Following a podcast appearance by former WWE referee Mike Chioda, a cascade of questions in Puerto Rico emerged regarding his revelation of getting a job in “a new wrestling company”. On Chioda’s Monday podcast a few weeks ago, the former referee was asked when he would be returning. It’s been about a year since his last stint having been the referee for Cody Rhodes vs Lance Archer at last year’s Double Or Nothing to crown the first-ever TNT Champion. Spurring the following response about Eddie Colon and his brother’s group:
“Coming up in Puerto Rico, I’m gonna start working with the Colons over there. Epico and Primo Colon, and their father. They’re starting a new company up called Latin American Wrestling Entertainment Incorporated. I’ll be leaving [to go] out there on Tuesday and do some stuff with production and referee and training the referees and stuff like that. Helping out with all sorts. And I’ll start to get back in the ring a little bit hopefully once a month there. So [I’ll be] in Puerto Rico for live TV, so it’s gonna be awesome. Tapings and TV, and they got a really good thing going on there, we got a nice thing going on. Nice staging, nice ring, they got a lot of old school [talent] plus Epico and Primo and what they put into it and stuff like that. They have some interesting talent coming up in their company as well.”
Currently, on the island of Puerto Rico, wrestling is at a partial stand-still due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary companies WWC, IWA & CWA do run shows but their taping schedules vary depending on the country’s state of emergency which changes monthly, limiting how tapings can be done. But they’re not impossible. For the past two months, World Wrestling Council (WWC), the top company on the island for the past 40+ years and one of the few remaining companies of the “territory days”, has been airing re-runs. While there is a small degree of new content in the form of the host introducing the program, narration being updated weekly and small, minute-long promos to remind us of story-lines and active wrestlers, the matches showcased and even primary vignettes are all older content with certain interviews meant to push current story-lines having re-aired 4 to 5 times already. It’s not gone unnoticed by fans. Their shows are uploaded to YouTube weekly and their comments sections are routinely inundated with frustration at how often the same content gets re-aired with no answers as to when new content is being filmed.
Mike Chioda’s comments throw a massive monkey wrench into what’s going on on the island. “Latin American Wrestling Entertainment Incorporated”, as he named it, is very much real. After a bit of research, I discovered it has been incorporated this past March with former WWE Tag Team Champion Primo (known to us as Eddie Colon, real name Edwin Colon) as its president and owner. Meaning everything Chioda has said checks out. Nothing about this new company has been mentioned under any real capacity. World Wrestling Council, where the entire Colon family has been working since the company’s birth, has been marching along as if nothing is happening. But we have the evidence that something is very much up.
This has resulted in their TV distributor, WAPA TV, not broadcasting their Saturday episodes. Instead, they air SmackDown, which normally airs after WWC, an hour early in what would be WWC’s normal time slot. No one in the company wants to answer if their time slot has been canceled or if things will go back to normal once they can tape new content. Publicly, this has left the company in a state of flux for a month now. This isn’t a case of the pandemic halting them completely as World Wrestling Council was able to secure a location to film full-blown TV episodes in the form of a nightclub known as Warehouse 24. WWC still lists them as sponsors meaning the building is fully available for tapings and the state of emergency only halted working past 10pm, the island’s sports commission has been working closely with all major wrestling promotions to ensure tapings follow COVID-19 protocols.
The thing is the Colons have been working with their father in the long-established WWC for over 2 years now. Investing in a new ring, lighting, Championships, scenery, etc. It seems very weird that after all that investment in WWC, they would ditch for a completely new company on an island with very limited resources right now.
This has led the speculation that this new company is actually some sort of restructuring plan within WWC. It might include a genuine renaming of the company. It wouldn’t be the first time as the company was known from its inception until 1993 as “Capitol Sports Promotions” while the WWC acronym was used as a “governing body” of its Championships in the same vein as how New Japan uses “IWGP” or Pro Wrestling NOAH’s “GHC” before it was adopted as the company name following a bankruptcy. WWC has had problems for many years, primarily because of its aging bookers that have seemingly lost touch greatly on wrestling in general. Carlos Colon, the father of Primo & Carlito, uncle to Epico, has been promoting the company nonstop since its inception in 1973 alongside co-owner Victor Jovica. That’s a longer tenure than Vince McMahon himself by a full decade. When people attend WWC shows, these two once-legendary names are pretty easy to spot in the ticket booth or at the cantina eating away the night rather than paying attention to the hard work of the wrestlers working under them.
Right now whatever it truly is, be that a full, brand new company, with the Colons actually abandoning the company they’ve called home for over 40 years, or the start of a restructuring plan, we’ll just have to wait to find out. Puerto Rico is quite the time-bubble of the wrestling business as companies still struggle a lot with concepts that would be pretty par for the course in the US like online Pay-Per-View, modern-style TV rights deals, and how news is distributed. A lot of people in the business to this day would rather dig their head under the sand than explain what would be very simple issues such as the current situation between WWC and its TV broadcaster Wapa TV.
What little information I’ve been able to gather through word of mouth seems to point to Eddie/Primo Colon using his time in the WWE to learn how to administer a wrestling company in a more modern light as well as little by little earning money to invest. This is what has me believing this isn’t a stand-alone promotion and will in fact be the inheritance of World Wrestling Council, as Primo has already invested in new Championship titles just this year as well as a full entrance set for its television tapings prior to the pandemic. Word of mouth has also pointed out how very unfit the Colon patriarch, Carlos Colon, is in terms of leading a company. WWC president Victor Jovica is likely not far behind mentally. Prior to the pandemic, we could witness the proof with our own eyes, seeing their lack of interest in their very own product.
Mike Chioda comments about a “nice stage” and “nice ring” seem to point to them using the assets already used for WWC in the form of the Warehouse 24 building which houses a large, “Titantron-like” screen as well as fog machines, pyrotechnics, and a full PA system. As already mentioned, Eddie Colon has already invested in assets for the company and those included a new ring. In addition, the “Latin American Wrestling” company was registered 3 months ago while the company still pushes Colon very heavily in the midst of a co-promoted angle with Savio Vega‘s IWA promotion, I very much lean towards the mentality that the company that was founded in 1973 as “Capitol Sports Promotions”, in 1993 was renamed “World Wrestling Council”, will soon become “Latin American Wrestling” and continue the 47-year legacy. But only time will tell what will truly happen here.
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