El Latino (Lemus)
El Latino, was born within a family with Lucha Libre tradition, as his uncle was already working as Lemus I, and his brother would eventually become a pro under the Lemus II mask. He first started training during the summer of 1984, as a training partner for his brother Lemus II who taught him the basics. His formal training was in the pure Mexican lucha style.
His debut match was on July 12, 1992, against his brother, Lemús II, and he won. He was not wrestling full time then, and didn't do so until 1994, when he got out of the Navy. He got his in-ring polish working mostly for the different minor lucha promotions in San Antonio and South Texas. It was then when he also started training and working out with respected local workers, Rudy Boy Gonzalez, Arandúú, and Juan Reynosa. He learned bits and pieces from all of them, and still credits them as his trainers. He also had other mentors during his career, like Bobby Perez, Ken Johnson, Jose Lothario and Dusty Wolfe. However the one trainer that brought everything full circle for Latino was Tito Sánchez. In Tito Sánchez he found not only a trainer but a friend and brother.
He got his first taste of wrestling gold in September of 1995, when he defeated El Vikingo to capture the Houston version of the Texas Light Heavyweight Title. Soon thereafter, to be exact on January of 1996, he adopted the family name and became Lemús III, paying homage to his uncle, his brother, and his childhood hero Sangre Chicana. He didn't use this name for to long, but when he did it was in the Nuevo Laredo circuit working against Mexican talent. The two most important matches he had with this name were the time the three Lemus masked men joined forces to face Mr. Nuclear, El Universitario and Estrella Universal, and when he had the honor of teaming with his uncle's old partner, Amenaza del Norte, against Tigre Universitario and El Marvik.
He enjoyed wrestling in Mexico very much, however he didn't want to have on his shoulders the pressure of upholding the tradition of the name and decided to back to the El Latino character during the early months of 1997.
The character that he’s portrayed since his debut is the one of a homeboy born and raised in the mean streets of Southside San Antonio. He’s got a bit of an attitude but is not one to disrespect anybody. However, if he’s disrespected, Latino is going to take care of his business in the ring one on one.
It was also around this time when El Latino's career took almost a U turn. Noticing the envy, egos and general bad attitudes displayed by some of the alcoholic Texan lucha workers(It's a practice of most Lucha workers in San Antonio to drink beer before their match), he didn't feel like he could excel and be the best in that environment and with help of mentor Tito Sanchez, started working more for non-lucha based independent promotions.
He had to adapt his style to his new set of opponents and a different crowd. He ended up mixing the flash and flavor of the high flying Mexican moves while working a solid, traditional American style match. He likes to go technical, but if he has to, he can brawl as well. Due to his height and weight, he is a natural cruiserweight. However he is not afraid to mix it up with any heavyweight and give him a tough match.
Latino finally got his big break in late 1998 by working for the San Antonio based Pro Wrestling International, ran by the legendary Jose Lothario. With this promotion he had the chance to be featured on the local news various times, and also had the opportunity to have a singles match with Sho Funaki, of the WWE, Michinoku Pro and BattlARTS fame. Once Shawn Michaels took over in early 1999, creative differences led to El Latino being let go.
In late 1999, El Latino went to work for Underground Texas Wrassling in San Antonio, and after a few months of hard work, he won the UTW Heavyweight Title in May of 2000. He would go on to win the title one more time before the promotion folded in early 2001.
Since then, he's worked for almost every top promotion in Texas. He’s won singles and tag-team titles. Latino has had the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Georgia and Oklahoma. El Latino wrestled Konnan on two different occasions and even came out in an episode of WWE Smackdown in March 2005. With his continued success, El Latino continues to further his skills as a pro wrestler. As a 20 year veteran, El Latino has taken several wrestling clinics. Most notably, Tom Pritchard, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Al Snow, Terry Taylor, Tommy Dreamer and “The Ragin Bull” Manny Fernandez.
El Latino still gives credit to Lucha Libre for the opportunity to get his start in the wrestling business.