WWE fans have seen a lot of influential Latino wrestlers over the years. Certain Latino wrestlers, the likes of Pedro A. Morales – the first Latino to hold the coveted World Heavyweight Championship title – paved the way for more Latino wrestlers to be introduced onto the main roster of the world’s biggest wrestling promotion. Since Morales stepped away from the ring in the mid-80s, there have been plenty of Latino superstars who have followed in his footsteps – some of whom have inspired a generation and have attracted many fans to the world of wrestling entertainment.
Latinos bring something different to wrestling. The influx of talent from Mexico and other Latin regions around the globe has meant that the fans have begun to see a new style – essentially a new brand of wrestling. That Lucha Libre high-flying style we’ve all come to know and love can be attributed to the Mexican wrestling talent.
This Latin flair and flavor that’s been injected into WWE has no doubt added an international zest into the roster – and the company as a whole over the years. There are many top tier wrestlers who have contributed to this; these are 15 of those top Latino wrestlers – wrestlers who have made their mark in WWE.
15 Sin Cara
Sin Cara was already an established and much-loved pro in Mexico before traveling around the world with different promotions and ending up at Vince’s company in 2011.
The Sin Cara gimmick formerly portrayed by Jorge Arias as Hunico could have also made this list, but we’re going to be discussing Místico – the Sin Cara gimmick portrayed by Luis Ignacio Urive Alvirde.
Sin Cara burst onto the scene in 2011, quickly establishing himself as a face, and then teamed up with Rey Mysterio; he went on a winning streak that lasted six months, and was involved in a number of notable story lines during his time with the promotion, including memorable story lines with his Latino counterparts – Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
It’s unfortunate that injuries eventually got the better of him. The high-flying luchador was a hugely popular gimmick, but eventually fell by the wayside, after which he went off to wrestle with Asistencia Asesoría y Administración.
14 Essa Rios
José Delgado Saldaña is a luchador currently contracted with the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre promotion which is based in Mexico City – the world’s oldest wrestling promotion currently still in operation.
This Mexican wrestler is known in his country of birth as Mr. Águila, but he’s known in the U.S. for his time in WWE as Essa Rios. He spent four years with the promotion – the Light Heavyweight Championship being his only notable accomplishment. He also had a love-hate relationship with diva Lita, before he drifted out of the limelight.
Although his stint with WWE was somewhat brief, this crimson-haired luchador did have some notable moments and it was always eventful when he stepped foot into the ring. His high-flying style endeared him to the crowds, and because his manager was at one point, Lita, this gained him even more of a fan following.
13 Juventud Guerrera
Juvi Guerrera only wrestled with the WWE for a year between 2005 and 2006, but will be remembered for being part of “The Mexicools." He’s a talented luchador and he, along with his partners, Psicosis and Super Crazy, were determined to change the way Latino wrestlers were perceived by the fans and the promotions – he was eager to change the often negative and cringe worthy stereotype. Having said that, they entered the ring on lawnmowers!
Juvi was making waves in WWE, had a number of high profile contests and won the Cruiserweight Championship. However, WWE wanted this luchador to tone down on his high-flying style, but Juvi downright refused. This, along with a few other backstage issues, culminated in him being released from his contract, and thus The Mexicools were no more.
Psicosis has performed for numerous Mexican and American wrestling promotions, including WWE, with whom he was a member of The Mexicools. During this time, he stuck up for his Latino brothers, and he, along with his fellow Mexicools, went off on a rant about the treatment of Mexicans in the U.S. and the lack of true Mexican Luchadores in WWE. They stuck up for Mexicans by essentially mocking the stereotypical perception of Mexicans in the U.S.
Psicosis was getting quite a decent fan following, but it was his antics in Mexico that essentially screwed things up for him and his relationship with WWE. His arrest following a carjacking resulted in his contract being terminated, but he’s since tasted more success as Nicho el Millonario.
Charles Ashenoff, aka Konnan, is of Cuban decent, and has been involved in the wrestling industry for a good three decades. He’s spent a lot of this time wrestling in the U.S. and although his time with WWE was short-lived and filled with controversy, he’ll be remembered for pissing off Vince McMahon and then jumping ship and leaving to go and wrestle in Mexico when he was still contracted with WWE.
He’s a decent, talented wrestler – there’s no question about that – but what he’s perhaps best known for is his outspoken nature. He’s been extremely critical of U.S. promotions due to their treatment of Latino wrestlers. He’s accused plenty of promotions of being racist. He had the nerve to bring up the issue and has gained plenty of plaudits from fellow Latino wrestlers and fans as a result of it.
10 Savio Vega
Vega is a Puerto Rican – meaning "brave and noble lord" – and he certainly wants everyone to know about his heritage. He displays his country’s colors proudly, incorporating them into his ring attire.
With the WWE, Vega debuted in 1993 as Kwang the Ninja, and quickly became known as one of the best grapplers around. Buyt it was embracing his roots as Savio Vega that got him some fanfare, especially among the Latinos and in his native Puerto Rico. He had a very underrated feud with Steve Austin in 1996 which led to a huge victory in a strap match at In Your House: Beware of Dog.
Vega was also a good buddy of Razor Ramon, and the two formed an alliance together in 1995, helping Vega’s popularity rise to even greater heights.
9 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto’s had a couple of stints with WWE and neither have ended in great circumstances. He’s a brilliant performer and has gained a lot of fans from his time in the wrestling industry and as a professional MMA competitor, but he didn’t have the greatest of times with the WWE management. Despite that, he has won quite a few coveted titles with the promotion; he also created history winning the 2011 Royal Rumble and the 2011 Money in the Bank ladder match – the only wrestler to win both in the same year. Despite making a name for himself with WWE, Alberto’s also spent a lot of time wrestling in Mexico, having a couple of stints with Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, in addition to Lucha Underground in 2015.
Puerto Rican pro, Carlito, spent seven years with the WWE and had a reasonably successful time of it too, mainly in the tag team division where he dominated with his partner, Primo.
He comes from a wrestling family – his dad, Carlos Colón, was a very well-respected pro and was incidentally another candidate for this list. His achievements were recognized by the WWE and he was inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame class.
The apple-spitting Carlito won titles with WWE and his career progressed significantly with the company, which obviously saw something good in him. In addition to his tag team achievements, he also won the Intercontinental and United States Championships, and gained a whole new set of fans through his talk show segment - "Carlito's Cabana."
7 Epico and Primo
The Shining Stars consisting of Epico and Primo are a coveted tag team duo who are currently still portraying their Puerto Rican gimmick under the RAW brand. The arrogant heels love their native Puerto Rico so much, they actually – in a way – act like ambassadors, urging fans to come to what they call the "Shining Star of the Caribbean."
The tag team partners are actually blood relatives – they’re real-life cousins. Incidentally, Primo and Carlito – another wrestler on this list – are real-life brothers.
Epico and Primo are the former holders of the World Tag Team Championship – then as Los Matadores - and have recently started making waves in the tag team division again in an effort to reign supreme as the best tag team partnership in the business.
6 Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
Chavo may not be the biggest name in the Guerrero family, but he’s still made his mark as one of the best Latino wrestlers around. Now with Lucha Underground and wrestling on the independent circuit, Chavo spent over a decade with WWE, where he initially found fame as one half of the Los Guerreros – a tag team partnership consisting of Chavo and possible the most famous Guerrero of them all, his uncle Eddie.
Although he tasted some success after Eddie's death, his uncle wasn’t there to look out for him and steer him in the right direction, so things didn’t progress with WWE as he’d have liked. Things eventually fizzled out for him with the promotion, but he’s since teamed up with another family member – his dad, Chavo Guerrero, Sr – and has gone on to have a successful time of it.
5 Tito Santana
This guy’s still going strong – or reasonably strong – on the independent circuit. But Tito rose to fame during the late 1970s and throughout the 80s, during which he wrestled with the WWE. He was a babyface for his entire career, and he played the role brilliantly. Tito was a much-loved figure on the roster, and was one of the most popular wrestlers around during that time.
Tito’s a Mexican-American wrestler – born and brought up in Texas but billed from Mexico. WWE wanted to utilize his Mexican roots; his signature chant of "Arriba!" is something fans from that time will remember well.
Tito won a few championships - although he never won the prestigious Heavyweight Title that every wrestler craves – but his technical prowess meant that he was a fan favorite and a force with which to be reckoned in the ring.
4 Mil Máscaras
Aaron Rodríguez, aka Mil Máscaras, can be credited with bringing the Lucha Libre style of wrestling into the mainstream, enhancing its popularity around the world – especially in WWE. He’s the uncle of another wrestler on this list – Alberto Del Rio – and his brother – José Luis Rodríguez Arellano, aka Dos Caras – is arguably the greatest heavyweight in Mexican wrestling history. With a prominent wrestling family such as this, the masked Mil Máscaras had a reputation to uphold, and he didn’t disappoint. He’s now 74 and understandably has eased back on the wrestling – although he hasn’t officially retired – but the man whose name means “a thousand masks” has cultivated a legacy for himself as a legendary Mexican luchador.
In 1975, he was regarded to be the “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year” and 27 years later, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame – deservedly so.
3 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is arguably the most famous and well-known wrestler– in terms of fan following and overall star appeal – on this list. During his time with WWE, he was a much-loved figure on the roster and fans were distraught to see him part ways with the company in 2015, ending his 13-year tenure with the company.
Rey Mysterio personifies that high-flying Lucha Libre style, and the fans love him for it. He’s made that iconic 619 his own, and he’s got a number of other signature moves – such as the hurricanrana – which he used to inflict pain upon his opponents, but that were also just awe-inspiring to watch. Fans are mesmerized at the way this guy goes about his business; he’s taken this whole package to Lucha Underground, but everyone would be happy to know that he split with WWE on good terms, so there could very well be a way back for Mysterio to WWE in the future.
2 Pedro Morales
Pedro came, he saw, he conquered, long before a lot of you guys probably even knew what wrestling was. He retired from the profession in 1987, having been around since the 1950s wrestling with numerous different promotions. He had a couple of stints with WWE and spent a total of 12 years with the promotion.
Pedro was a hugely popular champion, adored by those who appreciated wrestling and his technical prowess, in addition to those in his home country of Puerto Rico. He had that star appeal and can be credited with bringing wrestling to the wider Latino audience, growing its fan base in his native Puerto Rico.
Pedro was the first Latino in history to hold the coveted World Heavyweight Championship and is also an inductee into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.
1 Eddie Guerrero
The wrestling world was distraught when Eddie Guerrero met his untimely death in 2005. He had left a legacy as one of the greatest in-ring performers to have ever wrestled with the WWE and rightly received a hero’s farewell – a “Night of Tribute” befitting the man who did his country and profession proud.
Eddie spent about a decade with the promotion and tasted a tremendous amount of success with them too. He won numerous titles and also formed a number of close bonds with some of his fellow wrestlers – especially with Rey Mysterio. The two were like brothers and frequently discussed going back to Mexico and taking over the wrestling scene over there together. They planned to sell out arenas in Mexico with WWE – it’s a pity that their plan will remain unfulfilled.