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El Apache, Mario Balbuena, passed away Sunday morning, he was only 58 years old. He was a big time talent on the Mexican scene, mostly AAA and EMLL. He began wrestling in 1975 and both wrestled at Arena Mexico and smaller time indie groups through the early 90's.
Below is a tad bit more information, thanks to thecubsfan for the blurb info.
Apache’s skills, both as a wrestlers and a trainer, were as respected in Japan and as in Mexico. When Mexico wrestling shrank in the mid 90s, with UWA disappearing and AAA diminishing, Apache sent Faby & Mary to Japan to learn to wrestle and came along to help teach. The family returned to Mexico in the late 90s, and they became fully entrenched members of the AAA roster. Apache became the lead trainer for the promotion, some one good at molding talent and a time where AAA was rebuilding and strongly needed someone to help.
He worked with just about every luchador who came thru AAA in the last couple of decades, with some of the more exciting wrestlers in Mexico owing a bit to his work. Apache was so good at his job that he and his family were said to have jobs in AAA for as long as they wanted them and they’ve remained constant presences in AAA.
For those curious on what he did on screen during his times:
On screen, Gran Apache was the patriarch of the never ending Apache family drama. He was the sterotypical macho father who knew what was best for her independently minded daughter Faby: a boyfriend he chose and following her father’s footsteps as a rudo. Gran Apache trying to convince and manipulate his daughters into his vision for them was a reoccuring plot for many years in AAA, a telenovela style story which appealed beyond the usual lucha libre fanbase. The drama peaked with a multiyear feud between Gran Apache and (then) Faby’s husband Billy Boy.
Billy & Faby had a romance which Apache very much didn’t approve of, Billy challenged Gran Apache to hair match and lost (twice!) but Faby stayed with Billy, Gran Apache tried kidnapping Faby & Billy’s son to get her to come back (didn’t work), Faby made peace with her family after a hair match with her sister Mary at TripleMania but Billy was left out in the cold in the process, Billy went crazy and was put in a psych ward, a new masked wrestler Alfa appeared in Gran Apache’s training class and won his approval,
Alfa won over Faby as well and then unmasked himself as Billy for the surprise reunion. That story took place about 10 years ago, yet still remains very memorable to those who watched it then and AAA’s continued to try and mine and repeat parts of it over the years. No one could’ve played Apache’s role better than he did in that, it was more meaningful than any title or apuesta win. Apache had other storylines too, usually playing the crafty cheating veteran who would be tormenting one promising rookie or another, though in reality working to help them in the ring as part of their first big feud.
Apache’s last TV appearance was in December. He was pat of his families feud with OGT, with the idea that Apaches were united for the first time in years by the new rudo group. Even after he disappeared from TV.
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