Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre or CMLL is a wrestling organization based in Mexico City, Mexico. The name actually stands for Worldwide Wrestling Council and they run most of their cards in Guadalajara as well as other cities in southern Mexico. It is currently the oldest wrestling organization in the world and used to go by the name Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre or EMLL and is still sometimes referred to by that name still today.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre was formed back in 1933 by Salvador Lutteroth Gonzales under the original name of EMLL. Some of the stars that wrestled for the company included the likes of Bobby Bonales, Gory Guerrero and El Santo. It was a powerful organization and was considered the vanguard of the lucha libre phenomenon.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre began to weaken in the 70’s however, when the company was turned over to Gonzales’s son, Chavo and promoters began to leave and form another organization called the Universal Wrestling Alliance. The UWA ran against EMLL and was a force to be reckoned with until the company finally folded in the 90’s.
EMLL also joined forces with the National Wrestling Alliance as their Mexican partner and went by the name NWA-EMLL. However, that marriage ended in the 80’s because the promoters from both organizations had differences of opinions. At this time, EMLL changed their named to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and in the 90’s began showing their programs on the Mexican station of Televisa. Televisa was the largest multimedia company in the entire Spanish speaking world at the time so CMLL received a big boost. Before Televisa, Lucha Libre was only read about in newspapers and magazines.
Shortly after the boom that CMLL received, long time booker Antonio Peña left the company and formed Asistencia Asesoría y Administración or AAA. Peña took much of the young talent from CMLL with him. AAA was the leader in Lucha Libre wrestling for many years but when the Mexican economy began to turn south in the 90’s, AAA began to scale back on their talent. Then a famous or infamous feud, depending on how you look at it, began to breathe new life and a renewed excitement in CMLL. It was a feud between El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas, Santo shocked everyone when he turned heel and dressed up like Casas’ brother, Felino and attacked Casas. CMLL quickly jumped on the bandwagon and began spotlighting the younger talent.
CMLL is also famous for their annual tournaments to start a new storyline or begin a push on a wrestler. However, in recent years, CMLL has not held these tournaments and have not said why. The most prestigious tournament that CMLL has held was called “Leyenda de Plata” or “Silver Legend” which is in honor of the most famous luchadore in El Santo. This tournament is usually made up of the cream of the crop wrestlers in CMLL and it is done as what is known as a “torneo cibernético” which is usually a large tag team elimination match with the winners of the two remaining teams facing off in a singles match. The winner of that must then face the previous year’s winner to win the trophy which is a plaque with El Santo’s face on it.
If you want to see some exciting wrestling action where the company doesn’t rely on brawlers and blood to draw crowds then be sure to catch a CMLL match whenever you can.