2023 CAC Lucha Libre Award will be Diabolical!

2023 CAC Lucha Libre Award will be Diabolical!

The Cauliflower Alley Club is pleased to announce that the 2023 Lucha Libre Award will be going to Jose Leonardo Carrera Gomez, better known in the world of Lucha Libre as Damian 666. The Lucha Libre Award is an honor given to an individual who has had a prominent career in the lucha libre style of professional wrestling. Any and all Lucha Libre Award nominees must have been considered an outstanding performer of “Latino” heritage or has trained or performed in Mexico and elsewhere in the lucha libre style. Any and all nominees must have been well known to the lucha fan base wherever they have performed. This award is not restricted to those who worked solely in Mexico, nor is it limited to masked wrestlers, but any wrestler who worked the lucha libre style in any part of the world is eligible for nomination.

Damian’s career started back in 1985, where he trained under Luis Canales. He started using the names Caballero 2000 and Ultraman 2000. His work ethic caught the eye of Japanese death match legend, Atsushi Onita, who brought him into his promotion, FMW (Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling) in 1991, as Amigo Ultra. Most foreigners who come to Japan usually work for a tour or two if they are lucky, Onita kept bringing back the hard working Amigo Ultra, tour after tour, working with lots of top names in our business, from Tiger Jeet Singh, Hayabusa, Chris Jericho, Lance Storm, Tarzan Goto, and so many more future legends, but in July of 1993, his life was forever changed by Onita.

In preparation for the FMW tour in July of 1993, Onita decided to change the gimmick of Carrera, from the fun loving comedy gimmick to a more serious demonic gimmick, as he was now called Damian (later Damian 666, due to the numbers painted on his forehead). Later that year he was paired with the two most feared and craziest wrestlers in any promotion, The Sheik and Sabu. The trio would reign terror for months, and he even fought The Sheik in his final match ever in May of 1994.

Back in Mexico, Damian was pulling double duty, debuting the Damian gimmick in Mexico along with his earlier gimmick of Ultraman 2000. Eventually, he decided to do Damian 666 full time, and would lose his mask to fellow Tijuana resident Psicosis in Tijuana in March of 1996. He would also compete in the second ever Super J Cup in December 1995 for the WAR promotion in Japan. At that point it was full speed ahead, concentrating on only using the Damian 666 gimmick wherever he went. When the luchadores were making waves in ECW around that time, Damian stopped in as well in a title match against Raven. But after that would be his biggest stop to date, World Championship Wrestling.

Late in 1996, Konnan would successfully bring in many luchadores that offered an exciting new style to WCW that many of the fans had never seen before. One such luchador here was Damian (no 666 used in WCW, for obvious reasons). He also used the name “Galaxy” as well. Damian was also involved in the group “Latino World Order”, headed by Eddie Guerrero. He would be a staple in WCW, while also competing across the border when he wasn’t wrestling for WCW, especially in Tijuana and Promo Azteca. In late 1999, he left WCW, and due to him wrestling in WCW, he was treated as a megastar by the Mexican public. His journeys would take him to the All Japan promotion for multiple tours, also to the new XPW in Los Angeles, and ultimately, one of his greatest accomplishments of his career, La Familia de Tijuana.

The oldest promotion in the world, CMLL (Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre) brought in Damian (along with the original Psicosis and Halloween) in late 2001, christening them “La Familia de Tijuana”, immediately putting them in the main event spot. The group would have immense success, with some memorables battles in the promotion, being a weekly staple at the legendary Arena Mexico (the Madison Square Garden of Mexico). With his international notoriety, he would take numerous bookings in the States regularly, mostly with Halloween as “Mexico’s Most Wanted”. It was well known with the boys behind the scenes his influence, especially when it came to helping others to have merchandise made, not to mention his own merch sales. The La Familia group would wreak havoc for about two years, until Psicosis left CMLL. At that point, he would be aligned with the faction that even today he is most known for in Mexico, Los Perros del Mal.

Perro Aguayo Jr, son of the legendary Perro Aguayo, was a huge name in CMLL at the time. After a huge match in 2005, he decided to, along with Damian and Halloween, form “Los Perros del Mal” (Bad Dogs in English). The group would have immense success in the group, similar to the Bullet Club in New Japan 8 years later. That year, CMLL would have its biggest success in well over a decade at all their arenas. While that was because of hot newcomer Mistico, his biggest rivals at the time were the Perros del Mal faction. Damian would also win the Mexican National Trios title here for a second time, with Halloween and Mr. Aguila. The group would eventually leave CMLL and form their own promotion, literally called Perros del Mal, in 2008, and would ultimately raid the biggest rival of CMLL, called AAA, in 2010. In AAA, he would be joined by his son, Bestia 666, by his side, in some of the most intense battles the company has ever seen.

Over his career, Damian has won countless titles, from singles to tag team (called parejas in Spanish) to six man titles (called trios in Mexico). And in Lucha, one of the most sacred type of matches one can have is called the “apuesta” (betting match), where someone puts their mask or hair on the line. Way more times than not, Damian has been the victor in these type of matches, and against some of the biggest names in Lucha history.

Nowadays, Damian is still extremely active in the ring, and is such a versatile luchador, he can do whatever the moment calls for, a great technical match, a picture perfect lucha match, an extreme hardcore match, a silly comedy match, or a mix of all those styles. As mentioned above, his name carried on through his son, current NWA World Tag Team champion, Bestia 666 (half of La Rebellion with Mecha Wolf). We are honored to award the 2023 CAC Lucha Libre Award to Damian 666!

*Thanks to Lucha Libre fanatic, Roy Lucier for penning this very fine and very thorough induction announcement for Damian 666!