Descanse en Paz El Brazo
By Kris Zellner
Super Luchas among others reported during the night that Juan Alvarado Nieves otherwise known as El Brazo brother of Brazo de Oro, Brazo de Plata, et al passed away last night from complications of diabetes at 52 years of age. El Brazo who was still working fairly regularly as both himself and in his exotico gimmick of La Braza has been dealing with diabetes for the past few years and he went into a coma which he didn’t awake from.
El Brazo was the 2nd oldest son of legendary luchador Shadito Cruz behind Brazo de Oro but he made his debut later than his brothers Oro & Brazo de Plata as he didn’t debut until August 1980. They would quickly form one of the most dominant trios teams of their era where Brazo was like the enforcer of the trio as Plata was the flashy fat guy and Oro was the technician facing such great trios teams such as Los Cadetes del Espacio, Los Fantasticos, Los Infernales, Los Misioneros de la Muerte, & Los Villanos which would become their eternal rivals. El Brazo was the glue that held the team together and his ring attire proved that as arm sleeves represented each of his brothers (Gold & Silver.) The Brazos were 1/2 of the final teams in the inagural Mexican National Trios Titles tournament where they were defeated by Los Infernales (MS-1/Pirata Morgan/Satanico) on March 8th, 1985 at Arena Mexico in an era where guys were working back and forth between the two major promotions in EMLL & UWA who while rivals were sharing talent. The Brazos would finally win the titles at their homebase of El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos in Naucalpan on December 8th, 1985 before trading the belts with Dos Caras/LosVillanos III y V the next couple of months. After winning them back on February 23, 1986 they would hold the belts for the next 9 months defending against such teams as Los Villanos (I/IV/V) and Atlantis/Rayo de Jalisco Jr./Ultraman before losing the titles to The Kiss/Ringo Mendoza/Rayo de Jalisco Jr.. 1987 saw the Brazos concentrate more on their homebase and they would feud with Los Misioneros de la Muerte (Negro Navarro/El Signo/El Texano) for their UWA Trios Titles which they would finally win on August 14th, 1987 but then it wasn’t long before their blood feud with Los Villanos would really get going and they would go to war with each other for the next year plus with the Villanos winning the titles on May 30th, 1988 but that wasn’t all as they would build up to one of the most legendary mask matches of the decade which took place on October 21st, 1988 at Plaza de Toros Monumental in Monterrey. This was a total bloodbath seeing both families doing whatever they could to keep their treasured masks but the royal family of the UWA promotion would come out on top in the end and the Alvarado brothers would lose their masks. 1989 would see the Brazos now unmasked making a huge impact on the lucha scene as they kickstarted a new feud with El Triangulo de la Muerte (Kahoz/Loco Zandokan/Rambo) over the UWA Trios Titles having great matches throughout the year trading the titles as well as becoming more of a threat in EMLL where they would have a legendary series with Los Bucaneros (Hombre Bala/Pirata Morgan/Verdugo) ending up with Brazo & Plata taking Bala & Verdugo’s hair on November 17th, 1989 at Arena Mexico.
1990 saw the Brazos resume their war with the Villanos over the UWA Trios Titles over the latter part of the year and it was also at this time that they were working fairly regular in Japan for the new lucharesu promotion headed up by Gran Hamada called UWF. 1990 was also when the UWA started showing signs of becoming extinct and the Brazos started spending most of their time working in EMLL but Brazo would have two big hair matchesunder the UWA banner where he took Blackman’s hair on February 7th, 1990 at Arena Naucalpan but losing his hair to Villano I on November 16th, 1990 at Toreo de Cuatro Caminos in Naucalpan. 1991 saw EMLL createa new series of titles with the CMLL name which was their own version of world titles and yet again it was the Brazos meeting the Infernales (MS-1/Pirata Morgan/Satanico) in a tournament final which took place on November 22nd, 1991 at Arena Mexico. The Brazos spent most of the next year plus feuding with the Infernales and Los Intocables (Jaque Mate/Masakre/Pierroth) over the titles and it was at this time with the invention of the lucha skits headed up by EMLL booker Antonio Pena which saw the Brazos get over huge with the fans with Super Porky as the face of the group. The Brazos would win the CMLL Trios Titles from the Intocables on April 6th, 1993 and they would defend the titles for the next calendar year against a wide variety of opponents but one defense in particular was especially fun for them as they would face two of their other brothers in Brazo de Platino & Robin Hood who was teaming with Kendo at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on March 8th, 1994. The Brazos would finally lose the titles to La Ola Blanca (Dr. Wagner Jr./Gran Markus Jr./Hijo del Gladiador) on April 22nd, 1994 at Arena Mexico which kinda marked a shift from the Brazos as a dominant trio to becoming an attraction as Porky was now clearly a star on his own kinda leaving his brothers behind. Brazo though would still have big matches on his own as he would start a feud with a rising star in Hector Garza in 1995 culminating in losing his hair to Garza on August 4th, 1995 but it was earlier in the year that he had maybe his biggest win as in a rare matchup he fought his brothers Oro & Plata in a 3 way hair match where he would come out on top over his brother Oro.
1996 saw Brazo yet again losing his hair this time to Rambo at Arena Mexico on March 22nd, 1996 which was his last major match in EMLL as it wasn’t long before he would go on his own although he would stillteam with his brothers on indy shows but their relationship would become strained leading to issues between them that lasted for years. Brazo would eventually jump to AAAin 2002 where he became a good name to have on the card although not pushed very high but he was good for a hair match which saw him getting shaved by Zorro, Heavy Metal, & Elegido in multi-man steel cage matchesovera 6 year period from 2002-2008. The highlight of this run though was when Brazo de Plata jumped to AAAand it revived his own career in a way as he was able to work with his brother again but of course they would turn him rudo and he feuded with him which led to a multi-man steel cage match at Guerra de Titanes 2008 which saw Elegido not Porky take Brazo’s hair. Brazo saw in 2011 that he was floundering on the cards so he decided to create an alter ego in La Braza where he became an exotico working with all of those guys and putting on a lot of comedy matches. His last hair match took place in that gimmick on September 7th of this year where after yet another multi-man steel cage match, he lost his hair to AAA referee Hijo del Tirantes.