CMLL announced yesterday that their owner, Paco Alonso, passed away at age 67. Alonso was the son of company founder Salvador Lutteroth and had run the lucha libre promotion since 1987. As this obituary outlines, it is unclear how much influence Alonso personally had in CMLL in recent years and what role his daughter Sofía Alonso, the current face of the company, will play going forward.
The immediate response to Alonso’s death across the wrestling world was one of appreciation for his life and mourning of his passing. Both CMLL’s partner company, NJPW, and longtime rival promotion, AAA, issued statements about the event.
CMLL itself took time out of its July 7 show to honor Alonso, with his daughter and a group of emotional luchadors in the ring.
Many CMLL luchadors, including Bárbaro Cavernario, Rush, La Máscara, Místico, Carístico (fka the first WWE Sin Cara), and Dragon Lee, used social media to thank Alonso for career opportunities.
The Muñoz brothers – Lee, Rush, and Místico – also thanked Alonso as a group in a video for +Lucha TV.
Wrestlers who had worked in CMLL in the past, including Matt Taven, Rocky Romero, Tama Tonga, and Andrade also paid tribute to Alonso on Twitter.
Chris Jericho posted an emotional video to Instagram thanking Alonso, shedding tears as he said, “I don’t know why it hit me so hard, but it did because he was the first guy that believed in me and made me into a main event star in 1993. He gave me the name ‘Corazón de León'” and thanked the CMLL owner for taking care of him when he worked in Mexico.