The one-time WWE wrestling champ, Salvador "Chavo" Guerrero Jr., has a long and storied history with wrestling. Like most wrestlers, he has incurred his share of injuries, battles with archrivals and the constant need for re-invention. But Chavo’s latest life chapter may be his greatest ever.
One that might even land him in the annals of pop culture history.
A year ago, Chavo says, he realized he had to get out of wrestling once and for all—before it was too late. “It’s not good to be in past your prime. It was time to find a new platform,” he told Fox News Latino.
So, when Lion Forge Comics approached him and suggested a series based on his life and his family background, Chavo said he knew it could break new ground.
The Guerrero wrestling tradition began with Chavo’s father, Salvador Guerrero III, born in 1949. He’s also known colloquially, at this late date, as "Chavo Classic."
Chavo’s uncle was Eddie Guerrero, also known as “Latino Heat," a crafty, resourceful wrestler who would do anything to win a match. His catchphrase was, "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!," which was used in one of his entrance themes. Eddie played off this phrase in the title to his autobiography, "Cheating Death, Stealing Life."
Unfortunately, he couldn't cheat it forever. In 2005, Chavo found his uncle unconscious on the floor of his hotel room. He performed CPR on Eddie, but was unable to revive him.
“He was the first person to ever kick my ass," he said. "I was maybe 10-years-old. I probably deserved it. I’m sure I did something bad. I was always getting into trouble back then.”
Chavo said, “I always wanted to be a wrestler. In my sixth-grade yearbook, under my photo was what I wanted to be when I grew up? 'A wrestler' was written.”
The comic books will be titled "Warriors Creed" and are due to be released officially in the fall – although Comic-Con International fans got a sneak peek. The story begins in a small town (Ciudad Juárez, Mexico) in the 1930s. The town surrounds a sacred lagoon made of dragon’s blood that has magical powers.
When Guererro Sr., Chavo’s grandfather, needs the power to fight an evil mafia who want to take control of the town and the lagoon, he drinks from the lagoon and becomes super-human.
He defeats the mafia, and that’s the end of the story—he thinks. Fast forward to today: When Chavo must once again fight the mafia to retain control of the town, he has to dip into his family’s Aztec lineage and find the blood of the lagoon. He too gains super-powers.
“This feels very natural to me. I’ve gotten into trouble my whole life fighting for what I believe in," he said. "I believe in standing up to bullies, and that’s what this character and series is about.”
This new endeavor for Chavo is also about representing his Latino roots. The WWE champ says people come up to him virtually every day and thank him of behalf of "la raza."
“I represent my culture whether I like it or not," he said. "Whatever I do is intentional and I never neglect to ask myself how this looks to Mexican people.”
If "Warriors Creed" ends up a success, Chavo may well be one of the first Latino super-heroes in comic book history to be depicted in games, television or movies.
“Latinos are loyal," he said. "They’ll buy it, if it’s good content. If trillions of dollars are being spent in the U.S. economy by Latinos, and maybe $1.5 trillion is being spent on entertainment, then Hollywood better get smart and start giving Latinos the super-heroes they deserve to have.”.
Rebekah Sager is a nationally published lifestyle and culture writer. She's a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow Rebekah on Twitter @Rebekah_Sager.