By Tina Albers
A rotund man named Howdy Price waddled his way into Championship Wrestling From Hollywood in 2017 with a goal in mind. With ideas as big as his appetite, Price hatched a plan to form a tag team to dominate CWFH. Greeting each team he scouted with a friendly, though alarming, “HOWDY,” Price set out to recruit two men who he could refer to as his “Rancheros.” He discovered two tall drinks of water in Raul and Rogelio – a pair of monster luchadors who Price has enlisted to do his bidding in exchange for his managerial services.
The Rancheros drill Tomaste with a Spike Piledriver. (Photo by Devin Chen)
In two shakes of a lamb’s tail, Howdy had found the targets to send his Rancheros after: the team of Espiritu and Astro Viajero, collectively known as Spirit and the Stars. This hugely popular tag team has delighted fans of the program for the better part of a year, dazzling viewers with acrobatic moves performed by enigmas in colorful masks. Howdy Price took exception to this. The Rancheros have haunted Spirit and the Stars since their arrival to the company; injuring Espiritu, inhibiting Astro Viajero from qualifying for the PP3 Cup Tournament, and (worst of all) stealing their masks. Howdy Price has set out to run these luchadors off for good and has formally challenged Spirit and the Stars to a “Mask vs. Mask” Tag Team match this Sunday with the stipulation that the losing team must unmask for good.
Astro Viajero and Espiritu soar out of the ring with dual Tope Suicida attacks. (Photo by Devin Chen)
This type of “Lucha de Apuesta” (“Wager Match”) carries the biggest stakes in lucha libre history. Bigger than a Championship match, putting your mask on the line means putting your whole identity and career under that name on the line as well. Many competitors in Mexico who have lost a “Máscara contra Máscara” (“Mask versus Mask”) have never been able to regain the success they enjoyed under their mask and had to leave wrestling permanently.
This is the most important match in the careers of these four men. With everything on the line, Raul, Rogelio, Espiritu, and Astro Viajero will stop at nothing to preserve their identities and tear away that of those standing across the ring from them. Howdy Price’s campaign against Spirit and the Stars will be settled this Sunday at the Oceanview Pavilion. Mask versus Mask. Be there!