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Home | Tag Archives: aaa

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Lucha Libre to the Rescue: Wrestling Matches Raise Money for Riverside Learning Lab

Last Sunday night, Riverside High School echoed with the applause, boos and cheers thanks to a unique Lucha Libre fundraising event.

What started out as a means to help fund the building and creation of multi-purpose learning lab, turned into a night of family, fun and a celebration of two El Paso wrestlers.

Assistant Principal Veronica Estrada was looking for ways to help bring in funds to create a space on campus that would have modern technology available, where students could go to work on projects or just do their homework.

The one big problem: money.

After reviewing several ideas over several weeks and many talks with community members, it was decided that Lucha Libre was the perfect fit.

Once it was all hammered out, all that was left was the show, so the community came together Sunday night to enjoy the showdown to win the honor of  the “Riverside Cup” and support the high school. All proceeds from Sunday’s event will go to the Riverside Wrestling team, who will then make the donation to the funding of this learning lab.

Riverside Asst. Principle Estrada w/Luchadores

Among the luchadores, were two of El Pasoans own rising stars. El Hijo del Impostor and El Dragón both graduates of Eastwood High School and who are both now on the professional circuit, came back to support the sport in the Sun City.

El Hijo del Impostor, is part of a very famous dynasty of Mexican Luchadores, the iconic family also happen to be from the borderland, Cd. Juárez. His great-grandfather was the original Doctor X and his grandfather, is the international legend El Cobarde II.

His grandfather, Francisco Javier began his career as El Impostor and his was brother was El Cobarde (Miguel Angel) – who was one of the first Mexican luchadores to ever perform in Japan – and went on to achieve international success as well.

Francisco Javier Delgado El Impostor /El Cobarde II

Sadly, he (Miguel Angel) lost his battle to Leukemia in the early 80’s and his brother (El Impostor) who had already achieved accolades and huge success under his own stage name decided, that in honor of Miguel Ángel’s memory, he would revive the stage name and began to wrestle as El Cobarde II

El Cobarde II would go on to achieve several titles ( UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Title, WWA World Light Heavyweight Title, WWA World Heavyweight Title, National Heavyweight Title, disputed Mexican National Tag Team Championship Mexican National Trio Championship).

A few years ago, his grandfather actually had his last match here in El Paso and the world of wrestling lamented the goodbye. However, his sons have continued the family tradition honoring both the family identities, as one son performs as Hijo del Cobarde and the other son Impostor Jr. and now our own El Paso native, is continuing the legacy, joining his uncle and father, adding the next generation to the familial stage name and performing as El Hijo del Impostor.

The Delgado Dynasty is part of the foundation thread of all the great world organizations of Mexican Lucha Libre such as EMLL, CMLL and AAA and have even shared the ring with another famous El Paso wrestling name, Eddie Guerrero.

Always keeping Cd. Juarez in their heart, they have adopted Juan Gabriel’s “Cd. Juárez es No. 1” as their official entrance music.

Photo credit: El Hijo del Impostor FB

El Hijo del Impostor has set out to make a name for himself, as well as carry the weight of living up to the iconic family name. Already he has achieved personal success as the previous two-time NWA World Welterweight Champion and the current ACW champion and FMLL champion. You can reach him through Delgado Promotions

El Dragón and Hijo del Impostor met as young boys. They have been friends since they were ten years old, now they are both on their way to achieving their ultimate dream making it to the world of professional wrestling.

As for the age-old question – is it fake – the duo was very clear that no, it is very much a skilled talent, there is no “acting.” In their words, “you must train and learn elements and often things are improvised so you must be ready.” They work out every single day in the gym, and train on elements at least 4 times a week in addition to their workouts.

They continued to explain to me that in the lucha there’s a lot of synergy and if you feel a moment coming to do something, you do it, so you have to work a lot of hours with your partners to train and get into a rhythm.  They are super busy between traveling constantly around the country, performing in different matches, but still find time to balance home life.

Both men are married and have wives who support them. El Hijo del Impostor has a daughter who he says is already learning some skills and seems like a natural, should she continue in the family tradition she would be the first female in this long standing dynasty.

El Dragón arrived via his own route, not necessarily coming from a family of wrestlers, but like many of us on the border, he grew up a fan of the sport. At one time his own father had attempted to take up wrestling professionally but due to injury was not able to continue.

So he is a trailblazer in his family, paving the way for maybe another wrestling dynasty to come from the Sun City…

El Dragón is the current Tropicana Casino champion (Laughlin, NV) and he shared with us his big news that he had just signed with ‘Lucha Libre Voz‘ professional wrestling organization out of Phoenix, AZ  having just relocated about 2 weeks ago, congratulations to El Dragón and his family!

The two made the special trip to come back home in order to give back to the community.

They both spoke to the Riverside crowd and told them they are very proud of their El Paso roots and wanted to share the message to all the young boys and girls, that you can achieve your dreams, no matter what people say.

This was a dream when we were ten years old, but we kept working hard and never let go of that dream, and here we are, on our way…we wanted kids from our hometown to see that it is possible.”

In respect of the tradition and honor of Luchadores, I will keep their names and identities private, but make no mistake these young men are some of El Paso’s best.

 To make a donation to help fundraising efforts for the Riverside scholastic lab, click here.

DELGADO DYNASTY Top right: Abuelo “El Cobarde II” top left: Tío “Hijo del Cobarde” bottom left: Padre “El Impostor Jr.” bottom right: “Hijo del Impostor”

 

Fresno wins the game, El Paso shines in the spotlight

The Fresno Grizzlies took control early and cruised to victory in the Gildan Triple-A National Championship game at Southwest University Park Tuesday.  But if anyone shared in the victory, it was the entire city of El Paso and its Chihuahuas’ franchise.

Fresno (Houston Astros) of the Pacific Coast League, scored three runs in the first inning and two more in the second en route to a 7-0 pasting of the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) of the International League.

The game was so one-sided that Columbus didn’t manage to get a single player to reach second base.

“That was one of the cleanest games we’ve had all year,” said Fresno Manager Tony DeFrancesco. “The guys got on base early, we played excellent defense and got great pitching by [Chris] Devenski, who really earned that MVP award.”

Grizzlies at Clippers-16Devenski, the #18 prospect for the Astros, was in total control from the start, allowing just one hit in seven innings. He struck out nine batters (a new Triple-A championship game record) and out of the 81 pitches he threw, 66 of them were strikes.

“Every time I go out on the mound I try to challenge myself to see how far I can go,” said Devenski, who spent most of the year in Double-A and was making his first Triple-A start of the season, “I wasn’t really nervous tonight, I had a lot of confidence coming into the game.

“I’m just pretty happy that I was able to come up big for my team.”

Also coming up big for Fresno was right fielder Alex Presley, who collected three hits, scored two runs and knocked in another. Third baseman Tyler White had two hits, scored a run and had an RBI, while centerfielder Andrew Aplin added two hits and two runs scored.

Columbus’ starting pitcher Ryan Merritt took the loss after being hammered for seven hits and five runs (three earned) in just two innings of work.

Grizzlies at Clippers-2While the night clearly belonged to Fresno, the other topic that kept coming up was the local fans, the local baseball facility and the organization that runs it.

“We really like coming out here. It’s a beautiful ballpark and there’s always 10,000 people in the stands who are always into the game,” said DeFrancesco. “I still remember coming here when I was in Double-A against the Diablos and there were a lot of sellouts then and a lot of great baseball.”

“The fans were awesome,” said Devenski. “It was electric out here. This facility is beautiful. When I was a kid I used to go to Petco Park in San Diego and the right field wall here reminds me so much of that ballpark and it brought back a lot of fond memories.”

As has been the norm for about 75 percent of the games played at Southwest University Park, the championship game was a sellout with 9,332 in attendance.

“While other cities have sold this title game out, nobody has sold it out down to standing room only, a full three months in advance,” said Chihuahuas General Manager Brad Taylor. “The El Paso community really stepped up for this event and I’m glad the rest of the nation got to see what this place looks like.”

Tuesday’s game was televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.

Grizzlies at Clippers-7“This was another excellent chance to show off the ballpark and El Paso to a national audience,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “When bringing Triple-A baseball to the city and building a downtown ballpark the underlying objective was to improve the quality of life in El Paso and to grow economic development, and events like this really help to serve that purpose.

“I don’t think we could have imagined having an opportunity like this so quickly. It’s amazing to think that two seasons have already come and gone and in that short span we’ve already hosted the Triple-A championship game, along with selling out most of our home games.

Ledford said opportunities like this don’t come around very often and El Paso has always managed to meet the challenge.

“This was a chance to show the world outside El Paso that this city is a great place to live, to work, and to play and that’s something that is very difficult to put a price on.

“It’s been a great honor in only our second season to host this game and ultimately it’s because of our fans and the community that we were afforded this opportunity.”

Even the league’s top brass have taken notice of how much El Paso has accomplished in a very short time.

Grizzlies V Dawgs G3-14“Whoever thought that when we inaugurated this magnificent stadium two years ago…that we would be back here in such a short period of time to celebrate a national championship game,” said Branch Ricky III, PCL President.

“The franchise here has exceeded all expectations,” Ricky added. “To have over 40 sellouts in their first year and to follow that with over 50 sellouts this year is a testimony to the El Paso community and the Chihuahuas organization.

“Having the national title game here made all the sense in the world.”

What makes the rash of sellouts even more extraordinary is the fact that El Paso’s Southwest University Park ranks 11th among the 16-team PCL in stadium capacity, but Chihuahuas’ fans flocked to the games to the tune of over 8,100 per outing, ranking them third in league attendance.

“Our fan base has created an environment that is virtually unparalleled in minor league baseball, we’re very fortunate,” said Ledford. “There’s no doubt that the fans love the team and the ballpark and the experience.”

Grizzlies at Clippers-30With the numerous national stories coming from the Chihuahuas franchise and the popularity of the brand, El Paso is quickly becoming the center of minor league baseball.

“The owners have given us the resources to do this the right way and we’re very fortunate to be working with MountainStar Sports,” explained Taylor. “This championship game once again put us on the national spotlight.

“The fact that it was nationally televised meant a beautiful three-hour commercial for El Paso and a chance for the rest of the country to see how beautiful our city is.

“The Triple-A season may have ended today but we’ll start next week on what we can do to make next year even better.”

Author: Steve Escajeda

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