|Cavernario Galindo (Caveman Galindo)|
|Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame Member|
Like in the case of many of the older Mexican wrestlers, there is conflicting birth dates for Galindo. I have seen him listed as born October 11, 1921, several times but the date announced at the newspapers after his death was September 27, 1923. It's mostly thought that he was born in Torreón, Coahuila (even I had this in my page before) but actually, he did it in Chihuahua, Chihuahua and was baptised in Torreón
After training with "Diablo" Velasco, he debuted in 1938 under the name Ruddy Valentino. He was a very skinny boy back then and his style always was the one of an aggressive brawler so he was not presumed to have much of a future in the business. But he showed his spirit and did extensive work lifting weights until he gained an athletic physique suitable for his ring persona.
He spent most of his early years wrestling in Torreón and Monterrey, and his first Mexico City match was on April 9, 1944. He, already wrestling as Ruddy Galindo "El Chacal de Tacubaya" (The Jackal of Tacubaya) defeated César Sando Sr.
He kept wrestilng all over Mexico and in small Mexico City buildings until he made himself a name big enough to make it to the cathedral of lucha, Arena Mexico, where he had his first fight defeating Enrique Llanes on December 10, 1948. He was still wrestling as Ruddy Galindo until one day he read a program and noticed that Lutteroth had given him a new name - "Cavernario" Galindo.
This name perfectly fit his style and his looks. He had an ugly scarred face and wild long hair that resembled the one of the cavemen. At the start of his career he really wasn't all that ugly, but once, while going to work to Monterrey he had an automobile accident and several pieces of glass got stuck in his face and left him several nasty scars. And of course, we should not forget about the constant blading that made his forehead look like a road map.
Cavernario wrestled a pure brawling style with a few scientific holds mixed in. He'd mercilessy kick his opponents, try to choke them out, bite their nose and fingers and smack their heads on the steel ringpost, and he would only stop the beating when he saw his helpless opponents laying semi-unconscious while covered in their own blood. He also had an special ability to get incredible heel heat and anger the crowd to the point that he ended temporarily arrested more than once for knocking out a fan that tried to attack him.
Legend says that a beautiful "edecan" (the girls that accompany the wrestlers to the ring) called Esmeralda who used to dance before the matches, once came to the ring with her pet - a giant snake. Some fan wanted to scare Cavernario so he centered the ring and threw the viper over the nasty rudo. But to everybody's surprise, Cavernario grabbed the poor animal and tore it to little bits only using his teeth and hands while laughing loudly.
Another of the characteristic threats of Galindo's personality was his hoarse voice, that was a side-effect of the throat injury he had after receiving a hard punch in the neck during a match against Gory Guerrero.
But back to the wrestling, 1949 was the year in which he became a superstar and a big draw, and his campaign during those twelve months was so good that he was voted "Wrestler of the year" by the media. The 1st of July he defeated "Tarzán" Lopez in Mexico City to win the only title he'd ever hold during his career - the National Light Heavyweight Title. He successfully defended the title for more than a year until he lost it during December of 1950 against Enrique Llanes. But like he stated at several interviews, he never needed any titles to stay on top of the game.
Cavernario's first big feud was against Black Shadow, he then moved on and feuded with Wolf Rubinskis but he really hit it big when he started fighting Gory Guerrero. The two began the concept of the bloodbath in lucha libre, and as this nightmarish event became popular with the fans throughout Mexico, these matches would be heavily publicized with claims that Galindo would starve himself for three days beforehand so he would gain a hunger for his opponent's flesh. The first big match between those two was on September 18, 1952, when they main evented the Arena Coliseo card to commemorate the 19th Anniversary of lucha libre in Mexico. Cavernario had other two big money matches against Gory during 1954. The first one was on July 9 and he won. The second one was the main event of the 21st Anniversary show held on September 24. That night Gory defeated Galindo in a "superlibre" (no countout, no DQ) fight which is said to be one of the bloodiest battles ever in Mexico. After the match Gory had to be hospitalized due to the massive plasma loss.
Like many of the stars of his generation, Galindo appeared at several lucha films. He never had his own films like Santo or Demon, but he played supporting roles in several filcks, usually playing a villain wrestler, but sometimes he played a zombie or another fictitious character. In 1952 he made his cinematic debut at the film La Bestia Magnifica (The Magnificent Beast) that also happened to be the first lucha film ever, though what is generally thought as his best acting ever was during the 1958 film "La Ultima Lucha" (The last fight), which is a surprisingly good film.
Like one may guess, Cavernario's hair was a prize that many wanted. He defended it several times against wrestlers like Torbellino Blanco (Mariano Yugueros) though during his career he had several big hair loses, all of them against top wrestlers like El Santo, Blue Demon, Halcón Negro, El Espanto and Karloff Lagarde.
During his long career, Galindo had 17 major injuries that kept him out of the ring for several long stretches of time, so younger rudos like Ray Mendoza or René Guajardo were the new heel stars at Arena Mexico, but he always was a regular main eventer at any other buildings of the republic. During the 60s he wrestled several old enemies like Black Shadow or Huracán Ramirez, and also had long feuds against Felipe Ham Lee, Raúl Reyes, Pedro Bolaños, Emilio Charles (Sr.) and Henry Pilusso. As he wasn't working for EMLL anymore, he also had the chance to wrestle abroad and he successfully toured South America (Venezuela) and the United States several times.
In a 1970 Box y Lucha magazine interview he stated that he didn't intend to retire until he was forced to do so. And that's the way he retired - as in the mid-70s he suffered a spinal injury (broken vertebrae to be more exact) that forced him to leave the squared circle. But Galindo was a smart man and several years before his retirement he bought a house in Xochimilco and invested his earnings in several properties and a poultry farm.
In 1989, Rodolfo Galindo was honored as the first inductee into the "lucha libre hall of fame". Many years after he initially retired, Galindo returned several times to wrestle a few matches for small promoters in Monterrey, Nuevo León and "officially" retired during the first week of November of 1992, at the Monumental de Monterrey. In his last match he teamed with El Fabuloso Blondy (Ken Timbs), El Mercenario and El Sanguinario (aka La Calaca, King Lion) against Danny "Sordomudo" Rodríguez, El Ninja and two rookies, Humberto Garza Jr. and Rubén Juarez Jr. Galindo's team lost after he was DQ'd for hitting the referee who was trying to stop the beating he was giving to one of the youngsters.
Galindo's two last public appearances while in life were on Febrary and May of 1999 respectively. On Febrary 5 he appeared at Arena Coliseo as he and other legends like Blue Demon, Perro Aguayo, Ray Mendoza, Huracán Ramírez and Karloff Lagarde were invited by CMLL to attend the card to commemorate the anniversary of Santo's death. And on May 27, he was at the inauguration of an exhibition dedicated to him at Xochimilco's Centro Cultural Carlos Pellicer.
He died on Monday, July 19, 1999, at 8:15 PM (CDT) in his house in Xochimilco, Mexico City, at age 75. He had been suffering from prostate cancer but the announced cause of his death was a lung cancer, as he had been an avid cigarrette smoker since his youth. He was survived by his wife Juana María Mireles López, his son Rodolfo Galindo Mireles and his grandchildren.
At the first Arena Coliseo and Arena Mexico cards following his death there was a minute of applause in his honor, but the only wrestling personalities that attended his funeral were Blue Demon, Alfonso "Pompín" Ramírez, El Mil Máscaras, Juanito Díaz and Aguila Dorada. The Mexican media, especially the Ovaciones newspaper, totally ripped into the EMLL, AAA/PAPSA and IWRG officers for not sending at least a representative to the funeral. The only wrestler that surprisingly didn't attend was Bobby Bonales, who was said to be torn up at the death of his best friend.
And this sums up the career of the man that is considered one of the best rudos of all time, a man that was a tough, heartless fighter inside the ring, but that was a friendly nice man outside the squared circle. Arriba Cavernario!
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|??/??/??||hair||El Santo||Cavernario Galindo||Mexico City|
|54/03/12||hair||Blue Demon||Cavernario Galindo||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|55/09/16||hair||Halcón Negro||Cavernario Galindo||Arena México - Mexico City|
|59/??/??||hair||Cavernario Galindo||Bobby Bonales||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|59/??/??||hair||Jorge Oropeza||Cavernario Galindo||Cancha Cocolapan - Orizaba, Veracruz|
|59?||hair||Cavernario Galindo||Torbellino Blanco||Arena México - Mexico City|
|62/02/09||hair||Espanto I||Cavernario Galindo||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|62/09/??||hair||Benny Galant||Cavernario Galindo||Arena México - Mexico City|
|65/12/03||hair||Karloff Lagarde||Cavernario Galindo||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|92/??/??||hair||Cavernario Galindo||Gorilita Flores||Plaza de Toros Monumental, Monterrey|