Ernest Gonzales is best known for his solo works of electro pop and hip-hop-infused indie rock. When he began toying with a harder, bass-heavy dance sound, he established an alter ego known as Mexicans with Guns, whose look and short-lived anonymity were inspired by lucha libre.
Gonzales appears in Invisible: Overlooked Albums and Unseen Artists, the 38th issue of ALARM, to discuss his use of masks as well as their importance to Mexican culture. Here, without further ado, are his five favorite luchadores.
1. El Santo
“Without a doubt, the top luchador of all time is El Santo. He wrestled for more than 50 years, starred in hundreds of movies, and is considered to be a folk hero to many Mexican people. Donning a silver luchador mask, El Santo vowed to fight crime and injustice. If you mixed Hulk Hogan and Batman, you would have El Santo. Here’s a four-part documentary about El Santo from Incredibly Strange Film via YouTube.”
2. Mil Mascaras
“Mil Mascaras (1000 Masks) was one of the first luchadores to bust out the high-flying moves. It can definitely be argued that Mil Mascaras was one of the best of all time as well. In his entire career, Mil Mascaras was never unmasked.”
3. Blue Demon
“Another one of the classic Luchadores, and one of El Santo’s main rivals, is Blue Demon. Blue began his career as a ‘rudo,’ which means he was a bad dude but he eventually switched sides and became a good guy. Who doesn’t love a villain with a heart of gold? Blue Demon was one of the only — if not the only — wrestlers to beat El Santo.”
4. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Ultimo Dragon
“Very tough decision for number four here, but I had to throw in a couple of the new-school Luchadores. These guys are super athletic and perform all kinds of tricks. Check out this classic battle between the two. Count how many times someone gets slammed on their head.”
5. La Parka
“This guy is bananas. He will smash you with a chair if you happen to be in the audience and he doesn’t like you. Plus he’s got amazing swagger and will piss you off in a match by busting out some dance moves in the ring. You have to appreciate and respect a guy with that many talents; he’s the Ali of lucha libre. Check him out here twerking on some mamasotas.”