SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Chi Chi Cruz
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Chi Chi Cruz
REAL NAME: Corey Peloquin
6'1", 235 pounds
BORN: October 3, 1968 in Hartney, Manitoba
PRO DEBUT: 1986 (Central Canadian Pro Wrestling)
AKA: Chi Chi Cruz, Bobby Bolton, C.C. Quinn, Donald Duck, Carnage
Chi Chi Cruz has some advice for wrestlers trying to get their big break in their local scene -- leave.
"You can't learn all you need to know by sitting in Winnipeg. It's impossible to do," said Cruz who does live in Winnipeg when he isn't wrestling around the globe.
"You've got to get out and get on a real circuit and learn the ropes from guys that do it for a living, which is what I try to do. Which is what I did. I've done some travelling."
Besides wrestling throughout Manitoba, Cruz, whose real name is Corey Peloquin, has also wrestled in South Africa, Germany, and done tours for Grand Prix Wrestling in the Maritimes, Ian Rotten's IWA Hardcore group, the old Vancouver All-Star Wrestling circuit and the Memphis-based USWA.
In the USWA, he wrestled as Bobby Bolton. "They treated me good, which I was worried about being from Canada, being down in the south like that. Everybody treated me real well and it was a real treat to work with the guys down there. Not to mention the weather! It was winter down there, there were heat waves and I wasn't at home in the snow."
Peloquin grew up in Hartney, Manitoba watching the AWA. "I was subject to Nick Bockwinkel, Rick Martel and the High Flyers, and the Road Warriors, Hogan, Ventura -- all the classic stuff. It just caught my eye," he said of his desire for a wrestling career.
A high school star in basketball and baseball, he started training at 16 under the guidance of Ernest Rheault, taking the bus down to Sommerset.
His father's cousin is long-time Winnipeg wrestler Puppy Dog Peloquin.
In 1989 at just a bit over 20 years old, he headed out to Al Tomko's All-Star Wrestling promotion in Vancouver. It was there that he believes that he learned the most. "I was awful when I got there and I was -- I wouldn't say I was good when I left -- but I improved vastly."
"At that age, you're really impressionable and you learn fast. There were enough guys there that knew what they were doing to really learn a lot from them."
Around Manitoba, Cruz has been the WFWA Canadian Heavyweight champ four times under promoter Tony Condello, and wrestled for various other Manitoba promotions. He has usually found work as a bouncer in area bars, a job choice which allows him the flexibility to take a lot of time off to wrestle.
Cruz has also done a couple of tours for Atlantic Grand Prix, including in 1990 when he held the Atlantic Grand Prix tag titles with Bulldog Bob Brown, and in 1999, when he battled Joe E. Legend often in main events, briefly holding the heavyweight crown and having memorable matches in Berwick, North Sydney, and Halifax.
In the fall of 1999, Cruz went overseas for a tournament in Hannover, Germany where he was very well received. "They want me to come back for another tournament in the fall. I'm really looking forward to that," he said. "I've made some connections and might be going to England as well. I've been in touch with Leatherface. He's been trying to hook me up with Japan where he wrestles."
Chi Chi Cruz.
Cruz has also been to a tryout at the WWF dojo in Stamford, CT, and though he wasn't signed, he was told to stay in touch.
In the immediate future, he is running a training camp with Condello. "There's a lot of people that want to train. And there's too many guys wrestling that don't have a clue."
He doesn't wrestle on any shows around Winnipeg, except the occasion show or tour for Condello. "I find the local scene embarrassing and I think of myself as being way above that. So I don't like to involve myself with guys that are 130 pounds and calling themselves heavyweight wrestlers. Guys who don't have a clue what they're doing and have no idea about psychology or anything that has to do with wrestling. With a $2 ticket price at the door, how much of a professional can you be? I don't want to be involved with any of that."
Cruz thinks it's a case of the blind leading the blind. "The local scene has been marred, bogged down with guys who think they know what they're doing, taking guys under their wings, but they don't know how to fly yet."
Following the training camp, he's willing to see where things go. "I'm content to keep plugging away if that's what it's going to be, but my goal is to get to the WWF."
April 6, 2007: Chi Chi Cruz the calm in Stranglehold's storm
November 1, 2006: For the Love of the Business
August 18, 2004: In praise of Chi Chi Cruz
I saw Chi Chi Cruz this summer in Halifax 7 times in Atlantic Grand
Prix. His matches with Joe E legend were great. He is a great wrestler
and should get a chance in the bigs soon.
I saw Chi Chi wrestle over the summer of 1999 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia,
Canada. He was great! He is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time due
to the fact that he goes out there and has fun. We used to yell to him
while he wrestled and started losing, "Don't worry Chi Chi, it's all about
the money!!!" He loved it. The next time they came I brought a hand full
of monopoly money that he toke and brought into the ring and used through
the match. I'm not sure what he did everywhere else but his gimmick in
North Sydney is that no matter if he wins or loses, it's all about the
money! Chi Chi signed my cigarette package that day and I still hold it
dear to me. You rule Chi Chi!
I remember Chi Chi Cruz's last match in Winnipeg. I was very impressed
with his skill because the guy he was wrestling was not in his league.
My hat goes off to Chi Chi to try and help out the local talent, if they
take it is another story. It was an IWA card and unfortunately Tony
Condello was forced to use local talent. He stole the show plus also
gaining the IWA heavyweight title. GOOD GOING MAN!!!!!!!
I remember the first night of the GPW tour in North Sydney, NS, ChiChi was
up against the returning Cuban Assassin in the main event. When he came
out, we were all cheering for the Cuban Assassin (for whatever reason).
Someone said, "Hey, ChiChi, you suck!" He turned toward us and said, "I may
suck, but I'm still getting paid!" Then he started stomping his feet and
chanting "I suck, I suck!" You could see the amusement on the Cuban's face.
After that, he went on to have some tremndous matches against Joe E.
Legend. He gave Joe E. some awesome moves (i.e. Superplex off the top
turnbuckle and a Running Liger Bomb). When he did those moves, I couldn't
believe that the ring held up. ChiChi was a class act!
Ryan (Doobie) Doucette, Glace Bay, NS
I went to GPW at The North Sydney Forum and I remember when I first saw
Chi Chi. He was wrestling against Joe E. Legend who was formally known
as "The Pro" then. Chi Chi was a amazing athlete who wasn't afraid to
try anything new at GPW. The most memories I have of Chi Chi are his
amazing Hardcore Match with Joe E., The time he won the GPW Continetal
Title, and his famous line, "Show me The Money"!
Danny Long, North Sydney, NS
During the summer of 1999 Grand Prix Wrestling was doing constant tours of
(where else?) the Maritimes. When I first heard about it I was excited and
made signs for almost all the wrestlers, even though I've never seen them
before. One of the wrestlers I heard was going to be there was Chi Chi Cruz.
His name through me off and I thought he was going to be a Mexican
stereotype, so I made a sign saying that he was living la vida loca. When I
got there I found that my sign was silly because he obviously wasn't. That
night he fought the Cuban Assassin and we were all going for Cuba. That is
until Chi Chi let his personality through. He started his very own "I suck,
I suck!" chants. Even when asked by the referee he pulled the Cuban's hair
Chi Chi entertained us. The ref (Frank) asked the pro-Cuban crowd if Chi Chi
pulled his hair. We said "yes" to that Chi Chi said "Well then, I guess I
did pull his hair." That same night the coolest wrestling gimmick ever was
born when Mr. Cruz admitted that he jobbed for the $$$$$$. Ever time after
that when Grand Prix rolled into town I was sure to have a new Chi Chi sign,
including one that resembled a giant check that Chi Chi carried around the
ring!! I have many great memories of Chi Chi: his matches with Joe E. Legend,
his great personality and even talking to him next to the pop machines. Chi
Chi Cruz is a tribute to all that is good in a pro wrestler and in all of
Ian Chilly Morrison
While Grand Prix was in Halifax, I was never not in attendance, one of
my favorite wrestlers was and is Chi Chi Cruz. He entertained the crowd,
and gave it his all, he had some great matches w/ Joe E. Legend, Cuban
Assassin, and probably the most technically sound match of the summer
against Butcher Vachon. When I purchased a mini-poster of Chi-Chi and
asked him to sign it, he gladly did, when I seen him wrestle this
summer, I knew he would make it to the big time.
Troy M., firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember in the summer of 1999 when Chi Chi took on Joe E. Legend and
they were the best matches we have ever seen in GPW. I hope Chi Chi
comes back and does a good job. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!
James Ashe, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
I remember in earlier this year (2000) when Chi Chi Cruz went one one one
with Wild Man Austin in one of the greatest matches I have seen in Grand
Prix Wrestling, even though he lost it was still a great match. Then
after the show we were talking to Chi Chi and asked him some questions
about when he would be returning to our arean and he said in about 2
weeks. Also he said if we brought him a table, that he would personally
put someone (Wild Man Austin) through it for us. We hope to see Chi Chi
Cruz in the WWF someday.
Good Luck Chi Chi.
I just saw Chi Chi for the first time this summer in Yarmouth, he was wrestling Wildman Austin and they stole the show! The match they had was phenomenal, it was more along the lines of a WWF pay-per-view, they brawled on the outside for a bit giving each other a ton of loud chops, then they went back in the ring for what had to be the most amazing superplex ever! Chi Chi put Austin on the top and climbed up to the top himself, did a vertical suplex on the top rope and then jumped backwards into the ring! It was amazing! Chi Chi is a great athlete with lots of charisma, I hope he makes it big. I wish you the best Chi Chi, you impressed the hell out of me!
I was at Wrestling on Sunday June the 18th in Antoginsh at 1:30 P.M and
in North Sydney at 7:00 P.M. In the afternoon bout Chi Beat WildMan
Austin in a great match . then in North Sydney they had a hardcore core
match falls Count anywhere match and it was one of the best matches I
have ever seen they put each other through hell hitting each other with
roadsigns, toasters, chairs, and put each other through tables. Chi Is
a class act and I can't Wait tell he beats Rene Dupre Ass All summer
Long. ChiChi Is a Class Act and is a great guy. GOOD Luck Chi! SHOW
ME THE MONEY!!!!
I seen Chi Chi wrestle recently and he was the whole damn show. Too many
guys don't work the crowd at all lately but Cruz made a point of involving
the crowd, it was very entertaining. He took all the bumps in the match too,
instead of the lame-o he was in there with. He obviously has a dedication to
the sport he's in. If he doesn't make it to the top then I'll eat my shorts!
Somebody sign him up!!!!!
Double D Danny Donaldson
I am writing this on the night of May 26, 2001. I just come home from watching RAW at the Yarmouth Exhibition Ground,
and of course I was very happy to see ChiChi Cruz fighting. He was great and I really loved his match with 'wildman. You
guys were great as tag team partners, pat yourselves on the back it is well worth it. I had the chance to talk with these
great guys and get pictures taken with them. And I was very pleased to find out that Chi Chi had added a picture of
himself and my kids on his website. Chi Chi, if you read this I want you to know that I came home and had to check it out
and it was great. The whole family loves you and hope to see you again soon with more pics to give you.
P.S. From Brandon and Jessica: "Chi Chi we love you and thank you for making us part of your website"
Your Greatest Yarmouth Exhibition Ground Fans