Latino sports icon and legendary wrestler Chavo Guerrero Sr. passed away this weekend following a battle with liver cancer. Born Salvador Guerrero III on January 7, 1949 and raised in El Paso, Texas, Chavo was a part of the Guerrero wrestling dynasty, which was started by his father, lucha libre star Salvador “Gory” Guerrero. Chavo Sr.’s son, Chavo Jr., made a name for himself in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as well as the WWE, along with Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Sr.’s younger brother.
Chavo Guerrero Sr.’s death was announced by his son, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., on Instagram.
Today the world lost a true rebel. He did things "HIS" way. Not always right, not always wrong, but He always followed what he believed in. He was diagnosed with Liver Cancer in early January of this year. As believer in Christ Jesus, he is now in Paradise. Today is a Sad day in the Guerrero Family. Rest In Peace Chavo "Classic" Guerrero Sr. #rip #nowinheaven
Chavo Jr. memorialized his father on Instagram with a heartfelt message: “Today the world lost a true rebel. He did things “HIS” way. Not always right, not always wrong, but He always followed what he believed in.”
The legacy of Chavo Guerrero Sr. began before he was even born.
Saddened to hear Chavo Guerrero Sr has passed away. Here's him with the family. pic.twitter.com/wdCPimkhPO
— Wrestle w/o context (@wresnocontext) February 11, 2017
The oldest of lucha libre pioneer Gory Guerrero’s six children, Chavo Sr. was born into the professional wrestling business as a premiere member of one of the most famous families in the sport. Chavo and his brothers Héctor and Mando, and the late WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero all followed in their father’s footsteps.
Chavo Sr. even inherited his father’s finishing move, the Gory Special, as his own.
The Gory Special has been used by countless wrestlers to torture their opponents. Here we see CM Punk applying it to Rey Mysterio, who’s lucky it’s not being done by Chavo Guerrero Sr. instead.
In 1970, Chavo Sr. made his professional debut.
Often teaming with his brothers, Mando and Héctor, he achieved success in tag-teams, but would also leave his mark as a solo competitor.
With a career that spanned over four decades, he was always relevant and an innovator.
WWE remembers Chavo Guerrero Sr. by celebrating his Cruiserweight Championship victories. https://t.co/mhsZ2bh2RF
— WWE (@WWE) February 11, 2017
He was a 15-time champion in the NWA Hollywood Wrestling territory, but would eventually compete as “Chavo Classic” in WWE, where he holds the distinction of being the oldest superstar to win the original Cruiserweight Championship.
As recently as 2016, Chavo Sr. was still making an impact in the ring.
Chavo Sr. participated in a feud between his son, Chavo Jr., and Rey Mysterio which culminated in the “Loser Leaves Lucha” match that effectively ended the televised careers of both Guerreros in “Lucha Underground.”
Since Chavo’s passing, the wrestling world took to social media to mourn the loss of the beloved trailblazer.
Very sorry to hear of the loss of Chavo Guerrero Sr. I took great pride in having worked with Chavo, Mando & Hector. https://t.co/HLjmm9dzWj
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) February 11, 2017
Wrestlers young and old have expressed their condolences.
Very saddened to hear of my friend Chavo Guerrero Sr's passing today.My condolences and best wishes to Chavo Jr and all the Guerrero family
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) February 11, 2017
The Iron Sheik, who used the “camel clutch” maneuver invented by Gory Guerrero, paid his respects.
GOD BLESS THE CHAVO GUERRERO SR AND HIS BEAUTIFUL FAMILY. REST IN PEACE BROTHER I LOVE YOU
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) February 11, 2017
Fellow Texan and 5-time champion Booker T. wrote:
Sad to hear about the passing of Chavo Guerrero, Sr. He was a legend in our industry and pioneer in Texas wrestling. He will be missed. #RIP
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) February 12, 2017
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan also paid his respects online.
God Bless Chavo Guerrero Sr. Another friend gone to early. RIP.
— Hacksaw Jim Duggan (@OfficialHacksaw) February 12, 2017
The industry honored Chavo Guerrero Sr. as well.
— WWE (@WWE) February 11, 2017
He was a hero all over the world.
— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) February 13, 2017
He inspired generations of wrestlers, like Rey Mysterio…
RIP 🙏Chavo Guerrero Senior……
My Family & I send our condolences to the Guerrero Family &… https://t.co/pm8e9jQTIC
— ♛Rey Mysterio❔ (@reymysterio) February 12, 2017
Chavo Sr. was one of a kind. He did things his own way & entertained fans for 20+ years. My thoughts are with the entire Guerrero family. pic.twitter.com/fn1bk6WXLF
— Triple H (@TripleH) February 11, 2017
— Lilian Garcia (@LilianGarcia) February 12, 2017
…and The Miz.
Saddened to hear about Chavo Guerrero Sr passing away today. My thoughts and prayers go out to @mexwarrior and family.
— The Miz (@mikethemiz) February 12, 2017