Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Al Perez is easily one of the most, if not the most, underrated professional wrestler ever to grace a professional wrestling ring. Also known as “The Latin Heartthrob”, Al Perez’s real claim to fame came as the one time champion in the World Class Championship Wrestling organization. He had notable feuds against the Von Erich’s, Kerry in particular and the Dingo Warrior. He’s also feuded with the likes of Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff in the NWA and formed a good tag team with Larry Zbyzsko. The Latin Heartthrob sure lived up to his name as he had the looks, the cockiness and pure wrestling talent to have been the next Ric Flair. Like Flair, Al Perez held the WCCW Title with class but also like Flair, Perez wouldn’t hesitate to bend a rule in order to win a match.
Al Perez was a master at such wrestling maneuvers as the belly to back suplex and the sleeper hold. He was trained by Steve Keirn and Boris Malenko and debuted in 1982. He has held titles in almost every company he was with such as World Class Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Council and the PWF in Florida. Al Perez also was a successful tag team wrestler and has held many different tag team belts with the likes of Joe Savoldi and the “Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez. He wrestled in the NWA and not too many people know or remember that the Latin Heartthrob also wrestled in the WWF for a short time.
Also, while in WCW, he was the masked wrestler, the Black Scorpion, who wrestled against Sting in the fall of 1990 at the Clash of the Champions Super Card. He lost to Sting in what should have been deemed as a classic match. He should have been wrestling Sting, Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Barry Windham for titles as well. He left WCW after a contractual dispute and then moved on to the WWE for a less than stellar stint there. Apparently Al Perez, like so many other wrestlers and fans, disliked the WWE’s “cartoon-like” gimmicks. In fact, he turned down some gimmicks that the WWE offered him so was relegated to wrestling in sub par matches and forced to job to wrestlers who were below his caliber, like Paul Roma, Jim Powers and Hercules Hernandez. He should have been feuding with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Curt Hennig, Randy Savage, and Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental title and the World title. At the very least, Al Perez would have made a very good King of the Ring.
“The Latin Heartthrob” Al Perez retired from active wrestling in 1996 due to an injury. However, he did wrestle in 2001 for Liberty All-Star Wrestling out of Philadelphia but retired again shortly after that. Al Perez should have been a much talked about legend in pro wrestling. A legend like Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, et al. He should have been a Hall of Fame wrestler but in my opinion, the companies he wrestled for, lacked vision. Thank goodness WCCW saw the potential in him and his looks or no one probably would have heard of him.