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Chavo Guerrero Sr. (1949-2017)


“The name ‘Guerrero’ means ‘warrior!’” JBL often exclaimed in commentary, in praise of the proud mannerisms of Chavo Guerrero Jr. back in his years in SmackDown. In 2004, during another chapter in his feud with his uncle—the late, great Eddie Guerrero—WWE fans all over the world saw Chavo Jr. accompanied by a wily, devious older man who somehow always got in the way of a good fight between Los Guerreros. That man was none other than his father, Chavo Guerrero Sr.


Known as “Chavo Classic” by many modern wrestling fans, Salvador Guerrero III was born in Texas in 1949. Chavo was the eldest brother in the second generation of the Guerrero wrestling dynasty, which included Mando, Hector, and Eddie Guerrero. Chavo started his long and storied career in the territories, winning various tag team and singles wrestling titles in Mexico and the United States. While often teaming with his brothers, many of Chavo’s multiple tag team title reigns were held with all sorts of different partners.

In the 1970s, Chavo was wrestling at the top of the card with some of the great names we know today: his opponents included Roddy Piper, “The Big Cat” Ernie Ladd, Pat Patterson, and Dory Funk Jr.  His singles matches with Piper are also acclaimed, and often culminated in Chavo claiming over fifteen reigns with the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship between 1975 and 1979. Chavo also traveled the world in search for championships and competition, helping cement the global legacy of the Guerrero wrestling family.


After wrestling in some smaller promotions and slowing down after decades of wrestling, Chavo Sr. resurfaced in the WWE in 2004, to aid his son Chavo Jr. in his feud with his uncle Eddie. That year, Chavo Classic once again had a taste of gold when he became the oldest WWE Cruiserweight Champion. His title reign was brief, but his antics in and around the ring further bolstered the “lying, cheating, and stealing” Los Guerreros were known for. More than that, Chavo played the supportive father who always two steps behind his son: ready to do anything to propel him to the heights that, in his days as an active competitor, he could have only dreamed of.

Over 10 years later, Chavo found himself back in the spotlight at Lucha Underground, when he unsuccessfully tried to help his son win a “Loser Leaves Town” match versus Rey Mysterio Jr.


Chavo Guerrero Sr. is recognized by many in the wrestling world as one of its great innovators, pioneers, and champions: a true warrior in and out of the ring. Just this morning, though, the wrestling world counted another sad loss, as Chavo Classic passed on at the age of 68.

Few wrestling families can ever match the Guerrero dynasty in terms of their great contributions to the business. Chavo Sr. was no different: he lent longevity and prestige to the Guerrero name, from the Mexico to the territories, from Japan to various wrestling promotions in the United States. And for a man whose family name means “warrior,” Chavo Guerrero Sr.’s place in wrestling history stands among some of the greatest of them all.

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