Francisco “Paco” Alonso’s name may not be familiar to many fans in the United States. But the owner and president of CMLL was one of the biggest and most influential names in the wrestling world since taking over Mexico’s original pro wrestling company in 1987.
Alonso died on Saturday at age 67.
⚫ HASTA SIEMPRE SR. FRANCISCO ALONSO LUTTEROTH ⚫— Lucha Libre CMLL (@CMLL_OFICIAL) July 7, 2019
Con profunda pena, informamos el deceso del Sr. Francisco Alonso Lutteroth, Presidente del Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre ocurrido el Sábado 6 de Julio de 2019. pic.twitter.com/7GHcWgtdZx
From the time he assumed control of the promotion his grandfather founded in 1933 as EMLL, Alonso saw CMLL through a war with offshoot UWA and guided them through their ongoing rivalry with another offshoot in AAA. The name change was in part to establish a new identity for the company after EMLL left the NWA shortly after Alonso took over. His strategy included forming an alliance with New Japan, which has grown into a four country partnership which includes Ring of Honor and Rev Pro.
A reportedly hands-off owner who left who left creative decisions and day-to-day operations to his team, Alonso nonetheless has been given credit for and by some of the talent who rose to fame in CMLL. One of those wrestlers posted a tearful Instagram thank you and farewell yesterday after hearing the news:
Alonso’s daughter Sofia is the Commercial Director of the company, but no succession plan has been announced at this time.
On behalf of the entire Cageside Seats community, we extend our condolences to Alonso’s family and friends.