El Gran Davis
|El Gran Davis|
He may not be a known name for those that have gotten into lucha libre during the last few years, but to the ones that had a chance to see him while he was still alive, the name will bring them good memories.
El Gran Davis was born David Patiño Orozco in Veracruz, Veracruz, and debuted as a rudo in 1953 in Orizaba, Veracruz in a singles match against Jorge Oropeza who defeated him in two falls in a row. He was only 160 cm tall (5'3") and a welterweight, then middleweight so he did not advance a lot in the cards and was always opening or second match of the card material in the big arenas, though he enjoyed some success in the smaller circuits. He also wrestled some as Mr. Galaxia under a mask that he lost against Gallo Tapado.
He became a referee in the late 70s, but he truly found his niche in the business when he started his heel referee routine. His gimmick was his black glove, which he'd thrust triumphantly into the air to show his "black heart". Davis had a short "babyface referee" turn in 1990, but he came back to his roots in February of 1991, when he turned on Rayo de Jalisco Jr.
By this point, Davis was the most over referee in the world, in that he was a key part of his promotion's storylines and had merchandising of his persona (t-shirts and gloves) sold inside and outside the arena, so his sudden death was a shocking event in the world of Mexican wrestling in that it was totally unexpected and brought a lot of controversy because of the nature of the happening.
Davis had been suffering for years from hypertension and for several days before his death, from pneumonia. He was sent home to rest by the promotion, but on his own will and without telling anybody, he showed up to work the card at Arena Mexico on Sunday, November 3 of 1991. He was told to go home again, but he insisted on staying because he was the focus of the finish of the main event. That main event saw Cien Caras defeat Konnan El Barbaro in two straight falls and in both falls the finish was Konnan being disqualified for striking the referee.
The end of the second fall saw Davis take a couple of big bumps from blows by Konnan to Davis' head. The match ended about 7:15 pm and by 8:00 pm Davis had returned home with his family and some friends. By 10:00 he was complaining of a major headache and 30 minutes later he was so debilitated that he could not even move. When his condition had not improved by midnight, his family called for an ambulance to take Davis to the "La Raza" Social Security medical center. He was admitted at 12:30 and given medication immediately to lower his blood pressure. Fifteen minutes later he was reported to be weakening but his blood pressure was under control. At 1:00, former luchador Adolfo "El Patrón" Bonales visited Davis, who seemed to be revitalized by the visit. At 2:00 am an electrocardiogram was done, and five minutes he took a turn for the worse: he started tossing and turning and shouting how he felt fine and wanted to leave the hospital, and was quickly sedated. Around 3:00 Davis revived briefly, then returned to sleep for the last time. At 4:15 pm, Davis quietly and peacefully passed away before his family and friends. The official cause of the death was a brain aneurysm. Originally, the cause of the death was listed as a heart attack, but as reported in the "La Aficion" of Thursday, November 7, the body was nearly exhumed in order to conduct a second autopsy before the cause of the death was corrected.
Davis was buried a day after his death, on November 4, at "Los Jardines del Parque" in his wife's hometown of Torreón, Coahuila. He was survived by his wife Raquel Cabrera, and his children Rosa María (27 at the time), Martha (26), and Osvaldo (19) who shortly wrestled in 1992 as Tor-Ver at Arena Coliseo DF.
The real story behind the death will probably never be fully known. How solidly Konnan's blows connected, or even if they did, was the crux of a doubt that carried well onto 1992. On the Galavision TV show broadcasted on Sunday, January 5, 1992, Dr. Alfonso Morales clearly implied that accidental blows by Konnan led to Davis' head. The lucha magazine "Alarma" said that the death was only because of Konnan's fault, and that he was the one to blame. That magazine shouldn't be taken seriously because it was a minor, mediocre magazine that used cheap sensationalism to try to get a piece of the market, but it only added to the fire. Konnan in fact attended the funerary service for Davis to give his condolences to his family, but he was harshly insulted and booted out of the place by the Patiño-Cabrera family.
The subject was forgotten some time later and it was never mentioned again, even by Konnan's worst enemies, which perhaps tells us that the reaction to accuse Konnan as an assassin was an emotional reaction and not a well thought possibility. But what is sure that beyond the controversy there was a man that built a big legacy behind himself, a man that is still classified as one of the best referees ever in Mexico and undoubtedly the most popular one, and a man that paved the way for another rudo referees like El Tirantes, Gato Montini or Rafa El Maya that enjoyed big success after Davis.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|??/??/??||mask||Gran Davis||The Blue Angel||unknown|
|??/??/??||mask||Gran Davis||El Jaguar||Central America|
|??/??/??||hair||Gran Davis||Joe Marin||unknown|
|??/??/??||mask||Gran Davis||Fantasma Azul||unknown|
|??/??/??||hair||Huracan Ramirez||Gran Davis||unknown|
|??/??/??||hair||The Tempest||Mano Blanca||Central America|
|??/??/??||hair||The Tempest||Gran Davis||Central America|
|??/??/??||hair||La Sombra||Gran Davis||Central America|
|??/??/??||hair||El Halcon||Gran Davis||Mexicali, Baja California|
|1962/08/05||hair||Cavernario Galindo II||Gran Davis||Mexicali, Baja California|
|1972/06/??||mask||Huracán Ramírez||La Tarántula||Guatemala|
|Current CMLL (DF) Referees|
|Babe Richard - Bestia Negra - Edgar el Güero - Pompín - Terror Chino - Tigre Hispano - Tirantes|
|Former EMLL/CMLL Referees|
|Adonis Salazar - Angel Azteca - Chucho - Gato Montini - Gonzalo Avendano - Gran Davis - Pepe Casas - Rafa El Maya - Roberto Rangel - Rodolfo Ruíz|