Rolando Vera was born Rolando Hernández Verástegui on February 1, 1915 in Monterrey, Nuevo León. It has been often said that with his birth, wrestling was born in the Nuevo León state, as Rolando was the first local star of note.
He had his formal wrestling training in Tampico, Tamaulipas, while he worked in a petroleum plant. During his rookie year he was a reconigzable face among most other local luchadores because he had been a successful amateur wrestler before training to become a professional.
Rolando has got a legendary reputation as a shooter and a tough man, but he wasn't always an skilled submission wrestler. Once during a match in Monterrey, Raúl Romero took liberties with him in the ring and showed him up. That opened up Rolando's eyes and he traveled all the way to the US to learn submission wrestling from a Turkish man called Joe Stanley. Can you imagine somebody doing that nowadays?
So as the legend goes, Rolando came back and went directly to the gym where he knew that he could find Romero, who was the teacher of some young aspiring wrestlers. They had a hard fight that went around 15 minutes, but then out of nowhere, Rolando stopped and decided that it would be a draw. Later Romero asked him why didn't he make him tap out at as one point he had him right there perfect for the submission. Rolando said that he couldn't do that because all his students were there and they would lose the respect for their maestro. From then on, they became two friends that had respect for each other.
Rolando wasn't only a local star though, as he was immensely popular in both Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo, where he formed dream teams with people like Santo and Blue Demon. It's also of note that Rolando had a nice four year long reign as NWA World Middleweight champion when that title was the biggest prize in all of lucha libre (until the early 60s, when the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship became more important, though in all reality, the biggest prize was the NWA World Heavyweight Championship even with the little game it ever had in Mexico). He defeated none other than Santo on October 19, 1956 in Monterrey to win the belt, and he lost it on October 13, 1960 to René Guajardo in the same city.
As a fun note, when the masked-wrestler-mania hit Mexico, Rolando, out of curiosity, wrestled during three months as "Spirit" under a hood but he finally gave up as everybody knew who he was and the fans would yell "ROLANDO!" during his matches!
But even with his incredible career in wrestling, also traveling to places like Germany, France, Cuba, England and the United States, what many consider the most important part in his career was the one of being a lucha libre trainer.
He was a fine technician, an innovative wrestler (he created such holds like La Reinera, which is Shocker's spinning back-to-back torture rack finisher) and an off-the-charts amateur that knew every secret in wrestling, so he quickly gained himself a reputation as a top trainer with such alumnii like Blue Demon, René Guajardo and Sugi Sito - three men, that not coincidentially, have a reputation as three of the most complete workers and toughest shooters of their era in Mexico.
Around the late 60s, Rolando moved on from the big time and mostly did work in the Northern Mexico area (which is quite a big one) until he retired in the mid 80s. Years later he came back for some matches, but it was short exhibition bouts and not "real matches".
He, however, kept training wrestlers, producing stars like Angel Mortal of Los Diabolicos, Blue Demon Jr., Los Monjes Negros, and his last trainée, Monterrey local Halcón Maltés. Rolando was a man that changed with the times and always kept supporting lucha libre while other stars of the past refused to stop looking back and turned their backs on the sport.
But even retired he kept in really good shape not only because of his job as a maestro, but also as he was an avid fan of baseball (he was, in fact, a popular player of the Club Gatos Negros in MTY).
Rolando left this world on March 29, 2001, around 22:30 in the night, after suffering a heart attack while sleeping in his home at Colonia Cumbres in Monterrey. This caused a big commotion in Monterrey where he was (and is) considered a legend on the level of Santo and Blue Demon, and there was several tribute cards for him shortly after his passing.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|53/05/19||mask||Rolando Vera||Hiena Roja||Auditorio Monterrey - Monterrey, Nuevo León|
|66/11/13||hair||Rolando Vera||Manuel Robles||Monterrey|
- Lucha Libre 167