Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rito Romero

Name Rito Romero
Real name Rito Romero Loza
Nicknames Rayo Mexicano
Name history Fideo Romero (debut - ??), Rito Romero (?? - death)
Family Pablo Romero (brother), Kiko Van Dick (father-in-law)
Trained by: Diablo Velazco
Born: March 19, 1927 - Tepatitlán, Jalisco
Died: January 18th 2001
Pro Wrestling Debut 1942 - Arena Nilo - Guadalajara, Jalisco
Signature wrestling moves: Romero Special/La Tapatia
Titles: Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title, NWA Texas Heavyweight Title (3), NWA Texas Junior Heavyweight Title (2), NWA Texas Tag Team Titles (8, with Black Guzmán three times, with Carlos Moreno, with Sugi Sito, with George Drake, with Pepe Mendieta, with Pepper Gomez)

Rito Romero Loza was a successful luchador who wrestled in Mexico and in the NWA territories of Texas and Los Angeles. In common with a number of luchadors, he appeared in several films in his native country. He is perhaps best remembered for his innovation of the Romero Special submission manoeuver, also known as the Surfboard.

Romero was trained as a luchador by Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame member Diablo Velasco, a man also responsible for the training of Mil Máscaras and Gory Guerrero. His early career was spent in Mexico, making his debut in Guadalajara at aged just 15, having been in training for the previous 3 years.

He began finding title success upon becoming a regular in NWA Texas (which would become World Class Championship Wrestling. With tag-team partner Miguel "Black" Guzmán (brother of El Santo) he would win the NWA Texas Tag Team titles 3 times, winning the same belts a further 5 times with different partners. He would also co-hold the NWA World Tag Team Championship (Texas version) twice (the belts being recognised as World Championships by WCCW and Dory Funk's Amarillo territory. As a singles competitor he had the distinction of being the inaugural NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Champion of the Los Angeles territory in 1953 as well as being a two-time NWA Texas Jr. Heavyweight Title back in the region in which he remained a perennial star. In between his first title reign in 1949 and his retirement there was only one year (1960) during which Rito Romero did not enjoy at least some time with a championship.

During his career he became friends with the legendary Lou Thesz (against whom he had his biggest match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at a time when he was NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion) and travelled Europe with him. Thesz esteemed Romero so highly as to rate him as a better performer than his contemporaries El Canek and Gory Guerrero.

Romero was married to Yolanda and had 4 children: Diana, Sandy, Yolanda Verónica and Rito Alberto, none of whom became involved in professional wrestling.

Rito Romero suffered a fatal heart attack on January 18th 2001. He had gone into hospital in his hometown of Guadalajara on the 16th with high blood-sugar levels where it was discovered he was suffering from appendicitis. Bored of being in hospital he decided to check himself out on the 18th. While remonstrating with the hospital workers who were trying to make him return to his bed he collapsed.

technorati tags: lucha libre,mexico

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