This is a new series where I’ll be checking in with some fond memories of those wrestlers who got over but never got to the top. A mini-celebration of some favorite midcard babyfaces that we loved, but who didn’t love in the main event. We continue this series with El Matador, Tito Santana.
How They Got Their Start
A true unicorn, Tito Santana started as a babyface and stayed that way his entire career. I mean, just look at that handsome sumbitch right there. Who could ever boo that punim? That would be like booing kittens, or pie. A pie made by kittens. A pie they made just for you. A pie — you get it. Moving on.
Just like fellow Midcard Face Manny Fernandez, Merced Solis got his start playing football at West Texas State as a tight end, catching passes from [checks notes] holy shit, quarterback Tully Blanchard. I can only assume that Tully’s part of the touchdown celebrations was to pull a foreign object from his pads, jab Tito in the eye when the ref wasn’t looking and then wink at the second most attractive cheerleader.
After having a cup of coffee with the Kansas City Chiefs, Solis took off his eye bandage and let his good friend Tully Blanchard introduce him to the world of wrestling. Tully then raked him in the eyes again and flew business class to Arn Anderson’s house. Again, just speculation here.
The newly-christened Tito Santana was trained by Matsuda and Bob Orton, then debuted in 1977 in that legendary birthing pool of midcard faces, Championship Wrestling From Florida. He got a little extra seasoning in Georgia Championship Wrestling, bounced back and forth between the WWF and the AWA for a year or two and finally landed in WWF for the long haul.