wrestling / News

Former WWE Triple Crown Champion Pedro Morales Passes Away at 76

February 12, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Pedro Morales

– Former WWE announcer Hugo Savinovich announced on Facebook today that WWE Hall of Famer and former world champion, Pedro Morales, has sadly passed away. He was 76 years old.

Morales had recently been battling Parkinson’s disease. He became the first wrestler to become a WWE Triple Crown title winner with the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental title, and the WWE Tag Team Championship. Morales retired from the ring in 1987. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.

His title reign made him the first Latino world champion, and he held the WWE World Championship for 1,027 days. It is among the top five longest title reigns recognized by WWE.

On behalf of 411, we send our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Pedro Morales.

WWE.com also acknowledged his passing. You can read WWE’s statement on Morales below:

WWE is saddened to learn WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales has passed away.

A native of Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, Morales moved to New York in his youth and debuted in the ring in 1959 at age 17. After establishing his reputation as a fiery competitor in WWE on the east coast, Morales traveled west to territories in Texas and California, where he competed for much of the 1960s. In California, he battled The Destroyer in a famous rivalry, and formed a popular tag team with Pepper Gomez.

Morales returned to WWE in 1970, and in less than a year, he captured the WWE Championship from Ivan Koloff inside Madison Square Garden. During his nearly three years on top, Morales developed a passionate following in the northeast, particularly among New York City’s growing Hispanic population. More than 22,000 fans turned out to Shea Stadium in 1972 to watch him battle close friend and former champion Bruno Sammartino in the main event of the inaugural Showdown at Shea supercard. After 75 minutes of action, the bout was ruled a draw in accordance with the state athletic commission’s strict 11 p.m. curfew.

He held the WWE Title for a staggering 1027 days before losing it to Stan Stasiak in December 1973. Morales puts his name in the record books again in 1980 when he won the World Tag Team Titles with Bob Backlund and then the Intercontinental Title to become the first Triple Crown Champion in WWE history.

Morales hung up his boots in 1987 but continued on as an ambassador for sports-entertainment. He later became a commentator for both WCW and WWE’s Spanish announce teams, and in 1995, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

WWE extends its condolences to Morales’ family, friends and fans.

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Pedro Morales, WWE, Jeffrey Harris