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Jesús Javier Hernández Silva (December 24, 1971October 26, 1993), was a known under the ring name Oro (Gold), a Mexican luchador enmascarado, or masked professional wrestler. Hernández died in 1993 as a direct result of a wrestling match. He was a second generation wrestler, with several of his brothers and cousins being wrestlers as well. His nephew currently works for the Mexican professional wrestling promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) as Oro, Jr. as an homage to his uncle.

Personal life

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, he and his brother Esteban Hernández Silva wanted to become professional luchadores like their father, Esteban Hernandez, who wrestled as Calavera II (The Skull II), forming a tag team known as Los Hermanos Calavera ("The Skull Brothers") with his brother Calavera I. His father was initially reluctant to his sons becoming professional wrestlers, but finally agreed to teach them some basic moves before sending them to the Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL) run gym at Arena Mexico, where they would be given further training by Diablo Velasco before they were allowed to make their in ring debut.

Professional wrestling career

The two brothers made the professional wrestling debut on November 23, 1990. Jesús Javier, at the age of 18, worked under the ring name Oro and his brother used the name Plata (Silver) with identical masks, only one had a gold pattern and the other had a silver pattern. The two were soon joined by a wrestler known as Platino (Platinum) to form a trio tag team known as Los Metalicos (The Metals). The team was quickly matched up against another trios team, a rudo ("Bad guy") trio known as Los Destructores ("The Destroyers"), with whom they had a series of very good matches. The fans quickly responded to the young team, vocally supporting the team when the wrestled, showing appreciation for the fact that Plata and Platino were really skilled, high flying wrestlers and Oro had an aerial wrestling style that was unusual for the time. Oro's frequent and skilled execution of moves off the top rope, helped usher in a style change in Lucha Libre as wrestlers started to incorporate more moves like planchas and topes, inspired by Oro's performances. Jesús Hernández was very dedicated to his profession, always looking for opportunities to innovate or improve, at times disregarding his own health while executing high risk moves such as leaping over the ring ropes onto the floor. Los Metalicos (Oro and Plata) was given their first professional wrestling championship just over a year after their debut, defeating Los Destructores to win the Mexican National Tag Team Championship on December 4, 1991. The following week a match between the two ends in a controversial manner and the titles are vacated. The following week Los Destructores regains the vacant titles. Los Metalicos also captured the Distrito Federal Trios Championship at some point in 1991, but would later lose the Championship to Los Guerreros del Futuro ("The Warriors of the Future"; Damian el Guerrero, Guerrero del Futuro and Guerrero Maya. Oro's popularity earned him an invitation to travel to Japan in 1992, to work Gran Hamada's Universal Lucha Libre promotion, a promotion that showcases the Lucha Libre wrestling style in Japan. His skill and charisma made him an instant hit in Japan and upon his return Oro started to break away from the rest of Los Metalicos, being groomed for a top role in EMLL. He even teamed with two of the biggest names in Lucha Libre, working with Mil Máscaras and Último Dragón.

As Oro moved away from Los Metalicos EMLL replaced him with Bronce (Bronze), a wrestling character patterned on Oro's image, replacing gold with Bronze. EMLL put Oro in a storyline feud with veteran wrestler Mano Negra (The Black Hand). On May 23, 1993, Oro would defeat Mano Negra to win the NWA World Middleweight Championship. This would be the only singles title Oro would hold during his short but memorable career. Mano Negra would regain the title three weeks later, on July 3. EMLL's plans was to escalate the storyline, ending with the two wrestlers meeting in a Luchas de Apuestas ("Bet Match") where both wrestlers would wager their mask on the outcome. At the time Oro expressed a desire to spend more time with his family and travel less, wanting to retire no later than 1994, with Oro's desire to stop wrestling EMLL replaced Oro with Atlantis as the wrestler to unmask Mano Negro, giving Atlantis a boost since he would be around for the long run.

Death and memorial

On October 26, 1993, Oro teamed up La Fiera and Brazo de Plata to face the team of Kahoz, Dr. Wagner, Jr. and Jaque Mate at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City. Before the match, while going over the plans for the match Oro said he wanted to take a "Kobashi bump" during the match, a reference to a head first backdrop driver which Kenta Kobashi took in a match in All Japan Pro Wrestling. That particular bump had a dramatic effect, as it looked like Kobashi had broken his neck and Oro wanted to use the shock effect to help build the drama for their match. During the match, Kahoz clotheslined Oro, who spun and landed on his head as he had planned. His opponent tried to pick him up, but soon thereafter he collapsed and his pulse became weak. Oro was put on a stretcher at the start of the second fall while his brother screamed, "Don't fall asleep!", warning him to remain alert so that he wouldn't lose consciousness. Oro died before being placed in an awaiting ambulance. He was twenty-one years old at the time of his death. Oro's family requested that an autopsy not be performed; however, it was believed that he died of a brain aneurysm. The following day the news of Oro's death headlined every lucha libre publication in Mexico and even the rival promotion AAA paid a tribute to Oro during their show, something they had rarely done for a worker of their rival promotion. In 1994 and 1995 close to the date of Oro's death EMLL held a Copa de Oro tournament, a tag team tournament where the winners would be presented a trophy by Oro II. The 1994 tournament winners were Apolo Dantés and El Dandy and the 1995 tournament was won by Chicago Express and Pierroth, Jr..

Each year, around the anniversary of Jesús Javier Hernández Silva's death the Lucha Libre community organizes a religious mass in memory of Jesús Hernández as well as other major names in Lucha Libre that has died in the previous year. The mass takes place in Arena Coliseo, the arena where Oro died. A number of wrestlers have cited Oro as their inspiration for becoming a wrestler or an inspiration for them adopting a faster, more high flying, high risk style by the work he did in the ring.

Oro in Lucha Libre

Jesús Javier Hernández was such a popular wrestler and in ring character that the name has been used by a number of other wrestlers over the years.

  • Oro II, his brother Ismael Hernández Solís who worked as under the ring name Plata before Oro's death, changed his name in honor of his brother. Only used the name until 1995
  • Oro II (Second version), Ismael Hernández Islas, another brother who adopted the name and mask in 1995.
  • Orito, a Mini-Estrella version of Oro that was active before Oro's death.
  • Oro, Jr. (I), Orito moved to the regular sized division and changed his name.
  • Oro, Jr., son of Ismael Hernández Solís, nephew of the original Oro. Began working for CMLL in late 2011.

The Hernández wrestling family

The Hernández family has been in the professional wrestling business for three generations, starting with the brothers collectively known as Los Hermanos Calavera ("The Skull Brothers"), their six sons and one grand son who either is or has been professional wrestlers.

Hermano Calavera II
Hermano Calavera I
Oro II
Plata II
Calavera, Jr.
Bronce II
Oro, Jr.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves

Championships and accomplishments

  • PWI ranked him # 249 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003.

External links

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