Posted by Sean Prem
Shawn Hernandez, otherwise known as Hernandez SuperMex, a multiple tag team champion during his time with TNA. He is currently a tag team champion. Hernandez is a five time tag team champion, which is a record shared by The It Factor of Professional Wrestling, a major player in TNA, Bobby Roode. Hernandez has been part of the TNA roster for a long time displaying characteristic super human strength as routinely said by the voice of TNA, Mike Tenay. When I met him at a TNA Fan Interaction in January 2010 at Wembley Stadium, London (shown in the above picture),I informed him how highly I regard the intriguing blend of strength and athletism. But what does the majority of the Impact Zone fans know about Super Mex?
Hernandez had infact featured for WWF as a jobber like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in the period 2000 to 2001. Hernandez arrived in TNA for the first time in November 2003 in a one off match performing as a wrestler to lose to a big name at the time, Shane Douglas. He would return in June 2004 as part of the Elite Guard that were involved a feud with the big group at the time , 3Live Kru (Ron Killings aka R Truth, B G James AKA Road Dog and Konan). This feud even lead to a headlining match, teaming up with the big names of Jeff Jarrett and Ken Shamrock against Dustin Rhodes, Larry Zybysko and 3Live Kru. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for Hernandez leading to his release in September 2004. You’re thinking “hhhmmm really? I thought he was always there and not being released, this incredible wrestler”, quite surprising…. But his career doesn’t end there
Despite being 31 at the time of his second release from TNA, in a career he has been harshly overlooked, he still maintained desire. Aiming to improve his wrestling abilities, throughout 2005 he wrestled at Texas independent circuits, near the Texas wrestling school he had trained at, in 1996. This helped to earn him a return to TNA in March 2006 with the opportunity of being the latest member of the intriguing Latin America Xchange (LAX). This group of heels of Hernandez, Homicide and Konan were unique being controversial that was grabbing headlines across the wrestling world. The mic skills of Konan who was the manager helped to bring the attention of the strength and athletism Hernandez had, along with the high flying ability of Homicide. All three were eager for success, which was a driving force for them. LAX had built a repertoire with the Latino fans preaching pride for Mexico, something that wasn’t utilised in American based wrestling companies previously. With this storyline in full effect, Hernandez and Homicide at Impact on 24th August 2006 would be able to defeat the highly rated AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels to become the NWA Tag Team Champions. This was a major turnaround for the career of Hernandez who went on to continue thrilling rivalries with AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels and Team 3D. Hernandez and Homicide went on to defend the title against arguably the most decorated tag tea in wrestling history, Team 3D in a series of matches until eventually Team 3D were able to win their first tag team titles in TNA against LAX (as discussed in a previous article).
The release of Konan from TNA in the summer of 2007 had an impact on LAX, making them become face. Despite losing the mic skills of Konan, Hernandez and Homicide had justified their credentials as a force in the tag team division. They would earn several tag team title opportunities against teams such as AJ Styles and Tyson Tomko but were just falling short. However they were able to recapture the TNA Tag team championship under the guidance of another Mexican mentor, Hector Guerrero, against their old foes Team 3D at the finals of Deuces Wild Tournament. This title reign would end against Beer Money at Hard Justice 2008.
Hernandez had established himself as a major force in TNA which lead him at the second Resolution 2008 event to win the TNA Heavyweight title opportunity briefcase in the ‘feast or fired’ match. This directed him to the world heavyweight title picture, which recognised his ability. The Mike Tenay phrases of SuperMex, that the Impact Zone have become accustomed throughout his TNA career, seemed to all accumulate for the eventual outcome of Hernandez becoming top of the food chain, becoming the world champion. However when he cashed in his opportunity against Sting, in the biggest match of his career, he was only able to win via Disqualification due to interference by the Main Event Mafia. Fortunately Mick Foley granted him to regain the briefcase, which he would use in a later date after recovering from a neck injury. The storyline perpetrators of his injury, the British Invasion engaged in a feud with Hernandez with him regaining his ‘feast or fired’ briefcase from them after returning. He made his return defending his long time compatriot, Homicide who was attacked by the dangerous Samoa Joe and Tazz. Hernandez was able to once again justify his credentials by defeating Samoa Joe in the next Impact with a superb top rope splash. The signs all seemed to be suggesting that TNA were ready to unleash a new TNA original as a major player in the game. Even Homicide betrayed Hernandez in a feud with the World’s Elite, that ended LAX and lead the duo in separate paths. Once again, Hernandez regained the opportunity to reaps the reward of his undoubted ability. Supermex cashed in his briefcase to feature in a 5 way match for the TNA World Heavyweight Title at No Surrender 2009, but was unable to succeed. His feud would continue with the World Elite, which lead to a three way match for the TNA Legends Championship, against the heels Kevin Nash and Eric Young. Hernandez once again was unable to capture a championship in singles competition. It’s safe to say, this was the highest point of his career in the singles competition, and is the year that he was closest in establishing himself as a major player. Mind you, the same can be said for Eric Young.
After this, Hernandez has returned into the tag team division for the majority of the time. He has gone back and forth between Mexico and TNA in between periods when he was written off the storyline, such as being injured. Hernandez has been part of groups, which he firstly joined D’Angelo Dinero and Matt Morgan. During a period with many groups, like Mick Foley’s Extreme Version 2.0 (EV 2.0), Hernandez got involved in feuds with ECW originals like Rhyno, Stevie Richards and the old nemesis Team 3D. This lead to a series of matches at pay per views Turning Point 2009 and Final Resolution 2009 with a lost then a win. This helped to develop the tag team of the strong duo Hernandez and Matt Morgan, who went on to recapture the tag team championship, from another old foe The British Invasion. In a new style to his previous LAX, Hernandez was able to utilise a popular Mike Tenay catch phrase “Power Personified” that gave the team an aura of supremacy. However like his career, there would be more drawbacks, with the unity of this team being short lived. Friction had developed and after a successful tag team championship defence against the talented Beer Money Inc at Destination X 2010, Matt Morgan attacked Hernandez, with a subsequent match happening the following Impact. This match ended with a vicious assault by Matt Morgan on Hernandez, injuring his neck, allowing Hernandez to go to Mexico. Once that stint was over, Hernandez returned refreshed and story lined as injury free. He was determined for vengeance on the bewildered Matt Morgan, leading to a rivalry displaying power. Like his previous return from injury, he came and backed up one of Mike Tenay’s favourable quotes “SuperMex”. Their first bout, Hernandez emotions got the better of him leading to a disqualification at Slammiversary VIII. Fortunately, he was able to keep calm and pull off the victory against Matt Morgan in a fierce steel cage match at Victory Road 2010.
Hernandez decided to return to his native Mexico despite TNA requesting his return. However the demand for his return of the Impact zone wouldn’t be permanently ignored. He made another return, but as a heel, joining the ever growing Illmortal stable. Yet he was able to standout as being Eric Bischoff’s personal source of protection for the Immortal Stable. He reignited his feud with Matt Morgan as if he never left. It was clear to TNA management that the basis of Hernandez’ success was when he was with LAX. TNA attempted to re-live this with a new stable called ‘Mexican America’. This stable began with the divas Rosita and Sarita. It was an attempt to re-live the controversies of LAX, citing the inferiority complex that he felt in America while he was highly regarded in Mexico. This can be metaphoric for his career at TNA where he has the qualities as noticed by TNA figures such as Mike Tenay, however the management aren’t able to push him to an established main eventer. Hernandez however would take a different approach, of using deceiving tactics that have been stereotypically identified to Latin Americans, like the late Eddie Guerrero. This was noticeable during Victory Road 2011 when he was able to defeat his long lasting enemy Matt Morgan by using fake blood in a First Blood Match along with the interference of a wrestler who would later be revealed to be Anarquia, the fourth member. After Matt Morgan had ended their feud with a victory in a Steel Cage match at Lockdown 2011, Hernandez reverted to what he’s accustomed to in TNA, tag team action with Anarquia. The team instantly began well, earning a title shot immediately after defeating other tag teams including the peculiar team of James Storm and Alex Shelly. They were unable to win the championship titles against Beer Money Inc at Hardcore Justice 2011 but with the help of Jeff Jarrett, they won the belts the following Impact. Once again, Hernandez became a tag team champion. This should of been a career highlight for Hernandez, which he was able to even defend the titles at No Surrender 2011 on 11th September against D’Angelo Dineiro and Devon due to the interference of the senoritas Rosita and Sarita. However it went downhill, even as champions. Perhaps due to an injury that he legitimately delivered to Jesse Neal of Ink Inc, a feud involving their teams wasn’t given great seriousness. A title once prestigious, was defended on the pre show of Bound For Glory 2011, not the proudest of moments. Even though the Mexican America won, it took away a lot of the significance, with other wrestlers who were previously part of the tag team division, Bully Ray, James Storm and Bobby Roode all catapulting to the World Heavyweight title picture. They had featured in the newly concept of Bound For Glory series, which was meant to give greater opportunity to the entire locker room instead of established stars like previous events (as discussed in a previous article).
Unfortunately for Hernandez, he wasn’t seriously considered, despite being in the title picture not too long ago in 2009. While James Storm eventually became the breakout star to win the title, at the unfortunate expense of Bobby Roode who was inches away of winning the title at Bound For Glory 2011, Hernandez was stuck in the tag team division. The team who he defeated for the titles, began an emotional feud, with Bobby Roode eventually capturing what I believe, was more rightly his, the Heavyweight title from James Storm. This was portrayed in Turning Point 2011, where Bobby Roode was the defending champion while the Mexican America were fighting Ink Inc in a mix tag team match. The decline of Hernandez was epitomised, with his tag team losing their tag titles at the following Impact after Turning Point 2011, and their rematch clause a week after. Although it must be noted that their opponents Matt Morgan and Crimson were unstoppable with Crimson’s undefeated streak and Matt’s stature. Another rival of the past, surpassing Hernandez. This was testing times for the Supermex. He disappeared from the Impact zone for a few months afterwards…. Then reminiscing his debut with TNA, Hernandez was used as a one off tag team championship match against Samoa Joe and Magnus, when him and Anarquia made their awaited return, but to only succumb to a defeat. This was a total opposite of the spectrum of how Hernandez made a return for an ally, when he was able to outdo Samoa Joe before, as noted above. From being a man with such momentum, to being viewed as a competitor who just needs to makeup the numbers for the weekly flagship matches. Such variation, for a man already not receiving the push he really deserved… This also helps clarify one of the reasons why I have reviewed his entire TNA career thus far.
However irony would strike Hernandez’ career. As discussed earlier, a wrestler whose been upheld by the names of more established superstars, had a change of fortunes. Since this time, it was a wrestler who had departed WWE, who will help re-establish the career of the talented Hernandez. After resuming a singles career with not al ot of promise, he needed the help. TNA’s reliance on him was once again evident with his instant return to Slammiversary 2012 as a home state wrestler, to defeat Kid Kash, but then the gratitude wasn’t returned to SuperMex with him losing to Devon on the following Impact. However as if a shining light strucked the ring, and yelled “Come my friend”, Hernandez ran into the Impact Zone to rescue, the man of his dreams, the wrestler who reignited that flame burning inside Supermex, Chavo Guerrero jr!! It actually makes me think of a WWE theme song used for WWE Royal Rumble 2010).
This provided the catalyst for Hernandez to rediscover that stupendous wrestling ability that everyone including his big fan Mike Tenay knew he possessed. The tag team division witnessed a collision with a new force, that was desperately needed in a division that had to combine the best talents of the roster, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles, to make up the numbers in the division. At Hardcore Justice 2012, unlike last year’s pay per view, Hernandez was victorious against the wrestlers who brought Hernandez to Chavo, Gunner and Kid Kash. Haha I guess he fell for the TNA Management trait of not showing gratitude when it’s due! I kid I kid… Nevertheless, their efforts didn’t go unnoticed THIS TIME! Chavo’s reputation had the eyes on the duo. Hulk Hogan was so impressed with the duo’s performance, that on the 6th September 2012 Impact taping, Hulk Hogan chose them to fight against the tag team champions who have been irritating him for a while. Despite delivering a thrilling encounter, the tag team champions prevailed. Their performance impressed the audience to such an extent, that Hernandez and Chavo had entered the title picture. At Bound For Glory 2012, a colossus tag team battle went ahead, featuring the challengers of Kurt Angle & AJ Styles along with SuperMex and Chavo, against the tag team champions Bad Influence, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian. Again such a change in circumstances from Bound For Glory 2011 when Hernandez as a tag team champion was only billed for the pre show. Hernandez with the betting odds against him, was able to re-live history, and regain the tag team championships in an end to end match, that some believe was the show stealer. I guess some things doesn’t change for Hernandez, he won a match at Bound For Glory again!!! Chavo Guerrero jr did well against a former adversary in their WWE days, Kurt Angle, with Super Mex being able to outdo his fellow TNA Originals. The same guys that were jobbers in WWE, but have had more established careers in TNA. A change of fortunes perhaps? haha ironic use of that phrase with 3 of the losing competitors being a part of a group with the same name. This was the start of a new era in TNA Impact. This tag team have cemented their legacy into the tag team division which is impressive considering illustrious teams like Team 3D embraces that division (as discussed in a previous article). As many have witnessed, Hernandez and Chavo went on to defend their titles impressively against Bad Influence, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian and the team of Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan.
Their title run of 103 days came to a sudden halt, when they were put against, the two biggest stars of 2012, with their historic individual title runs, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. In Manchester, in front of a ruckus UK crowd which we are renowned for, on the 31st January 2013 Impact tapings, Hernandez lost his title to a team reminiscing WWE’s Team Hell No, let’s be honest, and not as effective. Although Hernandez lost his title, it can’t be ignored that in this title run, he had lost the belts to the more established names of the company. After being involved in intriguing feuds with higher calibre names, in comparison to 2011. Understandably, with a career of ups and downs, the fan camp of Hernandez and surely himself, would of been worried about the next endeavours, whether he will continue to demonstrate his undoubted ability amongst the higher calibre stars of TNA, or return to being a mere jobber. Fortunately, the presence of the infamous name ‘Guerrero’, kept him around the tag team championship contention. They were able to gain a rematch for the titles, in a bout that included the other former tag team champions, the talented duo of Christopher Daniels & Kazarian of Bad Influence. This match, at Lockdown 2013, lived up to the hype of the previous 3 tag team match of Bound For Glory 2012, full of excitement, and perhaps stole the show from even the much expected Bully Ray spectacle as discussed in a previous article. With the aid of the ramp, the crowd were able to witness the fantastic athletism of Hernandez. This was all summed up with Todd Keneley’s quote “It’s a bird, no it’s a plane, ITS SUPERMEX”. At the same match, Hernandez displayed his strength when he performed a superb double neckbreaker which earned the cliche catchphrase “Power Personified”. Despite all of that, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries maintained their titles, underlining the quality of the high profile match up.
Since TNA Impact has gone on the road, following Lockdown 2013, Hernandez has benefitted immensely. It did start negatively with a title match cancelled by the Aces & Eights dismantling Hernandez and Chavo before a tag team championship match could begin. Can’t blame us for worrying that Hernandez may be heading for the jobber role with how a strong athlete was easily dominated, which his career has experienced the ups and downs as reviewed. Although most of the roster of the Impact Zone has been annihilated by the Aces & Eights, and it was the first Impact to celebrate Bully Ray’s first world championship. Without us getting sidetracked, fortunately, Hernandez tag team match against the champions had gone through on the following Impact. Bad Influence’s perception of being harshly ousted of the title picture. In a tag team roster, with such talent, this has allowed the tag team division to reignite it’s past glory of which was one of the strong points of TNA in the past (as discussed in a previous article). To resolve this issue, to see who deserved the rights to challenge the prestigious tag team champions, Hernandez and Chavo duelled with Bad Influence on the Impact after, basically week after week of exciting tag team matches to make up for the predictable finale of the Aces and Eights’ president revelation. Out of the four competitors, only one can standout of possessing not only the mesmerising athletism that all of the wrestlers in the ring display regularly, but the incredible strength to dismantle your opponents, and ofcourse that was Kazarian, no I’m kidding, Hernandez! That was a key factor to help Hernandez and Chavo to seal the victory and officially become the number one contenders.
This seemed right as the match between the current and most recent former tag team champions should provide the most intriguing contest. But that wasn’t enough. The tag team champions have been undefeated in the division, and had beaten Hernandez and Chavo more than once. They’ve defeated almost everyone who was put in front of them in the more elusive single’s competition. They had an aura of immortality within the tag team division, like the Hulk Hogan of the division. With the duo Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, establishing the best characters in TNA last year, that us internet fans can appreciate, they added spice to the impending bout. Feeling as if they had no reason to wrestle under normal circumstances, they wanted to add stipulations such as a challenging two out of three falls match. To entice their opponents, there were constant stereotype ridicules towards the Mexican tag team partners. The desire to fight for pride in addition of the championships became a motivation for Hernandez and Chavo. Even with the tag team champions coming up with a clause, in which if Chavo and Hernandez lost, then they would be separated, the Mexican duo were determined to risk it all. As if Hernandez was re-living the days of LAX, with a former WCW star spear heading the fight for justice for Mexicans, just like Konan before, Chavo was there to help encourage his partner. The night, when Hernandez and Chavo couldn’t lose or be separated forever, in the 2 out of 3 falls, like at the second show at Chicago, he showed the variety of his excellent arsenal, by doing a double suplex on the tag team champions Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. During the same match, he did a mesmerising suicidal dive over the top rope, by running down the ramp onto the then tag team champions leading to their crowning as new champions. It is unfortunate at the same time, TNA booked the useless Joseph Park whose in-ring ability once again made WWE’s Brodus Clay look like AJ Styles. To exemplify this, a few weeks ago, Hernandez showed strength and power with the viewers at Chicago and behind the screen impressed with a wrestler not gaining a major push while Joseph’s ludicrous character continued. Joseph pulled off another abysmal match that made Matt Morgan commit mistakes. Ok TNA management, if you are reading, let me save you from reading another article, and let me blunt, Stop insulting us with this poor storyline, and bring back The Abyss. It could be a smart tactic to make Abyss re-injuvenated, whose had a lengthy career. Great job, otherwise, a man who the fans can supposedly relate to, is failing catastrophically. Hernandez is a far better choice to relate to the fans. I hope this isn’t Hulk’s idea, otherwise, his interview with the UK Based program WrestleTalk TV when he said, Brett has little knowledge of the business, does appear to lack any substance. But let’s be honest, Brett Hart knows a lot, and is perhaps the most respected figure in wrestling. So does Hulk Hogan though, he maybe despised by some of the veterans, yet he’s a fan hero for a reason like the adored Brett Hart.
Currently, Hernandez sits high in the tag team division, as the champion. He holds the record along with Bobby Roode which was also achieved this year by the TNA originals, of 5 separate tag team championship reigns. As a fan it is nice to see. He has had a career of ups and downs suffering from the dominance of big names surrounding him. Being used as a pawn for Aces & Eights in the opening of the first Impact on road signified how he has been overlooked. I have purposely reviewed his career to signify that he has been isolated in the tag team division which is usually used to help wrestlers to learn their trade before allowing to catapult wrestlers to stardom in the singles division. It has been granted to the wrestlers involved in the TNA Heavyweight Title picture, Jeff Hardy (as discussed in a previous article) and Bully Ray (as discussed in a previous article). I’ll be frank, it is rare to have such a mix of super strength with high flying ability. The wrestler who was blessed mostly with this is Brock Lesnar whose departure from WWE sent it to a downward spiral with the failed attempts of emulating his fierce presence with Batista and Bobby Lashley who were still relatively impressive in the strength department. Brock highlighted this blend on the Raw a week after Wrestlemania 29, with how he crushed my good buddies 3MB (who I took an official picture with as seen in a previous article) with the freakish strength to outpower the trio, and the lightning fast speed highlighting his athletism to capture the frightened Heath Slater. I point this out because, TNA should of capitalised in utilising a wrestler who was similar to The Beast in being the ‘complete wrestler’. Not as good, but if The Beast stayed in wrestling, no one would be, so it doesn’t hurt not being as good. It would of helped TNA to exploit WWE’s and Wrestling’s problem. Hernandez recently revealed to WrestleTalk TV, that his favourite moment in Wrestling, was the LAX era. A moment when his career got its first start with such potential envisaged with anything possible… surely exciting. To then to a career when despite being relatively successful, he deserves so much more. What people remember about the wrestling business as time flies, are the stars that entertained us all. The best of them, are the stars who we’ve been privileged to witness their entire career, to start at the bottom and then reaching the top. Some pops up to mind…
From the broken necks at The Olympics of 96 to the top of the wrestling world, Kurt Angle,
From Brett Hart who started off at his father’s Stu Hart’s Dungeon forming a team with his brothers then to being renowned as the best ever.
From Stone Cold being chucked out of WCW harshly with his spotlight to be occupied by the biggest star imaginable at the time, Hulk Hogan, but to defy the impossible and then eclipse that wrestler as the biggest of all time….
From being a tag team wrestler being managed by Teddy Long in WCW, to becoming the Best Character that the Wrestling World has ever seen, my favourite of all time, The Undertaker.
From proving it day in and out of being a major talent in the indies and then held back, before one night changed his life forever, my current personal favourite, CM Punk…
From a wrestler who was in a company full of high caliber backgrounds making it difficult for others to make a name, but an undefeated streak would put them all to shame, Goldberg.
To a wrestler, who was close in being the ‘complete athlete’, with the ethnic background to relate to the crowd like the elite names mentioned did. He has the ability to do a variety of wrestling moves, but Hernandez was held back and put aside, to wonder ’what could of been, if only someone saw what many can see, like the people who paved the way, for the legends that makes us smile at the wonderful spectacle of wrestling’.
Hernandez unfortunately, your legacy, as the loyal servant will be unsung.
By Sean Prem
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