Jack Veneno Passes Away at 78

Posted By James Walsh on 04/07/21

Dominican.News reports that Jack Veneno, perhaps the most popular wrestler to ever come from the Dominican Republic, has passed away at the age of 78. Veneno, real name Rafael Sánchez, died due to complications of his battle with pancreatic cancer.

His daughter Paola wrote on Instagram: “You fought her to death, you won the girdle of eternity. Goodbye father.”

Veneno had the nickname “El Campeón de la Bolita del Mundo” (Champion of the World) and even became the champion of the world in 1982. He defeated Ric Flair for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship in Santo Domingo. In a 2018 interview with Conrad Thompson, Flair said that he called an audible for Veneno to win because he didn’t think he’d get out of the Caribbean alive if he retained. However, the belt was returned to Flair that same day and the NWA never officially recognized the title change.

Other than that win, Veneno mostly competed in local promotions, including Dominicana de Espectaculos and the Dominican Wrestling Federation. He also competed for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico, where he is a former WWC North American Tag Team Champion (with Jose Rivera). Veneno retired in 2000.