Rito Romero

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Rito Romero
Rito Romero
Name Rito Romero
Real name Rito Romero Loza
Nicknames Rayo Mexicano
Name history Fideo Romero (debut - ??), Rito Romero (?? - death)
Family Cocoliso Romero, Pablo Romero (brothers), Kiko Van Dick (father-in-law)
Maestro(s) Diablo Velazco
Birth date, location March 19, 1927 - Tepatitlán, Jalisco
Obituary date January 17, 2001
Debut, location 1942 - Arena Nilo - Guadalajara, Jalisco
Lost mask to
Height
Weight
Signature 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, w/ Black Guzmán three times, w/ Carlos Moreno, w/ Sugi Sito, w/ George Drake, w/ Pepe Mendieta, w/ Pepper Gomez)

Biography

Rito Romero Loza was born on March 19, 1927 in a town near Acatic, Jalisco. He started out training at age 12. Around that time, they didn't let him into the gym "La Mutualista" because he had to be at least 15, but he became friends with a soccer player called Felipe Zetter, who talked to the owners so they let the kid join the gym. His idol and lucha role model was Bobby Arreola, and he always carried Bobby's bags just to be at his side. With him being from Guadalajara, lucha fans won't have a lot of trouble to figure out that the legendary Diablo Velasco trained him.

He started out competing in Mexico, and then moved to Texas. He's a former Pacific Coast Heavyweight Champion, NWA Texas Heavyweight champion, NWA Texas Junior Heavyweight champion and NWA Texas Tag Team title holder (three times with Black Guzman, and once with Carlos Moreno, Sugi Sito, George Drake, Pepe Mendieta and Pepper Gomez). He also got several NWA World Heavyweight Title title shots against Lou Thesz (four at least) and the closest he got to a victory was a time limit draw.

Later on he moved to Los Angeles where he didn't get any titles but he became more popular to the point of even appearing at the cover of popular cinema magazines due to his work in Mexico as an actor of the lucha film genre.

Romero also wrestled in New York, France, Egypt and other countries. He toured all over Europe with his friend Lou Thesz and there he was nicknamed "Rayo Mexicano".

His biggest claim to fame is that he created the hold La Tapatia ("The one from Jalisco"), also known as the Romero Special. The legend says that the fans from Arena Coliseo gave that name to the hold because Rito is from Jalisco. Rito was a technical master with an strong personality and he had a reputation as a tough guy that could handle himself very well in and out of the ring. He was a great performer and Lou Thesz himself considers him one of the best Mexican wrestlers he has ever seen along with Gory Guerrero and El Canek.

Around 1960 he suffered a broken leg during a match in Houston against The Destroyer and he decided to quit wrestling. He retired without a lot of fanfare, and unlike other luchadores, he didn't leave in a bitter way as he kept being a fan. He, however, didn't like the way the business was changing and in his own words "nowadays any kid gets masked and believes he's a wrestler".

Romero was married to Yolanda Torres Van Dick, daughter of former wrestler Kiko Van Dick, and they had four kids, Diana, Sandy, Yolanda Verónica and Rito Alberto, none of them involved with pro wrestling, though he had a brother called Pablo who was a wrestler.

He was checked into a Guadalajara hospital on January 16, 2001 because he had a high level of blood sugar. It was lated discovered that he was suffering an appendicitis so he had surgery. A day later, he was bored of being on bed at hospital so he unplugged himself and left. Five hospital workers tried to get him back on bed but he refused and during the "fight" he suffered a fatal heart attack.

His son, Rito Jr., said that since his mood hadn't changed lately (he was a man that was always happy and cracking jokes) but he once commented that "he was wrestling his last fall against death and he was losing".

A mass for him was celebrated at the Santa Maria Claret church and he was buried the 19th at the Panteon Funeral Colonias. The funerary services for him were held at the Capillas El Carmen.


Luchas de apuestas record

Date Apuesta Winner(s) Loser(s) Arena and/or Place
1945.07.08 hair[1] Golden Terror & Oso Negro Rito Romero & Tony the Kid Arena Nilo, Guadalajara, Jalisco
1945.12.?? mask Rito Romero La Bestia Monterrey, Nuevo León
1946.10.20 hair Rito Romero Torbellino Negro Arena Canada Dry, Guadalajara, Jalisco
1946.10.27 mask/hair[2] Golden Terror Rito Romero Arena Canada Dry - Guadalajara, Jalisco
1950.10.08 mask Rito Romero El Asesino Plaza de Toros el Progreso, Guadalajara, Jalisco
  1. Golden Terror's mask and Oso Negro's hair was on the line against the hairs of Rito Romero & Tony the Kid
  2. Terror's mask vs Romero's hair

Gallery

1953