KrisZ Remembers “El Rey Del Beautiful” Emilio Charles Jr.
Written By Kris Zellner
“El Rey del Beautiful” Emilio Charles Jr. who was one of the best rudo workers of the 80’s & 90’s passed away yesterday due to kidney failure at the age of 56. Emilio was trained by the legendary Diablo Velasco before making his debut in Guadalajara in February 1980 and it wasn’t long before Emilio rose up the cards around indy cards in the DF with 1983 being his breakout year as he would face Villano III in a hair match on 9/29/83 at Arena Xalapa which he would lose but he was becoming a top rudo for the tecnicos to work with because of his bumping ability and ability of being a good base for the dives. 1985 saw Emilio become one of the top rudos in EMLL teaming with such greats as El Dandy & Fuerza Guerrera while starting to develop chemistry with tecnicos like Atlantis, Javier Cruz, Americo Rocca, and others. 1987 saw Emilio become a member of the original Destructores with Tony Arce & Vulcano and they quickly became a solid trio in the promotion but they were being overshadowed by other rudos although they would have a big apuestas match losing their hairs to Americo Rocca, Chamaco Valaguez, & Javier Llanes on 7/31/87. Los Destructores would win the Mexican National Trios Titles on 1/31/88 from Los Bucaneros (Jerry Estrada/Hombre Bala/Pirata Morgan) on 1/31/88 at Arena Coliseo and solidified themselves as the best trio in the country making successful defenses against Los Infernales (Masakre/MS-1/Satanico), El Brazo/Brazo de Oro/Fuerza Guerrera, & Los Nuevos Bucaneros (Hombre Bala/Pirata Morgan/Verdugo) before losing the titles to Los Temerarios (Black Terry/Jose Luis Feliciano/Shu el Guerrero) on 11/20/88 at Arena Mexico. It was during this period though that Emilio started breaking out as a singles star where he would have an amazing feud with Atlantis where they traded the NWA Middleweight Title three times in a month long period from July-August 1988 having tremendous matches everywhere they went. Emilio took his first big singles scalp right before this feud though as he took “El Monarca” Javier Cruz’s hair on 6/24/88 at Arena Mexico but when it came to hair matches his match with El Dandy on 7/28/89 at Arena Mexico was one of the best of the decade as both men were at their peak as workers and they were having fantastic matches against each other in singles, tags, or trios due to their great chemistry against each other. Their hair match was a classic hair match style match as you had the big blood and violence also with a great finish as it ended up being a draw and both men would get shaved but these two had other plans in their big singles rematch on 12/1/89 at Arena Mexico where Dandy put up his Mexican National Middleweight Title against Emilio in a classic lucha title match where they mainly worked on the mat along with diving and bumping you wanted from that style closing out a great decade for both men.
The 1990’s saw the trend continue with Emilio being a top singles rudo feuding with the likes of Angel Azteca & perennial nemesis Atlantis over the NWA Middleweight Title and being one of the top opponents for the rising megastar Octagon in their feud over the Mexican National Middleweight Title. After the Antonio Pena split in 1992, Emilio stayed loyal to EMLL and it paid off in 1993 as he got to reignite his feud with El Dandy where they had yet more classic matches this time over the CMLL Middleweight Title throughout the summer along with other defenses against Negro Casas & Satanico but it would all lead to their 2nd hair match on 10/29/93 at Arena Mexico where this time Emilio came out on top. Emilio would return to the trios scene in 1995 where he would become a member of Los Chacales with Bestia Salvaje & Sangre Chicana and they would take the CMLL Trios Titles from La Ola Blanca (Dr. Wagner Jr./Gran Markus Jr./Hijo del Gladiador) on 3/31/95 at Arena Mexico and they would dominate the scene for a full year before losing the titles to Dos Caras/La Fiera/Hector Garza on 3/22/96 at Arena Mexico. This would feature some revenge by Garza as he was defeated by Emilio in the first ever Copa Juniors tournament on 3/1/96 at Arena Mexico where Emilio got victories over Shocker, La Fiera, & Silver King on his way to the finals. 1997 saw Emilio form a team with Dr. Wagner Jr. and they would win a tournament for the vacant CMLL Tag Titles beating Los Head Hunters in the finals on 8/29/97 at Arena Mexico and they would hold the titles for close to 5 months before losing to rising stars Mr. Niebla & Shocker on 1/23/98 at Arena Mexico. Earlier in 1997, Emilio formed a trio with Rey Bucanero & Satanico and they surprisingly won the CMLL Trios Titles from Black Warrior/Apolo Dantes/Dr. Wagner Jr. in the finals of a tournament on 3/21/97 but they wouldn’t hold them for long as they lost the belts a month later to Atlantis/Lizmark/Mr. Niebla on 4/29/97. 1998 would see a shift in Emilio’s attitude as he would turn tecnico becoming now a main ally of Atlantis’ along with all the other top tecnicos for the rest of the decade. The end of the 90’s saw Emilio become one of the top winners in hair matches as he would take La Fiera’s hair on 4/15/94, Miguel Perez Jr.’s on 10/14/94, Silver King’s on 9/27/96, Satanico’s on 3/20/98, and El Boricua & Ricky Santana’s on 9/25/98 but that would soon change.
2000 would see Emilio return to the rudo side at the end of the year and he would start up a new feud with Ringo Mendoza taking his CMLL Middleweight Title on 3/18/01 and his hair on 4/15/01 but it was also at this time he would replace Shocker as the 3rd member of Los Guapos with Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. which was one of the most fun trios teams of the era because of their homely looks compared to their gimmick. Emilio would be the centerpiece of the Guapos feud with Shocker and it all led to a hair match on 12/14/01 at Arena Mexico just a few weeks after Emilio took Apolo Dantes’ hair on 11/23/01. Shocker was now one of the top tecnicos around and it was time for the streak to end and for the first time in over 12 years, Emilio would lose his long blonde locks to Shocker. Los Guapos would turn into Los Talibanes in 2002 where they continued their cult popularity and while Emilio was still CMLL Middleweight champion his career was starting to tick down and after losing the title to Negro Casas on 4/26/04 at Arena Puebla he would take on the role of veteran rudo who would be used to make young tecnicos and he did that job well as he would drop his hair to Maximo on 10/29/06 at Arena Coliseo and Mascara Purpura on 9/16/07 at Arena Mexico which would be his last big match in the promotion. Emilio would spend the rest of his career bouncing around the independent circuit while battling some health issues including almost dying from a spider bite last year. Emilio was working shows up until last month but wasn’t on any listings lately although there were no reports of him being sick. To close, Emilio Charles Jr. wasn’t the best looking guy but was one of the best workers in the business during his prime and he is someone I would highly suggest for people to look for his great matches especially against El Dandy & Atlantis. QEPD “El Rey del Beautiful.”
Photos Courtesy of CMLL.com! Be sure to check out the Emilio Charles Jr. gallery over at CMLL.com!