The Dynamic Duo: “Gorgeous” Gino Hernandez and “Gentleman” Chris Adams

For a little under two years, The Dynamic Duo of Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams were the most dominant heels in World Class Championship Wrestling.

Along with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Gino and Chris would feud with The Von Erichs, The Fabulous Freebirds, and The Fantastics.

Between Gino’s top-notch mic skills, Chris’s intensity, and the impressive athleticism displayed by both, The Dynamic Duo could have dominated any territory they set foot in.

However, their fun-loving, hard-partying lives outside of the ring would cut their run short before they had the chance to go national.

This is a look at the life and times of The Dynamic Duo of Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams, from their humble beginnings to their tragic and mysterious end.

The Dynamic Duo
[Photo: Dark Side of the Ring]

The Dynamic Duo –

Gino Hernandez was born Charles Eugene Wolfe Jr, in Highland Park, Texas, on August 8th, 1957, to model Patrice Aguirre and arena security officer Charles Wolfe, Sr.

However, Gino was born out of wedlock, and it wasn’t until many years later that Gino’s parentage was confirmed. Gino would adopt the Hernandez surname from his stepfather, Houston-area wrestler Luis Hernandez, who would also start Gino’s training at an early age.

When Luis Hernandez passed away in 1972, the younger Hernandez would begin training under Jose Lothario. He made his in-ring debut for Houston Wrestling in 1975.

Shortly thereafter, he would work for Georgia Championship Wrestling before a stint in Detroit’s Big Time Wrestling. Working for Ed “The Sheik” Farhat, he would take on the nickname “Gorgeous Gino,” his good looks making him popular among female fans.

His adoptive relationship with Luis Hernandez earned him the nickname “The Handsome Halfbreed” in San Antonio, where he engaged in a Mentor vs Protege feud with Jose Lothario.

By the early 1980s, however, he had returned to World Class Championship Wrestling, feuding with David Von Erich over the Texas Heavyweight Championship.

It was here that he would start the first incarnation of The Dynamic Duo, joining forces with Tully Blanchard, son of WCCW owner Joe Blanchard.

Chris Adams was born in Warwickshire, England, and was quite the athletic youngster, playing soccer, rugby, and cricket. In his teenage years, he and his younger brother Neil took up Judo, going on to win national and international championships.

Chris was selected to represent Team GB at the 1976 Summer Olympics but did not compete. In 1978, he made his pro wrestling debut for Joint Promotions.

However, Chris had no formal training in professional wrestling, and relied on his judo, karate, and amateur wrestling skills to get through his first few months.

Effectively, Chris Adams learned to wrestle on the job, working with legends like Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree and Mark “Rollerball” Rocco, along with fellow up-and-comers like Dave “Fit” Finlay, Davey Boy Smith, and The Dynamite Kid.

Regularly appearing on World of Sport, “Judo” Chris Adams was remarkably different from his contemporaries, as his background in martial arts lent his moves a sense of realism lacking in those trained in purely wrestling.

However, as the British Wrestling Boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s began to wane, Adams relocated to Los Angeles in 1981 to work for Mike and Gene LeBell.

He would also work for Pacific Northwest Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling before settling into WCCW in 1983.

World Class Championship Wrestling

“Gentleman” Chris Adams debuted World Class Championship Wrestling as the ‘pen pal’ of Kevin Von Erich. WCCW played up this connection, as Adams teamed with Kevin and the other Von Erichs for much of his first year with the company.

The company seemed fully behind Chris Adams as one of the next top stars of the company, cementing his affiliation with the Von Erichs by dubbing him an honorary member of the family.

Kevin Von Erich routinely accompanied Adams to the ring for his early feuds against the likes of The Mongol and Jimmy Garvin over the WCCW Television Championship and NWA American Heavyweight Championship.

However, things started to change when Adams solicited the services of devious manager Gary Hart. This was an interesting storyline for the time, with babyface “Gentleman” Chris Adams enlisting the help of a heel manager.

The Von Erich brothers pleaded with Adams to drop Hart’s services, offering to let him back into the fold if he tore up the contract. Instead, Adams blasted Kevin with his patented Super Kick and broke a wooden folding chair over his head.

The heel turn led to a singles match in the semi-main event at Cotton Bowl Wrestling Star Wars on October 27th, 1984. Though Kevin won the match, he was unable to compete in the main event, which featured the on-screen debut of a new team.
[Photo: Ring The Damn Bell]
Towards the end of 1984, “Gentleman” Chris Adams formed a partnership with the recently returned “Gorgeous” Gino Hernandez.

The pair had faced off a handful of times, trading singles wins over the summer of ’84 before a tag team match seeing Hernandez and Jake Roberts beat Adams and Kevin Von Erich.

In the lead-up to the Cotton Bowl event, Adams and Hernandez had formed an alliance while teaming together at house shows. They made their debut as the second incarnation of The Dynamic Duo in the main event of the Cotton Bowl event in 1984.

That night, The Dynamic Duo teamed with a pre-snake, Jake Roberts, to capture the World Class Six Man Tag Team Championships from Kerry and Mike Von Erich, who defended the title with Bobby Fulton substituting for the injured Kevin Von Erich.

Jake Roberts and The Dynamic Duo would feud with the Von Erichs for the rest of 1984 and well into 1985, trading the WCCW Six Man Tag Team Championships, WCCW Tag Team Championships, and NWA American Tag Team Championships.

Adams and Hernandez filled a unique role for their time, facing off with babyface and heel tag teams.

While their primary feud was with The Von Erichs, their secondary feuds include the likes of The Fabulous Freebirds, The Fantastics, and Hercules Hernandez & The Great Kabuki.


Behind The Scenes

“Gorgeous” Gino Hernandez lived the high life, wearing fine clothes, driving fast cars, and he was always seen with beautiful women. On the road, however, he lived as close to the gimmick as he could get.

After shows, he and Adams would go to nightclubs and party until the break of dawn. This included heavy drinking and the abuse of various illicit substances, mainly cocaine and other stimulants.

Former WCCW colleagues like Tom Pritchard, David Manning, and Jeanie Clarke recall seeing a sugar bowl full of cocaine in Gino’s apartment, from which he would take take hits constantly.

His drug abuse had been the cause of problems in his life before, as it was one of the main factors in both of his divorces. Gary Hart encouraged Gino to get clean multiple times.

While Chris Adams also indulged in drugs, he was primarily known as a drinker. When he was sober, friends and colleagues described Adams as a decent person. However, when he started drinking, that would change.

“Alcohol is something that changes Chris,” Gary Hart told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2001. “He’s no longer a nice, sweet guy.”

In the documentary Gentleman’s Choice, released in 2008, Kevin Von Erich recalled the time in 1986 that Chris Adams got into a drunken altercation with an airline pilot in Puerto Rico.

As Von Erich remembers, the flight was grounded, and the airline decided to give passengers an open bar to keep them happy.

When the flight was about ready to take off, they closed the bar, which got on Chris’s nerves. Court records show that Adams headbutted the pilot three times and punched a flight attendant before being restrained by other wrestlers.

He was sentenced to three months in prison with a fine of $500.  Von Erich also remembers telling Adams that they could swap their shirts and try to sneak off the plane without being arrested. Adams rejected the idea, saying, “I’m going out as Chris Adams.”

The Peak of The Dynamic Duo

The absolute pinnacle of the Dynamic Duo came at the 2nd Annual Cotton Bowl Extravaganza on October 6th, 1985.

Adams and Hernandez had challenged Kerry and Kevin Von Erich (now billed as The Cosmic Cowboys) to a rematch for the NWA American Tag Team Championship in the main event.

However, as the two teams had feuded over the belt for most of the summer, they decided to add an extra stipulation. The match would be not only for the title, but for the right to keep their hair in a hair vs hair match.

At the time, The Von Erichs were known for their shaggy blonde locks, while The Dynamic Duo were known for their well-kept hair.

Toward the end of the match, Gino hooks Kerry in a double chicken wing, allowing Adams to throw an unknown white powder into Kerry’s face. They then took the beating to Kevin while Kerry was dealing with the powder in his eyes.

Kevin managed to take control of the bout shortly after with a flying crossbody, but Kerry won the match with a surprise roll-up.

In the end, Gino and Chris had to be dragged back into the ring, where they mugged for the cameras as wrestlers and fans passed clippers around to shave the heel’s precious hair.

The Dynamic Duo would face the Cosmic Cowboys on two more outings, defeating their rivals at Thanksgiving Star Wars and losing for the final time at Christmas Star Wars.

In the aftermath of their loss at Christmas Star Wars, The Duo would begin to implode. In an interesting twist on the storyline so far, it turned out that the heels who didn’t get along with the other heels, couldn’t get along with each other.

During the first singles match in this new program, Hernandez through a handful of Michael Hayes’s “Freebird Hair Removal Cream” into Adams’s face, blinding him.

Adams would then spend a number of weeks away from WCCW, spending time with this then-new wife Toni. However, whenever he was to be seen in public, Adams sold the story that he had been blinded.

However, the storyline between Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez was sadly cut short before it’s time. History, it seemed, had other plans.

The Mysterious Death of Gino Hernandez

On February 4th, 1986, WCCW officials contacted the police in Highland Park, Texas about Gino Hernandez, who had no-showed a string of events. Along with the police, David Manning and Rick Hazzard broke into Gino’s apartment, where they found his corpse.

According to police reports, he had been dead for approximately four days. News reports went out in which the police suggested his death had been a homicide. This lead many WCCW fans to call police with tips to investigate Chris Adams, as Gino had recently ‘blinded’ him on TV.

However, the case was closed when an autopsy showed that Charles Wolfe, Jr had ingested five times the amount of cocaine that would kill a man of his weight and size. However, the autopsy report also contains a significant number of errors regarding Wolfe’s physicality.

For example, the report describes Wolfe as ‘morbidly obese’ despite plenty of evidence on the contrary. This had lead many to be skeptical about the nature of his death, or even whether or not it happened.

Towards the end of his life, many of the people around Wolfe recall him dealing with a significant paranoia. He had expressed to many people that he felt his life was in danger.

In the late 70s, he had gotten involved with a number of unsavory characters within the Texas nightlife scene. One of those people is a man known as John Royal, who had a reputation for dealing drugs.

Following Wolfe’s death, John Royal reached out to Wolfe’s mother to tell her that all of his funeral expenses would be paid for.

Friends and family, most of whom had never met Royal or his associates, expressed concern that they would be overseeing the funeral, which was a closed-casket funeral.

Among those who have expressed skepticism over Gino’s death are David Manning (in the Heroes of WCCW DVD), Michael Hayes (in a 2016 episode of Legends with JBL), Jake “The Snake” Roberts (in an interview with Hannibal TV), and Gino’s mother, Patrice, and his ex-wife, Janice Bancroft (in Dark Side of The Ring’s first season).

The Downward Spiral of Chris Adams

While Chris Adams continued wrestling after his partner’s untimely death, he was never quite the same.

He floated through various Southern wrestling promotions from late 1986 through to 1988, teaming and feuding with Terry Taylor and Iceman Parsons. When he returned to WCCW in 1988, he decided to open a wrestling school at the Dallas Sportatorium.

It was here that he met and trained a young man called Steve Williams, who would debut in 1989 as Steve Austin. Adams would kick off Austin’s career with a mentor-protege feud in WCCW and the re-branded United States Wrestling Association.

However, Austin would be Adams’s only high-profile trainee, as Adams was known to take trainees’ money, stiff them, and send them into the business unprepared.

When WCCW closed their doors in 1990, Adams would wrestle for various independent promotions like the Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas while working for the USWA.

In 1997, he would join World Championship Wrestling, to join Lord Steven Regal and Squire Dave Taylor in The Blue Bloods. However, this was short-lived, as Adams had personal heat with his teammates.

By 1999, “Gentleman” Chris Adams was little more than an enhancement talent in WCW, and he requested his release from the company. He spent the rest of his life in Texas as a promoter and part-time wrestler.

Behind the scenes, Chris’s life was spiraling out of control. In 1988, he was arrested on domestic abuse charges after he allegedly beat his wife, Toni. He served a year on probation, and the two divorced in 1994.

Adams also faced legal trouble for a string of DUI’s in 1991. In the year 2000, Chris and his then-girlfriend Linda Kaphengst were found unconscious on the floor of a friend’s apartment.

They were taken to a hospital and treated for an overdose on the drug GHB, Adams would recover, but Kaphengst would pass away 10 hours later. Adams was arrested on manslaughter charges.

However, before he could stand trial, he was fatally shot by his best friend, Brent Parnell, during a drunken brawl in his house on October 7th, 2001. Parnell pleaded self-defense, and he was acquitted of all charges.