End of the Year Awards in Puerto Rico
The year 2017 ended and the Puerto Rican scene saw the winners of this year best of the year awards. In past years, the duties to deliver the award were given to PRWrestling.com site, which was a pioneer in the industry in the early 2000s, opening the doors to fans that didn’t know much about the heavy kayfabe Puerto Rican Wrestling scene. Since then, the landscape has change, and the publication that replace PRWrestling was Impacto Estelar and their newsletter, El Impacto Semanal – The Weekly Impact in Spanish – which is the Caribbean version of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. El Impacto Semanal held the awards, giving 10 awards that included Wrestler of the Year, Match of the Year, Best Promotion, Best Women Wrestler and other awards. The panel of voters was compound by former bookers in the industry, former wrestlers, wrestling writers and historians.
In the category of Wrestler of the Year, CWA Heavyweight Champion Star Roger took the prize, beating in a close bout Mecha Wolf 450 and Mike Mendoza. Roger had an outstanding year, he held Championship Wrestling Association’s top prize for over a year, defended it in the United States, headline more shows that any wrestler in the island and even went to places like Panamá, México, Colombia and United States.
The match between Impact Wrestling’s LAX (Diamante, Ortiz & Santana) against the 3rd Generation (Mike Mendoza, Angel Fashion & Vanilla Vargas) was awarded match of the year. In terms of impact, draw and quality, the match was something else, reviving the west side of Puerto Rico, elevating the rising stable and performing at a high level against the best Tag Team, Impact Wrestling could offer.
This year, the award of best promotion was given to World Wrestling League, which basically dominated from May through September, and, if Hurricane Maria had never happened, they basically would have dominated the following months. In terms of attendance, they average 512 people per show. In the match of the year awards, 3 of 5 nominated were WWL matches, their quality in the ring was unmatched. Also, they helped elevate young talent, instead of relying on veterans to draw for their shows.
Other winners were: Mike Mendoza (Wrestling Revelation 2017), Justin Dynamite (Best High Flyer), West Side Mafia (Best Tag Team), JC Navarro (Best Technician), Mecha Wolf 450 (Best Brawler), Peter the Bad Romance (Most Underrated) and Roxxy (Best Women Wrestler).
WWL Returning Next Month
After month of speculation and fans asking for them, World Wrestling League made the announcement that they were planning to come back soon. The promotion, which dominated the Puerto Rican wrestling scene, had a new working agreement with The Crash promotion in Mexico. The date for the return show hasn’t been confirmed, but, detailed analysis on their roster being in the United States could tell us when the next show is.
In January is impossible to have a show, most of the talent is in North America, plus, Mecha Wolf 450, which is their big draw, is booked for the month. In February, on 2/3 – the shows in Puerto Rico are on Saturday mostly – their talent is still in the United States, including Mike Mendoza (he is on an excursion in the Northeast), Angel Fashion (in Florida) and Mecha Wolf 450 is booked. The reason why they won’t pay for plane tickets for Fashion and Mendoza, is because they must come back to the states for 2/9 and 2/10, which are big dates for those talents since Cleveland Knights Championship Wrestling is having their “New World Rising Show” – the one with Eric Bischoff – and Florida Wrestling Revolution is having their tapings in Florida. Plus, FWR is paying for the airline tickets so that Fashion and Mendoza go back to the island. The best date available is 2/17, because of their prime stars being in the island and Mecha Wolf 450 having free space in his calendar to work.
If WWL doesn’t get the 2/17 date, they’ll have to wait until March 3, since on 2/24 Roxxy, Mecha Wolf 450 and other talents will be on the New Generation Championship Wrestling in Kissimmee, Florida.
Mike Mendoza vs. Star Roger to take place in CKCW
After weeks of speculation on when or were the most anticipated match-up in 2018 – in Puerto Rico – was going to take place, CKCW announced that they are having Mike Mendoza vs. Star Roger © for the CWA Championship Live on iPPV in 2/9 through the Fite App.
It was something that came two weeks after Mendoza attacked Star Roger on CWA’s Christmas Showdown – and in the process crossing the promotional lines, as he appeared on a CWA while being a WWL talent. CKCW needed a bout that could stand out with their Puerto Rican fans, as the promotion is run by a couple from the island, and since Mendoza vs. Roger started a big buzz on social media, they approached CWA with the offer of Roger defending the title in Ohio against Mendoza. CKCW hopes to get some buys from the island, since they got fans from the US intrigued with Eric Bischoff’s presence and stars from the past like the Warlord, Tracy Smothers and Barbarian on the show.
The match will be an intriguing one, Roger was Puerto Rico’s wrestler of the year in 2017, his in-ring stamina and furiousness is only match by his archrival Mecha Wolf 450. Mendoza in the other part, is a star on the rising, bringing a hard-hitting demeanor and great speed that could give Roger a run for his money. While Roger is a stable in the island, Mendoza’s presence seems to threaten that same position, as lately, Mendoza is getting a lot of opportunity internationally, like WWE, The Crash, US indies and more.
Mecha Wolf 450 and Mustafa Ali Come to Terms
The year 2017 represented a lot of ups and downs for 2-times WWC Universal Champion, Mecha Wolf 450.
Back in August, WWE 205 Superstar, Mustafa Ali, broke his silence on what he thought about his former best friend, Mecha Wolf 450, accusing him of stealing one of his moves, being a liar and bashing him for his domestic abuse case. This was big news back then, because both guys, alongside AAW Heritage Champion, Zema Ion (DJ Z), 2-times WWE United States Champion Kalisto (Samurai del Sol) and Lucha Underground star, Ivelisse, were inseparable in the Chicago wrestling scene.
Now, after reflecting on his 2017, Mecha Wolf 450 confirmed that him and Mustafa Ali have forgiven each other and have left behind their animosity. In a statement in Twitter and Facebook, Mecha Wolf 450 reflects, “I had people turn their back on me, from former friends, colleagues to even the guy I wrestled that night. Because they thought I was faking an injury or I was just trying to get money out of people. It still angers me to this day, that those people that know me would even think such things about me. Since then, that person did apologize genuinely to me and that’s all that needs to be said about the matter. I still respect the hell out of the guy and he’s a Chicago wrestling pioneer. Nothing can that take that away.” Later, Mecha Wolf adds, “I am still here I am still standing, and I will not go away. It took me 8 weeks to get back in the ring, but I still have a deep scar from that night one year ago. I just felt like I needed to clear the air, say my peace and finally leave this chapter behind so I can continue to move on.”
In the statement – which you can read here – 450 confirms that WWE sent him to a rehabilitation center for his knee, which was speculated before that it wasn’t the case. He also addressed that he doesn’t know if he ever going to be back to WWE, but is happy that him and Mustafa are back to being amicable.
Other News from the Caribbean
– Imperio Lucha Libre, which is the biggest promotion in Peru and brings big independent stars from all around the world, is having their “IMPERIO II” show on February 4 in the Reser Club de Pueblo Libre. The show will be headline by their champion and former WWE superstar, Carlito vs. the newly signed Impact Wrestling star, Brian Cage. Also, Reptil defends his South American title against newly crowned X-Division Champion, Matt Sydal. The promotion announced that Impact Wrestling, Defiant Wrestling and IPW:UK World Champion, Austin Aries will be on the show. They also announced that Bullet Club member, Marty Scurll, will make his debut. Brazilian wrestler Zumbi and former WWC Universal Champion Apolo will also be on the show.
– The Costa Rican promotion Costa Rica Wrestling Embassy (CWE) is having a big show on January 27 in Club Peppers Zapote. The promotion is having their 4th anniversary and is bringing to their celebration the 7-times IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks. The promotion in the past brought Mexican stars like Shocker and Volador Jr., but this time around they will feature the number 1 tag team in the world. Also, Blue Demon Jr. will be on the show.
– Angel Fashion excursion in Florida continued this past Tuesday, this time in Pro Wrestling 2.0, were he went against 2-times WWC Universal Champion, Mecha Wolf 450. That match alone would gather attention in Puerto Rico, as Fashion is one of the best up and coming stars and Mecha Wolf 450 is the best wrestler – and draw – in the island. The match was in Facebook live, it didn’t have anything special, Mecha Wolf really took the load of the match, while Fashion seemed out of its comfort zone. This kind of matches, while unimpressive, help talent like Fashion – whose career has been in strictly in the Caribbean – perform in other audiences and develop new ways to approach crowds and matches. The 2.0 show included former WWL Champion, El Nazareno, and WWL talent Sr.C. Also, in Pro Wrestling 2.0. Mecha Wolf 450 and Santana Garrett became the official trainers of their facility. With Mecha Wolf’s victory over Angel Fashion, it’s now him (Wolf) vs. former Impact Grand Champion, Moose for the Pro Wrestling 2.0 tittle.
– Vanilla Vargas was confirmed in the México vs. Puerto Rico cartel that is taking place later this year in Puerto Rico. She, alongside Mike Mendoza, Star Roger, Hiram Tua & Angel Fashion are the only wrestler confirmed for the show from the Puerto Rican side. From the México side, “El Trío de Fantasía” Super Ratón & Super Muñeco – the kid’s favorite in the old days in México – Crazy Starr, Arturo and Diva Virtual.
– The Crash has a big show on 1/20 in Tijuana with the main event having La Rebelión Amarilla (Mecha Wolf 450, Garza Jr. and Damian 666) vs. Masada (former CZW World Champion), Daga & Penta 0M. Matt Riddle was supposed to show up against Rey Horus (Dragón Azteca Jr. in Lucha Underground), but he is scheduled for All American Wrestling (AAW) on that same date.
– Aroluxe’s Aro Lucha promotion next big event will be in Amarillo, Texas on January 19 – they had it on the 20th, but The Crash had a show on that same day, and most of Aro Lucha’s talent is The Crash’s talent – and another one on Lubbock, Texas. The live shows will include talents like: former WWE Intercontinental & United States Champion Carlito “Caribbean Cool”, Super Crazy, Juventud Guerrera, former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight and ROH World Champion Low Ki, former TNA World Champion James Storm, Laredo Kid and more. They also announced running on 2/16 in Beaumont.