In just a few days the yearly sports entertainment extravaganza known as WrestleMania will invade the Bay Area. This year’s headliner will feature Brock Lesnar taking on Roman Reigns. With all things wrestling on the brain here at ‘LLERO we thought it was a good time to salute the Latino stars of today and yesteryear who paved the way for the next generation of Latino superstars in the WWE.
Often overlooked, this brawling Boricua had a very underrated career. Having held the then WWF (today known as the WWE) heavyweight championship title for 1,027 consecutive days (5th longest ever amongst professional wrestlers), Morales singlehandedly began to attract the Latino fan base to the WWF in the 70s. During his career he faced the best of the best with memorable showdowns against the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Don Muraco and Greg Valentine. Deservingly, he went on to become the very first Latino to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Respect!
Signature Move: Due to the fact that there is no video of Don Pedro executing his signature move, ‘LLERO decided to give you the next best thing: The Boston Crab.
Titles Held: First Triple Crown Champion in WWE history; WWF United States Champion; WWF World Heavyweight Champion; WWF Tag Team Champion; Intercontinental Champion.
Though “El Matador” never won anything above the Intercontinental Championship, Tito Santana was the Latino face of the WWF in the ‘80s and was more than able to hold his own against the top WWF superstars. He is also one of two wrestlers (including Hulk Hogan) to have appeared in the first nine WrestleMania events. He faced a who’s who of opponents from the Hulkster himself to The Undertaker. Known for throwing a fist up while yelling, “Arriba!” the Mexican-American wrestler became an instant fan favorite and icon to Latino communities who watched the WWF as religiously as I did as a child.
Signature Move: The Flying Forearm.
Titles Held: WWF Tag Team Champion; Intercontinental Champion.