In the words of that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas, THIS IS HALLOWEEN, THIS IS HALLOWEEN! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Yes sports fans today is Halloween, or as I like to call it, the day I can walk around wearing my Máscara Sagrada mask without people wondering how much of a David Lynch loving weirdo I am. It’s also the day that inspired Manuel Ortiz Partida to become the luchador known as Halloween! At least I think so; it be pretty weird if he just decided to name himself Halloween on the random.
Born on May 22nd, 1971, Partida initially worked under the name Rocky Boy before taking on his famous persona in 1994. Since then it’s been a pretty good ride; as Halloween, Partida has enjoyed a 26 year run that saw him become a reliable star in Mexico and a luchador even American fans are semi-familiar with. But what is Halloween’s actual story? Last year at this time I tried to sit down and write it all out…and instead the best I got was posting a Halloween gif on Twitter that Chris Hero liked. There are worse fates for sure but how does that do the man justice? So this year I decided that instead of doing a long write up on Halloween’s career, I’d trim the fat, talk about ten cool points regarding his career and present them to you before you go out and get sick from eating so much candy. And low behold that’s what is about to happen. Here are some things you should know about Halloween.
1. Finn Balor once cosplayed as him. I’m not joking; back when Finn Balor was uncool and Bray Wyatt was still a dope (wait…have either of those things changed?), Balor once inexplicably decided to change up his Demon look so he’d come across like Halloween. For real! Take a look for yourself if you don’t believe me.
It’s not 100% the same but at worst these two looks are distant cousins from each other. I’d like to believe this was Balor keeping the Halloween legacy alive but there’s a 100% chance he probably just saw a picture on Google and thought it was cool. Never the less it did at least lead to the coolest look of Balor’s career, which isn’t saying much considering the only other moment that comes close was “CAPTAIN FOOKIN NEW JAPAN?!” This is what happens when you’re just happy to be there.
2. Halloween is/was best friends with Damian 666. You can’t talk about Halloween without bringing up Damian 666! The two have been joined at the hip more than Saudi Arabia and human rights violations. Of course unlike that the Damian/Halloween association makes sense; both guys are from Tijuana and both guys have made a career walking on the wild side. And so they have for the past twenty five years, generally working under the names La Familia de Tijuana or Mexico’s Most Wanted. Whatever the name is success has generally followed, as Damian and Halloween have won eleven total championships between tag and trios action. The only thing more impressive is how Damian has continued looked 60 years old for their entire run.
3. There was once a Halloween mask. If you’ve seen Halloween recently would think that he’s always looked like a guy who painted his face like a pumpkin. That’s not true; one time he wore a mask that looked like an actual pumpkin! Turns out Halloween was masked for a few years in the 90’s before he lost it to Super Parka (Volador Jr.’s father) in December of 1999. I’ll leave you to decide from the pictures below but between you and me, I think he made the right decision dropping the mask. Now if the Cíclope mask had been his full time look I’d disagree. Alas.
4. Halloween was Cíclope. Oh yeah; you knew that right? Most of you probably did but in case not yes; Halloween and Cíclope from WCW are the same guy, just with different masks (although Halloween occasionally wore a Halloween style mask under the gimmick). Like many of the other WCW luchadores Cíclope joined WCW in late 1996 and ultimately was given nothing to do. Well unless you count that one hardcore match where Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan laughed at him, Damian, La Parka and and Silver King for ten minutes. Beyond that though it was a lot of tough sledding, although he did have some cool moments such as the “CÍCLOPE HAS TWO EYES NOW!” Man Bobby Heenan was great when he wasn’t shitting on Cíclope hardcore bouts wasn’t he?
5. Cíclope vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. on Nitro was the win, the whole win AND NOTHING BUT THE WIN! I know I know; Rey Mysterio Jr. having a great match? WHO COULD’VE GUESSED?! Maybe it’s just because this was pretty much Cíclope’s only shot at having a great singles match but this match ROCKS! It’s got stuff like this.
And that’s just some of the craziness (you can see the rest of the match here!). It’s probably the highlight for Halloween in singles competition, given that his other big singles matches involved him a) losing his mask and b) losing his mask. Then again I’m pretty sure most people would take having a great match with Rey Mysterio Jr. a career highlight. You don’t hear Steve Waddington complaining about his career highlight being a supporting player to Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, do you?
6. The Memorial Day 1997 lucha match with Cíclope is the best WCW lucha match no one talks about. There are four matches I think of when I think WCW Lucha sports fans. First, the Eddie-Mysterio match from Halloween Havoc 1997. Second, the Mysterio-Psychosis match from Bash at the Beach 1996. Third, the Atlantis-Emilio Charles Jr. match from a 1998 WCW pro episode where the commentators (and WCW) mistake Atlantis for Lizmark Jr. the entire match! And finally, this bout. It’s almost legendary to me in how innovative, exciting and great it is; a lucha libre match that packs in so much while not even crossing six minutes! And sure Cíclope is more a supporting guy; he gets one dive in and then is otherwise victimized by Hector Garza or sent into the crowd by Super Calo’s legendary suicida senton. The important thing to remember is he was still a huge part of the most breathtaking things you’ll ever see. The other things on that list; Mad Max: Fury Road, the Minneapolis Miracle play, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Allie as Lola Bunny. Good Grodd that woman is beautiful.
7. Yes, Dean Malenko dressed up as Halloween. It was awesome, the pop was huge, we all know this. That’s frankly the only reason I’m bringing it up; otherwise it did jack shit for Halloween in WCW. At least when La Parka lent DDP his costume Parka got to become a well known legend. All Halloween got was Schiavone screaming “THAT’S NOT CÍCLOPE!” Like we know Schiavone; we can see Dean Malenko standing in front of us!
8. Halloween in All Japan. That’s right; Halloween wrestled in the land of Kobashi! Of course it was after Kobashi and all those guys left to start Pro Wrestling NOAH and while All Japan was on the decline but hey…I don’t know what my point was. I guess it’s at least something Halloween can say he did, and in all fairness he was more successful there than he was in WCW, mainly because he actually won matches. Plus whenever you can say you worked the promotion that housed such legends like Kobashi, Kawada, Misawa and the Can-Am Express, you know you’ve accomplished something.
9. Halloween helped found Perros del Mal. This is perhaps the most important thing you need to know about Halloween. For all the other accomplishments, nothing can top the fact that he was there, alongside Damian 666 and Perro Aguayo Jr., at the formation of Perros del Mal after the group formed from the ashes of La Furia de Norte (the precursor group to Los Perros). The first ever Perros del Mal match (according to Cagematch) in fact is Damian, Halloween and Perro Jr. taking on Heavy Metal, LA Park and Shocker on a March 2005 CMLL Super Viernes. After that Halloween was a consistent member of the group, regardless of whether they were in AAA or CMLL, pretty up to Perros tragic death in 2015. If the other stuff didn’t convince you that Halloween was cool, this 100% should. Only he, Perro, Damian and Hector Garza can say they were original Perros del Mal members. That’s pretty rad.
10. You can still see Halloween doing a bunch of Death Matches in DTU. Sometimes he even wrestles with a Halloween Jr., who is apparently his nephew and has carried on the tradition of wearing the pumpkin mask. It’s not much I know, but hot damn is it nice to see Halloween still plugging along just like other fellow WCW alums LA Park, Mysterio, Juvy and Damian. Granted his definition of plugging along is going through a whole lot of light tubes these days but hey; you do what you gotta do. Plus you can’t be named Halloween and then not do bad ass stuff. The dude has been doing crazy shit for years; it’s only natural he go out doing what brought him to the gorram dance.
So that’s the story of Halloween on Halloween. Normally this would be the part where I say I’ll see you soon for a CMLL preview…but what the hell, let’s just combine it into one column and do the CMLL Super Viernes break down now! I mean it is the Day of the Dead show after all and we just talked about the luchador named after Halloween. As far as segues go this is right up there with “the word you’re looking for is….anyway.” Yes I just quoted Friends, sue me.
Magnus & Príncipe Diamante vs. Akuma & Espanto Jr. I’m going to be real with you sports fans; the Magnus meme is canceled until Magnus finally delivers that all time great performance he promised me. I have not forgotten! I’m guessing this match probably won’t be it but who knows; maybe Magnus will be feeling the sugar rush of Halloween candy and will decide to do all sorts of flips in between doing wheelies on Akuma and Espanto Jr.’s low rider bicycles. Also; can Espanto Jr. just stick to riding that and now longer wrestling? That be much appreciated. Winners: Magnus and Diamante in three falls.
La Jarochita, Marcela, Princesa Sugehit vs. Dalys, Metálica, Reyna Isis. I’m looking into the future and I see…what a shock; a whole lot of Dalys offense and a whole lot of no one else doing anything. The CMLL Luchadoras Division in 2019! CMLL may as well just book Dalys to win every match by two falls at this point. At least it would save us all the time. Also, can someone tell me what happened to Avispa Dorada? She was easily the best part of the division and she’s disappeared like Roy Hobbes’ talent during the middle of the season. Is too soon to start making up conspiracies of her being too good and Dalys having her shipped out because of that? Winners: Dalys, Metálica and Reyna in three falls.
Atlantis Jr., Flyer, Fugaz vs. Hechicero, Hijo del Villano III, Templario. Four of these luchadores rock. The other two are Flyer (accompanied by his nonexistent confidence) and Hijo del Villano III, who I’m beginning to think is just here because he makes Atlantis Jr. so much better by comparison. Of course Atlantis Jr. accomplishes that just fine on his own so what do I know? Honestly even with Flyer and Villano around this match should be rad; Fugaz delivered huge in Gran Alternativa, Hechicero and Templario are two of the best rudos still in CMLL and Atlantis Jr. has gotten awesome really quick. He was tremendous last week with Templario and that pairing, coupled with potential Atlantis Jr.-Hechicero sequences, only serve to make this match more appealing. Winners: Atlantis, Flyer and Fugaz in three falls.
Sansón (c) vs. Star Jr. for the CMLL Rey del Inframundo Championship. Yes the Rey del Inframundo title is actually something that exists. No you will not see again until next year. That doesn’t matter and frankly the result doesn’t matter. The only thing that does is that Star Jr.’s stunning push is continuing with the biggest singles match of his career against the really talented Sansón. The concern will be whether Sansón pulls an Último Guerrero and gives Star Jr. little to work with, something that has been a problem for Sansón and his Dinamita partners Cuatrero and Forastero in recent trios matches. If he shows up though and Star Jr. performs like he has in the past month then this could be the best thing in CMLL since the last big match Star Jr. had. Seriously; the dude has been the only thing to look forward to this last month. Winner: Sansón in three falls.
Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Stuka Jr. vs. Cavernario, Mephisto, Último Guerrero. It’s going to annoy me greatly to watch the UG do more with Ángel de Oro, Niebla Roja and Stuka after he couldn’t be bothered to throw Star Jr. a bone last week. We get it man; the dude slipped on the ropes once and isn’t from the Lagoon! Take a hint from Ben Foster’s teen classic and get over it already. Other than that continued annoyance this match should be fine, though it’s building to nothing compared to the preceding match and the main event. Winners: Oro, Roja and Stuka in three falls.
Euforia & Gran Guerrero (c) vs. Carístico & Mistico for the CMLL World Tag Team Championships. This could be the match that determines whether or not CMLL is worth getting excited for over the next several months. Will Mistico turn rudo by turning on Carístico, finally launching the Carístico-Mistico feud we’ve all wanted? Will CMLL put the tag titles on them? Or will CMLL do what CMLL does best and keep things exactly the friggin same by putting Euforia and Gran Guerrero over cleanly while Carístico and Mistico act like best pals? The only thing I know for sure is that Mistico will have at least one cool move, Carístico will be massively over and Euforia and Gran Guerrero will have several great double teams because that’s how they roll. It’ll be a lot of fun; whether or not it leads anywhere is a whole other story. Winners: Euforia and Gran Guerrero in three falls with no betrayal. It’s CMLL; always expect the worst.
There you have it sports fans. Hope you enjoyed two columns for the price of one! I shall return tomorrow for a review of this CMLL show after a day of watching bad movies and eating junk food. Till then, Happy Halloween!
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