In the world of professional wrestling, some names will always carry weight. Whenever a McMahon is wearing a suit, something is going on. Whenever a Flair puts on a boa-lined robe, surely a great match is about to go down. One name has stood the test of time and is as important to the fabric of professional wrestling as any other. That name is Guerrero.
While some have brought the name great prestige due to their in-ring careers, such as Eddie, Chavo, and Chavo Sr., there’s also the memory of Vickie Guerrero’s controversial time in WWE. However, without Gory Guerrero, who would have turned 93 years old today, the name might not be as revered as it has become.
The Career of Gory Guerrero
Born Salvador Guerrero Quesada, his career began as a jobber all the way back in 1937. He was a pioneer in Mexico, wrestling largely with the company EMLL. He later changed his name to Gory Guerrero due to the blood loss that was common during his matches. Guerrero would become synonymous with wrestling for almost half a century until his retirement in the mid-1980s.
During that time, Gory made a hell of a mark and piled up plenty of accomplishments. He was a premier wrestler, won the NWA Light Heavyweight Championship, competed against Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and became a booker as he helped with the success of NWA Hollywood and World Class Championship Wrestling. However, his greatest contribution might be as an innovator.
The Innovation of Gory Guerrero
Guerrero wasn’t just a pioneer in the Lucha Libre style, helping bring it into the NWA and thus the mainstream, but he also created moves that would become iconic and continue to be used to this day. He called it the “Le de a Caballo,” but we know it as the Camel Clutch. He invented the Gory Special, a type of backbreaker, the infamous Gory Bomb facebuster, a vicious looking piledriver that would later be named the Barry Wyatt Driver and even the Widow’s Peak.
After his retirement, Gory opened his doors and began training up and coming wrestling, including his sons, Chavo Sr. and Eddie. They carried on the lasting legacy that was the Guerrero name and carried Gory’s impact decades ahead of his time. Sadly, Gory Guerrero passed away in the spring of 1990 due to liver failure and complications from hepatitis.
Happy Birthday, Gory Guerrero
After he passed, Gory was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, Class of 1996. He is a name who may one day find his way into the WWE Hall of Fame as a legacy member, but his impact on the business will never be forgotten. Today, on what would have been his 93rd birthday, we salute Gory Guerrero, a true pioneer in the world of wrestling.
What does the Guerrero name mean to you in wrestling? Did you know about the moves Gory innovated? Let us know in the comments below!