Canek (June 19, 1952), also known as El Canek, is a masked Mexican professional wrestler. In 1972, he debuted as "El Universitario" at the age of 18. In 1973, he would change his name to Canek, a name inspired by the Mayan Indian leader Jacinto Canek. He is one of the few wrestlers to bodyslam André the Giant.

As the major heavyweight working for the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) promotion, he became one of Lucha Libre's biggest attractions during the 1980s. Canek started his rise to stardom after winning the Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship by defeating Dr. Wagner on January 15, 1978. He would lose that title on June 20 of that same year to his rival Dos Caras. On September 27, 1978, Canek would gain international exposure by defeating Lou Thesz to win his first of fifteen UWA World Heavyweight Championship titles that he would hold during his career. At around the same time, the UWA made a talent trading agreement with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Japanese superstars like Antonio Inoki and Riki Choshu would travel to Mexico to face Canek, while Canek would travel to Japan to face stars like Tiger Mask and Tatsumi Fujinami. Canek's matches against foreign superstars drew such large crowds that UWA would continue using this same formula for more than a decade.

Although the UWA ceased to exist in 1995, Canek continued defending and trading the UWA title, although his June 2004 loss at the hands of former partner Dr. Wagner, Jr. may signal a long break in Canek's monopoly as Dr. Wagner Jr. remains the reigning title holder.

Canek holds victories over several international stars including Lou Thesz, Hulk Hogan, André the Giant, Yokozuna, Big Van Vader, Owen Hart and Japanese stars Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Choshu and Kim Duk. During the 90's, Canek had a very long feud with Mil Mascaras who he never defeated. He famously bodyslammed both Andre the Giant and Yokozuna (under the name Kokina).

Canek has also competed in Mixed Martial Arts matches in Japan and even holds a win over Osamu Tachihikari.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • Other titles
  • Northern Mexico Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • PWI ranked him # 79 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003.
  • PWI ranked him # 186 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI 500 in 1995.

Lucha de Apuesta record

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Mask Príncipe Azul Ultratumba Villahermosa, Tabasco 1972  
Hair Príncipe Azul Ultratumba Villahermosa, Tabasco 1972  
Hair Príncipe Azul El Noruego Villahermosa, Tabasco 1972  
Mask Canek El Destroyer Monterrey, Nuevo León Unknown  
Hair Canek Dorrel Dixon Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek Humberto Garza Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek César Valentino Unknown Unknown  
Mask Canek La Momia San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí Unknown  
Hair Canek La Momia Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek Pantera Negra Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek Coloso Colosetti Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek Coloso Colosetti Unknown Unknown  
Hair Canek Ring Fujinami Naucalpan, Mexico State Unknown  
Mask Canek Lemús Monterrey, Nuevo León 1974  
Hair Canek Sunny War Cloud Monterrey, Nuevo León 1975  
Hair Canek Rubén Juárez Monterrey, Nuevo León 1975  
Hair Canek José Torres Monterrey, Nuevo León 1975  
Mask Canek El Asesino Mexico City, Mexico 01981-07-05July 5, 1981  
Mask Canek Don Corleone Naucalpan, Mexico State 1982  
Hair Canek Abdullah Tamba Unknown 1983  
Mask Canek Blue Blazer Naucalpan, Mexico State 01991-05-29May 29, 1991  
Mask Canek Torre Infernal Naucalpan, Mexico State 01992-11-15November 15, 1992  
Hair Canek Yamato Naucalpan, Mexico State 01993-08-15August 15, 1993  
Hair Canek Scorpio, Jr. Naucalpan, Mexico State 01996-10-03October 3, 1996 Relevos Suicidas vs. Ultimo Vampiro & El Mexicano
Mask Canek Universo 2000 Mexico City, Mexico 02004-09-17September 17, 2004 4 way match that also included Dr. Wagner Jr. & Rayo Jr.

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