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Tarzán López (1921 - 1974)

Real NameCarlos López Tovar
Lifespan8/28/21 - 8/28/74
??? - Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Boxing, Swimming

Teacher(s)Diablo Velazco

AliasesCarlos López

Peak Years`37-`49

Place in HistoryIn the early days of lucha libre, happenstance created stars, not recruitment or ingenious booking. A young boxer named Carlos López transitioned to lucha libre, which was still in its infancy in Mexico. He headed to Guadalajara to learn amateur wrestling, hooking and lucha libre under Diablo Velazco. López eventually became the first superstar produced by the mythical trainer. López took the handle “Tarzán” for his slender, but muscular build and quickly established himself. Like his American contemporary Lou Thesz, López quickly garnered a reputation as an excellent wrestler and a dangerous shooter, but the latter was never really tested in the ring. Accolades soon followed, the National Wrestling Association World Middleweight Championship, the premier title in Mexico at that time. Throughout the 1940s, Tarzán López was one of the best wrestlers in Mexico, if not the world. He was the established star who helped establish both El Santo and Gory Guerrero in legendary encounters. With a new generation of stars taking lucha libre to new heights, Tarzán López was right there with them and could still go in the ring with the best of them. In the late 1950s, López made a sudden and uneventful exit from La Empressa after a money dispute. The company’s monopoly over lucha libre and López’s bitterness led to an unfortunate retirement for Mexico’s first big box office star. He remained distant from the sport and died of cancer on his sixty-third birthday.