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Hugo Savinovich (February 15, 1959) is a former Ecuadorian professional wrestler, formerly employed with WWE, where he was one half of the Spanish announce team for the company's TV shows and pay-per-view (PPV) events. He was a color commentator and partner of Carlos Cabrera and occasionally Marcelo Rodríguez. When he worked with Rodriguez, he was the play-by-play announcer. Their audio can be accessed in the United States via the SAP feature on most TV sets. He is currently working for Lucha Underground as their Spanish play-by-play commentator.
He was married to the famous former female wrestler Wendi Richter. He is married to wife Diana and has two sons: Jovannie and Genaro.
Before his current stint as a commentator, Savinovich had been a wrestler for many years, performing in many Caribbean countries like Puerto Rico, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. He claims that becoming a professional wrestler literally saved his life, as he was originally a punk Latino gang member in the streets of New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He joined the sport under the guidance of Johnny "El Toro" Maldonado. Mexican wrestling promoter Arturo Mendoza took him to Puerto Rico, where he lived for close to 14 years. He was originally a "tecnico" (the Puerto Rican wrestling term for a "face", or "good guy"); after breaking up with his original wrestling partner, Little Chief Cherokee (and with Mendoza) he joined the local World Wrestling Council franchise in Puerto Rico, Capitol Sport Promotions (owned partially by Carlos Colón), where he gained notoriety for being one of the "rudo" wrestlers (i.e., "heels", or wrestling villains), with a penchant for flamboyancy and self-promotion that gained him his most famous ring name, "El Muñecazo" ("The Big Baby Doll"). Savinovich is on record as stating that he modeled his role after Gorgeous George, although his looks were particular to him and him alone (long hair with a mullet and David Letterman-like gapped teeth). He did promote his wrestlers using a high-pitched voice and fast delivery resembling that of [drag racing radio advertisements in the United States. This also gave him the chance to develop his skills as a color commenter for wrestling matches, using a loud and fast narrative style -which he pioneered, since called "estilo lucha libre" ("wrestling style") in Puerto Rico.
Hugo then moved to the United States. Most notoriously, he managed Abdullah the Butcher. He eventually became a partner at Capitol, only to split with Colón a few years after in a rather acrimonious business dispute. Personal disputes with the league's management forced his return to Puerto Rico, where he spent close to five years at Capitol's rival company, All-Star Sports. His colorful personality and success promoting All-Star led the WWF to reconsider bringing him back, to which Hugo consented.
Savinovich and Cabrera have a show at WWE.com called WWE En Español' (WWE in Spanish), which lasts about 30 minutes; it is a recap of Raw and SmackDown! shows, along with coverage of Pay Per Views. The show celebrated its 100th episode in April 2006. Currently, WWE launched a mini show starring Hugo and Carlos called 28 Segundos which consists of the announcers making fun of life. The show is in Spanish and can be found on WWE.com.
In recent years, while working for WWE on their pay per views, the area in which he works with Cabrera, commonly known as the Spanish announcers' table, has become a staple in professional wrestling. It is a convenient device for wrestlers to execute dramatic moves on, such as the Piledriver or the Pedigree. The moves almost always result in the destruction of the table.
One of the most famous on-air incidents that Savinovich was involved in with WWE was at WrestleMania XIX, when he "accidentally" received a chair shot to the head from Hulk Hogan in the match between Hogan and Vince McMahon after McMahon ducked a chair shot. He was unable to continue with the Spanish broadcast and Cabrera had to finish the show by himself.
Savinovich and Cabrera will travel to the PPV site to provide live broadcast commentary in Spanish, however they perform their live Raw and SmackDown! commentary from the WWE Television Studios in Stamford, Connecticut. Since the start of 2007, the Spanish announce team is no longer at ringside at PPV events. This is due to all PPV's using all three WWE brands, so all three WWE announce teams (Lawler and Cole, Ross and Tazz, and Grisham and Striker been present at ringside.