The great Pedro Morales – first ever Latino wrestler to ever hold a worldwide championship and WWWF/WWF star throughout most of the 80’s – has passed away. He broke color barriers that the superstars of today are still enjoying the fruits of. Pedro began wrestling when he was just 17 back in 1959 and wrestled just about everywhere one could wrestle during his time as an active competitor. I personally remember him holding both the WWWF World Championship for nearly 3 years – defeating Ivan Koloff. He also held the Intercontinental Championship which he held in both 1980 and 1981.
Pedro as WWWF World Champion
He continued to be a fan favorite through his time in WWF – eventually jobbing at the end of his career before officially retiring. In particular, I remember his feud with the Magnificent Muraco. As they had similar builds, all of their matches were so believable. Either could go over at any time. Muraco was such a fantastic heel and that alone would make it easy to root for Pedro. Pedro himself, though, made it that much easier by being so likable. I always wanted him to win – even when I knew he probably wouldn’t.
Once retired, he became a road agent for the now-named WWE for a time as well as a commentator for their Spanish-language programming. He even did some Nitro PPVs in the 90’s.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995. He succumbed to complications from Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 76.