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Raymundo Cuesta Veloz

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Raymundo Cuesta Veloz (January 20, 1951 - January 3, 2001) was a Mexican Luchador or professional wrestler best known under the ring name Kung Fu. As Kung Fu he made a name for himself as part of Trio Fantásticos along with Kato Kung Lee and Black Man, a very popular tecnico (Face or "good guys") trio in the early 1980s.

Professional wrestling career

Raymundo Cuesta made his professional wrestling debut in 1968, using the ring name Ray Acosta, and generally working low card matches while gaining experience. On August 4, 1974 Cuesta lost a Luchas de Apuesta, or bet match, to Villaño III and had his hair shaved off after the match per. Lucha libre traditions. In the early 1970s Cuesta adopted a new ring persona, an enmascarado (masked wrestler) character called El Estudiante (Spanish for "the Student"). In 1975 Cuesta changed ring characters once again, although he would reprise his role as "El Estudiente" from time to time.

Cuesta drew on his interest in martial arts and came up with the ring character "Kung Fu", an enmascarado inspired by the martial art and it's practitioners. Cuesta had a black and orange mask created that would become his trademark for many years, he wore martial artist pants and jackets and started to incorporate various kicks and chops into his wrestling style. Kung Fu's debut match was a tag team match where he would team with El Santo against Ángel Blanco and Ray Mendoza, an indicator that the promoters were pushing the new character to the top of the card. His wrestling style of wrestling, martial arts and various comedic elements quickly earned Kung Fu a lot of fans. On September 26, 1977 Kung Fu defeated Fishman to win the Mexican National Welterweight Championship, holding the belt until November 23, 1977 when Fishman regained the title. Kung Fu regained the title from Fishman on April 2, 1978 and went on to hold it for six months before losing the title to Américo Rocca on December 10, 1978. Around the time of his title victory Kung Fu was teamed up with Kato Kung Lee, a Panamanian wrestler who used the same combination of wrestling and martial arts as Kung Fu did. Together the team won the Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship at least two times. The team also won the masks of Los Jaliscos (Jalisco I and Jalisco II) in a Luchas de Apuestas, mask vs. mask match. In 1979 the team was joined by Satoru Sayama (the future "Tiger Mask"), forming a trio known as El Triangulo Oriental ("The Oriental Trio), despite only Sayama actually being from the orient.

In mid 1981 Kung Fu and Kato Kung Lee left Empressa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL) and joined the rival promotion Universal Wrestling Association (UWA). In the UWA Kung Fu and Kato began teaming with Black Man, forming a trio called Los Tres Fantásticos ("The Fantastic Three") that would soon become the top tecnico (Face or "good guy") trio of the UWA. Los Tres Fantásticos became the first ever UWA World Trios Championship on March 18, 1984 when they defeated Solar, Super Astro and Ultraman in the finals of a tournament to crown the first champions, during a time period where the UWA shows in El Toreo were the biggest drawing shows in Mexico. Kung Fu, Kato and Black Man lost the UWA Trios title at some point in 1984. In 1984/85 EMLL and the UWA ran a series of joint shows, sharing wrestlers between the two promotions, including Los Tres Fantásticos. When the cooperation ended Kung Fu decided to stay with EMLL, Black Man remained with the UWA and Kato Kung Lee began wrestling on the independent circuit, ending Los Tres Fantásticos. Several attempts to recreated the Fantásticos have been made since then, but none had the popularity of success of the original trio. On October 17, 1986 Kung Fu won the NWA World Middleweight Championship from Gran Cochisse, winning one of the top championships in all of Mexico. Kung Fu held the title for approximately 10 months before losing the title to El Dandy on July 17, 1987. Kung Fu regained the title on October 6, 1987 and held it until July 10, 1988 where he lost it to Atlantis. By the time Kung Fu lost the NWA title Kato Kung Lee had returned to EMLL, he had also turned rudo (Heel or "Bad guy") and lost his mask in a match against El Hijo del Santo. Kung Fu and Kato Kung Lee started a storyline feud, old partners who are now enemies. The feud between the two saw Kung Fu win two Luchas de Apuestas in 1988, both times causing Kato Kung Lee to be shaved bald after the match. In 1990 Kung Fu worked a feud with Atlantis, a feud that let to Kung Fu being unmasked on October 26, 1990 as he lost a Luchas de Apuestas match. After losing his mask Kung Fu seemed to have lost a step or two in the ring, losing part of appeal when he lost the mask, something which is not uncommon in Lucha libre. After his mask loss Kung Fu turned rudo, using his nunchuks to attack other wrestlers. After an initial push as a rudo Kung Fu started to sink in the ranks, being used more and more to help young wrestlers gain experience and make them look good. Kung Fu remained with EMLL (by then renamed Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL)) until 1994, where he began working on the independent circuit. Around the same time Cuesta introduced "Kung Fu, Jr." to the wrestling world, unlike some family relationships in Lucha libre that are fictional Kung Fu, Jr. is actually the son of Raymundo Cuesta. After touring with Kung Fu, Jr. for a while Cuesta went into semi-retirement and began working for the Mexican Government instead. He made occasional appearances for years, never fully retiring from wrestling.

Death

On January 3, 2001 Raymundo Cuesta Veloz died from arterial hyper tension, no one had reported that Cuesta had felt ill up to the day he died and he is believed to have died in his sleep. Cuesta was not found until January 5 when his son went to his father's house to check on him.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • El Artemarcialista (Spanish for "The Martial Artist")

Championships and accomplishments

Lucha de Apuesta record

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Hair Erick Romano Ray Acosta Unknown Unknown  
Hair Villaño III Ray Acosta Naucalpan, Mexico State 01974-08-04August 4, 1974
Hair Kato Kung Lee Kung Fu Unknown Unknown  
Mask Kung Fu Orange Rain Unknown Unknown
Mask Kung Fu La Muerte de la Barranca Mexico City, Mexico Unknown
Mask Kung Fu El Indio Mexico City, Mexico Unknown
Mask Kung Fu La Momia II Monterrey, Nuevo León 01976-03-14March 14, 1976
Masks Kung Fu and Kato Kung Lee El Jalisco I and II Mexico City, Mexico 01978-10-27October 27, 1978
Mask Kung Fu El Ídolo Mexico City, Mexico 01978-12-08December 8, 1978
Mask Villaño III and Unknown El Estudiante I and El Estudiante II Mexico City, Mexico 01983-01-20January 20, 1983
Hair Kung Fu Kato Kung Lee Unknown 01988-01-011988
Hair Kung Fu Kato Kung Lee Unknown 01988-04-01April 1988
Mask Atlantis Kung Fu Mexico City, Mexico 01990-10-26October 26, 1990
Hair Kato Kung Lee Kung Fu Mexico City, Mexico 01991-03-01March 1, 1991
Hair César Dantés Kung Fu Mexico City, Mexico 01992-11-22November 22, 1992  
Hair Américo Rocca Kung Fu Mexico City, Mexico 01994-05-08May 8, 1994  
Hair Atlántico Kung Fu Mexico City, Mexico 01996-09-01September 1, 1996  

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