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At the heart of the ring: Lucha libre

Annabella Mireles
Midas holds Marty Snow in a chokehold at Pro Wrestling Legacy gym.

Editor’s Note: This is the first part in a three-part series.  

The phenomenon of lucha libre is deeply rooted in Mexican culture and due to the closeness of sister cities, Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, this sport has influenced the wrestling world of the Sun City, deviating from what we would usually see in something like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).  

Generations of professional wrestlers have kept the sport alive, teaching new luchadores the passion that runs through their veins.  

The widely known sport of wrestling or lucha libre, has dated back to the Babylonian era. It was not until 1863 when Enrique Ugartechea, the first Mexican wrestler, implemented what we know now as lucha libre wrestling, with roots deriving from the Greco-Roman wrestling. From there, characters such as El Santo, Blue Demon, La Parka, Perro Aguayo and Mil Máscaras, have created a legacy that still lives up to this day.   

El Pasoan group named “Inglorious Bastards” comprised of Marty Snow, Midas, Nolan Knight and their newest addition Cosmo Orion, started wrestling together Feb. 21, 2022. Each one of them bringing a different, meaningful story to the ring.   

UTEP alumnus, Martin “Marty Snow” Romero, started wrestling in January 2021 as an after hours activity. At the beginning, his parents thought it was a phase and did not take it seriously, but due to his dedication put into wrestling, he was able to set an agreement with his parents, finish his degree and then focus on wrestling.   

Once he graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in creative writing, he followed his passion for wrestling and created a name for himself. The challenge of making his name known came with the decision not to wear the very popular mask. 

“I wanted to challenge myself without having a mask, trying to make a name by myself. I feel that a lot of times luchadores carry themselves by the mask, and I understand and respect that,” Snow said. “But I wanted to have my name mean something instead of my mask being the one that carries me.”  

Growing as a luchador also means creating connections that will allow them to enter the professional world. For Snow, it meant joining a wrestling school in Florida.  

“I got the chance to travel to Florida and train under the Flatbacks Wrestling School,” Snow said. “I was able to face two guys who already made it to the top (WWE legend Tyler Breece, and All Elite Wrestling (AWE) Shawn Spears). Being able to share the ring with my mentors, Tyler Breeze and Sean Spears, it’s been one of my favorite memories.”  

Having wrestled in El Paso, Las Cruces, N.M., Albuquerque, N.M. and Arizona, Snow still looks out to expand his horizons and travel to more places through lucha libre, with hopes of getting to the WWE.  

Unlike Snow, Midas does have a secret identity that comes from a legacy of luchadores.  Born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, El Cobarde, along with his siblings Impostor and Legendario, set the standards for wrestling in the borderland. Today, the fourth-generation wrestler, Midas, who is about to turn 20 years old, carries the flag for his family, while working with a mix of American wrestling and Mexican lucha libre.  

“El Cobarde. He used to be the brother of my grandpa,” Midas said. “He became very famous and one of the greatest. Unfortunately, he passed away very early in his career due to cancer. From there, my grandpa took the name, and he took it on forward and it reached where he’s right now. Now, he passed on his name to my brother to continue his legacy and to fulfill that name with greatness.”  

Despite having the roots of lucha libre, it took him some time to get into the sport and eventually he fell in love with it. After practicing for four years, he finally became a professional wrestler a year and a half ago.   

“My oldest and youngest brother got me into wrestling,” Midas said. “If it wasn’t for them, I honestly wouldn’t be involved in this sport. In the beginning, I wasn’t interested in this, I thought it was lame.”  

The names El Cobarde and Impostor have been passed down to his family, but Midas is setting aside from that and bringing a new light to the legendary family, with a name that gives away his goals in the sport.  

“I’m chasing gold, and I know Midas is all about gold,” he said. “That’s my goal here in professional wrestling, to get all the gold as possible.”  

Midas has found a second family that shares his ancestry’s passion for wrestling, where he finds people with the same values and drive, making this a memorable experience that he will never forget.  

“Each time we are here together, I feel like we create a new memory every single time and every memory is my favorite here with these people,” Midas said. “They are my family and each time we’re growing together and honestly evolving with them is unbelievable.”  

Maria L. Guerrero Duran is the web and copy editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @bymariaguerrero on Instagram. 

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About the Contributors
Maria L. Guerrero Duran
Maria L. Guerrero Duran, Web/Copy Editor
Maria L. Guerrero Duran is the web editor and copy editor for The Prospector. She is a senior, majoring in English and American literature with a minor in translation at the University of Texas at El Paso. She plans on joining the book publishing field and is interested in becoming an editor and a translator.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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At the heart of the ring: Lucha libre