Ricky Romero

Height: 6'0"

Weight: Unknown

Real Name: Ricky Romero

DOB: Unknown

DOD: 1/15/2006

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico (Later moved to Amarillo, Texas)

Other Names: "Rapid", "SuperMex", Mexico Grand (Japan)

Wrestler Since: 1955

Finishing Maneuver: Sleeper Hold, Cannonball

Previous PWI 500 Rankings: None

History: (Last Edited: 1/18/2006)

(Much of this information comes from an article on Slam! Sports by Greg Oliver. There are also stories from various wrestlers who knew Romero, so if you're interested, take a look.)

Ricky Romero should be remembered for many contributions to the sport of professional wrestling. He was a key figure in the de-segregation of the sport, earning his spot in the fans' hearts. He was a tremendous tag-team wrestler, winning 17 tag titles with 11 different partners (including three Funks). He fathered a legacy of wrestlers, the Youngblood clan, who had their own effect on pro wrestling. All-in-all, Romero definitely had a life worth writing about.

Romero grew up in Mexico City, concentrating on his strongest sport: baseball. He was good enough for the San Francisco Giants to come calling, offering him a spot on their minor league team. But Romero had a different future in front of him than being a professional baseball player. He was recruited into wrestling by Professor Diablo Velasco, and eventually trained his way into the ring, joining his brothers Darlo and Albert Romero. Soon, Romero was becoming an attraction in his home country of Mexico. This led to word filtering across the border about his skills, leading to Romero coming over to wrestle in Los Angeles, Houston, and Amarillo, among other places. But wherever Romero went, he faced racial issues, as many white wrestlers were unwilling to be pinned by a Mexican wrestler. Eventually, due to low pay and rough conditions, Romero left Amarillo and gave up wrestling for a while, instead painting plane parts in Los Angeles.

Romero's 'rebirth' in wrestling came when Dory Funk Sr, a patriarch of a wrestling dynasty in his own right, took over booking duties in Amarillo. Dory Sr was able to convince the management that Romero was worth $1,500 a week (a tremendous salary), and backed it up by wrestling great matches with Romero. It wasn't long before Romero was a major star in Amarillo, as well as the surrounding areas. For the next two decades, Romero was a force in professional wrestling, as can be seen by the massive amount of titles he held from 1958 to 1982 (see below).

During the same time, Romero married and fathered several children, three of whom wrestled under their mother's surname: Mark, Chris, & Steve (known as Jay in wrestling) Youngblood. Romero finally retired in the 1980s, dealing with the effects of a long wrestling career. On September 1st, 1985, Romero faced the pain that no father wishes to have, as his son, Jay Youngblood, passed away at the age of 30 after having several heart attacks after a tag match in Australia, teaming with his brother, Mark, against the Sheepherders (better known as the Bushwhackers). It was later rumored that Jay had ruptured his spleen during the match.

Romero still attended wrestling events for the next decade, but his health continually grew worse due to his afflication with diabetes. Romero eventually had to have several limbs amputated. On January 15th, 2006, Romero passed away due to complications from the diabetes, leaving behind a great legacy and a wonderful reputation in the sport.

(This is a press release issued by Chris Romero (otherwise known as Chris Youngblood), that I thought I would post here as well.)

"Rapid" Ricky Romero passed away Sunday evening January 15, 2006 of natural causes.

He was the Father of Jay, Rick, Mark and Chris Youngblood.

Romero, was a catcher for the San Francisco Giants AAA team, but wrestling became his life. He wrestled in every major market between 1955-1980's tagging with Pedro Morales (WWA) champions in Los Angeles, Terry Funk (NWA) Amarillo, Nick Bockwinkel (NWA) Amarillo, Rito Romero (W.W.W.F.). He got his huge break, when Dory Funk Sr. brought him into the Amarillo area during a time of segregation between races the young "SuperMex" broke attendance records as well as breaking racial barriers and became loved by all people, the first hispanic wrestler in the area that gained a top babyface spot. In 1972 he beat Terry Funk in a most popular wrestler contest in Amarillo, was a top draw for Gory Guererro in El Paso as well as for Fritz von Erich (Dallas) and Paul Boesh (Houston). He was such a top draw in the Rocky Mountain area (Colorado, New Mexico, Texas) that Dory Sr. invented the Rocky Mountain title just for Ricky which he retired in the early 80's.

Wrestled Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, Wild Red Berry, and even defeated Jack Brisco in Lubbock, but the referee reversed the call. He was one of the first pioneers to work for Giant Baba and Antonio Anoki in Japan and had to were a mask (as Mexico Grand) to cover his truly handsome looks as a heel.

He was dubbed "SuperMex" by PWI and several publications, he was truly the top draw in the Amarillo area and recieved his name "Rapid" by Dory Funk Sr. would listen to the hispanic fans call him "Rapido" for his cat like prowness and extremely quick style. He was trained by the best including "Iron" Mike DiBiase, Bob Geigel, Dory Funk Sr.. He kept in touch with some friends in the business such as Bob Orton Sr., Nick Bockwinkel, and Dory Funk.

His sons gained fame in wrestling as the Youngbloods (mother is Apache Mescalero) and was preceeded in death by son Jay Youngblood who passed in 1985 due to pancreatic cancer, in Australia.

Pay-Per-View/Show Summary: (0 - 2)
- Amarillo North American Heavyweight Title Tournament (October 24, 1968) = Romero fell to Pat Patterson, who went on to win the tournament.
- Amarillo Western States Tag Team Title Tournament (June 14, 1979) = Romero & Dennis Stamp lost in the first round to the eventual winners, Mr. Sato & Kiyo Moto.

Title Summary:
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion w/ Cyclone Anaya (1958 - 6/26/1958)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Dory Funk Sr (7/10/1958 - 1958)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(3) w/ Eric Rommel (11/1961 - 11/16/1961)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(4) w/ Dory Funk Sr (1962 - 3/23/1962)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(5) w/ Dory Funk Sr (5/10/1962 - 7/19/1962)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(6) w/ Dory Funk Sr (10/18/1962 - 1962)
- NWA Southwest Tag-Team Champion(7) w/ Dory Funk Sr (1965)
- WWA World Tag-Team Champion w/ Pedro Morales (2/10/1967 - 1967)
- Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion (1968)
- NWA (Amarillo) World Tag-Team Champion w/ Nick Bockwinkle (4/25/1968 - 5/23/1968)
- NWA (Amarillo) North American Heavyweight Champion (1968 - 1/09/1969)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion w/ Terry Funk (1969 - 4/04/1970)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion (2/02/1970 - 2/20/1970)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Terry Funk (8/1970 - 8/20/1970)
- Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion(2) (9/1972 - 1972)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion(2) (1973)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(3) w/ Moose Morowski (5/1973 - 7/1973)
- Amarillo Brass Knuckles Champion (10/04/1973 - ??)
- Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion(3) (10/1973 - 1974)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(4) w/ Moose Morowski (1973 - 11/1973)
- Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion(4) (1974)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(5) w/ Dory Funk Jr (3/1974 - 9/09/1974)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(6) w/ Dory Funk Jr (11/1974 - 7/1975)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(7) w/ Silver Streak (2/27/1976 - 4/1976)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion(3) (12/1977 - ??)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion(4) (1978)
- NWA Western States Tag-Team Champion(8) w/ Akihisa Takachio (4/1979 - 5/03/1979)
- Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion(5) (9/1980 - ??)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion(5) (8/27/1981 - 1981)
- NWA Central States Tag-Team Champion w/ Eddie Gilbert (1/14/1982 - 1/25/1982)

PWI Achievement Awards: (0 wins, 0 1st RUs, 0 2nd RUs, 0 3rd RUs)