International superstar Ciclon Negro passes away at 80

Romon Rodriguez, best known as Ciclon (sometimes spelled Cyclon and Cyclone) Negro, among the most underrated performers of the last 50 years, passed away at the age of 80.

He had been living in Melbourne, FL.

Rodriguez was a former boxer who would do stunts to show how hard his head was, breaking boards over it and things even worse, but was a headliner all over the world during a career that went from 1956 to 1982.  While he is not talked about much these days, among wrestlers he was considered one of the best performers in the ring of his era.

He started in his native Venezeula in 1956, and came to North America for the first time in 1960.  His best runs were in San Francisco, where he headlined at the Cow Palace on several occasions, Florida, where he had main event runs at different times against the likes of Jack Brisco and Dusty Rhodes, as well as in Australia and Japan (where he was a masked star, Caribs Hurricane, against The Destroyer).

His greatest success came in the early 70s working out of Amarillo, where he had legendary Texas death matches against the likes of Dory Funk Sr. and Terry Funk.  He was the top heel in the territory for years and considered one of the biggest drawing cards in history in that part of the country.

In 1974, when there was such a great demand for Brisco as world champion, the Amarillo promotion created the International title.  The idea was it would be the No. 2 title in the NWA, and they would book the heel champoin in different territories similar to how the world champion was booked.  Negro was picked to be champion, but only a few territories were interested in paying a premium price to have a No. 2 title that would make their own regional belt seem like No. 3, and the title idea disappeared.   

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