Bowie V. Ibarra
(Photos ripped off from wrestlingrumors.net)
Noted pro-wrestling pundit Brandon Stroud of With Leather along with other online writers reported that the luchador playing Sin Cara has been replaced by Hunico, the luchador that was once Sin Cara Negro who took on Sin Cara in an outstanding Mask vs. Mask match in Mexico. Though I'm disappointed the original athlete who played Sin Cara has, apparently, been shitcanned, I'm happy at the prospect of the legacy of the name being carried on.
Sin Cara, once known as Mistico in Mexico, had become one of the biggest names in Mexico. His athleticism and acrobatic attack was a thing of beauty when he was in his zone. At his height, he was having international title matches like the one's below.
The guy was outstanding. That is, until he began his run in WWE.
There's no sense listing his botches, as they have been the stuff of ridicule for years since he's come to the WWE. Even one of his first t-shirts turned into yet another reason for the already stupid WWE universe to make fun of the Mexican superstar.
For whatever reason, the talented luchador could not get one shred of traction on his WWE run. From injuries in matches to sadly hilarious botches to failed wellness testing, Sin Cara's run was atrocious.
But it seems WWE has been making enough money off of their own original lucha gimmick that they want to keep the name alive, at least for a while. So it seems they passed the mantle to Hunico, an extremely talented lucha-style wrestler who once competed under a mask even before his WWE run.
Truth is, Hunico was actually pretty good. And when he was Sin Cara Negro, his matches were on par with, if not better, than Sin Cara Azul's WWE matches. But he lost his mask to Sin Cara and was repackaged as a Mexican thug cholo.
Truth is, I'm thankful that WWE has perpetuated the gimmick with someone else. Though it completely violates the tradition of lucha libre, the silver lining is that they are continuing to back a gimmick that is a positive toward Mexican culture instead of just a trashy Mexican street thug.
It's not the first time WWE has violated lucha tradition. Rey Mysterio, who had lost his mask due to the work of asshole Eric Bischoff and the bane of pro-wrestling, Kevin Nash, reclaimed his mask in WWE. Because Vince wasn't stupid like Bischoff and Nash and saw the money potential on the masks and the money of an always-supportive Hispanic/Latino demographic, he put the mask back on Rey. Incidentally, Rey was a 'cholo' type character unmasked as well.
Mexican Americans/Hispanics/Latinos/whatever you want to call us, need positive influences and examples for them. And though WWE continues to perpetuate negative Mexican Archetypes (the cholo) like mainstream media, the legacy of the nobility of masked Mexican wrestlers is an archetype that I'm okay with. I don't even have a problem with their main reasoning being the money they were making on their own original gimmick. They created it, they earned it. It's still a positive influence on Mexican/Latino culture. So I'm hope they continue to move forward with this gimmick change.
Word on the street is they've been wanting a Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara match at WrestleMania. Make it a Mask vs. Mask match, and a dream of mine will come true.
We'll see what happens and what WWE does with this Sin Cara 2.0. So in the meantime, check out a book that features a lucha libre superstar who crosses over into MMA, very much like Alberto Del Rio once did. Follow the adventures of El Aire in the combat sports series, 'Pit Fighters'. 'Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire' and 'Pit Fighters: Double Cross' are combat sports-themed books that features fights from the early days of MMA, and plenty of underground money fights. You've got to check them out, and they're available on Kindle or paperback today.
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster. His latest story, 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull' is a Tex-Mexploitation superhero story in the tradition of 'Machete' and 'Black Dynamite'. Get it in paperback or Kindle today.
Bowie earned a BFA in Acting and MA in Theatre History from Texas State University. Network with Bowie for updates and news at his official website, ZombieBloodFights.com.