Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pedro El Grande

Pedro Puig was born in Puerto Rico and started wrestling there. In 1978, he drifted into Arizona and remained active for over a  decade, before  a back injury forced him into retirement.As  Pedro El Grande,  he made a  name for himself in the Pheonix area.

Throughout the 1980s, Pedro feuded with the Lumberjacks. Sometimes he teamed with David Rose and sometimes with Cowboy Bob Yuma but no matter what the combination was, the matches ended in invariable brawls.

Pedro also appeared as a single facing Maniac Mike Gordon, Sneaky Red Smith, Tony Hernandez, Ron Newstrome, John Ringer, Ringo Rodriguez and others. He and Jody Arnold also squared off in a major Phoenix main event against Ringer and special partner, Billy Graham.

Other opponents included Hercules Stevenson, Masked Frankenstein, Hollywood Brown, Mr. X, The Detroit Mauler, Mr Southern Comfort, The Golden Eagle and  The Viking 

For a time he also worked as a WWF referee in the Phoenix/Tucson area.

Aside from wrestling, Pedro was an established carpenter and electrician,. He re-wired several small arenas for promoters and built a couple rings.

His style was a technical one, utilizing a number of on the ground holds with sensational flying dropkicks.

His wife also wrestled briefly as Lucky Leslie and his sister-in-law  had a brief stint as Princess Margo.

Though always a fan favorite as Pedro El Grande, he did some spots as a rulebreaker under a mask.

He was seen on rare occasions across the border in Mexico, most notably in Nogales. There, his feud with The Lumberjacks continued.

Who knows how much further he might have gone had it not been for the back injuries from too many slams that put him out of the game as an active participant? Even so, he remained on the sidelines as a trainer and matchmaker for varied Indy offices for a long time to come.

Aside from wrestling, he likewise beat two of the most deadly opponents around in the 1990s, defeating both a heart attack and prostate cancer.

He is presently going strong.

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