Combined Weight: 465 lbs
Real Names: José Estrada (Uno), José Luis Rivera (Dos)
Hometown: Somewhere in Latin America
Glory Days: 1987 – 1990
Fun Fact: Edge and Christian’s accomplices – or ‘hired goons’ – during their Conquistador run in 2000 were Christopher Daniels and Aaron ‘Jesús’ Aguilera. Other wrestlers to have worn the gold outfits include Eugene, Rob Conway and Johnny from The Spirit Squad.
Back in the 1980’s WWE actually had a tag team division; not just Tag Team Champions and a couple of other teams. There were perennial top contenders like Demolition, The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs; mid-level teams like The Rockers, Powers of Pain and The Fabulous Rougeaus; and even low-level teams like The Young Stallions and The Killer Bees. However, at a time when WWE could comfortably book a 10 team elimination tag match at the first two Survivor Series, one tandem stood head and shoulders above the rest. While some teams wore gold around their waists, only one duo could call themselves ‘solid gold’.
Uno and Dos, collectively known as Los Conquistadors, reached and maintained tag team wrestling’s gold standard… for losing. Formed from the ashes of jobber tag team The Shadows in 1987, Los Conquistadors conquered the label of ‘jobbers’ by conquering opponents. Best estimates put the number of Conquistador wins at around five or six. However, losing was their forte. Numbers for Conquistador losses pile into the thousands, possibly millions. Most of these defeats can be attributed to The Young Stallions (Jim Powers and Paul Roma); however their defeat at the 1988 Survivor Series was their most glorious.
Of the nine teams to be eliminated in the massive ten team elimination match, Los Conquistadors were last! Uno and Dos out lasted the likes of The Hart Foundation, The Brain Busters, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs and Tag Team Champions Demolition, en route to being flattened by The Powers of Pain.
Here is some rare footage of our boys actually winning a match…
After losing a bunch more matches, usually to The Young Stallions, the arse fell out of Los Conquistadors run when Paul Roma turned heel. With nobody to put over, Dos left WWE to become the Oscar for best supporting actor, leaving Uno to bravely soldier on as a singles wrestler. Ultimately he too would quietly disappear by 1991 to launch a successful career as the world’s most family friendly card game.
After a ten year hiatus, Uno and Dos returned to WWE in 2000 and – get this – became WWE Tag Team Champions. After winning a number one contender’s battle royal, the pair faced Champions, The Hardy Boys, at No Mercy in October… and won!
However, this being an Icons of Wrestling post, I am not in the habit of writing about legitimate champions and credible performers. Turns out Uno and Dos did not win the Tag Titles after all; it was Edge and Christian in disguise. Having been banned from receiving a title shot against The Hardyz, E&C disguised themselves as the legendary Uno and Dos to capture the titles. E&C had then planned to defeat a couple of hired goons, who would be wearing the gold costumes, on Raw the following night. Problem was, The Hardyz got wise to this scheme and wore the costumes themselves to defeat Edge, and the absent Christian. So, what seemed like a successful title defence by Uno and Dos was actually Matt and Jeff Hardy regaining the titles they lost the previous evening.
It sounds like I am leaving this post on the high of a Conquistadors victory, albeit a very convoluted and confusing one… no chance! We end as we started; in defeat. Men dressed in gold costumes calling themselves Los Conquistadors have appeared on WWE TV several times since 2000, and have lost on every occasion. This return to the status quo put an end to war and poverty by aligning the planets, bringing them into universal harmony allowing meaningful contact with all forms of life from extra-terrestrial beings to common household pets.
All previous ‘Icons of Wrestling’ can be read here.