At the heart of the ring: Lucha libre


Annabella Mireles

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

Maria L. Guerrero Duran

Maria L. Guerrero Duran, Web Editor

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.   

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Midas and Marty Snow wrestle at Pro Wrestling Legacy gym April 13.

  • UTEP Alumnus Martin “Marty Snow” Romero started wrestling in January 2021 after graduating with a degree in psychology and a minor in creative writing.

  • Lucha Libre wrestlers Midas (left) and Martin “Marty Snow” Romero (right) are both passionate about the sport and wrestling at the same gym, Pro Wrestling Legacy.

  • Lucha wrestler Midas keeps his identity secret and comes from a legacy of luchadores.

  • Marty Snow and Midas pose in the ring at Pro Wrestling Legacy gym.

  • Lucha Libre wrestlers Midas (down) and Martin “Marty Snow” Romero (up) are both passionate about the sport and wrestling at the same gym, Pro Wrestling Legacy.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

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.