Víctor Rivera (wrestler)

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Víctor Rivera
Rivera, c. 1979
Born (1944-05-25) May 25, 1944 (age 80)
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Rico Pantera[2]
Vic Rivera[2]
Víctor Rivera[2]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[2]
Billed weight224 lb (102 kg)[2]
Billed fromPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
Debut1964[2]
Retired1984[2]

Víctor Rivera (born May 25, 1944) is a Puerto Rican retired professional wrestler. Between 1967 and 1981, he held the NWA Americas Tag Team Championship thirteen times, the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship five times, the WWWF International Tag Team Championship, and numerous others.

Professional wrestling career

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Rivera debuted in 1964.[2]

In the late 1960s, Rivera wrestled in Los Angeles' Worldwide Wrestling Associates (which later became NWA Hollywood Wrestling in 1968), where he won the WWA World Tag Team Championship with Pedro Morales.

In December 1969, Rivera teamed with Tony Marino at Madison Square Garden to win the WWWF International Tag Team Championship in two straight falls from Professor Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakawa. Rivera and Marino defended the belts successfully against teams like Killer Kowalski and Waldo Von Erich, as well as Kowalski and Krippler Karl Kovacs. They lost the championship to another undefeated team, The Mongols (Bepo and Geto Mongol) on June 15, 1970, two falls to one at Madison Square Garden. On May 13, 1975, Rivera and Dominic DeNucci won the WWWF World Tag Team Championship from The Valiant Brothers.[3] That year, he also teamed with a rookie Dino Bravo to challenge The Mongols (Geto and Bolo Mongol) for the IWA World Tag Team Championship.

After leaving the WWWF, Rivera feuded with Pedro Morales in Hawaii and California.[4] In 1978, he returned as a heel under manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie and challenged Bob Backlund for the WWWF Championship in several arenas, including the Philadelphia Spectrum. He left again in 1979 and returned for a final match in 1989. In 1980, Rivera was once again wrestling in the Los Angeles territory of the National Wrestling Alliance, when he won its NWA World Tag Team Championship with Enforcer Luciano.

Rivera retired in 1984.[2]

Professional wrestling style and persona

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Rivera wrestled in a "technical" style.[2] His signature moves were the abdominal stretch,[1] the cannonball,[2] and the dropkick.[2]

Championships and accomplishments

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  • All-California Championship Wrestling
    • ACCW Heavyweight Championship (3 times)[5]
  • California Pro Wrestling
    • CPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[5]
    • CPW Brass Knuckles Championship (2 times)[5]
  • Western States Alliance
    • WSA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[5]
    • WSA Beat The Champ Championship (1 time)[5]
    • WSA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with John Tolos[5]

References

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  1. ^ a b Saalbach, Axel. "Victor Rivera". WrestlingData.com. Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Victor Rivera". Cagematch.net. Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  3. ^ "World Tag Team Championship official title history". WWE. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame: High Chief Peter Maivia". WWE.com. February 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
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