Tito Santana won the 1989 King of the Ring tournament and wrestled the very first ever WrestleMania match competing in the first nine, as well as helping bridge the gap between the 1980s "Rock 'n Wrestling Connection" era to the 1990s "New Generation" era.
53 Facts About Tito Santana
Tito Santana was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame class of 2013.
Tito Santana played a single season for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, appearing in 13 regular season games.
Tito Santana joined the World Wrestling Federation defeating Mike Hall in his debut match on Championship Wrestling in 1979.
Tito Santana teamed with Ivan Putski to defeat Johnny Valiant and Jerry Valiant for the World Tag Team Championship WWF Tag Team Championship at Madison Square Garden in October 1979.
Tito Santana left the WWF soon after, joining New Japan Pro-Wrestling for a two-month tour.
Tito Santana wrestled in the American Wrestling Association from 1980 to 1982.
Tito Santana teamed with future tag team partner Rick Martel against the High Flyers on August 29,1982, in St Paul Minnesota.
Tito Santana teamed with Terry Gordy to unsuccessfully challenge The Samoans for the NWA National Tag Team Championship on two occasions.
Tito Santana returned to the WWF in 1983, making his televised return on the May 14 episode of Championship Wrestling by defeating Jose Estrada.
In 1984, Tito Santana fought the Iron Sheik to a double-disqualification for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
Tito Santana then engaged in a lengthy feud with WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight champion, the Magnificent Muraco.
Tito Santana finally won the title on February 11,1984, becoming the first Mexican-American wrestler to win the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship.
Tito Santana returned in December 1984 and set his sights on getting the Intercontinental title back from Valentine.
Tito Santana wrestled at the first WrestleMania, at Madison Square Garden, in March 1985, and in the opening match defeated a masked wrestler known as the Executioner, making him submit to the figure four in 4:05.
Tito Santana made an appearance in the ring later in the card during the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship match between Valentine and Tito Santana's friend the Junkyard Dog.
On Right After Wrestling, hosted by Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas, Tito Santana stated that he was somewhat disappointed with being in the first match at the original WrestleMania in 1985.
Tito Santana said that Vince McMahon later told Santana that his reason for putting him in the opening match was to kick the show off with a quality match, something he knew Santana, as a solid fan-favorite and former Intercontinental champion, would produce.
Tito Santana recaptured the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship from Valentine in a brutal steel cage match in Baltimore on July 6,1985.
In reality however, the WWF had made a new Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship belt to go along with the new image they were trying to promote and smashing the old championship belt was seen as a way of moving forward with Tito Santana having the honor of being the first to wear the new title belt.
The story for WrestleMania III being that the Bulldogs and Tito Santana wanted revenge on Davis as the one responsible for losing their respective titles.
Tito Santana formed the popular tag team Strike Force with Canadian Rick Martel in August 1987.
Immediately after the injury, Tito Santana introduced a new tag team to the WWF, The Powers of Pain, two big, muscled up power wrestlers whom he briefly managed.
Tito Santana even allied with his former archenemies Demolition against Martel, defeating him and The Fabulous Rougeaus in a six-man tag match on June 22,1989, in Hartford, Connecticut.
Tito Santana made it to the finals, where he lost to Mr Perfect.
Tito Santana was the winner and sole survivor in the elimination-style match against Sgt.
Tito Santana would eliminate The Warlord with his Flying forearm before being pinned by DiBiase.
Later in 1991, Tito Santana adopted a Spanish bullfighter gimmick and the nickname "El Matador" after he returned to the WWF.
Tito Santana wrestled under the "El Matador" gimmick through 1993, mostly wrestling jobbers, while losing most matches to higher talent.
Tito Santana defeated friend and frequent tag team partner Virgil on a 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge.
Unfortunately for Tito Santana, despite regaining the IC title from Greg Valentine later in 1985, and two years later winning the Tag Team title with Rick Martel as part of Strike Force, he would never again win a televised match at a WrestleMania event.
Tito Santana continued to wrestle through the first half of 1993 following WrestleMania IX, facing Razor Ramon, Adam Bomb, and Papa Shango.
Tito Santana immediately responded, charging out and dropkicking Atlas out of the ring.
Tito Santana had the upper hand in the bout until Atlas' manager Tony Rumble interfered by distracting and enraging Tito Santana by repeatedly putting Atlas' foot on the rope.
Tito Santana then went after Rumble, pulled him onto the ring apron, and knocked him onto the floor.
In IWCCW Tito Santana resumed his feuds from the WWF with Rick Martel and Greg Valentine, and again wrestled Tony Atlas, who defeated him in a match in Yardville, New Jersey.
Tito Santana played a role in the formative years of ECW.
Tito Santana was both the first and last AWF Heavyweight Champion, defeating Bob Orton, Jr.
Tito Santana was slightly considered the top babyface of the company, and its major champion along with Orton.
Tito Santana returned to the WWF as a commentator in the Spanish Broadcast table, He called on Monday Night Raw, as well as PPV events, he was last doing Spanish commentary at WrestleMania XIV.
On January 10,2000, Tito Santana made a one-time appearance in WCW.
Tito Santana defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Dungeon match on Nitro.
Since 1996, Tito Santana continues to make appearances on the independent circuit.
Tito Santana would hold the title until March 11,1999, when he left the promotion.
Tito Santana defeated his former rival Greg Valentine for the IWA Heavyweight Championship at WrestleReunion 2 on August 27,2005.
Tito Santana later appeared in the "Legends Roll-On" On April 14,2012, he made an appearance wrestling a match for Pro Wrestling Superstars against Shawn Spears defeating him with an inside cradle.
In July 2012, Tito Santana wrestled in Winnipeg MB for Canadian Westling Elite against Matt Fairlane, but was disqualified due to outside interference.
Tito Santana embarked on a three-day tour of Saskatchewan, Canada with High Impact Wrestling Canada.
On September 14,2012, Tito Santana made an unadvertised appearance for Chikara, when he entered the 2012 King of Trios tournament, teaming with Mihara and The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger, with the three losing to the Spectral Envoy in their first round match.
On December 4,2012, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum announced Tito Santana would be inducted into their Modern Category.
Tito Santana has been a Spanish teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township, New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and their three sons; his wife operated a hair salon in Succasunna-Kenvil, New Jersey until January 2022.
Tito Santana teaches wrestling classes at the New Jersey-based Independent Wrestling Federation.
Tito Santana was a physical education teacher for Smalley Elementary School in Bound Brook, New Jersey.