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Victor Rivera

  

Real Name - Victor Rivera

Birthdate - 5/5/43

6’ 224 lbs. - San Lorenzo, PR


Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Capitol(`64-`65), Dallas(`65), Toronto(`65), Kansas City(`65), Hawaii(`66-`67), AWA(`66-`67), JWA(`67), Los Angeles(`67),  WWWF(`68-`75), Pittsburgh(`68-`72), JWA(`71), NWF(`72), Los Angeles(`72-`82), New Japan(`73), Florida(`75), IWA(`75), New Japan(`76-`77), Los Angeles(`80-`81), All Japan(`81-`82), WWF(`82-`84)

Aliases - none

Groups - none

Peak Years - `67-`78



Finisher(s) - 

- Cannonball (Somersault Senton)

- Butterfly Suplex

- Abdominal Stretch


Favorites -

- Dropkick

- Bodyslam

- Turnbuckle Smash

- Measured Punch

- Elbow 



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set5
 Science2
 Aerial2
 Power7
 Strikes7


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment6
 Selling6
 Bumping7
 Carrying6
 Heat7
 Legacy4


Place in History - The success of many pro-wrestlers is based on luck; being seen by the right person at the right time can make the career of someone.  The story is that while stopping in Hawaii in between Japanese tours, Gorilla Monsoon saw Pedro Morales and sold Vince McMahon on bringing him in and ultimately replacing Bruno Sammartino as the WWWF champion.  Morales was a year older, but much more experienced and he proved to be a strong champion in certain WWWF markets.  Victor Rivera had proven himself to be a talented babyface in Los Angeles, even teaming with Morales, before returning to New York in the late 1960s.  He was a rising star amongst the growing Puerto Rican population.  Rivera was teaming with Bruno and moved into a respectable spot on the cards, while some believe he may have made an ideal champion.  Morales was brought in and fast-tracked to the championship, while Rivera ended up moving on.  He returned to Los Angeles and was one of the top stars in the wake of the legendary feud between Fred Blassie and John Tolos.  He ended up in the WWWF again and was given a tag title run with Domenic Denucci.  While the reasons are not fully known, Victor Rivera left without dropping the tag titles to join the IWA.  He was made a top babyface, but the controversial company was short-lived.  Rivera returned to Los Angeles and even turned heel to feud with Chavo Guerrero, playing off the real world sports rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico.  He proved to be excellent in the role, so when Rivera returned to the WWWF in 1978, they had Blassie, who a top manager in the area, recruit him to go after champion Bob Backlund.  Victor Rivera continued working in New York off and on, but was based in Los Angeles, where he owned a bar.  It was at this establishment that Rivera became mixed up with some criminal activity that led to him doing some time.  He did come back and wrestle again and his son even followed him into the sport.  Victor Rivera is one of the most successful Puerto Rican wrestlers in terms of his international accomplishments and yet it is his fall from grace that he seems best remembered for in retrospect.  
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