|Birth name||Rito Romero Loza|
May 19, 1927|
Acatic, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||January 17, 2001
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Rito Romero
|Trained by||Diablo Velasco|
Rito Romero Loza (May 19, 1927 - January 18, 2001) was a successful luchador who wrestled in Mexico and in the NWA territories of Texas and Los Angeles. He appeared in several films in his native country along with a number of other luchadors. He is remembered for his innovation of the Romero Special/La Tapatia submission manoeuver, commonly known as the Surfboard.
Romero was trained as a luchador by 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 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 including Pepper Gomez. 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. He became NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion twice, on the second occasion winning the title from Verne Gagne on 27 October 1950. 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.
Rito Romero suffered a fatal heart attack on January 17, 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. While remonstrating with the hospital workers who were trying to make him return to his bed he collapsed.
- Finishing moves
- Romero Special/La Tapatia (Surfboard) – Innovated
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time)
- NWA International Television Championship (3 times)
- NWA International Television Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Chief War Cloud (1) Ray Stern (1) and Suni War Cloud (1)
- NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time)
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (1 time)
- NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- NWA Texas Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (7 times) – with Miguel "Black" Guzmán (3), Sugi Sito (1), George Drake (1), Pepe Mendietta (1), and Pepper Gomez (1)
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Texas version) (2 times) – with Dory Dixon (1) and Pepper Gomez (1)
- La Bestia magnifica (1953)
- La Última lucha (1959)
- El Señor Tormenta (1963)
- Atacan las brujas (1968)
- L.L. Staff (2008). "Lucha Libre: Conoce la historia de las leyendas de cuadrilátero". Rito Romero (1974) (in Spanish). Mexico. p. 51. Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Rito Romero profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Madigan, Dan (2007). "Dorada de lucha libre: Las Leyendas, las peleas, los fósforos del resentimiento (the golden age of lucha libre: the legends, the feuds, the grudge matches): Diablo Velasco". Mondo Lucha A Go-Go: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperCollins Publisher. pp. 203–205. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3.
- Ocampo, Jorge (28 August 2011). "RVD y Daniel Bryan aplicando la tapatía la misma semana en TV en USA" (in Spanish). SuperLuchas. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Rito Romero profile". WrestlingData. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- Schire, George (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-87351-620-6.
- Schire, George (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 10. ISBN 0-87351-620-6.
- Zordani, Jim. "American Wrestling Association". Regional Territories. Kayfabe Memories. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- WrestlingClassics.com Message Board: Rito Romero + Lou in Mexico
- "Juventino Romero profile" (in German). WrestlingData. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- Hornbaker, Tim (2006). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 115. ISBN 1-55022-741-6.
- "World Junior Heavyweight Title (Los Angeles)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- "International Television Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- "International Television Tag Team Title (Los Angeles)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "Rito Romero Filmografía Parcial" (in Spanish). Cinefanía. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- García Riera, Emilio (1975). Historia Documental del Cine Mexicano: 1958. Mexico DF: Ediciones Era. p. 67.