Last updated
Birth nameManuel Leal
Born (1939-06-08) June 8, 1939 (age 84)
Mexico City, Mexico
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Tinieblas
el Gigante
Billed height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Billed weight109 kg (240 lb)
Trained byRafael Salamanca
Dick Medrano
DebutAugust 20, 1971
RetiredAugust 18, 2019

Manuel Leal (born June 8, 1939), better known as Tinieblas ("Darkness"), is a Mexican luchador. [1]


Professional wrestling career

Tinieblas began as a body builder and stunt man who was spotted by luchadores Black Shadow and Dory Dixon. Impressed by Leal's physique they convinced him to begin a career as a "luchador". In 1968, "Lucha Libre" magazine editor Valente Pérez, came up with the idea of a character that would act as a rival for luchador Mil Mascaras. He created a character with a faceless hood and named him "Tinieblas" (Darkness). Perez selected the former body builder turned luchador to wrestle as that character. Tinieblas debuted as a face on August 20, 1971. He would become a large draw in Mexico and toured internationally. Tinieblas was also one of the first luchadores to tour Japan in 1974. He wrestled at 80 years old on August 18, 2019.

Comic series

Tinieblas was the second luchador (after El Santo) to have a comic book series based on his character. His first comic book was printed between 1976 and 1979. In 1991, a second series titled, "Tinieblas, El Hijo de la Noche" (Tinieblas, Son of the Night) was created. It was printed until 1995. The Tinieblas comic series was relaunched in the year 2000. [2]

Film career

Tinieblas also made appearances in luchador films. In 1971, he starred as a member of a squadron of masked superheroes in the film '"Los Campeones Justicieros"' (The Champions of Justice). Membership in the Champions of Justice included such legendary Mexican wrestling figures as Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon, El Rayo de Jalisco Sr., El Medico Asesino, El Fantasma Blanco and Superzan. He guest-starred in many low-budget foreign series, such as Vendetta and Rederiet.


Tinieblas debuted at a relatively old age of 32, so he never reached the same physical peak as many other popular luchadores of his generation. However, his character remains popular with young lucha libre fans, primarily due to his appearance in comic books and films. Tinieblas still wrestles occasionally and has appeared alongside his son Tinieblas Jr..


The 2D wrestling arcade game Saturday Night Slam Masters released by Japanese game company Capcom in 1993 featured a final boss character called "El Escorpión" (The Scorpion), whose appearance was inspired by Tinieblas. The character's name in the original Japanese edition of the game was "The Astro" (アストロ, Asutoro).


Championships and accomplishments

Lucha de Apuesta record

Winner (wager)Loser (wager)LocationEventDateNotes
Tinieblas (mask)El Internacional (mask)N/ALive eventN/A 
Tinieblas (mask)TNT (hair)Mexico CityLive eventJuly 24, 1973 
Tinieblas (mask)Red Terror (mask)N/AUnknownLive eventApril 24, 1982 
Tinieblas (mask)Super Máquina (hair)Mexico CityLive eventNovember 13, 1983 
Tinieblas (mask)Bill Anderson (hair)Los Angeles, CaliforniaLive event1987 
Tinieblas (mask)Abdullah Tamba (hair)Los Angeles, CaliforniaLive event1987 
Tinieblas (mask)Médico Asesino Jr. (mask)Torreón, CoahuilaLive eventApril 4, 1999 
Tinieblas (mask)El Enfermero 2001 (mask)Ciudad Juárez, ChihuahuaLive eventJanuary 21, 2001 [Note 1]
Tinieblas (mask)Zombie II (mask)Ensenada, Baja CaliforniaLive eventJanuary 24, 2003 [Note 2]


  1. Relevos Suicidas against Máscara Sagrada and Fishman Jr.
  2. finals of a 12 wrestler Ruleta Rusa

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