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Gory’s story: Borderland legend becomes first pro wrestler inducted into El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame

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Guerrero Family
Gory Guerrero is part of the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2020

EL PASO, Texas - Nothing ever came easy for Gory Guerrero, except maybe wrestling.

Guerrero's first wrestling match was in 1937, and it would be the spark of a legendary wrestling career that spanned six decades.

His journey in wrestling would lead him to El Paso where he and his wife would raise their six children.

An icon in the world of pro-wrestling in both Mexico and in the U.S., one thing that alluded Guerrero, was a spot among the best athletes in El Paso.

It wasn't until 2020 that Guerrero would earn his rightful place in the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.

It wasn't easy getting Guerrero inducted, and he certainly didn't need the acknowledgement.

However, for a man who meant so much to the Borderland community, the honor was definitely warranted.

Guerrero won numerous championships throughout his wrestling career, and later found success as a wrestling promoter.

He promoted hundreds of wrestling events in both El Paso and Juarez.

Despite his accomplishments in the ring, Guerrero's daughter, Linda Rodriguez, remembers her father's generous heart helping Borderland charities.

"He was a giver, he was not a taker," Rodriguez said. "Always giving and trying to figure out how to give. To me, my dad has always been my hero."

Guerrero also trained future wrestlers, including his four sons who would follow in his footsteps.

Each of his sons, Salvador, Hector, Mando, and Eddie would go on to have successful wrestling careers of their own, the most successful being his youngest son, Eddie.

Eddie Guerrero would find success and become champion in professional wrestling's top promotion, the WWE.

Gory Guerrero also trained Hector Rincon, who also had dreams of being a pro wrestler.

Rincon trained alongside Eddie Guerrero and the two became the best of friends.

"Gory was to the world of professional wrestling what Henry Ford was to the automobile, he was a pioneer," Rincon said. "Gory would correct you when you did something wrong, but when you did something right, he wasn't going to give you a compliment."

Rincon recalls Gory wouldn't yell to get his point across, and for a man of his age, Gory was still in pretty good shape.

Gory Guerrero died in 1990 at the age of 69.

Already a member of the hall of fame in Mexico and a member of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in the U.S., getting into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame was a challenge.

SportsTalk radio host, Steve Kaplowitz, kept submitting Gory's name for induction into the hall of fame.

It took Kaplowitz five nominations to finally get Gory elected.

"Gory belonged in the hall of fame, years and years ago, he really did," Kaplowitz said. "Just because it's professional wrestling and some people might have had a bias towards that, I think you realize the kind of shape your body has to be in. Also, what he's meant to not just professional wrestling in Mexico, but he did so much here in El Paso and helped so many people."

Rodriguez says she broke down when Kaplowitz told her the news that her father was finally voted in.

"I just couldn't talk, I couldn't keep the conversation going," Rodriguez said. "It was very emotional and very heartfelt. Very exciting and just great news to hear."

Gory's inclusion into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame is an acknowledgment that wrestlers are athletes.

Rincon, who to this day still wrestlers at local wrestling events, says wrestling training is no different than the training other athletes do for other sports.

"Going on a 2-mile run is totally different from being in the ring for about 15-20 minutes with a wrestler," Rincon said. "The conditioning is there, the athleticism is there, anybody that says wrestlers aren't athletes, they're sadly mistaken."

Rincon also became a pro wrestling trainer.

Rincon's former student, Randy Terrez, now runs his own wrestling training school in El Paso, Pro Wrestling Zen.

The moves taught at Pro Wrestling Zen, go back to the Guerrero style of wrestling

"The knowledge all kind of passes down," Terrez said. "Using those maneuvers is a great way to say thank you to those who have paved the way."

Two of Gory Guerrero's sons, Chavo and Eddie Guerrero, have since passed away.

Rodriguez hopes with her father's induction, more Guerreros will be honored in the future.

"I hope it does open the door, for not just Eddie, but for my brothers and my nephew," Rodriguez said.

ABC-7 Xtra / Sports / Texas Sports / Video
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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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