Gino Rivera: CWFAZ’s First Champion

By J. Tyler

Gino Rivera

Championship Wrestling from Arizona has a new Arizona State Champion…and he told you so. The “Puerto Rican Pitbull” Gino Rivera defeated Manny Lemons in the final match of the Arizona Championship Tournament to take home the gold. This is the first title won by the Brooklyn native, but far from his first accomplishment in pro wrestling.

Debuting in 2009, Gino’s resume already boasts many individual accomplishments, including winning the 2014 UEW West Coast Cruiser Cup, as well as being part of the Los Primos Rivera tag team with his cousin Danny “LimeLight” Rivera. He continues to apply his craft to many promotions in California, New Mexico and Arizona.

Gino and Danny Rivera – Los Primos Rivera

With the Arizona title now around his waist, Gino is very confident about his future as champion.

“Winning the AZ championship means so much to me. All the hard work, all the negative people who told me, ‘You’re too small… You’ll never leave this town… You’ll be wanted, on drugs, broke, poor, in the streets begging for change, dead or in jail before your turn 21.’ [The win] made me feel so special. I showed them all.”

Rivera jaw-jacks with the packed crowd at the Nile Theater. (Photo by Jeramie McPeek)

What’s next for Arizona’s first Champion? “Where do I go from here? I’m already at the top! I’m gonna be here forever! I’m the king of the mountain and I’ll push off anyone who decides they wanna climb up. I always say that I’m the first, the last, and ONLY Arizona state champion. I mean what I say and I say what I mean.”

The brash champion does have his work cut out for him as the list of contenders for the Arizona State Championship is rich with solid challengers. It will be interesting to see how Rivera can adapt. Gino Rivera is never at a loss for words, especially when it comes to being the first CWFAZ Arizona State Champion. Just ask him… he’ll tell you so.