The Mighty Hercules Cortez
1962 World Wrestling Champion
1965 World Heavyweight Champion IWA
1971 World Heavyweight TagTeam Champion AWA
Hercules Cortez, a Basque from Spain, Pro-Wrestled Worldwide 1952-1971
aka Pepe Cortes, Claude Dassary, Hercules Cortes or Cortez, The Mighty Hercules
*** Titles / Belts ***
1962 World Wrestling Champion - Belt for defeating Lou Thesz at Madison Square Garden
Lou Thesz was known as the true "Undisputed Champion" for holding all world titles
1965 World Heavyweight Champion - IWA - International Wrestling Asso
1971 World Heavyweight Tag-Team Champion- AWA- American Wrestling Asso
World Champion Red Bastien
1971 TagTeam Partner
*** Stats ***
Born Alfonso Carlos Chicharro on July 7th, 1932 in Spain.
often reported Jose Alphonso Cortes Chicarro
Ht-6'3" | Wt-285 to 315lbs | Chest 68" | Arms 22" & 23"
He began his professional career as Pepe Cortes in Spain in the early 1950s. After passing through Venezula, he was wrestling as Claude Dassary by 1958 in the US and Canada. He finally settled on "Hercules Cortez" in 1960 at the suggestion of his wife and traveled all over the world wrestling until his death in 1971.
A trademark of Hercules was a giant boulder which he would place in the ring and dare others to lift.. reports are that no one ever did. Boulder lifting was part of his Spanish Basque history, as a training ritual. Wrestlers of his time period included The Shiek, Igor, The Vachons, The Crusher, The Brusier, Gene & Ole Anderson, Killer Kowalski, "Crippler" Ray Stevens, Lou Thesz and many more..
Lou Thesz - Undisputed Wrestling Champion of the 1900s
In the summer of 1962, Madsion Square Gardens headlined the event between Lou Thesz and Hercules Cortez for the Belt of "Worlds Wrestling Champion". Lou Thesz is known as the "Undisputed World Heavyweight" for holding all world titles. Hercules took home the belt (seen in the first photo and still with the family). He won the IWA World Heavyweight Title from Mitsu Arakawa in 1965. Arakawa also held many championship belts. (all stats below)
The Vachons- Paul & Maurice "Mad Dog"
In 1969, Brothers Paul & Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon won the AWA World tag team title from The Crusher & Dick the Bruiser. The Vachons held the title for the longest uninterrupted period of any team in the history of the title, losing May 15, 1971 to the team of Hercules Cortez & Red Bastien in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Hercules Cortez died July 23, 1971 in a car accident in Minneapolis, MN area less than 6 weeks after winning the World TagTeam Title. A video story about this ironic accident is recounted below by Verne Gagne. He also starred in three films, and altho 2 were just bit-parts, he played a major role and was shown on the Movie Poster alongside Chuck Conners in the film- "Kill them and Come Back Alone". His wife, Waltruad & his 3 children, sons Alfonso & Ricardo and daughter Maria, all now reside in the US.
a few weeks before his death..
Information found on the Web
*** Excerpt from the "History of Pro Wrestling in Spain" ***
The top Spanish wrestlers of the era were Hercules Cortes, Oscar Verdu and Rafvela. Cortes (real name Jose Alfonso Cortes Chicarro), was the World Heavyweight champion in 1964. After winning that title promoters from the whole Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and the USA wanted him to wrestle for them. As a youngster he practiced athleticism, he was specially good throwing the javelin (he ranked second in Spain). He became pro wrestler in the mid '50s, as Pepe Cortes. He had an impressing intestinal fortitude and weighed about 310 pounds of pure muscle. He wasn't a technical wrestler, but a terrific brawler, and in the US scored impressive victories over legends "Killer" Kowalski and "Crippler" Ray Stevens. After these victories he signed with the AWA when he became tag team champion with the legendary Red Bastien, but destiny cut Hercules' path to glory, and he was killed in a fatal car accident.
Written by Valentin Maldonado
*** Interview with Verne Gagne ***
This video taped story was recorded in 2000 at the home of Verne Gagne.
longtime wrestler, promoter and trainer of many current wrestling stars
Found on the
AWA Wrestling homepage.
The Story- Hercules Dies
*** Interview with Mad Dog Vachon ***
Legendary Canadian pro wrestling "Mad Dog Vachon" came by the
CANOE on Friday, May 14, 1999 for a live chat with his fans.
Here is an excerpt from the transcript of the chat.
Interviewer: What tag team did you consider the Vachon brothers toughest opponents?
'Mad Dog' Vachon: Certainly, Dick 'The Bruiser' and Crusher, Hercules Cortez and
Red Bastien. We wrestled against The Shiek and Jerry Blackwell, and down south, without a
shadow of a doubt, the Torres brothers. It was billed as the battle of the century when Paul
The Butcher, Mad Dog and Stan Vachon wrestled the three Torres brothers in Atlanta, Georgia.
AWA World Heavyweight Belt | AWA World Heavyweight TagTeam Belt
Wrestling Stats for Wrestlers mentioned herein-
(AWA/NWA/WWWF) / /25-4/17/97; TT-KENJI SHIBUYA-DR.(MR.)MOTO-PROF. TANAKA;
CH-NWA/PCTTC(2X)-(W.MOTO)- (W.SHIBUYA) NWA/CTTC-(W.SHIBUYA) AWA/TTC-(W.MOTO)
(AWA/BTW/IWAJ/NWA/WWWF) TT-LOU BASTIEN=THE BASTIEN BROTHERS-ENRIQUE
TORRES-CRUSHER-BILL HOWARD-JOHN HADY-HERCULES CORTEZ;
CH-WWWF/USTTC(3X)-(W.BASTIEN) NWA/THC(2X)-( / /72- / /72; / /74- / /75)
NWA/SHC-(7/ /68- ) IWAJ/TTC-(W.HOWARD) NWA/CTTC-(W.HADY) NWA/PCJHC-(1/06/57-1/18/57)
AWA/TTC(2X)-(W.CORTEZ)-(W.CRUSHER); PWIT10-#4-AP72-(W.CRUSHER); AWA10-#8-FE74;
CORTEZ, HERCULES (ALFONSO CARLOS CHICHARRO):-
(AWA/IWA) TT-RED BASTIEN;
CH-AWA/TTC-(W.BASTIEN) (-7/24/71); CH-IWA/WHC (-05/65)
GAGNE, VERNE:- 5’11" 218
(AWA/NWA/WWWF) ROBBINSDALE, MN; 5/10/ ; TT-MOOSE EVANS-CRUSHER-MAD DOG VACHON
BILLY ROBINSON-HANS SCHMIDT-GREG GAGNE; CH-NWA/THC(2X)-( / /49- / /50; / /50- / /50)
AWA/HC(9X)-(8/16/60-7/11/61; 8/08/61-1/08/62; 8/21/62-7/09/63; 7/20/63-7/27/63;
8/08/83-11/28/63;12/14/63-10/20/64; 2/26/67-8/17/68; 8/31/68-11/08/75; 7/18/80-5/10/81)
AWA/TTC(3X)-(W.EVANS)-(W.CRUSHER)-(W.VACHON); TM-SLEEPER; WMG10/20-#5; PWIA-WRESTLER OF
YEAR-#3’80 TT OF YEAR-#4’80- (W.VACHON) MATCH OF YEAR-#3’80-(W.N.BOCKWINKEL)
MOST INSPIRATIONAL-#3’80 EDITOR’S AWARD’86; CENTURY100-#11'99;
PWIT10-#8-AU77-(W.CRUSHER)-#2-FE80-(W.VACHON); AWA10-#1-AP81; (1948-1981)
(NWA/NJPW/UWA/WWAS) 4/20OR24/16- ; TT-THE OUTLAW;
CH-NWA/HC(6X)-(12/29/37-2/11/38; 2/23/39-6/23/39; 4/25/47- 11/21/47;
7/20/48-3/15/56;11/09/56-11/14/57; 1/24/63-1/07/66) NWA/IHC-( -8/27/58)
NWA/PCTTC-(W.OUTLAW) UWA/HC-( -9/25/77) WWA/HC-(10/14/66- );
MGR-STRANGLER LEWIS; TM-VERTICAL PRESS; PWIA-EDITORS AWARD’82; (1935-1990)
(RETIRED-REFEREED- TASW EXECUTIVE)
(AWA/IWAJ) 9/14/ - ; AKA-MAD DOG...; TT-PAUL VACHON=THE VACHON
BROTHERS-IVAN KOLOFF-VERNE GAGNE; CH- AWA/TTC(2X)-(W.VACHON)-(W.GAGNE)
AWA/HC(2X)-(10/20/64-8/21/65; 11/11/65-2/26/67) IWAJ/TTC-(W.KOLOFF);
PWIA-TT OF YEAR-#4’80- (W.GAGNE); PWIT10-#9-FE73-(W.VACHON); AWA10-#6-JN83;
(AWA/NWA) AKA-BUTCHER...; TT-MAURICE VACHON=THE VACHON
BROTHERS-CHAVO GUERRERO; CH-AWA/TTC-(W.VACHON) NWA/ATTC-(W.GUERRERO);
Links for Classic Wrestling
AWA Wrestling Homepage
The Wrestling Museum
Website created Feb 2000 for the Chicharro family
and fans of Classic Wrestling by Dixie Deb
This Website is under construction, if you have any addl info
or corrections, please email his sons Ricardo or Alfonso!
The contents of this website are of family records and/or the Internet..
many records online conflict, so please contact us with corrections.
TITLE="Hercules Cortez - World Heavyweight and TagTeam Champion
DESCRIPTION="Homepage for Hercules Cortez, IMA World Heavyweight & AWA World Heavyweight TagTeam Champion
KEYWORDS= Hercules, Cortez, Cortes, Pepe, Claude, Dassary, Manuel, Chicharro, Chicarro, 1971, world, wrestling, Tag, Team, champion, AWA, IWA, 1965
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