Ring name(s) Tinieblas
Billed height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Billed weight 109 kg (240 lb)
Born June 8, 1939
Mexico CityMexico
Trained by Rafael Salamanca, Dick Medrano
Debut August 20, 1971
Manuel Leal (born June 8, 1939), better known as Tinieblas (“Darkness”), is a Mexican luchador.[1]

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 became a large draw in Mexico and toured internationally. Tinieblas was also one of the first luchadores to tour Japan in 1974.[2]

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 to 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.[3]

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 MascarasBlue 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).


  • Furia de los karatecas, La (1982), aka Fury of the Karate Killers, starring Santo
  • Puño de la muerte, El (1982) starring Santo
  • Investigador Capulina, El (1975)
  • Momias de San Ángel, Las (1975)
  • Leyendas macabras de la colonia (1974) (as Tinieblas el Gigante)
  • Castillo de las momias de Guanajuato, El (1973) aka The Castle of the Mummies of Guanajuato (International: English title)
  • Rosa sobre el ring, Una (1973) (uncredited)
  • Superzan el invencible (1971)
  • Campeones justicieros, Los (1971) (as Tinieblas el Gigante)… aka The Champions of Justice (International: English title)
  • Las Momias de Guanajuato (1970), his character was “Satanas”, the leader of the Killer Mummies

[edit]In wrestling

  • Signature moves

[edit]Championships and accomplishments

[edit]Lucha de Apuesta record

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Mask Tinieblas El Internacional Unknown Unknown  
Hair Tinieblas TNT Mexico City, Mexico July 24, 1973  
Mask Tinieblas Red Terror Unknown April 24, 1982  
Hair Tinieblas Super Máquina Mexico City, Mexico November 13, 1983  
Hair Tinieblas Abdullah Tamba Los AngelesCalifornia 1987  
Mask Tinieblas Médico Asesino Jr. TorreónCoahuila April 4, 1999  
Mask Tinieblas El Enfermero 2001 Ciudad JuárezChihuahua January 21, 2001 Relevos Suicidas against Máscara Sagrada & Fishman Jr.
Mask Tinieblas Zombie II EnsenadaBaja California January 24, 2003 finals of a 12 wrestler Ruleta Rusa