Tope Guerrilla | Faceless & The Mystic

As I’ve written about before, being the “original” can seem to be the most important thing in Lucha Libre. Whoever was the first to be a character, hero, or Luchador can mean the world. Not only to the fans in the crowd but to the wrestler themselves. With that being said, the irony is not lost on me, that the man “without a face”, has, in fact, had many. While Lucha Libre is no stranger to gimmicks changing hands, whether by choice or not. There is quite possibly no more convoluted story than that of Sin Cara. 

Allow me to explain.  

While to many of us, Sin Cara might be that one Lucha gimmick that started at a weird place, then moved on to be a staple of Main Event. The history of that name, and of the people who have portrayed that character, are so intertwined, it almost seems made up. It is a bonkers tale, involving two men, weird booking, and masks. It all starts with a name that is synonymous with a promotion, and Arena Mexico itself: Mistico 

The Mistico that most Lucha fans recognize is that of CMLL that debut in 2004. This is the Rockstar level, Beatlemania-inducing Mistico that fans in Mexico fell in love with. He had his own comic book run, multiple telenovela appearances (that’s a really big deal in Mexico) he even appeared in a music video for a giant pop band. (it’s super campy, and amazing link at bottom) He held that name and became a multiple time world champion for the company as well drawing the largest houses the company had seen in years. He became known as “El Principe de Plata y Oro”, The Price of silver and gold.  

In that time, there was another Mistico. One that predated the Mistico in CMLL. According to him, he was the original, he made his debut in 1999.  At the time, he was a young rookie unaware of the logistics of trademarks and registrations and lost the rights to the name to CMLL when they introduced the character in 2004. He changed the spelling to Mystico, and Mystico de Juarez. He eventually made the change to Incognito, where he had success on the independents, having the most success in Chikara where he could showcase his Lucha style.  

Both men had a claim to the name Mistico 

In 2011, both of these men’s lives would intertwine as they did 6 years prior. Incognito was signed to a developmental deal and his name was changed to Hunico a few years before. In 2011, Mistico was signed to the WWE under much fanfare, including a full press conference in Mexico City. His name was changed to Sin Cara (without a face, or Faceless). While many people may have not known about these men’s earlier issues in regards to gimmicks, we certainly know the most recent one.  

The Sin Cara that first arrived at WWE became infamous to the WWE audience. Known to be botch prone, there were multiple factors to this. This Sin Cara was immediately taken into the main roster without any time to adjust to the WWE style of wrestling. Something that was done with Luchador’s at the time, and in many ways done with the top indie stars today in NXT. He does not speak English and was known to have a bad attitude in the locker room. These factors lead to the issues and the eventual bad reputation that he had.  

This OG Sin Cara was suspended after a month on the job, due to issues in regards to wellness policy, claimed to be misunderstandings in regard to the guidelines of said policy. Then Hunico, replaced him on TV and house shows, in order to keep the momentum of the new superstar going. When the OG returned the feud of Sin Cara blue vs Sin Cara Negro began 

Quick Recap so far: Hunico was the original Mistico from Juarez. He was the one who lost his gimmick to CMLL. He was now replacing ‘Mistico’ as Sin Cara. Then when the OG Sin Cara returned, they feuded over the name.  

It is so bonkers and intertwined with these wrestlers’ actual lives, that you can’t make it up.  

A Rudo Sin Cara vs a technico Sin Cara. The sort of Ying-Yang of Luchador characters is traditional in Lucha Libre and to bring that tradition to the US was an amazing thing to watch on American TV. The feud came to a head in a Mask vs Mask match at the Mexico City TV tapings. When Sin Cara Negro was unmasked, he became a cholo character back with his name of Hunico.  

The Original Sin Cara, spent the rest of his time in WWE in forgettable feuds, a tag team with Rey Mysterio, and constantly getting injured, and according to reports, and the current Sin Cara, Vince Mcmahon decided that it was not worth the effort. They offered Hunico the character of Sin Cara, and that is the Sin Cara we all currently know. He is the one of Lucha Dragons, competed at WrestleMania and became an ambassador for WWE and the Hispanic community in the US.  

When the OG Sin Cara returned to Mexico, he had lost the Mistico name, as it belonged to CMLL. In fact, he was replaced as Mistico by a younger wrestler, but as of the time of this writing, this version of Mistico has failed to grasp the audience in the same way the original did. He joined AAA under the name Myzteziz. Where his run culminated in a dream match between himself and Rey Mysterio at Triplemania XXIII. The match itself was part of an event that was already given mixed reviews with a messy finish. Soon thereafter, Mysteziz went back home to CMLL and became Caristico, a combo of his name in the US and his original gimmick. 

While Caristico may not be the companies ace, He seems to be the peoples, this is impressive considering that he has heavy competition with stars that rose up to the occasion when he left, such as Rush and La Sombra.  While he has tagged with the newer Mistico, he has been quite vocal about the fact that he is the one that made the name Mistico what it is, throwing jabs at both the wrestler portraying Mistico, as well as CMLL.  

A lot of wrestling fans may not know, or appreciate the intense background and long story that both these men had in regards to the name Mistico, then the name Sin Cara. Many of us simply know that the original version, was a botch machine with a bad attitude, never appreciating the fact that it was because of him that CMLL rose into another boom period and that even under a different name, he is still a major factor in the success of the company.  The Sin Cara we currently know may just seem like another guy who is on Main Event, but he has become loved by the Mexican fans, as giving the name of Sin Cara respect as well as a good representation of the Lucha Libre style in WWE. 

While we are currently seeing multiple Luchadors on WWE tv, including alumni of CMLL like Grand Metalik and Andrade Cien Almas, it was Mistico joining WWE that opened the door for talent direct from Mexico, without an earlier run in an American company, to truly shine in WWE. If you think he’s just a botch machine, look up his match in CMLL. Don’t just get your Lucha Libre updates from Botchamania clips. I literally thought for a while that all Japanese wrestling was deathmatches, then I did the work, and found amazing wrestling in Japan. I recommend you do the same with Lucha Libre in Mexico. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised on how great Caristico really is and you’ll forget all about his time as the original Sin Cara.  

Also, Can the current Sin Cara join Lucha house party when he comes back? 

That would be pretty neat.  

Foco Picks: 

La 5A Estación – Me Muero (featuring Mistico)

Rey Mysterio VS Myzteziz Triple Mania XXVIII 8/9/2015 

Mistico vs Ultimo Guerrero – Arena Mexico 2/25/05 

Carístico vs Místico – CMLL Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara 6/12/18 

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara | Mask vs Mask – Smackdown: Mexico City  10/21-11