El Matador

El Matador

Tito Santana. Former WWF Intercontinental Champion. Former WWF Tag Team Champion. One of the most popular wrestlers of the early 80’s.

Despite all the accolades listed above, Vince McMahon saw Tito’s star begin to fade in the early 90’s. So what’s the good promoter to do? Give the poor sap a few wins? BZZZZT! You obviously weren’t around in the early 90’s. No, he would, of course, give Tito a makeover!

Ol’ Vinnie Mac grabbed his copy of “Insulting Stereotypes for Dummies,” and decided that since Tito was from Mexico, he should be a bull fighter. Tito would become EL MATADOR. That would re-ignite his career faster than a four Rolaid trip to Mrs. Santana’s for dinner!

For the part, Vince and Co. filmed a series of vignettes showing Tito bull fighting. Of course, they couldn’t actually show Tito bullfighting, since he might accidentally get gored. So the Titan video crew used one of the oldest tricks in the book, and filmed Tito up close (so close you could see his eye boogers), then pulled back to what appeared to be the roof of the arena and showed someone else dressed up like Santana fighting the bull. It looked like an Ed Wood movie. Even the densest of marks had to have know it was all fake.

The WWF even came up with some cockamamie story about how Tito’s ancestors were bull fighters. They filmed his home, which now had bullfighting memorabilia up all over the place, and Tito shilled for the character as best he could.

Of course, since Vince never, you know, actually pushed the guy, it made no impact on his career. Tito continued to flounder on the undercard, buried in feuds with fellow outcasts like the Repo Man and The Model. Santana was last seen in a one night appearance in WCW taking on (and defeating) Jeff Jarrett.

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