El Hippie Hair and Hippie Jimmy
In the mid 1980s, I read an article in an amazing book entitled The Catalog of Cool. Amongst the entries on beatniks and 1950s cars was an article, “Wrestling From Peru!” which described a program that was aired in Los Angeles on a Hispanic UHF TV station in the 1970s. It sounded like the Mexican lucha libre stuff, but ratcheted up to 11 or 12.
Years later my friend Rod, who grew up in Chile, told me that he and his brothers had gone crazy over this program when he was a kid. Turns out it originated from Argentina, and it was called Titanes En El Ring. He remembered the costumes and characters, such as “El Astronauta,” “Mercenario Joe,” “El Hippie Hair” and the most feared wrestler of all, “La Momia.”
La Momia (the Mummy) was so frightening that many of his opponents would faint or run away rather than face his occult powers. Even the announcers screamed “Oh no! La Momia!!” as he made his deathly entrance. One episode featured not one, but TWO opponents who left the ring and tore through the TV studio meeting with a succession of locked doors in an attempt to escape La Momia’s wrath. They finally entered one room and supposed safety only to have the crap beaten out of them by a horde of partying hippies led by another wrestler called “Hippie Joe.”
Each wrestler had his own theme song, which played over his march from the backstage area to the ring. This of course led to a series of record albums, one of which I found on ebay a few years ago.
The first series of Titanes En El Ring ran from 1962 to 1967. Producer Martín Karadagián also starred as one of the wrestlers. In a later incarnation of the program, he even went up against La dreaded Momia:
Some of the kids in that clip look like they’re going to pee their pants.
A list of the wrestlers (in Spanish) can be found at the Titanes En El Ring website. My current favorite is “El Hacker,” with a photo of some skinny guy in a baseball cap carrying an ancient laptop. What did he do? Hack into the studio server to make himself champion? I doubt he even made it into the ring.
Here’s La Momia’s theme song: