Raymundo Cuesta Veloz, "Kung Fu", was found dead yesterday (5th of January) in his home, located at the Calle Correspondencia 51 of La Colonia Álamos. It's known that he was having some arterial hypertension, though he wasn't feeling bad lately and was having a normal life.
He was born on January 20, 1951, so he was about to turn 50 at the moment of his death. His son Kung Fu Jr. had lost track of him since Wednesday, so he went home to see what was up, and found his father laying dead in the living room. It was later found out that he died on Wednesday after a heart attack, though there's some speculation in Mexico that the death was caused by other factors.
As requested by the family, his body was cremated the 6th of January at a crematory from la Colonia San Nicolás Tolentino, Delegación Itzapalapa, Distrito Federal (a different source said Calle Bismark, 25, in La Colonia Moderna). He's survived by his sons Kung Fu Jr. (26), Jonathan (14) and Erik (23), his daughter Isís Mayte (20) and his widow María Elena Geraldo. Several of his friends, including Kato Kung Lee and Atlantis, attended the funeral. During the funerary services, a Kung Fu mask was put over the casket.
He made his debut in 1968 under the name Ray Acosta. Since Costa and Acosta sound similar, there's a lot of controversy, but I think that his real name is actually Cuesta. I don't know much about him in this period, but he had a hair vs. mask match with Villano III, and we know the result. He then briefly wrestled as El Estudiante (he made his debut under that name in a Monterrey 1971 match against Dr. Misterio) until he lost his mask to Villano III, then he wrestled again as Ray Acosta, but sometime during 1975, he switched to Kung Fu and became a star with "Los Coliseinos" (EMLL). His debut as Kung Fu was a high profile one, as he teamed with El Santo to take on Angel Blanco and Ray Mendoza.
He wrestled as a singles competitor and had this "martial artist" style, mixing comedy, martial art kicks and fast paced lucha, which got him over real fast. On September 26, 1977 he defeated Fishman in Guadalajara to capture the National Welterweight Title. He traded the title with Fishman once (loses it 77/11/23 in Guadalajara, captures it 78/04/02 in Mexico City) and then lost it for good to Americo Rocca on December 10 in Guadalajara.
Around the 77-78 time frame he started teaming with Kato Kung Lee from Panamá who wrestled the same style. Their biggest accomplishment as a team was winning the masks Los Jalisco I y II (Apolo Castillas and D. Gallegos) on October 27, 1978 at La Arena México.
In late 1979 he formed the "El Triangulo Oriental" trio with Kato and Satoru Sayama. Kato and Kung Fu made their debut for UWA in El Toreo during mid-81, and soon they were put in a trio with Black Man I (who was a "martial artist" as well) called "Los Tres Fantásticos". This was when El Toreo was the #1 lucha building in Mexico in terms of attendance. They were over huge due to their style, and in my opinion, Black Man I was the best worker, then Kato and then Kung Fu. In 1984, they were UWA trios champions. They also wrestled some as a team for EMLL, maybe as a part of the brief EMLL/UWA talent exchanges during 83/84.
On October 17, 1986, Kung Fu beat Gran Cochisse to capture the NWA Middleweight Title. He lost it on July 17, 1987 to Dandy, regained it on October 6, and lost it to Atlantis on July 10, 1988. Kato lost his mask to Santo Jr. in 1986, and then he had a feud with Kung Fu. They had a hair vs. mask match on April 1988 which Kung Fu won.
During the years Kung Fu formed several independent versions of Los Fantasticos, one of them with Avispón Negro and El Monarca. KKL and Black Man also tried to revive the trio several times with little success, since the gimmick wasn't effective at all unless you were masked.
Kung Fu lost his mask in a very famous match against Atlantis on October 26, 1990 at La Arena Mexico. That's when his career started going downhill, mostly because he lost the mask and he aged badly - looked ancient and he moved really slow.
He had a big initial unmasked push as a nasty heel who uses nunchucks and other foreign objects to punish the nice tecnicos like Kato (who was back with EMLL and eventually took Kung Fu's hair), Octagon (the new "martial artist") or Atlantis, but after a year or so he was used as a stepping stone for younger guys, for instance César Dantés, to whom he lost his hair on November 22, 1992 at Arena Mexico.
CMLL kept him around until 1994 or so, then he wrestled as an independent. His son Kung Fu Jr. made his debut in that year 1994 as well. In 1996 he had a match for the vacant "World Martial Arts Title" with Kato. The first fall was a Kung-Fu match, the second fall was karate, and the third one was lucha. He lost that match.
During the last years he wasn't very active in the ring (no pun intended) as he was working for the Public Services of the Mexican Government. However when they called him to start the new GWAS promotion, he came back to lucha. He was scheduled to be in a four way tag team "relevos increibles de apuestas" teaming with Kato Kung Lee Jr. vs. Kung Fu Jr/Kato Kung Lee Sr. and two other teams, though this card was cancelled and postponed.
As a final note, during his career, Kung Fu also won the masks of Orange Rain, El Indio, La Momia and La Muerte de la Barranca, and he appeared at several films of Santo, Capulina and Los Polivoces.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|??/??/??||hair||Erick Romano||Ray Acosta||unknown|
|??/??/??||hair||Kato Kung Lee||Kung Fu||unknown|
|??/??/??||mask||Kung Fu||Orange Rain||unknown|
|??/??/??||mask||Kung Fu||La Muerte de la Barranca||Cuautitlán, Mexico State|
|??/??/??||mask||Kung Fu||El Indio||Arena México - Mexico City|
|74/08/04||hair||Villano III||Ray Acosta||Naucalpan, Mexico State|
|76/03/14||mask||Kung Fu||La Momia II||Plaza de Toros Monumental - Monterrey, N.L.|
|1978/10/27||masks||Kung Fu & Kato Kung Lee||El Jalisco I & II||Arena México - Mexico City|
|78/12/08||mask||Kung Fu||El Ídolo||Arena México - Mexico City|
|83/01/20||mask||Villano III & ??||El Estudiante I & El Estudiante II||Ahuizotla, Mexico City|
|83/07/22||mask||Villano III||El Fantasma del Himalaya||unknown|
|88/??/??||hair||Kung Fu||Kato Kung Lee||unknown|
|88/04/29||hair||Kung Fu||Kato Kung Lee||Arena México - Mexico City|
|90/10/26||mask||Atlantis||Kung Fu||Arena México - Mexico City|
|91/03/01||hair||Kato Kung Lee||Kung Fu||Arena México - Mexico City|
|92/11/22||hair||César Dantés||Kung Fu||Arena México - Mexico City|
|94/05/08||hair||Américo Rocca||Kung Fu||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|96/??/??||hair||El Cuervo||Kung Fu (1)||Arena Lopez Mateos|
|96/09/01||hair||Atlántico||Kung Fu||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|
|(1) originally listed as fake, but actually the real Kung Fu|