Ari Romero

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Ari Romero
Ari Romero
Name Ari Romero
Real name José Luis Arias Romero
Nicknames El Gato (The Cat), El Rey De las Cadenas (king of the bull terrier match), El Rey Del Tenedor (king of the fork), El Diablo (The Devil), El General, Padre de los Guerreros (The Guerrero's Father)
Name history El Gato (1969 - 1975), Arias Romero (1976 - 1977), Ari "Gato" Romero (1977 - ), Hussein El Gran Sheik/Gran Sheik (09/90 - 09/94), Shadow V (Big Japan), Karma (IWRG, 2002)
Family Ari Romero Jr. (son)
Maestro(s) Lou Thesz
Birth date, location December 20, 1951 - Querétaro, Querétaro
Obituary date December 29, 2013
Debut, location October 1967
Lost mask to Blue Demon Jr. - November 1994 - Arena Coliseo (as Gran Sheik)
Height 5'7"/171 cms
Weight 218 lbs/99 kg
Signature moves Gori Special, Flying Splash
Titles: Queretaro Welterweight Championship, Northern Tag Team Championship (2, w/Flama Roja & Crazy 33), Pacific Islands Tag Team Championship (w/Chief Peter Mavia) WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Title, AWWA World Middleweight Title


Ari Romero had a long career, often wrestling in northern Mexico with runs in Mexico City and Japan. He was also well known for using a fork as a weapon to make his adversaries bleed on every match, and was feared in chain matches. He had the nickname of "El Rey del Tenedor" for a long time, was probably best known for wrestling in Ciudad Juarez where he reached legendary status (he was the top rudo for many years) as well as abroad in Japan, Korea, Mexico, Central America, the Pacific Islands & many parts of the US.

Most fans in the United States are probably more familiar with him wrestling in California appearing early in his career at the L.A. Olympic Auditorium shows where he wrestled as a more technical babyface and later being part of the WIN promotion as one of the top rudos in the group and also occasional heel announcer. He wrestled for years in CMLL in Mexico City and for other promoters throughout Mexico who were affiliated with CMLL. In Juarez, as a rudo he was known for having bloody battles and he gained a number of nicknames besides the one he was most commonly known as “El Gato”.

Ari "el Gato" (The Cat) Romero was part of El Ku Klux Klan along with Flama Roja, and El Legionario in Juarez. (They are not the Ku Klux Klan that was numbered I, II, III - this group just used it as a name for their group, but kept their usual identities.)

He was a 3 time WWA Light Heavyweight Champion, Pacific Islands Heavyweight Champion, & Welter Weight Queretaro State Champion.

Romero had notables feuds Mil Mascaras, Flama Roja, Tinieblas, Rey Misterio, Konnan, Rocky Star, Cinta de Oro, The Guerrero Family, and Blue Demon Jr.

Ari Romero is also a musician in his spare time. Romero not only stuck to Mexico and the Southwest of the US, but traveled the world touring Japan several times, he competed in several countries like El Salvador, Panama, Corea, England, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore.

He defeated great wrestlers (in Mexico, USA, an Japan) such as Colosso Colosetti, La Fiera, Super Delfin, Peter Maivia Jr., Black Magic, Alfonso Dantes, Chavo Guerrero, Mando Guerrero, Hector Guerrero, Gory Guerrero, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Misterio (SR), El Cobarde, Fishman, Konnan, Rocky Star, Tigre de Bengala, Pantera Asesina, Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon Jr., an others.

Also Romero won three hairs (in lucha de apuestas) followed in a week. No one else is known to accomplish this same feat.

He extended his career into acting & singing. He recorded several commercials in Japan for Adidas, Nintendo, the 2002 Japan/Korea FIFA World Cup, Kirin Beer & one of Japans biggest blockbuster movies "Abunai Deka." His latest success was in his musical career which was his passion. He headlined one of Mexico City's most prestigious theaters "Teatro Blanquita" with his musical group "Los Rudos del Ritmo" comprised of fellow wrestlers. Ari eventually recorded 5 albums of his own music. This past 2012 Ari auditioned for the popular show "The Voice-Mexico" & passed the casting. Unfortunately in September he was diagnosed with Cancer & was unable to proceed with the show.

Romero passed away December 29th, 2013 in his native Queretaro, Mexico. He was honored in Juarez after his death, and remains a local legend there. Pagano has been known to use a fork in his matches as an allusion to Romero.

Career Hightlights

  • Ari Romero are the only pro wrestler of the world have won 3 hairs in 1 week (2 luchas de apuestas) beating Doberman, Vulcano & Tony Arce.
  • Romero got his start in Queretaro with under a mask as El Gato.
  • As El Gato lost the mask with Halcon Dorado in a mask vs mask match on 1975 in Mexico City.
  • Ari Romero defeated Tigre de Bengala to win the AWWA World Middle Weight Title (Billed as World Light Heavyweight Championship).
  • Romero lost the hair with Eddie Guerrero in a hair vs hair match on 1987 in Juarez.
  • Ari Romero (masked as Gran Sheik) competed in a Michinoku Pro Wrestling Fukumen Tournament (with Jerry Lynn, Gran Naniwa, Funaki, Great Sasuke, Ari Romero won third place after defeat Super Delfin), which tournament was won by Dos Caras in 1995.
  • Romero w/ Mr. Pogo have a six months win streak on Big Japan Pro Wrestilng.
  • Ari recorded 5 music albums.

Luchas de apuestas record

Date Apuesta Winner(s) Loser(s) Arena and/or Place
73/??/?? hair El Gato Diamante Azul (?) Queretaro
1975 mask Halcon Dorado El Gato Mexico City
1978.08.27 hair Relampago (Chihuahua) Ari Romero Ciudad Juarez
82/06/19 mask/hair Águila Solitaria & Franco Colombo Kid Campeador & Ari Romero Pista Arena Revolución - Mexico City
1984/02/19 hair Doberman Ari Romero Arena México
84/08/18 hair Ari Romero Doberman Pista Arena Revolución - Mexico City
84/08/26 hairs Ari Romero & Franco Colombo Vulcano & Tony Arce Arena México - Mexico City
87/12/20 hair Eddy Guerrero Ari Romero Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
94/11/?? mask Blue Demon Jr. Gran Sheik Arena Coliseo - Mexico City
95/02/09 hair Silver King Ari Romero Pista Arena Revolución - Mexico City
02/10/31 mask (1) Mega Karma Arena Naucalpan - Naucalpan, Mexico State
2007/07/30 mask Hombre Sin Miedo The Custom Cancha de Futbol Rap, Nuevo Laredo
(1) Castillo de la muerte 10 men cage match; Mega and Engendro co-operated to defeat Karma exiting the cage together.


Masked as El Gran Sheik
beginnings as El Gato
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Ari World Middleweight champion
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Ari romero japan.jpg
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