Henry Romero (May 24, 1931 – January 15, 2006) was an American professional wrestler better known as "Rapid" Ricky Romero. Romero was best known for being a huge drawing card in the U.S. state of Texas during the 1970s.
Pro wrestling career
He wrestled in every major market between 1955 into the 1980s. Ricky tagged with the likes of Pedro Morales in the World Wrestling Association (WWA), Terry Funk and Nick Bockwinkel in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and Rito Romero in the WWF. He got his huge break, when Dory Funk Sr. brought him into the Amarillo, Texas area during a time of segregation between races. Ricky Romero was the first Hispanic wrestler in the area and gained a fan given nickname "SuperMex".
Legacy in Amarillo
In 1972 he beat Terry Funk in a most popular wrestler contest in Amarillo, was a top draw for Gory Guerrero in El Paso, Texas as well as for Fritz Von Erich in Dallas, Texas, and Paul Boesch in Houston, Texas. He was such a top draw in the Rocky Mountain area Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, that Dory Sr. invented the Rocky Mountain Title just for Ricky which he retired in the early 80s.
Ricky Romero as a singles wrestler, went up against the likes of Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, Wild Red Berry, and Jack Brisco. Romero was also one of the first pioneers to work for Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki in Japan, wearing a mask as Mexico Grand' as a heel. Ricky Romero retired as a professional wrestler in the early 1980s.
Ricky Romero was married to Stella Marrujo on December 17, 1949. He is the father of wrestlers Ricky Romero Jr, Steven Romero, Mark Romero and Chris Romero. All four wrestled using the gimmick last name "Youngblood". Ricky also served as manager to sons Mark and Chris throughout the late 1980s. Ricky's grandson is also a professional wrestler who used to wrestle under the name "Radical" Ricky Romero III until 2009 when he started using Ricky Youngblood Jr, following the tradition of the rest of his family.
On January 15, 2006 Ricky Romero died at the age of 74 after years of complications due to diabetes. He was buried in Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas, beside his wife Stella Marrujo and son Steven Nicolas Romero, aka Jay Youngblood.
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version) (1 time)
- NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Amarillo version) (1 time)
- NWA North American Tag Team Championship (Amarillo version) (7 times) – with Dory Funk Sr. (5), Cyclone Anaya (1), and Eric Rommel (1)
- NWA Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Championship (5 times)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (5 times)
- NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (11 times) – with Terry Funk (2), Moose Morowski (2), Dory Funk, Jr. (2), Nick Kozak (2), Lord Alfred Hayes (1), Silver Streak (1) and Akihisa Takachiho (1)