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Tito Santana

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Tito Santana - (born May 10, 1953, as Merced Solis, in Mission, TX) is a WWF great, having won the WWF Intercontinental championship twice and the WWF Tag Team Championship twice (first with Ivan Putski in 1979-80, then with Rick Martel in 1987-88).

During a time when the WWF was dominated by behemoths like Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, and others, Tito Santana was a highly-skilled workhorse, and his matches were typically the most competitive on the card. He was also extremely loyal to Vince McMahon and Vince McMahon Sr. and he is the only person who performed at the first nine WrestleMania events, beginning with the opening match at the inaugural event to a dark match at WrestleMania IX.

Tito Santana's most successful run in the company came between February 1984 (after defeating The Magificent Muraco for the WWF Intercontinental championship) until losing the title to Randy Savage in February 1986. In October 1987, he teamed with Rick Martel to defeat the Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag Team championship, which they defended until WrestleMania IV when Demolition beat them for the titles. The following year, Martel abandoned Santana during a match with the Brain Busters, which triggered one of the most intense feuds in WWF hitory.

Despite his popularity, Tito Santana rarely won very many matches after 1988. In a rare exception, he defeated Akeem by count-out in a 1990 tournament for the vacant WWF Intercontinental title to reach the finals, where he lost to Mr. Perfect. The two had a rematch on Saturday Night's Main Event, which is the quintessential Tito Santana match of this period. In 1991, he was repackaged as "El Matador" and feuded with Ted DiBiase briefly, but his new character did not result in a push.

After his WWF run, he defeated Don Muraco (aka The Magificent Muraco) for the original ECW World Heavyweight Championship in August 1993, so he can be called a "former-World champion" since the championship achieved national World title status later.

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