It was just a week ago that CMLL celebrated their 85th Anniversary with the 85th edition of the Aniversario. As it turns out they were a week ahead! As CMLL prepares for another Super Viernes tonight, they will be doing so on the day they were born. Indeed, 85 years ago today was the first ever CMLL show, a pinnacle moment in the history of lucha libre.
The groundwork for the debut of CMLL, then called EMLL (Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre) actually started four years prior in 1929, when property inspector Salvador Lutteroth crossed into the US from Ciudad Juarez to attend a wrestling show in El Paso, Texas. Inspired by the event he set out to become a wrestling promoter, and with the help of financial backer Francisco Ahumada realized his dream on this day 85 years ago. It wasn’t without issue; Lutteroth’s chosen venue for the first show (Arena Nacional) was unavailable, leading to him booking the show in Arena Modelo. As fate would have it, Arena Modelo would become CMLL’s home base for their first decade and the eventual site for where Arena Mexico would be built. The first show would be headlined between luchadores Bobby Sampson and the legendary Yaqui Joe, who would win the first ever EMLL main event. Perhaps the most famous luchador on the card however was American Ciclón Mackey. Though he lost Leong Tin Kit in the semi-main, Mackey would eventually go on to become one of EMLL’s first big stars and is recognized today as the first luchador to popularize the mask in Mexico under the name La Maravilla Enmascarada.
Indeed, CMLL’s first show could be considered one of the most important moments in lucha libre history, alongside the debut of El Santo and the legendary Santo-Black Shadow match from 1952. It’s only fitting, despite not being the Aniversario, that CMLL would be running a show tonight from Arena Mexico, 85 years to the date of its birth. The show can be seen on Marca Claro’s website and Facebook page starting at 9:30 p.m. EST.