is one of AAA’s top main eventers that puts butts in the seats. Laredo Kid started his career in 2003 and worked the indies until 2005 where he signed with AAA and rose his way to the top of the card with fast paced and impressive matches! During his time in AAA, he was also allowed to make appearances in Impact and AEW as well as even had a tryout match in the WWE! He is the winner of many AAA titles as well as tournaments and bet matches and will surely become one of the company’s futures Hall Of Famers if he stays the path to greatness as he is now. I have mostly seen his matches in AAA as well as a few of his Impact matches thanks to YouTube and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the coming years as he is one to truly watch.

# 42

Taurus
Started: 2005     Companies: AAA & Impact       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Taurus is a Luchador that I first discovered on Facebook and quickly watched many of his matches on YouTube and then have seen him on AAA and Impact events via TV and social media. Taurus started out working indies in Mexico before being signed to AAA in 2012 and would work as Machine Rocker as part of the group Los Inferno Rockers and would work as this character until 2015 when he was repackaged as Taurus, but by 2016 he left AAA and worked for Lucha Libre Elite as well as other indie federations, that was until he once more signed with AAA in 2018 and this has also allowed him to work matches in Impact, MLW and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as has made appearances in many American indies. While he is not considered a main eventer in AAA and has not captured any belts yet, with his cool look, skills in the ring and great rudo attitude, it’s only a matter of time before he climbs the card. I also think that if Taurus was around in 1996 he would have been brought into WCW and would have been a great addition to the Cruiserweight division. Over the years Taurus has also went by the names Machine Rocker, Semental, Black Taurus and Black Tauro.

# 41

Lizmark Jr.
Started: 1991     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as his stint in the company is how I became a fan of Lizmark Jr. as well as was able to see him live during a taping of WCW Saturday Night! Lizmark Jr. started his career in 1991 and worked for a few indie promotions in Mexico as well as had a short AAA run before going to WCW in 1997 as apart of their big boom of Luchador talent being signed in order to build their Cruiserweight division. He would stick around in WCW for a while and sadly was mostly used on the lower card and enhancement talent and never won a WCW title. In 2000, he was let go from WCW and Lizmark would return to Mexico and start working for CMLL and would end up turning Rudo and would lose his mask in a bet match in 2007 after being pinned by Blue Panther. Lizmark Jr. would go onto to capture his first belt in a major federation when he won the CMLL World G1 Heavyweight Championship. Lizmark also started working for Lucha Libre USA on MTV2 in 2010 and would capture the LLUSA Heavyweight Championship from them as well! In 2011 he would go back to AAA and have a small run and is now working on the indies all over Mexico and from time to time the USA. I think Lizmark Jr. is a talent that sometimes gets over looked here in America as his run in WCW was less then stellar, but do yourself a favor and watch some of his matches and you will see why I am a fan.

# 40

Chessman
Started: 1996      Companies: AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of the greatest rudo’s in modern Lucha Libre hands down is Chessman and only a few other names come to mind in AAA that can match him in his ruthless behavior! Chessman started his time in the ring in the indies in 1996 and became a Luchador to watch as he was making a major splash with his style and appearance he adopted in 2000 known as Chessman. And with the name and appearance change AAA came calling and signed him in 2001 and his long and awesome career as one of Lucha Libre’s top Luchadors started and would have him see many title wins, many bet matches and have him mix it up with wrestlers from Impact. He would be in many stables and groups like Los Hell Brothers, La Secta and The Black Family to name a few. He has been loyal to AAA over all these years just like The Undertaker has been to WWE and Sting was to WCW showing that Chessman is surely a AAA Hall Of Famer when he retires from in ring action. Like many of the AAA Luchadors, I have seen so many of his matches thanks to the company’s social media accounts. He’s a true amazing Luchador to watch in action and one that deserves his position in the company. Before being Chessman he also wrestled in the indies under the names M-357, Magnum and Quinto Elemento.

# 39

Octagon
Started: 1981      Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Octagon is a true legend in the world of Lucha Libre and is a Luchador that I can remember buying grey market Best of VHS tapes of as well as seeing him in the pages of wrestling magazines all through my youth. Octagon started his wrestling career in 1981 and was able to blend his martial arts background into his Lucha Libre style and took the indies by storm.  By 1982 he was working for CMLL, and by 1989 he was a super popular and top star for the promotion being in several high profile matches as well as captured the fans’ attention. When AAA started in 1992, one of the Luchadors to leave CMLL for the new promotion was Octagon who was a major star for the company for many years and was one of the companies main attractions, but by 2014 his place on the card was falling slightly and this caused Octagon to leave AAA and sadly caused a major rift between them over the rights to the name, look and back pay! He would then go onto wrestle for CMLL as well as other Indie feds over the years. While his in ring career has slowed down, he still is active from time to time. He truly is a legend in Lucha Libre, and I wish he and AAA could bury the hatchet and patch things up so that he can have a proper retirement match when he is ready to hang the boots up. Over the years he has also gone under the names Dragon Dorado and La Amenaza Elegante.

# 38

Aero Boy
Started: 2003      Companies: Indies & CZW     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Aero Boy is one of the best unsigned Luchadors in the indies going as he can wrestling the classic Lucha Libre style as well as work hardcore matches! He is a true journeyman wrestler as he has wrestled all over the world and has made a name for himself in every nation he has performed in, and he as well as captured many of the belts including the Intergalactic World Championship from Rockstar Pro Wrestling. Aero Boy is a Luchador I have had the pleasure of seeing live many times and if he comes to your town, make sure to see him in action as you will not be sorry! Over his career thus far as well he has faced many names in the business and it’s crazy that he has not been signed to Impact, CMLL or AAA as they don’t know what they are missing with his guy!

# 37

Drago
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Drago is a Luchador who has one of the coolest looks in the business as his mask is fantastic! Drago is one I discovered while watching AAA videos on YouTube and reading their Facebook page, and he quickly became one of my favorites! Like all before him, he started his career on the Indies and would quickly be signed by AAA the same year in 1998 and would be saddled with other masks and names like Jimmy Boy, Alan and Gato Eveready and while they had a following and fans it was in 2011 when he became Drago that his career in AAA really took off and he got the main event push he had been fighting for his whole time with them! And because of this new look, name and push it lead to him representing AAA in federations like Lucha Underground, Impact, Global Force Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and getting more eyes on him across the world. At one point a rumor was going around that even WWE was interesting in signing him to NXT! Drago in AAA has won many belts, bet matches and tournaments and still is a very popular Luchador for them.

# 36

Perro Aguayo
Started: 1968     Companies: AAA & UWA     Active: No    Seen Live: No

One of the biggest draws in Lucha Libre history in Mexico is the rudo everyone loved Perro Aguayo! This Luchador was like none other as he had such a presence in the ring and was such a brawler that set him apart from everyone working in Mexico at the time! Perro is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market VHS tapes that I would see him on as well as later YouTube and DVDs from HighSpots Video. Perro reminds me of a very early version of a Hardcore wrestler who would bleed and brawl all over the ring and would have the fans on the edge of their seats doing so. Perro Aguayo started his career in 1968 working for the indies before being one of the top Rudos in UWA the place he would make the name for himself and would even feud with the likes of El Santo! The crazy thing being while he was a rudo, he was a draw as fans would often cheer him over the tecnico he was facing. He was such a draw that UWA would spotlight him and have him in all types of high profile matches against the companies top stars. During this time as well he would work matches for CMLL and was a major headliner. In 1992 he would leave UWA and help build AAA and would be a big star for them as well and during his time in AAA he would also work for WWE in 1997 as part of the talent trade the companies made. In 2000 he would leave AAA and sign with CMLL and would stay around for awhile and was a draw for them as well, he would loose a retirement match and would remain gone for a while until returning to team with his son for a time before heading back into retirement in 2001. During his time in the ring he would be a main-eventer, a respected rudo, win many belts in AAA, CMLL, UWA and even was the first ever WWE Light Heavyweight Champion (even if WWE does not have it on the records now). Not to even mention he is in the AAA Hall Of Fame and took part in so many Bet Matches. Sadly Perro Aguayo passed away in 2019 at the age of 73 from an infection. While gone his legacy is still very much alive in Mexico and his popularity and drawing power is still stuff of legend.

# 35

El Pantera
Started: 1985      Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

One of the best things for me during the WWE Attitude Era was the Lightweight division that was sadly overshadowed by Jerry Lawler screaming Puppies and the never ending feud between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon that ate up so much airtime. And what made it so cool was not only seeing the cruiserweights get some time to shine, but was also cool to see some Luchadors on TV again in WWE! One of my favorites was El Pantera who was played as a rudo and always put on great matches. El Pantera started working the indies in Mexico in 1985 and by 1992 he was working fulltime for CMLL and would win a few belts and become a solid Mid-Carder who had his fair share of fans and even had a few high profile matches that helped build his name in Lucha Libre, but by 1996 he left CMLL and after leaving he started to work some dates in Japan as well as for IWRG and this is also when he had a short run for WWE that lasted from 1997 and ended in 1999. While still working for IWRG he would also be sent back to CMLL as the companies had a talent exchange and he would stick around for a short time and even win a title, before setting his sites on only working for IWRG, while not as active as he once was El Pantera is still working the indies from time to time as well as for IWRG. Over the years El Pantera has also gone by other names like El Manaya, Pantera II, America, Triyon and Tanaka.

# 34

Guerrero Maya Jr.
Started: 2005     Companies: CMLL & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Guerrero Maya Jr. is a Luchador that I have had the pleasure of not only seeing live at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, but is also one that I was lucky enough to chat with before and after the event. His match against Zachary Wentz was the best on the card as it was highflying and high impact! Guerrero Maya Jr. started working the indies for a short time in 2005 and by 2007 he was working for CMLL and was wresting under the names Samba and Multifacetico and it was in 2009 that he got the name Guerrero Maya Jr. and that is also when his popularity and position on the card was on the rise. He even was part of the Crocket Cup in 2019 as he represented CMLL alongside Stuka Jr. and sadly they lost. Guerrero Maya Jr. would go on to win titles in CMLL like the Mexican Trios Championship a total of three times with Delta and Atlantis. To me it’s crazy that AEW, Impact nor WWE have not signed Guerrero Maya Jr. yet as he is a great talent and one of my favorite Luchadors I have seen live over the years!

# 33

Hector Garza
Started: 1992     Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Hector Garza is another member of the Garza Family and is one that I first saw in action thanks to WCW when they brought in many Luchadors for their Cruiserweight division as well as mid-carders. I was lucky to have seen Hector Garza in action at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Dayton, Ohio and he showcased why the Luchadors was why I was a big fan of WCW during that time! Sadly Hector passed away in 2013 and it’s a shame as the world of wrestling lost a super talented Luchador. Hector started working the indies in 1992 and would spend sometime in FILL and his in ring rudo style got the attention of CMLL who signed him in 1994 and this would only last until 1996 when he left and signed with AAA that lead to him also being able to work a few WWE events as part of their talent exchange and even was showcased at the 1995 Royal Rumble and even got a win on T.L Hopper on an episode of Superstars, but in 1997 his time with AAA and WWE came to an end when WCW came calling and he joined them from 1997 to 1999 and while in WCW he became a member of the L.W.O as well as got a clean pin fall victory over Scott Hall in a short lived storyline. Once let go from WCW in 1999 he returned to AAA and worked their as well as a few dates for Impact and had a big feud with Heavy Metal, Latin Lover and Perro Aguayo Jr. for many years. But he once more left AAA to this time return to CMLL in 2005 that allowed him to have his star keep rising in Mexico and also let him wrestle in New Japan! And always a Luchador on the move in 2011 he left CMLL and started working for Perros del Mal Producciones the federation he would stay with until 2012 when he was forced into retirement due to being diagnosed with lung cancer. After his death Hector Garza was inducted into the AAA Hall Of Fame and has left a massive legacy in the world of wrestling. In his time in wrestling he had won multiple titles in many companies like AAA, CMLL, Luca Libre Azteca, Perros del Mal Producciones and many more.

# 32

Villano V
Started: 1976      Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as they are how I first saw Villano V as well as his brother and partner Villano IV, and while they both were skilled workers it was Villano V that was my favorite of the team! Before he was named Villano V he was Rokambole and worked the indies as well as being trained by his father and brothers who where known as The Villano’s and he had to earn his number in the family. And by 1983 he had earned the name Villano V and along with his brothers worked for many promotions like CMLL, AAA, UWA and IWRG before he and his brother Villano IV landed jobs with WCW in 1996 were they were used not only in the growing cruiserweight division but as well as the tag team division as they were perfect rudos, but sadly they were used as enhancement talent their whole run.  When Villano IV was injured and out for a time Villano V was used as a jobber but would become a member of the L.W.O! Villano V would leave WCW in 2000 after being let go and would return to Mexico and would work for the likes of CMLL and would even have a retirement event in “2013” that was not truly a retirement match as shortly after the event he was taking bookings and still does to this day. Over his long career he has won many bet matches, belts and tournaments and is one of the best rudos as he is so unlikable and wrestles dirty. While he lacks the flash of so many other Luchadors on this list his pure rudo ways is what made him one of my favorites to watch.

# 31

Ciclope/Halloween
Started: 1990     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

Ok let’s get this out of the way now, Ciclope was the renamed Halloween for when he came to WCW during the Cruiserweight boom of the late 90’s, and his in ring skill and his spooky Horror themed character is what made me a fan…plus seeing him live also helped make me a fan. Halloween started his career in 1990 and worked for the Indies up until 1996 when he was hired by WCW to grow their Cruiserweight division and was called Ciclope and was used on the undercard and booked against the bigger names in the division to help get them over and his lackluster run came to an end in 1999. Working the indies after his WCW run, he would lose his Ciclope mask in a bet match and would quickly go back to his Halloween character and would then lose Halloween mask in a bet match causing him to paint his face like a Jack-O-Lantern. While working the indies for many years and having matches for companies like FCW, XPW and USA Pro Wrestling before landing at CMLL in 2002 teaming with Damian 666, Rey Misterio Sr., Nicho el Millonario and valet Lady Victoria as “La Familia de Tijuana” to become one of the biggest rudo stables at the time and would be off and on with CMLL until around 2009. And by 2010 he was working with AAA and would be apart of a few big matches and by 2012 he left and would end up in IWRG, but Halloween would still do matches for AAA and would stick around for awhile before just going back to the indies. Halloween while not as well known around the world like so many Luchadors before and after him, he is a true icon of the ring and a good worker who should get more respect. Halloween also cannot only work the Lucha Libre style but can also work the Hardcore style. Over the years of wrestling besides the name Ciclope he has went by Rocky Boy, Cyclope and Elvis Gonzalez.

# 30

Dr. Wagner Jr.
Started: 1985     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Dr. Wagner Jr. is a true legend in Lucha Libre and has had so many great feuds and matches over the years with one of my favorites being the one he had with Blue Demon Jr. in 2019 that even lead to Dr. Wagner Jr. losing his mask! I first saw Dr. Wagner Jr. matches on grey market VHS Tapes I would buy off Ebay and at conventions and also over the years have watched his matches in AAA and man I must say he is super entertaining and I would even say at one time he was Lucha Libres best rudo going! Like everyone, after training to become a Luchador he worked the indies in 1985 going under the name El Invasor for a short amount of time before taking the name Dr. Wagner Jr. in 1986 as his father was of course Dr. Wagner! After a terrible accident that left his father in a wheelchair, Dr. Wagner Jr. signed with UWA (Universal Wrestling Association) in 1987 and would be one of their top stars until they had to partner with CMLL in 1993 and this allowed Wagner Jr. to work their and captured belts and even more attention from the fans. Dr. Wagner Jr. was so popular that when facing tecnico’s the fans would cheer him as he was a rudo! This would also lead him to have matches in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling and helped build his legacy is wrestling. But in 2009 CMLL and Wagner Jr. split ways and he would end up at their rival AAA and he would become a major player for them until 2013 when he left to travel the Indies for a short time and then would go on to have matches in CMLL and they back on and off with AAA up until 2020 were he retuned to the indies. And who knows when Dr. Wagner Jr. will show back up in CMLL or AAA, but one thing is for sure wherever he goes he will be one of the biggest Luchadors in the federation.

# 29

Atlantis
Started: 1983      Companies: CMLL & New Japan     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of CMLL’s biggest and most iconic Luchadors in modern time is Atlantis who has spent almost his whole career with them as one of their top draws and most respected stars. In 1983, he started working for many indie feds in Mexico, but by 1994 he was signed to CMLL and quickly rose through the roster to became one of the company’s main draws who was placed in many big matches, won so many belts including the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship twice as well as a number of tournaments and bet matches. He would also travel for CMLL and have matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling! While spending almost his whole career as a Tecnico, he has turned Rudo before adding more layers to his legacy, and giving fans more passion to see what Atlantis was up to. Like all classic Tecnico Luchadors, Atlantis has also been the main characters in films as well as had action figures made of him, in fact one of his figures is in my living room right now! While his in ring career will be winding down soon, you cannot deny that Atlantis is truly one of Mexico’s most legendary Luchadors of the ring.

# 28

El Solar
Started: 1975     Companies: UWA & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the greatest Luchadors who was a great mat wrestler as well as a submission artist is the legendary El Solar who is still wowing fans in his 60’s. El Solar is an amazing Luchador who I have had the honor of watching live in the ring as well as chatting with at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, and it was such a great moment for me as well as my friend Jason Young. El Solar started in 1975 and worked the indies as well as for UWA where he would stay up until the promotion closed even winning many titles as well as being apart of groups and high profile matches. In the dying days of UWA, El Solar would also go and work for AAA and oddly they would change his character to El Mariachi and this was a very silly move.  When he left AAA, he would join CMLL and as well become El Solar again and would be a star for them up until around 2000 when he would once more head back to the Indies of Mexico as well as America from time to time and even wrestled for the very short lived MTV2 and Hulu wrestling federation called “Lucha Libre USA” and would be joined by the likes of Lizmark Jr. and Super Crazy. While El Solar is working the indies still to this day he still makes some appearances for AAA and IWRG and locking his place in Lucha Libre history. El Solar is a master of his art and his art in classic Lucha Libre mat wrestling with skillful submission moves. A True legend and one that I feel you should go and see if he is in your city before he retires.

# 27

Silver King
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Silver King was another of the Luchadors that I was introduced to thanks to WCW and was also able to see live in action because of them and he was pretty damn great in the ring! And when in 2019 I heard of his passing, it was a sad day as he was such a great wrestler and one I also enjoyed watching. Silver King started his career in 1985 working the indies as El Invasor for a short time before becoming Silver King who originally wore a mask and landed working for UWA and during this time he mostly worked the undercard but did have a bet match against El Hijo del Santo where Silver King lost his mask! Once unmasked, the fans got to see that he was in fact one of Dr. Wagner’s sons and that means Dr. Wagner Jr. is in fact his brother! But becoming unmasked helped him rise up the card and with a stable he called Los Cowboys and along with tag partner El Texano they won the UWA Tag Team Champions and well as Tag Champs for WWA and these wins let them be part of the NWA World Tag Team Championship Tag Team tournament that was held at WCW’s Clash Of The Champions XIX, they lost in the first round to the Free Birds. In 1994 he left UWA and ended up working for CMLL as well as had matches in IWA in Japan, but when WCW came calling in 1997 Silver King signed on to help try and build the growing Cruiserweight division, but sadly like many of his fellow Luchadors, he was used at enhancement talent and would stay on the mid-card level with his big claim to fame being a member of the L.W.O. He was let go by WCW in late 2000. Once leaving WCW he would go back to CMLL and would also work New Japan Pro Wrestling under the Black Tiger character he would stay with them until 2006 as by 2007 he quickly had a run in All Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2008 he would go to AAA and have a very big run and would win the AAA World Tag Team Championship once and would find himself in many high profile matches. In 2018 Silver King would leave AAA and start working the indies up until his death in 2019. I also want to alert you readers that Silver King also played Ramses in the 2005 film Nacho Libre that stared Jack Black. During his time as a wrestler Silver King also went by the names Silver King 1, El Bronco, Silver Cain, Dr. Wagner Jr. and a few more.

# 26

Puma King
Started: 2006     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Puma King is a Luchador I have gotten to see live in action at Rockstar Pro Wrestling as well as got to film is promo for the event, and this guy is a great talent! Puma King started his in ring career working the indies as well as for IWRG and got the call from CMLL in 2008 and would team with his older brother Tiger Kid and would mostly be used on the undercard, he would however be involved in many tournaments as well as bet matches. Puma King would leave CMLL in 2018 and would quickly sign with AAA and by doing this he is also able to work for the Indies as well as take matches in such federations as Impact, IWRG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and MLW to name a few. Thus far in his career he has won some tournament and bet matches and captured gold once in CMLL when he won the Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship! Plus in 2019 he won the Impact World Cup Of Wrestling for Impact Wrestling with his partners Psycho Clown, Aero Star and El Hijo del Vikingo as they defeated the team of Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards! Puma King is also the son of Luchador legend El Felino and being only in his early 30’s still has lots of time to climb the ranks of Lucha Libre and capture more gold.

# 25

Lince Dorado
Started: 2007      Companies: WWE & Chikara     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Nowadays the WWE show 205 Live is a shell of what it was, but when it started for me it was must see TV as they had so many great and talented workers on the roster and one of my favorites was Lince Dorado! Like all wrestlers and Luchadors starting out, Lince started his in ring career working the indies and would sign with Chikara in mid 2007 and would work for them as well as many other indie promotions over the years like Dragon Gate USA, IGNITE and even had a tryout for Impact. Lince would work for the indies up until 2016 as that year he would be signed to WWE as part of their Cruiserweight Division and help get their new show 205 Live off the ground to showcase the wrestlers who weighted 205 pounds or under. Lince would get title shots for the Cruiserweight title during this time but was mostly booked on undercard matches and was sadly hardly on TV at times. His big break came in 2018 when he joined Kalisto and Gran Metalik and they became the stable known as The Lucha House Party and they would go from 205 Live to being featured more and more on Raw and later Smackdown putting Lince on the main roaster. While he and Gran Metalik are still teaming and they are used as undercard talent, I for one am always a mark to watch them in action. Thus far in WWE he has only won the 24/7 Championship once, but during his career in the indies he has captured may titles as well as tournament wins. A solid working and a skilled Luchador it’s a shame WWE does not know how to book Lince Dorado right.

# 24

Alberto Del Rio
Started: 2000     Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Alberto Del Rio was a Luchador that could have been the guy who in the 2010’s that could have brought American mainstream a big star from Mexico and could have been the next Rey Mysterio or Eddie Guerrero if only his backstage attitude did not stink so bad! I was a fan of Alberto’s when he started working in NXT and was brought up to the main roster of WWE as he had a great Million Dollar Man meets JBL gimmick with a Latin flare! Alberto started his Lucha Libre career in 2000 fast track working for AAA and while there he was also making appearances in Japanese promotions all the while gaining in ring skills he worked for the likes of All Japan and Pro Wrestling Zero1 and for all promotions at this time he was going by Dos Caras Jr, but in 2002 he left AAA and in 2004 he left the Japanese promotions. He also in 2003 would try his hand in big time MMA and would have a few fights in Pride, both he would lose. In 2005 he would sign with CMLL and would become a major star for the company and would win the companies World Heavyweight Championship as well would win the 2006 La Copa Junior tournament. But he would leave CMLL in 2009 when he got a contact with WWE who would send him to FCW for matches before also having him wrestle on the main roster shows Raw and Smackdown in Dark Matches and House Shows. And at first they allowed him to wear his mask but quickly they unmasked him and Alberto Del Rio was born who was a rich Mexican aristocrat who would drive expensive cars to the ring and had his own ring announcer for a time named Ricardo Rodriguez and quickly climbed the ladder and became a main eventer and even would win the WWE Champion, the World Heavyweight Championship as well as big matches like the Royal Rumble and the Money In The Bank ladder match. But a bad attitude and a physical altercation with an employee after a bad racist joke lead to his firing. He would then head back to Mexico and sign with AAA in 2014 and would become a main eventer off the bat and even would win the AAA Mega Champion! But AAA was not the only promotion he started working for in 2014/2015 as he also worked for World Wrestling Council, Wrestle-1, Ring Of Honor, World Wrestling League, Lucha Underground and all these federations pushed him as a main star…but all those companies would be left behind in 2015 when he resigned to work for WWE again and on his first night back he would win the United States Championship from John Cena at the Hell In A Cell PPV, and this would also lead to him to be apart of a group called The League Of Nations along with Sheamus, Rusev and Wade Barrett…but this run would end almost as soon as it started as he would quit in 2016. He would end up working for Impact Wrestling in 2017-2018 and was booked as a main event and even won the GFW Global Championship while there, he was fired from Impact when he no showed a big event. And after this Alberto worked the indies up until 2020 when a legal issue halted his in ring career. While Alberto seems like a very terrible person, his in ring work was always something I enjoyed when watching WWE, and that’s all I have to say as his out of wrestling life would give him a negative rating on here. During his time in the ring he also went by some of these names El Patron, El Dorado and El Hijo de Dos Caras to name a few. Again need to stress it sucks that his out of control life is overshadowing his work in the ring.

# 23

Psycho Clown
Started: 2000     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

For me the best Luchador having the clown look is Psycho Clown, and I feel also that he is one of the biggest draws for AAA right now as he is super popular with the youngsters as well as the adult Lucha Libre fans. Psycho Clown started his Lucha Libre career working for the Indies up until 2003 when he signed with CMLL and this only lasted a short time as he was used on the lower card and was still very green and needed more training. By 2006 he had left CMLL and by this time as well he had already had two in rings names Brazo de Plata Jr. and Kronos and joined AAA who by 2007 rebranded him Psycho Clown and had him join a new stable they were creating called “Los Psycho Circus” that would over the years have such members as Monster Clown and Murder Clown and this was a big break for Psycho Clown as this stable became a draw and placed him in many big matches! And in 2015 this also allowed Psycho Clown to become a main draw wrestling single and would lead to many bet, tournament and title wins in AAA as well as their partner companies like Impact Wrestling. Hands down Psycho Clown is one of AAA’s most popular Luchadors and it would be great to see him wrestle in AEW or even WWE (as long as they leave his character and mask alone) and he surly will be in AAA’s Hall Of Fame once he retires. Check out his matches as many can be found on YouTube.

# 22

Super Crazy
Started: 1988      Companies: ECW & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Any one who grew up watching ECW knows the name Super Crazy and also WWE fans should know him as he was on the roster for years! I am a Super Crazy fan as he can wrestle the Lucha style as well as can do hardcore matches and his matches with Tajiri in ECW were legendary! Super Crazy started his wrestling career at the age of 14 in 1988 and worked for many indie federations like UWA and would sign with AAA in 1996 and was a mid-carder that would also get a few WWE matches per the talent trade the company had, Super Crazy would leave AAA in 1997 and would start working for Promo Azteca and would also still make some appearances on WWE TV as apart of their Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. In 1998 Super Crazy signed with ECW and quickly became a fan favorite and was placed in many great matches with names like Tajiri and Little Guido and became a mainstay and star for them up until 2001 when ECW went out of business. So starting in 2001 Super Crazy floated around the Indies as he would wrestle for companies like CZW, XPW, IWA, ROH, New Japan, Impact and even did a few matches in AAA! Finally in 2005 WWE signed him to a contract and had him appear on their ECW One Night Stand PPV and then placed him in a stable with Psicosis and Juventud Guerrero called The Mexicools and once the team was broken up in 2006 Super Crazy started a singles run on the mid-card. Super Crazy would leave WWE in 2008 and would make his return to the Indies and would became a draw and even would go and have matches again for AAA, Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling and NXL. Super Crazy over the years also performed under the names Histeria, El Locco, Super Virus and Super Loco.

# 21

Espectro Jr.
Started: 1974      Companies: Indies      Active: No     Seen Live: No

Ok this is a hard one as several Luchadors have played the gimmick of Espectro Jr. over the decades as hell there are several working the Indies in Mexico and America going right now! But I could not leave him off my list as over the years I have found myself watching matches of this Luchador from all generations on YouTube. And while AAA owner Antonio Pena played Espectro Jr. it’s Jose Elias Pinceno version that has always got my attention. And this one is super hard to track down his history as its seems at times they all get mixed together so its almost impossible for me to due his write up justice, so what I am going to do here is talk a little about why Espectro Jr. has captured my attention all these years. First off he has a Horror gimmick as he is like a spirit and at times would even come from coffins at the start of his matches, he had a classic Lucha Libre style and when wrestling Rudo he was great as fans hated him. His green and black mask for some reason reminds me of the Halloween season and the masks grinning smile is perfect for this type of character. Espectro Jr. also has a legacy as I have said before so many other wrestlers have taken the name or some sort of variation of it. One part of history I would like to share is that in 2007 Espectro Jr. lost his mask in a bet match to Blue Demon Jr. and that Jose Elias Pinceno is now unmasked, and that he is also the Nephew of the original Espectro. Also look up Espectro Jr. matches on YouTube as they have many of his matches on there from all the Luchadors using the name.

# 20

Pierroth
Started: 1984     Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: No     Seen Live: No

I first learned about Pierroth via WWE when he was an entrant in the 1997 Royal Rumble and for some reason my brother for years always talked about pin fall victories he had over random wrestlers (ones he never did) and would do so in the voice of Gorilla Monsoon. But because of this over the years I have seen many of his matches on grey market VHS tapes as well as now on sites like YouTube. And I have to say Pierroth is a legend in Lucha Libre and one that helped a younger me really become a fan of Luchadors. Like all who start out in the biz Pierroth would work the indies for a short time starting in 1984, but by 1985 and while at the start he was on the lower card and only working from time to time he rose to the top of the card pretty fast and also started his path of capturing titles for the company. By 1995 Pierroth left CMLL and signed with AAA and was a star from the start and of course would capture titles and be put into high card feuds. While working for AAA they had a talent exchange with WWE and this allowed him to wrestle for them on Monday Night Raw as well as make an appearance at the Royal Rumble, but by mid 1997 he would leave AAA and would do a short stint on the Indies before going to IWRG and would be their first Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and would also start wrestling for WWC in Puerto Rico that was run by Carlos Colon and he would stay working these two federations until 1999. Pierroth would then sign back with CMLL and would stay with them until 2008 and was of course was a main eventer and was in big feuds. Sadly Pierroth suffered a stroke in 2008 and forced him to retire from the ring. It’s shocking that AAA has not placed Pierroth in their Hall Of Fame yet as he deserves it for all the years of hard work he has done in the world of Lucha Libre not to even all the titles he has held. A true legend Pierroth is and one that I owe lots to when it comes to making me a fan of Lucha Libre. During his time in the ring Pierroth also went by the names Pierroth Jr. and Comandante Pierroth.

# 19

Gran Metalik
Started: 2005     Companies: WWE & CMLL       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Gran Metalik is in my opinion one of the best Luchadors under contract to WWE and is a superstar I am looking forward to seeing live at an event when they come around. I first became aware of Gran Metalik when he was part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament and quickly became a fan. Gran Metalik started his Lucha career in 2005 and worked very shortly for the indies before becoming apart of CMLL’s roster and quickly made his way up the card and became a main-eventer and was given big profile matches as well as many title belts! Gran Metalik was a mainstay at CMLL and was one of the companies big stars for many years that was until he left them in 2016 to join the WWE as apart of their new rebirth of the Cruiserweight division. But before he was a WWE Superstar while working for CMLL he was also working for New Japan Pro Wrestling off and on for many years and was making a name in Japan for himself as well, he would work for them from 2010-2016. When first in WWE he was pushed as one of the best Cruiserweights and Luchadors in the world and was called “The King of The Ropes” by the announcers, but as time went on he was shown less and less on TV as well as was losing matches to less skilled workers on the roster. Just like Lince Dorado when he became a member of the group Lucha House Party in 2018 he received a short-term push before becoming an undercard member of the roaster once more. WWE bookers have zero clue how to use Luchadors and it’s a shame as they have so many talented workers on their roster that are being misused and not used at all. Gran Metalik thus far has used the following names as well Plata II, Metalik and Mascara Dorada.

# 18

Konnan
Started: 1987      Companies: AAA & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Konnan is another of the Luchadors that I knew about thanks to WCW who showcased him for many years in the company even making him member of such groups as The Dungeon Of Doom and nWo Wolfpack! And one thing you have to give Konnan lots of credit for is the fact he is the one over the years that has gotten his fellow Luchadors work in companies like WCW and ECW. Konnan started his career in 1987 and got his first major indie gig with UWA and quickly he would be in many high profile main event matches that would lead him to working for CMLL as well as a few matches for WCW in 1990 and while also working dates in Japan he got a call from the WWE who wanted to sign him on to play a costumed character called Max Moon, and after a few tryout matches and was apart of the WWE. In 1991 while also still working for CMLL Konnan would loose his mask in a bet match against Perro Aguayo, he would also be the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion as the company was originally called EMLL. In 1992 Konnan left CMLL to join AAA and would also leave WWE as many in the company did not like his bad attitude and when he started no showing events that was the final straw, but his time in AAA was during a big boom in Lucha Libre and he became super popular and was a major draw in Mexico. In 1995 he started working for ECW for a short time and even helped co-promote an event that had both AAA and ECW wrestlers together. But in 1996 WCW came calling and he would be booked strong at first winning the United States Championship before loosing it and being forced in the silly Dungeon Of Doom stable for a short time, but when in 1997 they put him the nWo and his popularity and WCW run would kick into full gear and during his WCW run he would win some titles as well as join the group “Filthy Animals” and team with rapper Master P! But in 2001 WCW went out of business and Konnan would head to work for the indies and even wrestled for XPW, World Wrestling All-Stars and this would lead to him working for Impact Wrestling in 2003. While working for Impact he would also sign back with AAA in 2004 and was a featured wrestler in both being involved in the main event spotlight and in Impact even fourmed the LAX group. And these two federations were he would stay working now as a manager and taking a back stage role. During his time in the ring he has also went by the names Conan The Barbarian, K-Dogg, El Centurion, Latin Fury, Max Moon and Konnan The Great to name a few. While I am not a super mega fan of Konnan I do respect his hard work in and out of the ring, I mean at one time he was called the Hulk Hogan of Mexico!

# 17

El Canek
Started: 1972      Companies: AAA & CMLL       Active: No     Seen Live: No

When you think of legendary names in the history of Lucha Libre, one of the names has to be El Canek as he is on my list at least and should be on yours! I first heard of El Canek thanks to WWE when he was apart of the AAA talent exchange and he wrestled a few matches for them including a three-man tag at the 1997 WWE Royal Rumble as he teamed with Hector Garza and Perro Aguayo, and later I went on to buy a Grey Market VHS tape off Ebay that had many of his matches on it as I was a fan of his from seeing him in action. Also its awesome to see a bodybuilder from that time be a Luchador! El Canek started his career in 1972 and worked for the indies for a year before wrestling for CMLL and started his build to be a main-eventer in Lucha Libre as he would be featured in many high profile matches. By 1975 El Canek would leave CMLL and would join Universal Wrestling Association and this is were he would become the legend as he was in many big feuds, won many titles, got the attention of the NWA was sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling and would even win the UWA World Heavyweight Championship a total of 15 times and would even defend the title after the company went out of business in 1995! While working for UWA he was also sent to CMLL for another run in a talent exchange and would become a staple at their events as well placed in major matches with big time feuds, this would last until 1994. But in 1995 he would start working for AAA and during this time as well he would make appearances at WWE events due to a talent exchange, and during his time in AAA he as well was a main event star and was in many high profile matches and would even win the “Rey de Reyes” tournament. El Canek would leave AAA in 2003 and would then find himself at IWRG and even CMLL again off and one for years and would even have a small return to AAA in 2013 and worked for some indie federations over the years! During his career he has also gone under the names El Universitario, Kanek and Principe Azul. Make sure to go to YouTube and watch some El Canek matches.

# 16

Cibernetico
Started: 1992     Companies: AAA & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

WWE strikes again as thanks to them and the 1997 Royal Rumble is how I first discovered the Luchador known as Cibernetico who had a crazy neon and black mask and almost a 80’s Metal vibe to him, and over the years I have always kept up on his career. Cibernetico started his Lucha Libre career in 1992 working for UWA as he was a student in their training gym, and his bodybuilder background helped him stand out at the events he was featured at. While in UWA he started out as a tecnico but by the companies closing he was a rudo and was being built to be one the companies top! When UWA closed down for good in 1995 he found himself going to AAA and would have a very long a successful run with them finding himself the winner of many titles and was featured as a main event star! He would also work a few matches for WWE during this time starting in 1996 through 1997 as apart of AAA’s talent exchange adding more to his growing fan base. In 2004 Cibernetico would lose his mask in a bet match against La Parka! Cibernetico would stay in AAA until 2008 when he would leave for a year and start working for the indies in Mexico before landing back in AAA and having another long run and big matches and feuds before leaving again in 2015. That same year he would start a short run working for Lucha Libre Elite and would become the companies inaugural Heavyweight Champion, he would leave them in 2017. His last major run was in 2018 when he returned to CMLL for a quick time. Cibernetico is awesome and not only is a popular Luchador but has also appeared in his own comic book as well as was featured in a Mexico Burger King ad! I should also note that it stinks they took the mask off him in 2004 as his mask was very cool.

# 15

Fenix
Started: 2007     Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Fenix is a Luchador that I had not only the pleasure of seeing wrestle live at Rockstar Pro Wrestling but also was able to film with for a un-finished episode of the Horror Host show I do called Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. He is a super talented Luchador and a super nice person and if you ever have the chance to see him wrestle, go and do it! Fenix started working the indies in 2007 and was quickly signed to AAA in 2011 and was quickly put into big matches as well as feuds as the fans seemed to really be behind Fenix, and while working for AAA he was also working dates in Japan in federations like Pro Wrestling Noah. AAA would also lead him to work for Lucha Underground starting in 2014. But things would end for his AAA run in 2016 and this would allow Fenix to work the indies in Mexico and America as well as a few in Japan. Fenix was building a huge name for himself around the world and was being said that he is one of the best Luchadors going today! In 2018 Fenix would find himself signed to many major wrestling federations and working them all around the same time as he would work for Impact Wrestling, MLW, CMLL and would return to AAA and once more was a main eventer and a big attraction for each showing just how popular he is. In 2019 he was signed to AEW and is currently working for both AAA and AEW and is a major star in both. Fenix this far has captured gold in many of the places he has worked as he has held belts for AAA, Impact, Lucha Underground, MLW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Pro Wrestling Revolver to name a few. He also has used the names Rey Fenix, The King, King Phoenix, Fenix el Rey and Mascara Oriental.

# 14

Essa Rios
Started: 1994     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Essa Rios is a Luchador that I became a fan of in 1997 when he was brought into the WWE as apart of there Light Heavyweight division going under the name Aguila and later in 1999 he would go under the name Essa Rios.  He was a high flyer in the world of giants, plus he was the man to introduce the WWE Universe to Lita as she was his manager! Essa Rios started wrestling in 1994 and worked the indies in Mexico before getting a contract with WWE in 1996, wrestling under a mask and called Aguila he was a featured highflyer in the growing Light Heavyweight division. By 1999 the repackaged Aguila and unmasked him and started calling him Essa Rios and partnered him with a female valet named Lita. Essa would capture Light Heavyweight title, and sadly after losing the title he would find himself falling down the card and being used as enhancement talent and by 2001 he was no longer working for WWE. But while gone form WWE he quickly found work in AAA working for them from 2001 to 2008 and was a semi main-eventer who also got to work a few matches for Impact due to a talent exchange starting in 2004 and this would only be for a year. Essa would leave AAA in 2008 and would take a little time off as well as working a few Indie dates, but in 2010 he would sign with CMLL and would an upper card roster member used in some great storylines and put in some bigger matches. He would stay with CMLL until 2017 as he would return to AAA that same year and stay for a bit, before heading back to the indies. During his run in wrestling Essa Rios has also went under the names Aguila, Mr. Agulla and Papi Chulo. While he might not be a household name, he still is a great worker who has captured many belts and has entertained for many years in the ring.

# 13

Damien 666
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Once more I have to pay respects to WCW for introducing me to Damien 666 as he was you guessed it apart of the Cruiserweight division boom of 1996! And because of WCW, I was also able to see him live at a Saturday Night tapping and have followed him in the indies. Damien started in 1985 and was working the indies as well as places like WWA and in 1991 he was signed to FMW in Japan and learned the Hardcore wrestling ways and would be a mid-carder and a favorite for fans to watch, during this time he as well would work a few matches for AAA. His run in FMW would end in 1996 and Damien 666 would find himself in America and doing a very short run for ECW, and in 1996 is also when WCW came calling and Damien 666 was added to the Cruiserweight division and was used on the undercard as well as an enhancement talent, he would never hold any belts in WCW but did become a member of the LWO. Damien’s WCW run would come to an end in 1999 and along with Halloween they become the tag team “Mexico’s Most Wanted” and work the indies as the team and would even be featured on XPW and would win the federations Tag Team titles. In 2002 Damien would sign with CMLL alongside Halloween and they would be in major programs and would became draws, Damien 666 would leave CMLL in 2008 and would then find himself in AAA and once more was pushed up the card and became a rudo star for them, he would also work a few matches for IWRG at this time. Damien 666 would capture the AAA World Trios Championship before leaving AAA in 2012 and would wrestle for IWRG for awhile and then would return to the indies were he is at currently. Damien 666 in his career has also went under the names Caballero 2000, Ultraman 2000, Ultraman II, Amigo Ultra, Damien and Galaxy. When Damien retires from the ring he should be remembered not just for his Hardcore Wrestling but also his Lucha Libre style.

# 12

El Felino
Started: 1987     Companies: CMLL & AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Felino is a Luchador that I knew about thanks to wrestling magazines as well as grey market VHS tapes, in fact the first Arena figure I ever bought was El Felino that I got for the Horror convention Cinema Wasteland. El Felino is awesome in the ring and when masked his look was fantastic and very eye catching. El Felino started in 1987 and worked the indies as well as UWA and in 1989 he got the call to go to CMLL and became one of the companies biggest stars and was placed in many major matches and feuds and would capture many belts during his run, and he was truly one of the most loved tecnico’s for CMLL! Shockingly El Felino left CMLL in 1999 and signed with AAA for a very short run in the main event scene teaming with his brother Heavy Metal. Less than a year away El Felino signed back with CMLL and once more was pushed as a big star and would go from tecnico to rudo and back again and would even loose his mask in 2004 in a bet match he lost to La Sombra and who is known now as Andrade in WWE. El Felino continues to work for CMLL and still to this day is a main draw! I also would like to say for a short while he also used the name Babe Casas. If you are a fan of Lucha Libre, I am sure you know who El Felino is and I am sure you know just how iconic and great he is, and if you don’t look up some of his matches and give them a watch.

# 11

Mil Mascaras
Started: 1963      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: Semi     Seen Live: No

One of the biggest names in Lucha Libre history is Mil Mascaras, the Luchador that is know by the nickname Man Of 1000 Masks who is a true journeyman in the sport. At a very young age I knew who Mil Mascaras was due to his film career as well as his classic matches in WWE as well as his work in WCW. I would always cheer for Mil in his matches as he was a true superstar of the ring and is an icon and WWE Hall Of Fame member. Mil started his career in 1963 and worked all over the world as he would have stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling, WWE, International Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Council, WCW, WWA, Legacy Wrestling Enterprises among so many others and he was a trail blazer and brought the Lucha Libre highflying style to American fans and lead the way for all those that followed in his foot steps. The thing about Mil is that he never stayed in a federation long enough for him to become stale, and this made him stand out and really feel like a big attraction when he is on a card in the main event. Over the years Mil has also has his fair share of critics has he has been legendary hard to deal with for promoters and fellow wrestlers alike, but while this may be true you can never take away just how great Mil is in the ring and all the barriers he broke in American wrestling.

# 10

El Hijo del Santo
Started: 1982      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Santo is hands down the biggest name in Lucha Libre history, and his son El Hijo del Santo is on the path to be just as iconic and respected as his father. El Hijo del Santo is a Luchador I learned about via wrestling magazines, grey market VHS tapes as well as his comic books and movies. El Hijo del Santo started his in ring career in 1982 working for the indies of Mexico and would spend much of his very early career working for WWA and UWA and by 1983 he started working some matches for CMLL and during this time he was quickly a draw and main eventer, and not just cause who his dad was but because he had great in ring skills. Through the 80’s he had many big feuds against the likes of Espanto Jr. and Negro Casas. In 1997 El Hijo del Santo made his first tour of Japan working for Universal Lucha Libre making a name for himself outside of Mexico and in 1992 he started working for AAA and had some amazing matches with the likes of Octagon, Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr. In 1995 after having some creative issues with AAA, he would go to CMLL and during his run for the first time El Hijo del Santo would turn rudo and would even have bloody matches against El Dandy.  The rudo turn helped CMLL draw big money and over time El Hijo del Santo would turn tecnico and become one of the company’s top stars up until he left in 2004. In 1998 El Hijo del Santo also had a small run working for WWE as apart of their very short-lived Super Astros program that features Lucha Libre and WWE Cruiserweight stars. El Hijo del Santo then started working for the indies and would even start booking his own shows in Mexico as well as even England and his fame was at an all time high! And still to this day he wrestles all over and is a true icon of Lucha Libra. Lucha Libre has so many amazing talents and El Hijo del Santo is one of them, and to be honest I would love to see his own son who is wrestling under the name Santo Jr. to work for the WWE and have some great matches with their current NXT talent. I should also note that El Hijo del Santo has also wrestled under the name El Korak when he first started.

# 9

Vampiro
Started: 1984      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Semi      Seen Live: Yes

I first learned about Vampiro via a CMLL action figure that was at a dollar store in Sugercreek, Ohio back in the early 90’s and then read more about him in the pages of wrestling magazines and then became a huge fan of his when I got to see him wrestle in WCW both on TV and once live! Vampiro is one of those Luchadors who has been all over and everywhere and started working in 1984 for International Wrestling out of Canada as an enhancement talent and would stick around the indies for a while. In 1991 he would head to Mexico and started working for CMLL who originally hired him to be a silly character, but his looks and limited move set for some reason got over with the fans and he found himself climbing up the card very fast. He would find himself in many bet matches as well as would be in tournaments as well as getting title shots! While working for CMLL he has would be working some dates for UWA as well as working matches in Japan. In 1996 he would leave CMLL and work dates for AAA, IWRG and Promo Azteca but would return in 1998 to CMLL before getting his big break in America. You see Vampiro got the call to come to WCW in 1998 and was used as a mid-carder who would have feuds with some of the companies big stars like Sting, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and would even be in teams with the likes of Raven, The Great Muta and musicians The Misfits and ICP. When WCW went out of business in 2001 and was purchased by WWE his contract was not picked up and he found himself heading back to Mexico and working for CMLL as well as taking matches in other federations like World Wrestling Council, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Xtreme Pro Wrestling and would continue to work some of theme even after leaving CMLL in 2005. From there Vampiro would sign with AAA and work on and off for them until 2020 and while from their he would also work for Lucha Underground, Wrestling Society X, CMLL and Juggalo Championship Wrestling and every place he has gone Vampiro is a star! It’s crazy that WWE never signed him as I would have loved to have seen him feud with the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and even Mankind. While not what you would think of as a Luchador to me Vampiro is a great one who has been one of my favorites sense I was a teen. Vampiro has also went by the in ring names Vampiro Canadiense, Casanova, Gene Anderson, Ian Richards, Vampiro Casanova and a few more.

# 8

Eddie Guerrero
Started: 1986      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

For many when you ask the question “Who Is The Best Luchador Ever” they will quickly say Eddie Guerrero and to be fair they are not wrong as he really was one of the best. I first knew of Eddie thanks to WCW and even ECW and followed him all the way up until his death as he was hands down one of the best minds and workers to step foot into the ring. I mean who else could make lying, cheating and stealing look so cool? Eddie started in 1986 working for the indies but was quickly picked up by CMLL in 1987 and was a popular Luchador to watch and would even work a few WCW matches as part of a talent exchange, but in 1992 when AAA was created he left CMLL to join them. While working for AAA he was a big star and would also work a few dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling and would be placed in many big matches for AAA. But in 1995 he would head to America and wrestle for ECW and would have some of the companies best technical and fast paced matches against the likes of Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. But that same year WCW came calling and signed Eddie to a contract that would see him become a mid-card attraction and would win some titles as well as be apart of groups like LWO and the Filthy Animals. But after years of being misused and held back by aging wrestlers worried about their spots on the card Eddie would leave WCW and sign with WWE in 2000 and would appear with other wrestlers who left WCW for the same reason and those wrestlers were Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn and they became known as The Radicalz! Eddie would become injured at the start of his WWE run but would came back fast and become a future wrestler feuding with the likes of The New Age Outlaws, Chris Jericho and X-Pac and would have an angle that he was in love with Chyna. But in 2001 he was fired from WWE when he was battling addiction and was arrested for drinking and driving. Eddie would start working Indie dates in 2001 and worked for ROH, WWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling and was proving that he was still as talented as ever and was getting himself clean. Eddie would get a second chance in WWE as they resigned him to a contract in 2002 and he would be put into a team and later a feud with his nephew Chavo Guerrero as they were called Los Guerreros. After this Eddie became a contender for the belts and would end up winning the WWE Champion in 2004 by beating Brock Lesnar! And even after losing the belt he stayed a contender and a main event draw up until his death in 2005. While Eddie is gone he will never be forgotten, as he truly is one of the best Luchadors and Wrestlers to ever walk the Earth. Eddie in his career also used the names Black Tiger, Mascara Magica, El Caliente, Gory Guerrero Jr. and Eddy Guerrero.

# 7

Pentagone Jr.
Started: 2007      Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No 

Pentagone Jr. for me is the best modern day Luchador working in Mexico and America today as he can wrestle the rough Lucha Libre style as well as a very bloody hardcore style his hardcore matches with Sami Callihan and OVE in Impact Wrestling was some of the best things in wrestling at the time. Plus whenever Pentagone Jr. is in a match, it’s must watch TV for me as you know you’re in for one hell of a good match. Pentagone Jr. started in 2007 working the indies in Mexico and would get his first big break in 2010 when he signed with AAA and started out as a mid-card attraction and with hard work and sky rocketed up the card winning big matches and would win some belts as well as worked for Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and worked the Indies building his name and showing the world how good he really is. Pentagone Jr. would leave AAA in 2017 as they two sides clashed over creative ideas and freedoms. After leaving AAA he would still work a year for Lucha Underground and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as would work for other federations like MLW and Impact Wrestling with the later him really making a name for himself in America with. In 2018 he would return to AAA and once more was booked as a main draw and would also still work the indies as well as would sign with AEW and he is still working to this day in AAA and AEW and continues to wow fans with his style. In his career he has also wrestled under the names Zaius, Dark Dragon, Pentagon Dark, El Hijo del Cuchillo and Penta El Zero M to name a few. If he keeps it up Pentagone Jr. will surely be in many Hall Of Fames when he retires from the ring as his hard work is building a massive fan base.

# 6

La Parka
Started: 1982      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

La Parka is a Luchador that I discovered thanks to WCW and their big boom of hiring Cruiserweights for their budding division. And La Parka was one that became a favorite of mine due to his awesome mask and fun loving yet hard hitting style and even got to see him wrestle live a few times in WCW. La Parka started his in ring career in 1982 wrestling and would wrestle under his real name as well as the names El Gringo, El Asesino de Tepito, Principe Island and Invasor del Norte and would travel the indies up until 1992. AAA started in 1992 and it’s here that La Parka was born and quickly became one of the company’s biggest draws even though he was a Rudo! He would also have many big matches during this time and was even apart of the WCW and AAA event called “When Worlds Collide” in 1994. He would also capture gold winning the Mexican National Light Heavyweight title and holding it for over 200 days! La Parka would also appear on ECW while still working for AAA as apart of a talent exchange. La Parka would leave AAA in 1996 and would sign with WCW and would become a mid-card attraction for the booming cruiserweight division, and would later be called the Chairman of WCW as he would bring a chair to the ring and play it like a guitar and even dance around it! He also became a member of the LWO and was treated as a comedy character in the late 90’s. La Parka would leave WCW in 2000 and was let go by the company alongside many of the other Luchador talent. La Parka would start working the indies after being let go and still does to this day working for the likes of X-LAW, MLW and many more. In 2003 LA Parka now under the name L.A. ParK signed with CMLL as he had to change his name as AAA would claim the trademark in Mexico for the character’s look and name and would be a draw from them as well as he was involved in high profile matches as well as held many titles. La Parka would leave CMLL in 2008, ending a good run that helped build his legacy. In 2010 he would have another run in AAA and would feud with the company’s La Parka on who was the real deal that lead to a match to see who would be known as La Parka…they both ended up able to use the name in the end but him still using the L.A. Park name for AAA. He would leave AAA in 2013 and by 2014 would be back in CMLL for a very short appearance run and was let go by CMLL in 2015 for violating their rules of crowd treatment. L.A. Park would stick working for the indies until 2018 when he once more started working for AAA and he is still with them as of this update as well as still working the indies. L.A. Park or the original La Parka if you will is an icon of Lucha Libre and will surely be placed in a Wrestling Hall Of Fame in Mexico as well as America when retired from the ring.

# 5

Blue Panther
Started: 1978      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Panther is a legendary Luchador who is a true journeyman who has wrestled all over Mexico and America and is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a teenager and he became one of my favorites of classic Luchadors. Blue Panther started his in ring career in 1978 working the indies and made a name for himself very quickly and by 1981 UWA came calling and worked his way up the card as a Rudo and by 1984 won his first title with the company, and he would become a major draw for them up until left in 1990. In 1991 he would have a very short run for CMLL and was one of the company’s top rudos and would capture some gold as well was the one who unmasked The Love Machine in a bet match, and the world seen Art Barr was the man under the mask. By 1992 Blue Panther left CMLL for AAA and this would have him turn tecnico and he as well was a draw for AAA as fans and his fellow Luchadors respected his skill in the ring, and he of course would win titles, be involved in big matches and even feuded with Art Barr once again when he jumped companies. He would be with AAA up until 1997 and then would go back to CMLL and work for them still do this day along with his son Blue Panther Jr. and would become a true legend with them as he would win titles and compete in bet matches and sadly lost his mask in 2008 when he lost a match to Villano V! Even during this time Blue Panther was taking some indie bookings and even would go on to open his own wrestling school in the 1990’s and has been responsible for many great Luchadors like Texano Jr., Ephesto and Cynthia Moreno to name a few. Blue Panther is awesome and if you get a chance make sure to watch a few of his matches and see his classic style, hands done one of my favorites.

# 4

Juventud Guerrera
Started: 1992      Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Juventud is a Luchador that I first saw in ECW but became a fan of when seeing him in WCW as he was one the of top Cruiserweight stars and had a super fast and highflying Lucha Libre style! In fact while at a WCW Saturday Night taping at Hara Arena is Dayton, Ohio while waiting in line for a drink Juventud came out of a door and cut in front of me in line to grab a drink! Even cutting me off in line Juventud thanked me and for the cut and went back through the door, it was funny and awesome. He is the son of Lucha Libre legend Fuerza Guerrera and sadly he had a falling out with his father many years back. Juventud started his wrestling career in 1992 working very briefly the indies but was really a star for AAA right off the bat and he was pushed to the stars and was in a very epic feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. for the AAA Welterweight Title as they would pass it back and fourth. While wrestling for AAA he would also appear in early 1996 at ECW events and by mid 1996 he left AAA and signed with WCW as apart of their blooming Cruiserweight division. Juventud was pushed as one of the breakout stars by WCW and even would win the Cruiserweight title for the first time in 1998 beating Ultimo Dragon and he would hold it off and on a few times as well as always be a contender. In 1998 he would also loose a bet match in WCW to Chris Jericho causing him to lose his mask! Juventud would go on to join groups like LWO and The Filthy Animals and would even be in the film “Ready To Rumble” showing that he was one of the Luchadors they were pushing. In 2000 Juventud was let go from WCW due to an incident at an overseas tour that involved drugs. Once gone from WCW Juventud decided to do a small world tour and took matches in companies like XPW, AAA, Impact, FWA, CMLL and Pro Wrestling Noah building he name value even more and allowing fans from many federations to see him in action. But in 2005 the tour ended as he would sign with WWE and was teamed with Super Crazy and Psicosis to become the team known as The Mexicools and they would go for the Tag Titles as well as The Cruiserweight Championship. But in 2006 Juventud was let go from WWE for not listening and doing banned moves in a match. After his WWE run he would return to work the indies were he is still working to this day as well as had a number of short burst runs in AAA and remains one of Lucha Libres most popular Luchadors and a draw for indie promotions. It’s crazy that Juventud is not in the WWE Hall Of Fame and who knows once he retires from the ring maybe they will put him in as he deserves to be. Juventud over his career also wrestled under the names El Hijo de Fuerza Guerrera, Fighting Youth and Fuerza Grimm.

# 3

Blue Demon Jr.
Started: 1985      Companies: NWA & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Demon Jr. is one of the most iconic Luchadors who is still active today and is a draw for any company that brings him in as he is a true journeyman as well who has wrestled all over the world. Blue Demon Jr. is one that I first discovered on grey marker VHS tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a youngster and became a major fan of, and give that fact I was a fan of his father Blue Demon it was a no brainer that Jr. would become one of my favorites. I even got to meet Blue Demon Jr. once at a Monster Bash Convention and while we had a language barrier, he was a super nice Luchador. Blue Demon Jr. started his Lucha career in 1985 working for the indies and building his own legacy that would go alongside his father’s, be was a draw almost right off the bat and would even have a few matches off and on for major Mexican promotions just bringing fans into the matches. In 1996 he would sign with AAA and would be a major draw and would have some big high profile matches. He would stick around AAA until 2001 and then he returned to the indies and being a journeyman and not until 2008 did he sign with NWA and became the companies first Mexican and Masked wrestler to hold the NWA Heavyweaight Championship as well as was running his own company called NWA Mexico. He would stay around in the NWA until 2010 and then would go to Pro Wrestling Revolution and would win their Heavyweight Title and would even team with his biggest rival El Hijo del Santo to win the Tag Titles! He would stick around until 2013 with Pro Wrestling Revolution and by that same year he signed back with AAA and has become a major draw for them in many high profile matches including an amazing feud with Dr. Wagner Jr. that set the world of wrestling on fire. In 2014 while still working for AAA he also started working for Lucha Underground and was there for a year and was one of the main focuses of that season. Blue Demon Jr. is still active as of this posts upload and his working for AAA as well as takes Indie bookings. A true legend of the ring and really is one of my favorite Luchadors ever to step into the ring.

# 2

Psicosis
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Psicosis is a Lucha that I first discovered in the pages of wrestling magazines and finally seen him in action thanks to WCW who brought him in during the massive Cruiserweight boom. Once I seen him in matches I became a mega fan and would watch his old matches in Mexico and in ECW thanks to the tape trade market. I have also been very lucky to have seen Psicosis wrestle live both in WCW as well as in WWE and he is one of the best Luchadors I have ever seen live! Plus his mask is so awesome and he was one of the wrestlers I always played as in WCW/NOW Revenge on the N64. Psicosis started his career in 1988 under the name El Salvaje and worked the indies and by 1989 he would go under the name Psicosis and he was a rudo draw as he would have matches with some of the top upcoming stars like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera as well as legends like El Hijo del Santo and by this time as well he was signed and working matches in AAA even showcasing his style at the 1994 pay-per-view “When Worlds Collide” given American fans their first look at him, and this lead to him making appearances in 1995 for ECW. In 1996 Psicosis would start working for WCW and would become one of the featured Cruiserweights and would be come the champion as well as would be a member of the L.W.O. and would even lost his mask in a bet match against Billy Kidman, though Psicosis had lost his mask in Mexico to Rey Mysterio Jr. before this but his face was not seen in WCW it was and he would wrestle unmasked for the remainder of his time there. In 2000 Psicosis was let go from WCW and would return very briefly to ECW and from their would wrestle for many federations like XPW, All Japan, World Wrestling All-Stars, Impact, CMLL as well as NWA. Psicosis who had to start wrestling under the name Nicho El Millonario due to AAA and him having rights issues over the name as they had given the name to another known as Psicosis II and in 2005 he returned briefly to AAA in order to battle for the name and even Super Crazy got involved in the feud for the name. But he would leave AAA that same year and would sign to WWE and would be teamed with Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera and became a group called The Mexicools, but his run would be short lived as he was fired in 2006 due to legal issues. But he would not be out of work for long as he would have a year run in CMLL before signing back with AAA in 2007 and would once more be a featured rudo in many big matches. During this run he would also put the mask back on and wrestle as Psicosis again in Mexico, but by 2014 he was once more released from AAA. He would return to the indies and is still working for them to this day, but did have a very small run once again in AAA starting in 2016 and by 2017 he was gone again. Really if you are a younger fan of Pro Wrestling and Lucha Libre, make sure to watch some of Psicosis matches and make sure it’s the original as you will see why he is one of my all time favorite Luchadors.

# 1

Rey Mysterio Jr.
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok I had to pick Rey Mysterio Jr. as my # 1 spot cause well he is Rey and a true legend of Lucha Libre as well as brought the Mexican style to a mainstream pro wrestling fan her in America. Rey Mysterio I saw first thanks to WCW and I have seen him live several times not only during his WCW run but also in his WWE one. He is one wrestler that I have always cheered for and even the short time unmasked I was still a fan, but I will say thank goodness for WWE being smart and putting the mask back on him…and shame on WCW for unmasking him. Rey Musterio Jr. started in 1989 working the indies of Mexico and by 1992 was signed to AAA and was becoming one of the biggest rising stars in Lucha Libre, he would even have matches in ECW while with AAA and Americans would get their first look at Rey in action. In 1996 Rey would sign with WCW as part of their growing Cruiserweight division that was bring together some of the worlds best in that weight class. Rey would be one of the biggest breakout stars in that division and would hold many titles from the Cruiserweight Title to the Tag Titles, would be in such groups as the L.W.O., Filthy Animals and the No Limit Soldiers, he would also be unmasked by Kevin Nash and would be one of the company’s biggest mid-card attractions. Rey would stay with WCW until it closed in 2001 and then would work for CMLL as well as the indies until 2002 when WWE came calling and Rey signed with America’s biggest wrestling promotion. Rey Mysterio Jr. from the start was a big deal in WWE as he had a major fan base and he would be in main event matches as well as win titles like WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship as well as Tag Team Champion with such partners as Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam. He would also win the Royal Rumble and would have big matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, JBL and so many more. Rey would leave WWE in 2015 and would take indie bookings as well as would return to AAA for sometime as well as took matches in Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2018 Rey Mysterio Jr. would return to WWE and is still there as of this update and is working alongside his son Dominik and is a true WWE Legend and for sure will be in the Hall Of Fame when he retires. Rey Mysterio Jr. is an amazing Luchador and even after years of injuries as well as age he still can out wrestle almost all the youngsters in WWE today. Get the WWE Network and watch many of Rey’s older matches and see why he is my # 1. Rey Mysterio Jr. has also wrestled under the names El Nino, Colibri, Super Nino and Rey Misterio II.

This list was way harder to compile then I ever would have thought as many times while writing it and even getting it ready to post I changed the order of many of them. And it was tough to choose was going to be my number one as it went to Rey Mysterio but it also was so close going to go to Psicosis and even Blue Demon Jr. was considered for that spot! And to be honest I could have done a Top 100 as there is many other Luchadors that I am a fan of that didn’t make the list with the likes of El Zorro, Electroshock, Charly Manson and Dark Ozz to name a few and they could and should off if I had more slots on this countdown. Well for our next update we will be leaving Lucha Libre behind and will be once more taking a look at the world of Horror Hosting and will be talking about The Moon and Narrator who first hosted TNT Monstervision! So until next time, watch a Lucha Libre match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for some MonsterVision!

The Strong Arm Of The Law Of Marshall Bravestarr

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, a place were we can talk about classic toys, cartoons, movies, horror hosts, video games and so much more.  For this update we are going to travel to space and meet a cowboy who is the law on the planet New Texas that goes by the name Marshall Bravestarr! That’s right, a planet called New Texas is where we will be traveling for this update, but I should warn you that while we are traveling on the BlackThorne Comic Express we will need some 3-D glasses for this adventure. Thinking about it, is New Texas on the Planet Texas that Kenny Rogers sang about in his super cheesy song called “Planet Texas”? Just ponder that for a while.  So I hope you’re ready for a Texas size good time! I must also say that growing up I was not a super fan of Bravestarr, but did watch the cartoon from time to time so this will be nice to go back and try to reconnect with a character I have not thought about in years. Oh yeah, and on the last picture below does it look like maybe Bravestarr ate the wrong kind of mushroom or he just witnessed something very, very bad that marked his very soul?

Bravestarr sprit animalsBravestarr open logoBravestarr 0

So before we move onto Bravestarr, I finally must touch up on WWE 2K15 for the PS3, and wow, I must say 2K Sports who took over the IP when THQ went sadly out of business REALLY dropped the ball this first year of them being solely in charge of the wrestling game. The roster is the weakest it’s been in years and the lack of push and updates to their website show just how little they care about the fans of this game series. The fact the major WWE Summer Slam roster reveal panel was incomplete and left out many of the superstars in the game just shows you how lazy 2K is about doing anything with this. I mean when they crammed out NBA 2K15, they really pushed it! This year the major focus of the game is legendary feuds in WWE History like such “major” beefs like Triple H vs. Shawn “HBK” Michaels, Christian vs. Randy Orton and who can forget John Cena vs. CM Punk…..yeah no Hogan vs. Piper or Austin vs. Bret Hart, this feature is super lame on most accounts. Some of these feuds come as DLC as well; they are making you pay to play Orton vs. Christian as well as get a terrible storyline pack for Mark Henry that only adds The Great Kahli to your roster besides some arena and outfits! The only really awesome feud pack that will be released is one that follows the career of The Ultimate Warrior that adds many great legends to roster like Hulk Hogan, Macho King Randy Savage, Sargent Slaughter, Honkey Tonk Man, Ravishing Rick Rude and Andre The Giant. They also will have a WCW roster pack that will add Lex Luger, Diamond Dallas Page, Bam Bam Bigelow, Fit Finley and William Regal that will be a pretty good addition. They also have a story pack based around the rookies of NXT that helps bring the next generation into this generation and legends.

WWE 2K15 Hulk HoganWWE 2K15 HBKWWE 2K15 Goldust

But while 2K tries to make the theme of this year the terrible feuds, for me and others this game belongs to Sting! That’s right the icon of WCW, Sting, is in the game and not only do we get the Crow version but we also get the late 80’s/early 90’s blonde hair one as well! Who would have thought that in 2K15 fans would be treated to Sting in all his video game glory allowing you to have him wrestle the likes of The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and rematch with Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Not to mention many other faces of his past are present like Ravishing Rick Rude who he had a great set of matches with in WCW, his friend and some times enemy Lex Luger and not to mention his old tag team partner The Ultimate Warrior.

WWE 2K15 StingWWE 2K15 PS3WWE 2K15 Sting (Crow)

So let’s take a look at 5 wrestlers that had great matches with Sting in WCW that should have been included in this game instead of being snubbed and left out in the cold.

Big Van Vader

Big Van Vader

One of the best big men in the business, Big Van Vader should have been in the game and could have had great matches not only with Sting but many others on 2K’s roster. Starting his career in 1985 in AWA under the name of Baby Bull and later changed to Bull Power, he took the scene by storm with his large size and powerful moves. In 1987 he went to New Japan Pro Wrestling and changed his name to Big Van Vader and dominated the competition becoming one of the biggest stars the company has ever had. He had great matches and feuds with the likes of Stan Hansen, El Canek, The Great Muta and Antonio Inoki and was feared by the Japanese audience. During this time New Japan was trading talent with WCW and would have Vader come in for pay per views and take on the likes of Tom Zenk and Stan Hansen, but by 1992 Big Van Vader had left New Japan and took full time work in WCW where he was managed by Harley Race and was the company’s new major heel! Vader dominated once more the competition with matches against the likes of Cactus Jack, Nikita Koloff, Dustin Rhodes, Britsih Bulldog Davey Boy Smith and Sting, and with Sting he defeated and became the World Champion. As years passed and new talent came in, Vader found himself still a draw but taking a back seat to the likes of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage who had jumped ship from WWF to WCW. By 1995 and before the first WCW Monday Night Nitro Vader had left the company. In 1996 he returned very briefly to New Japan Pro Wrestling to finish his feud with Antonio Inoki. WWF came calling in 1996 as well, and Vader made his in ring debut for them at the Royal Rumble.  Very soon after coming in he was managed by Jim Cornette and it looked like he would be pushed once more as a monster heel, but sadly this never was as he seemed to be lost in the shuffle thanks to the likes of Shawn Michaels and Diesel. But during this run he did have some great matches with The Undertaker, Yokozuna, The Patriot and Kane. Vader left WWF in 1998 and went on to wrestle for All Japan Pro Wrestling as well as other independent federations, and still makes appearances from time to time in WWF (WWE).

Key Match Against Sting: WCW Slamboree 94

Barry Windham

Barry Windham

Bad Boy Barry Windham is the son of legendary tag team wrestler BlackJack Mulligan and is a super talented and hard worker who was also a member of The Four Horsemen in NWA/WCW. Barry began is career in 1980 and worked for many NWA territories including Florida Championship Wrestling. He feuded with Kevin Sullivan and later went on to capture tag team gold alongside Mike Rotunda. By 1984, WWF came calling and Barry and Mike went to New York and became the tag team known as U.S. Express and had a short year run winning tag gold and losing it to teams like Iran Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff and The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine), making the U.S. Express run out of gas by 1985. In 1986 Barry, as a singles wrestler, returned to NWA and took on the likes of Ric Flair and even formed a tag team with Ron Garvin as they had a good feud with The Midnight Express. Around this time Barry became allies with Lex Luger who would later turn on him and join Ric Flair’s stable known as The Four Horsemen. Barry floated around for a while having matches with Dr. Death Steve Williams, Black Bart and Rick Steiner. In 1988, Barry and Luger, who had left the Horsemen, had patched things up and took the tag titles away from Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard who were members of the Four Horsemen, but when defending them Barry turned on Luger and became the newest member of the Horsemen that consisted of Flair, Anderson, Blanchard and Windham. During this heel run, Barry would become NWA United States Champion and take on many top names in the wrestling world like Sting, Dusty Rhodes, Brad Armstrong and Bam Bam Bigelow.  He would later lose the title to Lex Luger, and in 1989 he left the NWA. Once more he went to WWF and took the name The Widowmaker and played an evil tough cowboy character who went undefeated for over 4 months, but this was very short lived and he once more left the company as quickly as he entered. In 1990 he returned to NWA now WCW and rejoined the Four Horsemen and even helped his fellow member Sid Vicious win the world title from Sting, as Windham dressed as Sting and allowed Sid to pin him! This run in WCW would see him turn from face to heel and make allies and enimies out of the likes of Dustin Rhodes, Brian Pillman, Stunning Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat and The Great Muta, as well during this time he would win many titles and become a solid worker for the company. But once more he left the pastures of WCW and went back to WWE in 1996 to become a character called The Stalker a crazy outdoors hunter type who was a babyface.  Thank God that in 1997 they changed his character and teamed him up with Justin Hawk Bradshaw to become The New Blackjacks, but this as well didn’t last long as they had Windham turn on Bradshaw and join a faction of wrestlers who were pro NWA. And once more as quick as it started Windham left WWF and went back to WCW to be part of a team called The West Texas Rednecks alongside the likes of Curt Henning, Bobby Duncum Jr. and his younger brother Kendall Windham, and they all were a bunch of good old boys who hated rap music. Barry and Kendall would team up and become Tag Champions before they both were fired in 1999. Barry after this release would go on to wrestle for many small independents around the world where he still was able to make an impact. While all the Four Horsemen should be in this game, we do already have Ric Flair so it would have been nice to see the likes of Barry Windham to have feuds in 2K15 with Sting and even guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Rob Van Damn.

Key Match Against Sting: WCW Clash of The Champions # 22 – Barry Windham, Vader, Paul Orndorff vs. Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Cactus Jack.

British Bulldog

British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith

It’s a crime that Davey Boy is not in this game and more so that he is not in the WWE Hall Of Fame! Davey Boy began pro wrestling in 1982 in Stampede Wrestling and had a series of matches against his cousin, the Dynamite Kid. He later went to New Japan Pro Wrestling and had tournament style matches against Dynamite Kid and The Cobra, and after this he and Dynamite formed a tag team they called The British Bulldogs and shocked the world when they jumped to All Japan Pro Wrestling. But during this time they also caught the eye of WWF who signed them as a team to a contract in 1985 where they came in as a baby face power house team who had many great matches with teams like The Hart Foundation, The Dream Team, The Islanders, Rougeau Brothers and Demolition and won tag gold and became one of the biggest tag teams for WWF. But by 1988 they were released from their contracts due in part to Dynamite Kid’s reputation of being a bully backstage. In 1989 they returned to Stampede Wrestling and stuck around for a year, but issues between the cousins arose and Dynamite went to All Japan while Davey Boy went back to the WWF as a solo wrestler in 1990. Davey Boy returned and became a popular star having matches with the likes of The Warlord, Mr. Perfect Curt Henning, The Mountie among others. During this run at SummerSlam 1992, he defeated Bret “Hitman” Hart for the Intercontinental Title and became even bigger of a draw and a star! Davey Boy lost the belt to Shawn Michaels on Monday Night Raw and a little later on he and the Ultimate Warrior were released from WWF for using growth hormones. By 1993 Davey Boy signed to wrestle for WCW where he paired with Sting to feud with Big Van Vader and Sid Vicious, but once more trouble appeared and Davey Boy was fired from WCW over a brawl he had with a fan at a bar over his wife. Davey Boy floated around small independents in England for awhile before coming back to WWF in 1994 where he joined in the family feud between brothers Bret and Owen as he is in fact their real life brother in-law! After that died down, he formed a tag team with Lex Luger called The Allied Powers, but this didn’t last long as Davey Boy turned heel and joined Jim Cornette’s stable of wrestlers that included Owen Hart and Yokozuna. During this time Smith would have matches for Tag Titles as well as The World Title and even became the first ever WWF European Champion! Davey Boy would later join Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman to form The New Hart Foundation.  Davey Boy left WWF alongside Bret and Jim when at Survivor Series 1997 Vince McMahon screwed over Bret Hart during the world title match against Shawn Michaels by pulling real life underhanded dealings. Davey Boy joined Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart in WCW in 1998 where he floated around the midcard tag team division until he seriously hurt his back in the ring and was served his pink slip via FedEx while in the hospital. In 1999 Davey Boy returned to WWF with a new attitude and look as he simply wore blue jeans and boots and won the Hardcore title from Big Bossman.  He later turned heel and set his sights on the world title and had a few title matches against The Rock who was the champ, but Davey Boy never could get the gold away from the peoples champ. Davey Boy was pushed down the card and had matches against the likes of Crash Holly and Val Venis. Davey was let go in 2000 for having an addiction to pain pills among other drugs and sadly passed away in 2002. Besides teaming with Sting in 2K15, I would also love to have him in matches against the likes of Ryback, Mark Henry and Rusev.

Key Match Teaming With Sting: Beach Blast 1993 – Sting & Davey Boy vs. Big Van Vader & Sid Vicious

Black Scorpion

The  Black Scorpion

Okay I know what you’re all thinking, how could I pick such a cheesy wrestling gimmick as The Black Scorpion as my pick for being snubbed from the game, as others would say he wasn’t he just Ric Flair in a mask? And the answer is yes to both! While The Black Scorpion was discovered to be Ric Flair, many wrestlers played the part, and Ole Anderson who came up with the storyline said it was not supposed to be Flair but him! The Black Scorpion appeared in NWA cutting odd promos about then World Champion Sting claiming that he was from his past and making people believe it was one of his former tag team partners like The Ultimate Warrior or Angel Of Death. During his taunts to Sting, the black masked Black Scorpion would do simple magic and illusions to try and confusing Sting even during matches sometimes multiple versions of him would appear. Every time Sting would get close to unmasking The Black Scorpion during a match, the masked wrestler would be saved by a clone of himself or Sid Vicious who was also having a feud with Sting at the time, never letting him see the identity of his foe. This all came to a head at Starrcade when Sting beat The Black Scorpion in a steel cage and when unmasked, it turned out to be Ric Flair! The character was dropped after this even though rumor has it that he was supposed to go on. The Black Scorpion could have easily been in the game if 2K didn’t cheapen out on his “Feuds” campaign and gave Sting one as he could have been a alternate attire for Ric Flair even! If The Black Scorpion would have been in the game as his own character I would have not only feuded him with Sting but also The Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker.

Key Match Against Sting: Starrcade 1990 – Sting vs. Black Scorpion in a Steel Cage

Vampiro

Vampiro

In 1984 at the age of 16 Vampiro wrestled his first match in Canada and from that moment on, he was hooked on being a Pro Wrestler. His career would lead him to Mexico where he would wrestle for many promotions and have great matches against luchadors like Konnan, Dr. Wagner Jr., Silver King, El Dandy, Dos Caras and El Canek to name a very few. During this timem he also worked a little in Japan but landed a job in WCW in 1998 where he made a splash in the midcard division and formed a stable alongside Rappers ICP and ECW Original Raven called The Dead Pool, and while very short lived, they had a great rivalry with Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Eddie Guerrero. His next major matches came when he brought in Punk Rock Band The Misfits and took on Dr. Death Steve Williams. Vampiro then formed a team with Sting that they called The Brothers In Paint, but Vampiro had other plans as he turned on Sting, and while most times Sting always got the upper hand, Vampiro won the “Human Torch” match and set Sting on fire causing the icon to disappear from wrestling for awhile. After beating Sting, he set his sights on The Demon, a wrestler who was based on the rock band Kiss, and after a Graveyard Match, Sting returned and set the wrongs right. Vampiro then went on to team up with The Great Muta and win the tag team titles from KroniK that they lost the next day to Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera, causing Vampiro to turn on Muta and later sparked a three way match with Sting. After this he went on to have a few matches against Mike Awesome and while injured WWE bought out WCW and his contract was not picked up. Vampiro returned to Mexico and even made a few appearances for companies like TNA, JCW and Wrestling Society X. Vampiro is currently working as an announcer for Lucha Underground, a show on El Ray Network featuring matches from wrestlers from AAA. If Vampiro was to be in this game besides Sting I would have him in feuds with The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio Jr., Alberto Del Rio and Goldust!

Key Match Against Sting: Great American Bash 2000 – Sting vs. Vampiro in a Human Torch Match. 

So those are a few names I would have loved to seen in WWE 2K15 for a Sting Rivalry/ Feud story line! I know that Sid Vicious is supposed to be in the game as a manager, but not a wrestler because that makes a lot of sense, 2K, and the fact that none of the Four Horsemen besides Ric Flair is in the game makes me really want to see them in next years. Plus I would love to see guys like The Great Muta in a WWE game, but sadly I see this never happening. While this could be the worse WWE game roster in a long time, here is to hoping they get their act together next year and give us long time fans something better.

WWE 2K15 Sting with Bat

For those of you wondering and don’t know who Marshall Bravestarr is, let me tell you a little about the character. Bravestarr is of Native American decent and is a very good man who wants to uphold the law and help those who can’t help themselves. Bravestarr can call on his spirit animals and gain superhuman powers for a short time.  For example, if he calls on the Bear, he gains its strength, and if he calls on a Hawk he gains super sight and so on and so on. His best friend is his trusty cyborg horse name Thirty/Thirty who not only walks on all fours but can also walk on two legs like a person and fire a gun to help. He also has a small deputy named Fuzz, a green powerhouse bartender named Handlebar, a female Judge named J.B. McBride and has many other strange and helpful allies in New Texas. So if you find yourself in space and in need of help just call for Marshall Bravestarr as he will be there to lend a hand.

Marshall Bravestarr 1Marshall BravestarrMarshall Bravestarr 2

Filmation,the same company who made “Masters Of The Universe”, “Ghostbusters” and so many more great cartoons in 1987, decided to make a cartoon about space and then they had the idea of mixing in the old west! Back in 1984 while they worked on Ghostbusters, they created an evil ghost cowboy named Tex Hex as one of the series baddies, but the character was pulled from the list as founding member of Filmation Lou Scheimer liked the character’s look and didn’t want him to be a second banana villain so Tex never made it to the cartoon. Tex Hex sat around for 3 years until 1987 when they began to develop the space western animated action cartoon Bravestarr. The series would run for 1 very long season with 65 episodes total as well as a film in 1988. When I was a young lad, I knew very few kids who watched Bravestarr and even fewer kids who owned any of the toys! If I remember right, I think Jeremy Patton had a few that he would bring to the playground in Waynesville, and Grandma Brassfield had Tex Hex and Bravestarr at her house. I can remember watching the cartoon from time to time and while it was fun, it just didn’t catch my attention like other toons released the same year did like Ducktales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, not to mention other cartoons still running at the time like Muppet Babies, Dennis The Menace, The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Snorks and so many others were things I watched. Plus at this time I was watching horror hosts Commander USA and Grandpa Munster who started Super Scary Saturday on TBS in 1987, so sadly Bravestarr was just not a shinning star for a young Matt to be watching all the time. The show also just like many other Filmation cartoons always ended with a lesson to be learned and would teach not only the characters but of course us the viewers. While I was not a loyal watcher, I do have a fond likeness for Bravestarr, and even went out and bought all the seasons on DVD.

Bravestarr 1BraveStarr 2Tex Hex 2

In 1988 “Bravestarr: The Movie” was released to limited theaters and was a bomb at the box office as it mostly showed during the day on weekends for its short run. The film was trashed by critics and even fans of the show were not sold, and the film fell off the radar. The film was groundbreaking on some small levels as it was the first animated film to use computer graphics, and was the first animated film to come out after the original show was off the air. The film’s plot was an origin story and followed how Bravestarr and Tex Hex became bitter enemies and showed that the Bull Skull named Stampede is the true evil mastermind. I barely remember the film coming out and for some reason think that it might have had a showing at the movie theater that use to be inside the Dayton Mall. The film did come out on VHS and twice on DVD, one being on a single disc release and the other being part of a best of.  So if you want to watch the origin story of the law of New Texas then you have options.

The Legend of Bravestarr 1The Legend of Bravestarr Movie PosterThe Legend of Bravestarr 2

I must mention that one of my favorite bad guys from this series was a fish faced lizard man named Sandstorm! Sandstorm’s power is that he can breath out large amounts of sand and create sand clouds, sand creatures and even can put people to sleep with his sand much like the famed folklore legend Mr. Sandman. His race is called Sand Walruses, and his kind are native to New Texas. For some reason his look reminds me a lot of Mer-Man from Masters of the Universe. Ed Gilbert is the voice actor who played the part who also did voices for characters like Blitzwing (Transformers), General Hawk (G.I. Joe), Metlar (Inhumainoids), Mr. Smee (Peter Pan and the Pirates), Major Disaster (Toxic Crusaders), Baloo (Tailspin), El Seed (The Tick) as well as many other characters in many cartoons. My brother Bryan seems to think we had the Mattel figure of Sandstorm growing up, I however barely remember owning it. So just wanted to give Sandstorm his tiny time to shine before we move onto more history of Bravestarr.

Sandstorm 1SandstormSandstorm 2

I wanted to take a brief moment to cover this: many of the women I know have this weird thing where they think cowboys/country boys are the definition of a man’s man, and even in media, it’s pushed this way from John Wayne all the way to the Marlboro Man, they are considered tough rugged good looking guys. Well I am going to take this time and be on the opposite side and say that I find country and cowgirls sexy! And I am pretty sure I can pin point the moment I found the look of cowgirl sexy, and that’s Brad from Nickelodeon show Hey Dude played by Kelly Brown started it for me and Faith Hill the country singer sealed it. Something about a pretty girl with the looks of the Girl Next Door wearing a cowboy hat and chaps is something that a guy like myself can appreciate. Don’t want to waste too much time talking about this, but just wanted to give a shout out to all the cowgirls out there. Below are some cowgirls including former WWE Diva Maria dressed as one as well as singer Jewel.

Maria as CowgirlJewel CowgirlGirl Next Door CowgirlBlonde Cowgirl

Mattel Toys started to make figures based on Bravestarr almost immediately when the cartoon came out and made them different and more “grand” then many of the figures being released at the time as they stood 8” tall and many of them came with infra red backpacks that interacted with a laser gun you could buy and have your very own shoot outs with the figures! Besides all the main cast of characters like Marshall Bravestarr, Tex Hex, Sandstorm and Deputy Fuzz, they also made the town and jail play set, the wagon and the laser gun. The figures when released came in boxes with very cool art on them and a window to peer in and see the toy. But as I stated before, not many kids I knew had these toys but I do remember seeing the toys on the shelves of stores like Hills, Hearts and Gold Circle and remember seeing lots of them in stock. I can’t be for sure on this statement, but from what I could see at a young age these toys must not have sold very well in normal department stores and must have found some tracking via discount stores like Odd Lots. Being older now and looking at the figures now I must say while they are bulky, they are very well done, and I am sure really made kids of the time happy if they were fans of the cartoon.

Bravestarr figureTex Hex FigureBravestarr Sandstorm Figure

Funny enough as I was working on putting this blog together, my friend Brett Prescott who does video game reviews called “Bad or Rad” brought almost a full set of Bravestarr figures into my work to sell! While going through the collection, a sense of nostalgia rushed over me as I looked up the going prices for each figure and even the jail/town playset. And while I knew I wanted them, looking at the figures made me want to own them even more.  So what you are looking at below are the Bravestarr figures I bought from my work thanks to my pal Brett!

My Bravestarr FiguresMy Sandstorm Figure

Besides the Mattel Toys and Blackthrone Comic series, lots of other merchandise was made to try and make money off the cartoon that includes Halloween masks, lunchboxes, a video game for home computers, pillow cases and bed sheets, Colorforms, storybooks, stickers and even water guns! They tried really hard to try and make kids of the 80’s care about Bravestarr, and for those who did, they had plenty of things to choose from. I really think that both Mattel and Filmation thought that Bravestarr would have been their successor to Masters Of The Universe and put lots of eggs in that basket that sadly for them just didn’t bring the draw that He-Man did.

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So are you ready to hit the old trail and stop outlaws with our good pal Marshall Bravestarr? Before he swears us in as deputies hoever, I do need to thank Lone Star Comics and Mile High Comics for having these issues in stock and must also remind everyone that I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and base it on how well the comic stays to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So let’s saddle up and go kick some Tex Hex butt as we put on our 3-D Glasses and hit the trail.

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Bravestarr 3-D  # 1   **1/2
Released in 1987    Cover Price $2.50    Blackthorne    # 1 of 2

Shaman is the father of young Bravestarr who sends him away to become a Marshall at a young age, when he finds that his powers could no longer defeat his enemy Stampede. Years pass, and the planet of New Texas is a hole in the wall that’s main resource is Kerium crystals that is used as fuel sources for large ships. The planet is also filled with outlaws and that’s why law enforcement like Judge J.B. McBride, outpost owner Handlebar, Mayer Derringer and of course Marshall Bavestarr with his trusty cyborg horse 30/30 and pint size Deputey Fuzz look after the townspeople. The ghost bull skull known as Stampede sends his right hand man Tex Hex alongside Sand Storm, Skuzz and Vipra head to town and have a showdown with Bravestarr and his allies.  The fight doesn’t last long, and Barvestarr sends them high tailing it outta town. As Bravestarr is proud of his heroic deed, he gets a visit from Shaman who tells him a long fight is ahead of them all and to learn from each other. In the end to show the townspeople strength, Marshall Bravestarr, Fuzz, 30/30. Handlebar and J.B stand tall and ready for the tough fight ahead.

First thing I have to say is that I hate 3-D comics, and this is one where the “3-D” doesn’t work as well and just kind of looks blurry, so I had to order better 3-D glasses from Amazon to try and help see if I could actually read this comic and get the full effect! The new glasses did help, and I was able to enjoy the sci-fi Western with more enjoyment. The plot is really a crash course of an origin story as we are shown a young Bravestarr being sent to a Marshall station and then follow him as he makes quick work of his enemy Tex Hex to show just how noble and strong he is to the townspeople. Marshall Bravestarr is 100% pure cheesy old school western hero complete with white hat and a sense of pride and very high self-confidence. He is a great hero for this style comic, and I can see why Mattel and Filmation thought they had a hit on their hands. Judge J.B. McBride is a great female character who is pretty and also a fighter; it’s also clear that she has a crush on Bravestarr. Deputy Fuzz is your typical small annoying character that appears in most of Filmations IPs as well as many other 80’s cartoons so just think Snarf and Orko and you have Fuzz. Handlebar and 30/30 are not given much to do in this issue so I hope that in the second they are fleshed out more as they are both important in the cartoon this 3-D comic is based on. Tex Hex is kind of wasted in this issue as he is made of full of pretty quick and is knocked on his butt with a single punch from Bravestarr.  It does show however that he has powers as he turns into a giant. Other bad guys like Sand Storm, robot Thunder Stick, pint size terror Skuzz and female reptile woman Vipra are all wasted and are taken out super quick by the heroes. While the first issue is good, it also adds no real threat as we just see in matter of panels that all the bad guys can be beating with little to no effort making me wonder just who can beat Bravestarr? The art is done by Adrian Moro and is pretty dang good and looks like the cartoon.  The downside is the terrible 3-D effect put onto the art by Bob & Nancy Fritsch that worked only some of the time. Over all this is a pretty good comic that captures the cheesy feel of the cartoon it was based on. I really dig the cover of this issue, as for some reason it has a old western trading card look to it. Let’s move onto the second and final issue in this series and see just how Blackthorne Comics sent Bravestarr off into the big canceled newsstand in the sky.

Bravestarr 3d 2

Bravestarr 3-D  # 2   **1/2
Released in 1988    Cover Price $2.50    Blackthorne    # 2 of 2

A group of kids are fighting and one time friends are really mad at each other as Bravestarr, 30/30 and J.B McBride come over to break it up. The kids are fighting over a item that one thinks the other stole, and J.B tell them a story of how Bravestarr meet 30/30! It begins with Shaman training Bravestarr and tells him that he must go to and find the ultimate weapon.  The young Marshall rushes off into the desert and finds a old temple and inside is a powerful gun as well as a cyborg horse named 30/30 who is mad and thinks Bravestarr is nothing more then a treasure hunting thief.  The two duke it out and cause the temple to collapse! Bravestarr saves 30/30 from the destruction and the two become friends with Bravestarr learning that friendship is the ultimate weapon. The kids learn the lesson and rush off to enjoy the day as do Bravestarr and his friends.

A heart warming issue that teaches us all that with a good friend at your side you don’t have to live in fear, that is unless you are both stuck in the path of King Kong…or you’re both cornered by a horde of zombies with no weapons…or if you’re on the bad side of Doctor Doom…or…wait you get the point. The plot of the issue is when Bravestarr met 30/30 and how they fist fought and then became best friends.  While Bravestarr comes off like his boy scout self, 30/30 comes off as a hotheaded bully who would rather fight then talk it out. Judge J.B acts as a storyteller as she is the one to speak to the kids of this epic meeting. This issue has zero bad guys and once more has no threats, making you as the reader know that nothing bad is going to happen to anyone. Art is well done by Adrian Moro once more as the 3-D effects were handled by Bob & Nancy Fritsch again.  This second cover is okay, but for some reason it looks like Bravestarr is having a stroke on it. This second issue is the same as the first a cheesy comic based on a cheesy sci-fi Western cartoon. Below is some of the 3-D artwork used in the two issues so enjoy!

Bravestarr Art 1Bravestarr Art 2Bravestarr Art 3

Well it looks like we took out old Tex Hex pretty quick, and it looks like Blackthorne didn’t truly believe in Bravestarr 3-D as a series as they pulled the plug only two issues in. While I was not a super fan of Bravestarr growing up, I found that these comic were pretty well done and the younger me would have enjoyed them and even maybe helped me care more about catching and watching the cartoon when it was airing. But as Marshal Bravestarr rides off into the sunset, I feel the need to tell you that our next update will be about the DC Comic based on the arcade video game Centipede! So until next time make sure to read a comic or two and support your local horror host.

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CrystarMeth: The Saga Unfolds

Welcome back friends and readers.  Today’s update is going to be my look at the 11 issue Marvel run of The Saga of Crystar, but first I will tell you a little about how I got to know what Crystar was. One of the stores that used to be a great place to get toys and halloween costumes when I was a kid was Woolworths, an odd five and dime store that carried off the wall merchandise for very cheap prices. The store in the Dayton market was located in Kettering in a strip mall called Van Buren Shopping Center along side grocery store Krogers, video arcade Krazy Kats, Noble Romans Pizza, The Post Office, Fashion Bug, Ron’s Pizza and a handful of more shops. From a very early age (kindergarden age) the one thing I could remember was going to Woolworths with my mom and brother, for I am sure I mentioned it before I lived in Kettering up until first grade when we moved to Waynesville.  These trips to the store would always lead to me getting a toy, candy or a pack of trading cards. The store, as I remember it, was very poorly lit with stained titles not only on the ceiling but also the floor, and the merchandise always seemed to be a mess on the shelves. The candy isle was filled not only with name brand sweets but some pretty generic ones too. While the store was a dirty mess and the merchandise cheap, this was still a very cool place to get your hands on some great none-mainstream toys.  The toy department at this store always seemed to be filled with Remco toys based on AWA Wresting and generic Masters of the Universe knockoffs as well as Spider-Man parachute figures, but this is also where I would first see Crystar and his made-of-glass warriors. But before I get into that, I need to address Halloween Costumes at Woolworths.  I should also state that sadly Woolworths closed down, Krogers moved out of the shopping center and many businesses closed down for good like Krazy Kats and Ron’s Pizza. What was once a mighty shopping center became a mostly empty eyesore that some years ago got torn down and homes were built in its spot.  While one half of the center is still around, the once powerful Van Buren and its many stores are now just memories.

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Halloween has always been my favorite holidays, and Fall is my favorite season.  Back in my very younger days, Ben Cooper Inc. was the company that made almost every costume that you and your friends wore for Halloween.  Ben Cooper originals were made up of a cheap plastic face mask and a vinyl body suit that was based around horror characters like Dracula, Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s Monster or cartoon/comic characters like Yogi Bear, He-Man, Casper, Batman and Incredible Hulk.  Sometimes you would also be able to get movie characters like Alien, Darthvader or Jaws. Ben Cooper Inc. were the juggernauts of Halloween costumes ruling the market from the 1950’s all the way to the 1980’s, but all things must come to an end as in 1988 they filed for bankruptcy for the first time as many of the companies like DC & Marvel took their characters elsewhere. Ben Cooper Inc. bounced back in 1989 but sadly lost the battle to other companies when in 1992 they closed the doors for good. Ben Cooper masks are now very collectible and many people my age and older have good and some bad memories about wearing these costumes.  One thing’s for sure Halloween and trick or treat lost a major player when the company went belly up. Woolworths always had many of the Ben Cooper costumes for very cheap and would have the boxed ones as well as ones that hung on the shelves, always making it a fun time looking through all of them and choosing what character you were going to be.

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For Halloween one year my mom bought my brother and I costumes based on the film Krull.  My brother got to be the lava demon The Beast, while I got to be the cyclops Rell, and man we both thought we were cool in these cheap costumes. For Kindergarden I went to Beavertown Elementary, and we had a thing called a Halloween Parade where we all would walk through the higher grades and show off our costumes to kids who were older. Well there I was walking from classroom to classroom in my Rell outfit when all of a sudden some smart ass kid says “Hey Cyclops only have one eye, why do you have three?” and then he and his closest classmate had a chuckle.  I felt terrible and being so young I just couldn’t think of a comeback and I spent the rest of the parade without the mask on.  That one student had ruined it for me. Looking back on it now, it was silly for me to be that heartbroken over one dipshit kid’s remarks but for some reason it bothered me, enough so that I remember it to this day. Damn you, Ben Cooper Inc,. for adding three eyes to the mask!

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Remco was a toy company that was founded in the 1940’s and became a major player in the 50’s with such toys as Big Max, Coney Island Penny Machine and Movieland Drive-In Theater play set. By the 1960’s, they were making toys based on Batman, The Beatles, The Munsters , Star Trek and Lost in Space. The 70’s brought toys of The Monkees, Partridge Family, Spider-Man, Micky Mouse and Ronald McDonald, not to mention a makeup kit based around rock band Kiss. But the 80’s is when they really boomed with action figures based around The Universal Monsters like Creature From the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolf Man all in scale with Kenner’s Star Wars toys, not to mention they also got a lab playset. They also made action figures based around Conan The Barbarian, AWA Wrestlers like Ric Flair and the Road Warriors, DC’s Comic characters Warlord and Sgt. Rock, Archie Comic superheros The Mighty Crusaders and even The Karate Kid got a toy line that covered parts 1 and 2 and of course Marvel Comics own Crystar. In my youth I had some Remco toys as I had many of the AWA Wrestlers, some of the Karate Kid figures and a small amount of the Mighty Crusaders. The 90’s were less kind to Remco as action figures based on the cartoon Swat Kats was one of the only semi major hits for them. Many people don’t know that Remco was broke in 1971 and became a sub company for Azrak Hamway International in 1974 who later sold Remco to Jakks Pacific in 1997. While Remco for the most part is a company of the past, its legacy of cheap made toys still lives on for collectors, and yes I collect them.

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On the piled up toy shelf of Woolworths, Kettering many moons ago I first laid my eyes on the Crystar toy line and was taken aback by these fantasy figures. I owned lots of 3 3/4″ Star Wars, G.I. Joes and a few Battle Star Galactica and Indiana Jones figures and thought they would make great additions to the intergalactic battle my figures were fighting in my bedroom, in between playing with He-Man and LJN WWF Wrestlers. But for some odd reason, I went and found some other generic figure and it was my brother Bryan who ended up getting one when he picked up the evil wizard Zardeth, a character with a black hood on and only one eye. My brother kept the figure for a short amount of time and then passed it down to me.  By this time he had no weapons and his cloak was gone. Not knowing much about the character, he just became a henchman of The Emperor and just another knucklehead for Luke Skywalker to kick around. Besides the Marvel Comic series, the toy line had no other way to reach us kids making these toys almost a mystery. Most action figures around that time had solid source material like a cartoon, movie, TV show to push the toy or at least an A-List comic book.  So it was a strange move for Marvel to go the route of a comic series a year after the toys hit and pick a cheap company like Remco to make the figures of what they were hoping would be a major player in the kids media market. Growing up I only knew of one other group of kids having Crystar figures and that was the Vietnamese neighbors we had next door, who by the way had one bitching cool toy collection. Years later I would get a Moltar figure (the lava king) and he also just acted as a punching bag for Luke. So while I knew Crystar as a toy line, I didn’t pick up it was a comic series until years later. Now with many years passed I do own some Crystar figures and have grown to love them as well as Remco as a company.  So going into this comic series is a first time read for me and I am really looking forward to learning the characters’ history.

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In 1982, a line of fantasy action figures hit the market by toy company Remco with very little fanfare and with no real push, making the seven figure, six mini playsets and two dragon toy line to be lost in the shuffle of action figure toys filling shelves at the time. A year later Marvel Comics released issue one of The Saga of Crystar that was to act as the back story to the action figures. Now the way this is sounding, one would think that the comic was based on the toy line when in fact it was the opposite; you see Marvel Comics created Crystar to license out to a toy company and use the toys to sell the comics! Marvel had a master plan to get a bigger slice of the toy market with a new creation.  Sure, they had toys made of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk and Captain America, but they wanted more.  So a new world was created with Crystallium and its new fantasy hero Crystar who lead the good named The Order and with all good guys.  They needed a bad guy, so why not his own brother who is called Moltar, the leader of Choas.  And then they thought well horses are over done in fantasy worlds, so let’s let them ride dragons and instead of our heros and villains looking normal let’s let The Order be living crystal and The Choas living lava! They then came up with a back story and shopped the idea around to toy makers and found Remco who wanted to take on the license even without any source to push it.  So the toys came out and again, as I have stated, very few kids had any that I knew.  A year later the comic was released and I knew no one who read it.  Even though the line of toys and comics almost seem that they were failures, I for one have grown to really like the figures and you shall see what I think of the comics below.  I will also say Marvel and Remco really did push this series with amazing ads and things to draw attention.

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I have been a huge fan of the band Danzig since I can remember.  I even remember getting a Danzig cassette tape in my Easter basket one year! So it was a pretty cool when I found out that the skull both Danzig and Samhain (both bands fronted by Glenn Danzig) use as a logo is from the cover of issue # 8 of The Saga of Crystar! I found that to be an interesting fact so it goes to show you that Danzig must have been reading Crystar.  So check out the skull from the comic and then the one used in the logos below.

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Now I am going to break off from Crystar for a moment and talk about video games again, I have been a series gamer sense the NES days and have been a wrestling fan for a little longer. I grew up watching pro wresting with my dad, Brother and grandfather and have also bought every WWE and at the time WCW game that came out. One series I always buy the day it comes out is WWE series up until this year from THQ. The WWE games of the past 8 or so years have had a great habit of adding legends to the game from Hulk Hogan to Iron Sheik making long time wrestling viewers like myself happy.  I would much rather play the superstars of the past then those of the present. To compare say John Cena of this day and age to Bret “Hitman” Hart of the past is laughable as Hart would work circles around Cena. So in late 2012, THQ gave us WWE 13 which treats gamers to a huge roster of today’s superstars and divas as well as superstars and divas of the Attitude Era that ran roughly 1997-2002.  While many say the true start was in 1998, the attitude started before that. Many great icons of this time period were added like Bret Hart, British Bulldog, X-Pac, New Age Outlaws, The Road Warriors, Vader, Gangrel and more, but some superstars seemed to be snubbed for no good reason.  Many names have made wish lists across the net like Steve Blackman, The Headbangers, Chyna, Raven, Lance Storm and The Oddities to name a few.  There are many who have not made it into the game because they work for rival company TNA such as Jeff Hardy, Al Snow, The Dudley Boys and Rob Van Damn. And yet still some did not make the cut because at the time they were in WCW or WWE just has something against them. May I remind you that THQ only could only suggest what wrestlers made the game; WWE has the final say on who’s in and who’s out.  But here is a list of four wrestlers I think were snubbed and have a place in WWE 13!

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The Patriot (Del Wilkes) was an independent masked wrestler who made a name for himself in the GWF (Global Wrestling Federation) from 1991 until 1992 becoming a crowd favorite and even winning the federation’s world title. After leaving the company, he went to All Japan Pro Wrestling and became a draw even winning the tag titles with partner The Eagle, and returning there off and on throughout his short career. WCW was his next stop as in 1994, he and Marcus “Buff” Bagwell formed the team Stars and Stripes, and they would be multiple time Tag Team Champions.  The Patriot left the company in 1995 and went back to All Japan for a couple of years. In 1997 WWF/WWE brought The Patriot in to feud with Bret “The Hitman” Hart and his new Hart Foundation (British Bulldog, Brian Pillman, Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart) who would slam America and speak of how great Canada is.  The Patriot was the man who bled red, white and blue and took offense to this slander and took the fight to Hart. The feud would have both men fight on Monday Night Raw and PPV’s in single and tag matches. But sadly The Patriot got a serious injury that not only ended his time in the WWE but also his career as a pro wrestler. The Patriot was being geared to be a top babyface in the company and even had action figures made while he was there.

The reason I think he should make it into WWE 13 is because while his time was short with the company his feud with the Harts was a great one.  It struck raw emotions with both American and Canadian fans given the battle’s meaning. Plus he was a solid worker who would at least have the over all game rating of 86, giving this already amazing roster one more competitor for the World Title or at least the Intercontinental. Not to mention that his song in 1997, “Medal,” would later be used as Kurt Angle’s, making the song available to use for anyone’s created Angle character. I should also note that way back when, my Aunt Teresa let some pro-wrestlers use her garage as a training area complete with a ring & weights and from time to time The Patriot was one that would work out, how cool is that! While I know he is not a super popular wrestler, I would be happy to hear that this star spangled hero that is in the same vein as Hulk Hogan and Hacksaw Jim Duggan would have at least been DLC for the game.

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Every guy who watched WWE/WWF wanted to have “Sunny Days,” and I was one of them! Tammy Lynn Sytch, better known, as Sunny was a valet and sometimes wrestler who began her career in 1992 at Smokey Mountain Wrestling as a snooty character named Tammy Fytch managing her real life boyfriend Chris Candido and Brian Lee to winning the tag titles. She and Candido left in 1995 to work for the WWF/WWE.  At first she was used as a backstage interviewer but quickly enough she became Sunny as Candido became Skip, and together they were the Bodydonnas.  Later on they would be joined by Zip, and Sunny would manage them to tag team gold.  She later would dump them and manage teams like The Godwinns and The Smoking Gunns. She would also manage Ron Simmons for a short time who was going under the name Faarooq. Sunny would then host WWE shows like Shotgun Saturday Night and would also manage The Road Warriors who were going under the name LOD 2OOO. Sunny was let go in 1998 after backstage heat between herself and top diva Sable, not to mention she had no showed events and had an addiction to pain pills. Tammy would no longer be Sunny and would join federations like ECW, XPW and even had a very small run for WCW. While Sunny has made some appearances in the WWE and has become a Hall of Famer, she has not worked for the company full time since 98. Sunny was the top Diva for many years and was the first Diva who broke the mold of what a woman wrestler should look like and paved the way for many of the company’s top female talent. Sunny was so popular she had her own home video, was magazine cover girl many times and had a number of action figures. For the longest time, Sunny was my favorite Diva and for the most part still is in my top two.  Sunny brought the sex appeal and attitude that kick started the company into success. Sunny should have been added in the game, if not as a wrestler, at least as a manager.  Oh I should note, I also use to have Sunny posters in my room and still have my ECW Tammy shirt.  Like most teens, I used to think that Sunny was the most beautiful queen of wrestling and while lots of fans have turned their back on her because of her “issues” I stand by how I felt then and say Sunny should have been in WWE 13!

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Dr. Death Steve Williams has wrestled in many federations that include WCW, NWA, ECW, All Japan and Mid South to name a few. Williams has held world titles and tag titles and was considered one of the toughest men to step into a wrestling ring, even becoming one of the first American Wrestlers to be considered a true main eventer in Japan.  In 1998 WWF/WWE hired Dr. Death right when they were having an event called “Brawl For It All” in which wrestlers competed on TV in fights that were much like the Tough Man Contests that had popped up all over the US and became popular. Williams was the odds on favorite, and the WWE was banking on him winning and pushing him as the company’s top heal.  Rumor even has it that he was suppose to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin for the World Title. Williams entered the contest and made short work of his first round opponent (Jean-Pierre LaFitte), but his second round opponent Bart Gunn was another story as Gunn took down Williams tearing his hamstring and then knocking him out. Williams missed several months of action, and his push went up in smoke.  When Williams returned, he was put with broadcaster Jim Ross who acted as his manager and spent his time being a badass bully. But the knock out left the WWE with a bad taste, and they let Dr. Death go in 1999.  Williams would later still make appearances for the WWE but never would be a contender. Dr. Death should have made it to WWE 13 because he was a legit badass who would have fit in perfect with the likes of Brock Lesner and Ryback as a muscle bound brute who would have represented the Attitude Era very well. While Dr. Death didn’t live up to what Vince and the WWE wanted for the time, he still helped make the WWE what it was by showing that truly anything can happen in the ring.  Dr. Death would have made a great addition to the game’s runners for the World Title and would have had the over all game rating of 88. Williams battled cancer for years but sadly lost his battle to throat cancer in 2009. Oh yeah and you better believe if Dr. Death was in the game, he would be Oklahoma Stampeding Ryback’s lame ass!

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Last on the list is not only a legend of the 80’s but also a guy who was a part of the whole Austin 3:16 creation.  That man is Jake “The Snake” Roberts! Now I don’t want to spend much time on Jake’s past, but I would like to focus on his second run in the WWE that started in 1996 and had him returning at the Royal Rumble as a good guy and spreading the word of God. Roberts, who was in real life a born again Christian, would use this for his in-ring character and even spiced up his snake using an albino serpent that he named Revelations and laced his interviews with bible passages and warnings of the evils of drugs and alcohol. In 1997 Roberts would go on to enter the King of The Ring tournament and would beat his first round opponent Triple H and then do the same in the second round when he beat JBL.  In the third round, he faced Vader and won by DQ but took serious injury to his ribs. The final match had him face off with Stone Cold Steve Austin who made short work of the veteran, and during his crowning Austin spoke the words “Austin 3:16 Said I Just Whooped Your Ass,” making fun of Robert’s who was bible thumping. Roberts then would go on to feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler who used Jake’s past against him. In late 1997, WWE wanted Jake to wind down and end his career pushing The Snake out who still wanted to wrestle. While many would count Jake out and say he has no place in WWE 13’s Attitude Era roster, I would be so bold to say he help create it when he lost to Austin, kickstarting one of the biggest phrases in wrestling history! Jake “The Snake” Roberts would have been a perfect addition to the roster and would have added a fun moment in Austin’s Attitude storyline as you had to beat him for The King Of The Ring crown. Jake’s over all game rating would be 83 due to the fact he was on the tail end of his major pro wrestling career. Jake was the cinderella story when he returned and while it was a short return, he still had a huge impact on the Attitude of the WWE.

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So those are four Superstars that I feel were truly left out of WWE 13 and really deserved to be on the roster or at least DLC. But while I am on the topic of wrestling and Sunny, I should note that after WWE and wrestling days, Tammy Lynn Sytch joined up with another former wrestling valet Missy Hyatt who had opened a website called Wrestling Vixxxens and posed nude for the site causing the net to be abuzz about her move to bare all. I will not lie, when the news broke I surfed the net looking for the pics and was not disappointed when I found them! Part of me wonders if her decision to do this site hurt her chances of coming back to the WWE at the time.  I mean I think Vince missed the boat on really using Sunny/Tammy to her full potential. I know she had issues with drugs and what not but so did most of his locker room…Shawn Michaels anyone? It almost seemed like Vince made up his mind that Sable was going to be his top diva and for the most part that was a terrible idea as she turned out to be a pain in his ass as well as a moneymaker. I would love to see Sunny return to this day as a interviewer or manager and I for one will always be a Tammy fan.  

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One other thing:  as of late I have been finding old copies of Mad and Cracked Magazines at stores like Game Swap and Half Priced Books, and this has also reminded me of my youth. When I was growing up not only were comics, ghost stories and movie-based novels the only things that kept me reading instead of just playing NES or watching a film on VHS but so were Mad and Cracked Magazines that we would buy from Big Bear or find at Garage Sales. Back then I found myself getting a chuckle from these magazines as they spoofed popular movies, shows and culture all in a silly over the top way. But after reading through them once more, I found myself not only feeling nostalgic but also really looking deep into which magazine I really liked more then and now.  When I was younger, I would say that for sure I was more of a Cracked fan and owned and “collected” those issues more so then Mad, while my brother I would take a guess liked Mad a little more for I remember him having piles of the magazine and lots of the paperbacks. Take a look at these old pics below of a young me holding his prized Cracked magazines as well as me with an old Mad Spy Vs. Spy paperback in super cool Spider-Man PJ’s.

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Mad Magazine began in 1952, founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gains, and was at first a comic book put out by EC comics the same company that released comics like Tales From The Crypt and the Vault of Horror and switched to Magazine format with issue #24. It was a parody comedy magazine that would poke fun at films, shows and culture and would change hands many times finally being owned by DC Comics (Time Warner). The magazine is still going as of 2012 and has spawned many other products such as a board game, a Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy show called Mad TV that aired on Fox, a cartoon, toys, masks, shirts and paperback books to name a few. Mad’s spokesman is the silent, missing front tooth, one eye lower then the other, big eared, red headed goof named Alfred E. Newman. Newman is the poster boy for Mad and has sparked the phrase “What, Me Worry?” and truly has become a true American pop culture mascot icon. Most people my age could tell you who Newman is and many would say that Mad was better then Cracked. Mad also offered such great features as Spy vs. Spy, Captain Klutz and the work of Don Martin. 

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Cracked Magazine began in 1958 as the brain child of Sol Brodsky, an artist for hire who later became Vice President for Marvel Comics, and was a inspired by the popular Mad Magazine. Cracked followed the same formula as Mad and spoofed movies, TV and pop culture with an even more silly approach. Cracked had a sense of humor about itself and even had used the tag line that it was there for people to buy after Mad had sold out at the newsstand. Cracked would be sold for awhile but slowly lost its hold in the market in late 90’s and was on life support during the 2000’s before it was canceled for good in 2007. But you can’t stop Cracked now as it’s been reborn as a silly news site that has been becoming more and more popular. Cracked’s poster boy was its janitor Sylvester P. Smythe a blonde haired, wide faced nerd who was a man of few words. While Smythe was not as popular or iconic as Newman, he still has his place in the hearts of those who grew up reading his magazine. Cracked didn’t have much in the way of merchandise besides a stuffed doll and some paperbacks. Some of Cracked’s other highlights included Shut Ups, The Uggly Family, Talking Blob, Sagebrush and busty sexy female reporter Nanny Dickering. 

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So I am sure you’re wondering after all these years what Magazine am I enjoying at this time in early 2013.  While it’s been hard to pick and each have their charms I still find that Cracked is the one I am enjoying more! Cracked has such a simple silly charm that is still putting a smile on my face making me chuckle. Cracked also was the company that used to release Monster Party and Monsters Attack scary, goofy and spooky stories that pleased the Monster Kid in me. So there you go, a quick look at Mad and Cracked Magazines.

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One other thing I would like to talk about (and I will from time to time as this blog moves forward) is the no budget movies I have made over the years.  So I figured I would start with the short film that started it all, “Teen Suicide” and it’s sequel “Suicide 2.” In 1997, I was a senior at Kettering Fairmont High School, and I hated the school with a passion.  While I had friends, I found that many of the staff were not as nice to strange kids who were into horror films and metal music, making my time at the school a bad experience filled with suspensions and detentions. At the start of the school year, the main principal (who was a cool guy) decided that he was going to put me into the media class to see how well I would do at making movies, TV shows and working as a school DJ on the radio station.  The first time he brought me himself as well accompanied by two security guards making the class wonder if Michael Myers had just been put in a room with them as they sat me away from everyone.  Then they took the teacher KB into the hallway. But with time this was probably the best thing Kettering schools ever did for me as I met some of my nearest and dearest friends in this class. Guys like Dave Wean, Matt Hoffman, Rion Neeley and Brandon Womeldorff all made me feel welcome and showed that they had just as many weird interests as I did. The media class also made it so that the rest of my schedule changed and this put me in a sociology class with Hoffman and Brandon. For one of the the class’ big projects we were to make a video about a subject we picked. Hoffman, Brandon and Myself were joined by Scott Harmon and a kid named Chris as the group and at first we picked serial killers (with my push) but decided to instead make a film based on teenage suicide.  So we all sat around class and the library and began to brain storm what was to become our first film.  This is what not only started Fairmont Productions but more importantly my love of making films! Before this I drew comic books and loved to write stories, but I never thought that I could make my own films.  Boy was I wrong. And the film began production in 1998.

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As we hammered out the ideas and plot of the film, we all were assigned roles as cast and crew. Matt Hoffman was cast as Matt, a teenage boy who is picked on every day of his life by bullies at the school.  The film would follow the last week of his life before he decided suicide was his only way out.  Hoffman was also a co-director. Brandon Womeldorff played The Car Thief and also directed, did some camerawork and edited the film.  The Car Thief was a trench coat wearing bully who got his jollies by car jacking Matt and stealing things like CD’s from him. Scott Harmon played the Kung-Fu Bully, a master of the fighting arts who loved to beat on Matt every chance he could get, and Harmon’s fight scenes with Hoffman in this movie could still be some of the worst ever filmed in Fairmont Media history.  Chris (none of us ever got his last name) just played a Bully in the school hallways who would knock the books out of Matt’s hands and try to stuff his face in the bathroom sink. Chris didn’t do much on this production and in fact was suspended during filming and even for the screening in class. I played a bully who would later be called The Silent Predator, who hung around wooded areas and tried to drown Matt in a stream, and I also did camera work, co-directed and picked most of the film’s soundtrack that was filled with bands like W.A.S.P. , Motley Crue and Pantera. The filming of the flick took place mostly at Fairmont High School but we also filmed at Hoffman’s parents’ house, my parents’ house, behind Woodlane Plaza and State Farm Park. During filming we kept talking about how the film’s end needed to make an impact.  We then decided to make the film silent, all but the moment where Matt would read his suicide note out loud to the audience. Filming took about a week with Brandon and I trading off who ran the camera, a giant Super VHS camcorder that weighed about 20 pounds, and each of us worked out our scenes with Hoffman. Looking back on the production of the film, we sure did torture Hoffman with lots of fake beat ups, being shoved around, making him jump on the back of a moving car, ketchup splattered on his head and the final stunt that still makes Hoffman feel like he was a major Hollywood stuntman (we will get to that shortly), and I must say while at the time he bitched a lot, and I mean a lot, he still was a trooper and went along with the “script”. I remember for my scene we chose to shoot behind Woodlane Plaza in Kettering (the same strip mall location that has Mavericks Cards and Comics and Christopher’s Restaurant as residents) right after a big rain storm making the small stream that runs behind the building deeper and faster.  The scene called for Matt to be walking along the stream as The Silent Predator appears from nowhere and shoves him into the water. On set that day was just Hoffman, myself and Brandon, who was running camera, and we went over the scene a few times and at first Hoffman agreed to be shoved into the water, but after watching the fast moving water rush by he changed his mind and the scene was changed to him almost going in but barely being able to hold on. So we all got into place as I wore a flannel around my waist and a Whitesnake band t-shirt I waited for my big scene.  Boom, my cue hit and a huge smile hit my face as I shuffled into frame and shoved Matt a few times toward the stream, and boom, he hit his cue and that was a wrap. But looking back at the scene, we should have shot it again so I didn’t have that goofy ass smile on my face that looked like David Lee Roth at a strip club! We later talked Hoffman into shooting a scene where it looked like he fell into the water, but it didn’t look right because he had different clothes on and the water speed and level were all wrong.  This deleted scenes has long been lost. But all this was leading up to our big pay off, the end of the film where Matt was to kill himself, and this act was one epic scene.  The final scene’s first part took place at my parents’ house in the kitchen as Matt would write his suicide note and speak the only lines used in the whole film.  Hoffman seemed very moody that day and was very argumentative towards Brandon and I and almost seemed like he was in the zone and on par with what the character Matt was doing. Hoffman sat at the table with a notepad and a pen and began to spout off this suicide note that seemed to mirror some issues he was having in his own personal life.  While I laughed then, I should have really taken the time to chat with my friend after this scene to make sure he was doing okay.  From there we went to a near by K-Mart and bought some ketchup to use as the fake blood and headed to State Farm Park to film the final scene atop a big hill that slopes, covered in rocks, small trees, trash and muck.  That’s when Hoffman who was holding his pellet gun told us he had an idea.  So we hurried and filmed his walk across a bridge to get to the hill and then made our way to the site and as we reached the top that’s when he told us “I am going to fall backwards down the hill when I shoot myself!” Brandon and I laughed and mocked him for his “shocking” stunt.  You see Hoffman at times would say and do outlandish things for attention, and we thought that’s what this stunt was just him running his mouth and not really intending to do what he said, but boy were we wrong.  As we set up the scene and filmed him looking at the gun and then putting it into his mouth, pulling the trigger and falling out of frame, we thought this was a wrap after we did a pick up shot of him on the ground with the “blood” on his head.  Then Hoffman sat up and said, “you ready to film me falling down the hill?”  Brandon and I looked at each other and gave a fuck yeah and went down the hill to film this epic scene. As we set up the shot and got the right angle Hoffman sat at the edge of the hill with his back towards us.  We could tell he was second guessing his stunt and seemed like he was now thinking of a way to get out of it. After some coaching and name calling, Hoffman pulled off the stunt and fell backwards down the hill, loosing control of his fall for a moment but catching himself before he got to hurt, making all my group of friends dubbing that hill Suicide Hill. We squeezed the “blood” onto his head and got the last shot of the film.

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For days Brandon edited the film on the AVID system, putting time and care into each scene, I sat with him many times as he worked, other days our pal Rion did. When it was done, Brandon asked Hoffman and myself to watch it in one of the editing rooms, and we all were taken aback by how good the film was.  Looking at it now, I am still proud of the film even with all its flaws and honor it as the first film I ever worked on. Then the day of the class showing happened, and our teacher made us come up and tell the other students what our film was about.  Scott Harmon and I took that job and rushed a quick introduction, and the lights went out.  The film started and had Matt walking down a school hallway in slow motion as the Bush song “In A Lonely Place” played, and we thought we had them. As the film ended and the credits rolled to Motley Crue’s” You’re All I Need,” Brandon and Hoffman stood in front of the class to answer questions about the film or what we learned about teen suicide.  Our classmates seemed stunned by what they had seen, and the only question we got was, “was that Pantera that played when he shot himself?”.  And then it happened; Hoffman said he had a confession to the class, and as everyone got quite he then proclaimed that he had tried to kill himself in the past and ran from the room, as the teacher and students looked on stunned.  Brandon was in the front of the classroom like a deer caught in headlights! While Teen Suicide was not a hit with our peers, a year later in 1999 Brandon wanted to make a sequel that was bigger, longer and filled with dialogue! The film’s plot had Matt (once more played by Hoffman) waking up after his suicide attempt and learning that he could not die and had been given a second chance to get revenge on the bullies who tormented him. Brandon returned as The Car Thief.  Scott Harman came back as Kung-Fu Bully and had yet another stinker of a fight with Hoffman, this time in the school’s radio station.  I returned as The Silent Predator who in this one seemed more demonic and acted almost as the ring leader, and we added Dave Wean as a Crazy Bully, Rion Neeley as the Roof Top Bully, Dan Salter as the Skateboard Bully and Linda Webb as Matt’s girlfriend who is cheating on him with the Car Thief. The film was filled with one Matt beat down after another, until he finally got his revenge on all those who tormented him and having his end battle with me in the woods of Hill’s and Dales Park as a red light shinned on us. Matt at the end of this one blows himself up with a self made bomb. While this film was a favorite to play at the group’s parties, to me just lacked the charm of the original and for the most part was more of a generic action film then a film with a message. When we left high school and continued making movies, we dropped Fairmont Productions and became Independent B Movie (a gathering of many production companies) and began selling our films on VHS at horror conventions like Cinema Wasteland in Strongsville and Fright Vision.  Teen Suicide and Suicide 2 sold pretty well. Years later Suicide 1-2 would hit DVD and match the sales of the VHS. Independent B Movie was riding high, not only the founders (Brandon, Hoffman, Myself) were making movies but so were Josh Weinberg, Dave Wean, Jason Gilmore, Patrick Neeley and my brother Bryan, making this tiny no budget film company seem like something special. We did start a Suicide 3 many, many years back but production slowed when turmoil in the group of film makers started to slow things down, but that’s another story.

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Now for a little horror host spotlight:  In March of 2007, the late night viewers of Kenosha, WI got their blood chilled by a show called Nightmare Cinema hosted by a Werewolf named Uncle Wolfman, who every full moon is locked in an abandoned TV station in the middle of nowhere on Bray Road by his vampire friend Vampiro. To kill time Wolfman shows a bad b-movie, a classic cartoon and TV show episode and waits out his curse in the station that is clearly haunted. Uncle Wolfman is your classic Lon Chaney Jr. style werewolf who speaks with a twisted snarl and raspy voice, drawing you in with every word. His style is very classic and each episode has it’s own mark and facts. Fans of horror host shows from the 60’s and 70’s should check his show out! I first heard of the Uncle Wolfman via the website Horror Host Graveyard and after seeing an episode or two I quickly became a fan. As of 2013 the show is still going strong.

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I took the chance on a full moon night and called the old station’s #, got a ring and an answer from Uncle Wolfman himself, and he was nice enough to answer some questions for you my readers. So with this let’s get onto “5 Questions For The Wolfman”!

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Me – So how is it being stuck in a haunted abandoned TV station every full moon?

Wolfman – Being stuck has to do with my temptation to feed.  So, Vampiro and I have an agreement; Vampiro guards me during the full moon by locking me up. In return, I guard Vampiro’s tomb during the day.  However, Vampiro occasionally forgets to feed me, so I order a pizza, and get the delivery driver as an appetizer.

 Me – What is your favorite film you have shown on your show?

Wolfman – I don’t know if I have a favorite movie from those we can show. I suppose that, being a Mantan Noreland fan, I like King of the Zombies, schlocky as it is. My true loves are the classic TV. We recently had an old episode of “Suspense,” featuring a rare television appearance by Bela Lugosi in an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Cask of Amontilado, and there was an episode of “Tales of Tomorrow,” called “Ahead of His Time,” which starred Boris Karloff. But I suppose my favorite was a cartoon episode from “The Milton the Monster show–the only one I know of in the public domain– called, “Zelda the Zombie.”

 Me – Who are the hosts that inspired you to become a horror host?

Wolfman – I only ever really watched Dr. Kadaverino (Jack LaBlond) on WITI chanel 6, Milwuakee, who was the only one on when I was very young. Later came the Original Svengoolie, Jerry Bishop, and later Son of Svengoolie, Rich Koz, both starting out on WFLD channel 32, Chicago (Son of Sven’s now just Svengoolie, on WCIU, Chicago and METV nationwide).

 Me – Growing up did you read comic books? If so, who is your favorite superhero?

Wolfman – I read many comics as a kid, from Archie to Sad Sack; I really liked the EC magazines, with Tales from the Crypt, The Witching Hour, all of those. I also like the Hulk, Thor and Conan the Barbarian–of which I still have all the comics, mags, graphic novels and the original stories by Robert E. Howard, which I reread from time to time.

 Me – If you could run with a werewolf pack from a horror film or TV show who would you run with?

Wolfman – Serious attempts at TV show werewolves suck. I wouldn’t run with any of those wannabes. Besides, if Uncle Wolfman really wanted to run with a pack, he wouldn’t suffer being locked-up three days a month.

 Me – Thanks Uncle Wolfman for taking your time and answering these questions.

But enough of wrestling, Tammy Lynn Sytch, Danzig,THQ, Remco, Cracked, Mad, Ben Cooper, Teen Suicide and Woolworths, let’s get down to Marvel Comics “The Saga of Crystar” 11 issue run! Remember: I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, its art and story. This review is thanks to a team up of Mavericks Cards and Comics, Bell, Book & Comic, 2nd and Charles, Half Priced Books and Amazon. And remember these reviews will have spoilers.

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 The Saga Of Crystar # 1  *** 1/2

Released in 1983   Cover Price $2.00    Marvel Comics #1 of 11

Prince Crystar and his brother Moltar rule the kingdom of Crystallium together after their father, the king, was killed in a battle that pits their side (The Order) against the evil of the Chaos. While both share the power, it’s clear that the kingdom respects Crystar more, causing the brothers to have a little rivalry. Lavour is Crystar’s girlfriend and her servant girl Ambara has a crush on the prince as well, but his best friend Warbow has a crush on the servant girl.  The Kingdom’s wizard Ogeode comes to the Princes and warns them that evil is coming and that this time he will be powerless to stop it.  When Zardeth, an evil wizard, enters the castle the seeds are planted, and the brothers have a fight leaving Crystar dead.  His brother Moltar takes over and steals Lavour! But things are not all good as Moltar and his new followers embrace The Choas and become living lava men, and Crystar is brought back to life and his followers are turned into living Crystal.  This leads to a war between the brothers that leaves Moltar’s ego bruised and Stalax with a life threating crack in his crystal body. Crystar hooks up with Ambara as Warbow is heart broken and even looses an eye to Zardeth who shoots him with an arrow! 

This is a great way to kick off a comic book series that is attached to a toy line and really serves as the back story of the characters. Crystar comes off as a likeable and nobel hero who has pride in his family, kingdom and friends and has almost a mix of Prince Valiant and King Arthur feel to him. You get the vibe from this first issue that Crystar will fight to the death to defend his kingdom. His men that include Warbow, Koth, Kalibar and Stalax are all given time tolet their personalities shine. Ambara, who is the love of Crystar, is shown to be a sweetheart who would do anything for her Prince. Feldspar, Uncle to both Crystar and Moltar, is an interesting character as he choices no side and takes both sides curses on himself (top half crystal bottom half lava) to show he respects both nephews.  I hope he is fleshed out more in the series’ in coming issues. Moltar is a man filled with jealousy and is easily fooled by the evil ways of Zardeth and then manipulated by the bitch Lavour. This is a solid comic that really flushes out all the characters and makes me look forward to reading issue 2. The art work is okay, but I wish it was a little better.  It’s odd that the ad art for the Remco toys looks better. The cover is amazing and very eye catching for the time and would surely draw in fans of Conan, Kull and Masters of the Universe. 

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The Saga Of Crystar # 2  ***

Released in 1983   Cover Price .60   Marvel Comics #2 of 11

Crystar is not pleased when he finds that his uncle Feldspar has removed him from the throne and is now acting as King to the kingdom until he and his brother work out their feud.  Meanwhile Moltar and Lavour are being fired up by Zardeth who wants them to get revenge on Crystar and take the kingdom by force and sends a team of lava men to kill him who in turn fail. Stalax is dying, and Crystar and friends must travel to get Ika, the daughter of Ogeode, who in turn becomes living crystal herself to learn of the secrets of the process.  When Crystar thinks the young woman is in pain, he goes in after her and both disappear.

This second issue is more about Crystar wanting to do the right thing and the brooding ways of Moltar who still thinks he is getting the shaft by not ruling the kingdom. Ika is an interesting character who gives her self to the mirror that transforms flesh to crystal showing that she is loyal to saving human life. Ogeode is kind of a dick in this issue as he forces his daughter to do this heroic act all so he can learn the secrets of the crystal without having to forever be changed. While the Crystar storyline is pretty good, I felt Moltar was not used well in this issue and almost seemed to much like a snot nosed kid who lost his video games for a month. Over all this is a good follow up issue that has better art work and a pretty cool cover.  So far I like where this series is going.

crystar 3 The Saga Of Crystar # 3  ***

Released in 1983    Cover Price .60    Marvel Comics #3 of 11

Crystar and Ika find themselves in modern New York in the home of Doctor Strange and his butler Wong and are confused by this new world filled with so many things they have never seen. Meanwhile back in Crystallium, Ogeode alongside Koth and Kalibar travel in the portal to find the missing prince and also end up in Doctor Strange’s study. While Doctor Strange and the goofball Ogeode try to find a way to send the warriors back home, Moltar sends Lava Men through a portal.  They also end up in Strange’s house and after a quick fight, they find their way home to Warbow, Ambara and the recovering Stalax.

This was a cool way to tie into the rest of the Marvel Universe.  Crystar and his crystal warriors once more come off a nobel fighters, as Warbow’s secret crush is still in the air as he looks at Ambara. Moltar once more acts as a general and sends flunkies to attack his brother. Ogeode is as brain dead and scattered as ever as Ika shows she is down to help The Order. I am not a huge Doctor Strange fan and only found myself liking the character when he appeared in other comics like Spider-Man or Man-Thing and in the very terrible yet fun 1978 made for TV movie.  So I actually find him a perfect fit for the myth and legend that this series is building for Crystar. Here’s hoping that Crystar and Moltar will meet again in a battle in the next issue to see which brother is better. The art work is good again and has the same style as the last issue, but this time I’m not a super fan of the cover. With that let’s jump into issue # 4.

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The Saga Of Crystar # 4  **1/2

Released in 1983   Cover Price .60    Marvel Comics #4 of 11

A father is telling his children a bedtime story about Crystar and Moltar and how they each became the warriors they are now.  He also goes a little into the back stories of Crystar’s friends like Warbow and Koth and shows that Moltar has called a meeting with Crystar and his Uncle Feldspar to speak of the unfair way he has been treated.  Moltar doesn’t understand why Crystar and his men get to stay in the kingdom but he and his followers have been pushed out, and if they are to smooth things over they must be even. Feldspar thinks about this matter and decides it’s only fair that Crystar and his men must also leave the Kingdom and are asked to leave by dawn.  Mad about this decision, they still agree to leave. In the end the father is Kalibar telling his own children this story on the night he must leave the Kingdom

This issue is good and solid, and I do like what they did for the twist ending.  Crystar is a little more bullheaded this time around and challenges his uncle’s word over the peace offering his evil lava brother is pitching. In this one, Moltar is just what I love to see in my comic bad guys: a smart brain and the ego of a mastermind. Plus we get a little more of the Warbow loves his best friends girl storyline as well as a little more background on Koth and Stalax. The art is good; the cover is bland.  While this is not the best issue in the series thus far, it still was a good read. 

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The Saga Of Crystar # 5  ** 1/2

Released in 1984   Cover Price .60   Marvel Comics #5 of 11

 Crystar is in the Marvel office as the comics editor and writing staff try to figure out a good story for issue 5.  When he is finally taken into his world he is set to meet with Moltar and his uncle. Everyone leaves besides Ika and Stalax who try to use a spell to send the lava people far away from the Kingdom but instead bring the Chaos’ base to the Kingdom. Moltar and Crystar can’t agree on much except that Zardeth and Warbow need to stop fighting and that the base needs to be moved back to its right place. Zardeth teams with Ogeode, and together they use magic to set things right.

This issue starts out dumb, and the whole editor’s office thing is mind numbing.  But once we get back into the comic story line, it picks up. Crystar plays a big part in this story as does his girl’s love for him. Ika steps up in the issue and seems to be filled with rage over The Order being kicked out of the kingdom and wants to use her magic to rid them of The Chaos. Moltar comes off as a badass leader who has his wizard in check and a plan to take over the kingdom. As I said it starts off bad, but becomes pretty good by the midway mark. The art is good, and the cover is good making this issue an average read.

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The Saga Of Crystar # 6  ***

Released in 1984    Cover Price .60    Marvel Comics #6 of 11

Nightcrawler of the mutant team the X-Men visits his girlfriend who is a part-time practicing witch, who felt a disturbance earlier and used her crystal ball to open a portal.  When Nightcrawler uses his teleaport ability in the apartment, he is sent to Crystallium where he is spotted by Stalax who thinks that he is a demon sent by the Chaos. Nightcrawler flees the scene and stumbles into the base of Moltar who as well thinks he has been sent to join him in his battle against his brother. Crystar and his men go looking for this demon, and Ika sneaks into Moltar’s base and hears them speaking of this “demon’s” arrival.  She is caught by Zardeth and Moltar who are going to kill her until Nightcrawler steps in and stops them.  Crystar and crew arrive to save her and befriend the mutant. In the end Ika sends him back to Earth where his girlfriend awaits.

Yet another fun adventure that adds a popular main stream Marvel character to the storyline. Nightcrawler fits in pretty well, but unlike the Doctor Strange appearance, this one seems to be more focused on the guest hero than on the book’s main hero, Crystar, who seems to have not much to do in this issue besides search for Ika and briefly chat with his Uncle. Moltar also doesn’t do much besides welcome his new “friend” and capture Ika. Though Lavour is given a little more in this issue, she comes of as a flirt as she tries to get info from Nightcrawler all the while hitting on him. Over all this is a fun crossover issue that really adds nothing to the main story arc but makes for a fun read.  The art is good, and the cover is so-so.  So let’s see if issue 7 explores the mian story more.

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The Saga Of Crystar # 7  **1/2

Released in 1984   Cover Price .60   Marvel Comics #7 of 11

The Kingdom is under attack by Malachon and his hill men, and they plan on killing as many people as possible including Kalibar’s wife and kids.  Crystar and his men are told of this attack by Ogeode who sees it in a vision, and they come to the aid of the Kingdom, chasing off the hill men and helping the wounded. All the while Moltar, Lavour and Zardeth watch and plot a way to use Feldspar’s anger to their advantage as he scolds Crystar for coming into the Kingdom. Ogeode & Ika take Crystar and his men across the ocean to their hometown to get answers of why his uncle is acting so oddly, and Moltar strikes a deal with Malachon and his men to become living rock and fight on their side!

 This issue is packed with fighting of sorts as the Hill Men are made look like weak fools to Crystar and his men, and Malachon has an almost Jim Jones thing going as I could see his people drinking poisoned Kool-Aid if he ordered them to. But I’m honestly not sure whether he’s really needed in this issue.  He almost seems like he is just thrown into this mix to add more action and to have more butts for Crystar to kick, but we shall see where the character goes in the next issue. You feel bad for Ika, whose boyfriend in her home town turns on her because of her new crystal appearance, and her father acts as if she has not all ready made sacrifices to help The Order. Speaking of the Wizard’s hometown, not much is flushed out yet and I am not sure what to think of the Warrior Woman Shen who appears to be in charge. This issue is clearly used to build up the next issue that could be the huge battle we have all been waiting for. With that let’s get onto issue 8! Oh yeah, the art is still good, and the cover is pure cheese.

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The Saga Of Crystar # 8 **1/2

Released in 1984   Cover Price .60   Marvel Comics #8 of 11

Crystar is troubled by an old memory of a time when the first war was going on, long before he and his brother were at war and long before they were transformed. The memory sends him into a day of mourning every year over the day his friend Captain Heyatt was killed while helping them fight a giant sea monster and chaos demons.  It’s also the day Koth lost his true love in the same battle. It’s also a day of mourning for Moltar, who’s sad over the loss of his friend. While Crystar tells his friends of this day, Ogeode is in a meeting with his fellow hometown council members.

This is a filler issue and once more adds backstory but nothing to the main story line of this comic series. The way Heyatt dies is stuff straight from old sword and sandal films and could easily be the death of Steve Reeves’ friend in some bad Hercules film, as he takes a thrown spear to the gut. Meanwhile, the new bad warrior Malachon who is transformed at the end of last issue is nowhere in sight! Ika and her boyfriend still have some beef with one another, and Moltar cries at the end for his lost friend from years ago. This issue also reminds me of Clash of The Titans for some reason.  I am sure it has to do with the giant sea monster. The art is okay and in some spots looks dull.  The cover is a step up from the last several.  Now that another filler issue is done, let’s hope they get back into the storyline, and we can see some sort of payoff coming. 

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The Saga Of Crystar # 9  **1/2

Released in 1984 Cover Price .60 Marvel Comics #9 of 11

Ogeode is speaking to the Council of The Order about the war that is about to break out and tells his fellow townspeople that they need to help Crystar and his men in this battle when things go south.  The people are not sold on helping the men made of crystal. The Crystal men go around and speak of returning home when the acting King Feldspar shows up and wants to speak to the council of peace talks between the feuding brothers. But the peace talks are fake as Feldspar is really just Zardeth and the guards are Hill Warriors and Lava men.  They attack and kill many of the Council people until Crystar and his men show up and chase them off. Crystar also has a stare down with Malachon before the leader of the hill men retreats. In the end the Council decides to help, and Ika’s boyfriend Beek is turned into living Crystal.

This issue is the final straw for Crystar to go back and reclaim his thrown and stomp Chaos back into the hell pit from which it came. Zardeth and Malachon both show how cold blooded they are as they slaughter many unarmed men, and seem proud of their actions. At this point in the series you are at a fever pitch to have The Warriors of The Order stop the Chaos Warriors, and after every set up and every innocent death, this fever gets higher. Plus at this point in the series you also find yourself wondering why Feldspar is acting the way he is and wonder if he really doesn’t want his nephews to work things out because he is enjoying being king. As far as Crystar, at this point you can see a bullheaded hero who is shaping up to be one hell of a good king.  As for his brother Moltar, you get the fact he is second guessing his turn to the dark side but he still thinks he is the best choice to lead his people. With only two more issues to go ,the War to settle the score is now on! The art is good, and the cover is all right.  Let’s get ready to rumble with issue 10.

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The Saga Of Crystar # 10  ***

Released in 1984 Cover Price .60 Marvel Comics #10 of 11

Moltar is not pleased about the attack that left many council members dead and hates the fact that both Zardeth and Malachon seem to have enjoyed the bloodshed. Crystar and his crew decide to go back home to try and end this war.  He confronts his uncle Feldspar about the throne.  Crystar agrees to step down but he also says that Chaos will not rule the Kingdom. As Crystar leaves the Kingdom, his crew tell him that they will fight by his side to bring down the Lava Men and The Hill People. Crystar’s brave warriors include his girlfriend, the Wizard Ogeode, his daughter Ika and her boyfriend Beek, Warrior Woman Shen and finally the Crystal Warriors Warbow, Koth, Kalibar and Stalax.  To his surprise, the local villagers call to arms and join Crystar’s army just in time as the warriors of Chaos come in from the sky and start a battle that leaves Koth missing and believed to be dead as he protects Ambara from attackers. In the end The Chaos Warriors retreat, and the warriors of Order mourn their friend and plan for an all out war.

This issue has it all: a thick good storyline that is an amazing build up for the final issue, Crystar finally reaching his breaking point and wanting his Kingdom to be happy and wanting to end the evil of The Chaos.  The shock of a member of the Order team missing and thought to be dead adds the drama, not to mention it also shows that at this point Moltar is loosing the respect of Zardeth and Malachon who both seem to mock him for not joining in on battles and how week his Lava Men are. It also shows how hotheaded Beek is and how he even seems to take an attitude with Crystar about what he thinks is right and wrong, not to mention the fact he is crystal now makes him a strong ally to have in this war even if he is an ass. Over all this is a great issue filled with a solid storyline, shocking drama and some butt kicking action. The art is well done and while in some spots seems a little rushed, it still looks good.  The cover on the other hand is just so-so and highlights the two lead warrior females Shen and Ika. Can’t wait to see how this saga ends and here is hoping for a great ending.

crystar 11

The Saga Of Crystar # 11  **1/2

Released in 1985   Cover Price $1.00   Marvel Comics #11 of 11

Koth is not dead and is now a prisoner of Chaos warriors who plan on sacrificing him to the Hills once they get some information. Moltar starts to have second thoughts about his turn to evil and even has his girlfriend Lavour second guessing it as he doesn’t want to see his one time friend killed. Crystar and his men are gearing up to take the fight to The Chaos when by accident Ogeode brings in members of Alpha Flight from Earth that include Puck, Shaman and Northstar who decide to fight on the side of good! All this happens after Crystar butts heads with his uncle who is still trying to not pick a side. Moltar goes to Koth and asks him to please share some info so that his death will be quick and gets the cold shoulder leaving him pissed and lost for a direction.  That night Malachon takes Koth to an alter and is about to kill him when the warriors of Order show up and the final war begins! Crystar gets his revenge on Malachon as a member of The Order looses his life being a hero (who you ask, well you should read it to find out). In the end Zardeth is taken down as Moltar and Lavour turn on Chaos and rejoin the brothers, but before the evil wizard dies he takes away the curse of Moltar so that he can never touch his love Lavour again as she is left as a lava person. So the brothers are reconnected, and the Kingdom will now live on happy and chaos free.

This was a fun journey that had an almost rushed ending.  While the end is good, it could have been a hell of a lot better. The good turn for Moltar seems rushed this issue, and the fact they turned him back human shows that after this series, they didn’t have a plan for Crystar to ever return. Moltar was a great bad guy that at times was not used they way he should have been.  In many issues he seems to take a back seat to the evil wizard Zardeth and even the crude Hill leader Malachon. The fact that we never see the brothers in their new forms truly fight is kind of a let down and makes the build up to this final war a let down. Crystar is a great hero and really transforms as you keep reading by the end of this series he reminded me of so many iconic sci-fi heros like Luke Skywalker, Conan The Barbarian and even Optimus Prime in the fact he was strong willed, believed in the right thing and was noble and loyal to his friends and people. One storyline that I wished would have been fleshed out was the Warbow loving Ambara plot that seemed to fall flat the farther we got into the series. Plus, I would have liked to see a little more of Warbow’s as he clearly was Crystar’s best friend. All of Crystar’s warriors and friends were likeable and fun characters besides Beek who really was an ass most of the issues he was in and treated Ika like dirt if she did something he didn’t like. The guest heros in the last issue were a waste.  You could have taken the Alpha Flight goons out of the issue, and they would have not been missed.  They strike out with them but hit homeruns with Doctor Strange and Nightcrawler. The series as a whole is amazing stuff and is worth the read.  It’s was a great way to build up these characters that were created to sell toys that kids had no clue to who or what they were. Marvel should have given this series a little longer to grow, and they should have not rushed the last issue when they built up this payout to be a blow out of good vs. evil. Sadly as of early 2013, Marvel has not done anything with Crystar and company besides put him on a cover as a zombie for one of the Marvel Zombies miniseries. Going into this series, I had very limited knowladge of the character besides a few of the toys I had in my youth and now after reading this series I wish I would have done so much earlier because Crystar would have been a toy and comic series I would have collected then. 

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Man, this was a long update!  I had a lot to talk about from toys to horror hosts to video games to independent movies.  This update was filled to the brim with retro and nerd goodness. So next update we might take it a little smaller as we take a look at Blue Water Comics series for horror film Leprechaun for Saint Patrick’s Day! So see you then for the all green and gold coin loving good time.

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