Puerto Rico Report #7 | The Pandemic Has Halted the Start of the Year

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We’re back to see how things are going on the island of Puerto Rico during the pandemic. On the island, it’s traditional to halt events just prior to Christmas before coming back prior to or on January 6th. The holiday is known as The Epiphany (El Día de Reyes). However, as the Omicron variant caused COVID-19 cases to skyrocket, as well as confusion regarding the sorting of false positives and true positives, the island has resulted in returning to having curfews and limitations for enclosed locations to return. This has resulted in nearly all January cards being postponed, including the World Wrestling Council’s Anniversary card.

However, companies in Puerto Rico aren’t just sitting still as they once again look for ways around the pandemic to keep things going. Let’s see all the major happenings so far.

Puerto Rico Report #7 – The Island During the Pandemic

CWA Won’t Admit It, but Their Silly Stunt Last Month Cost Them

Unlike all the other companies in Puerto Rico, CWA was never really affected by the pandemic halt due to them just having a big show scheduled as restrictions were about to tighten up. While they had to refund tickets for their Reyes Del Hexagono (Kings Of The Hexagon) pay-per-view and go through with no crowd, CWA still managed to have the venue available to tape for TV.

However, the mass exodus from last month due to the incident involving La Tigresa resulted in not just the exit of a great part of the roster, but also a big dip in fan interest for the product. There was also the matter of the company basically losing the ‘keys’ to the YouTube channel. It’s a common occurrence, as YouTube is handled by a member of a company’s production. That producer leaves and opts to take the YouTube channel with him. It sounds absolutely ludicrous, but WWC has already suffered it twice in the past. While the channel isn’t deleted, something that did happen with WWC’s two cases, it does mean now CWA has to re-educate fans to go to the new one to see their content.

As a study of the views on the channel shows, fans aren’t too spurred to go watch the new shows. This may also give a glimpse into how their TV & PPV numbers are doing. After all, if the free show on the most-watched platform of the internet has a hard time, how hard is it to sell a full show? Not to mention, how many fans go out of their way to watch the midnight airing of the show on TV? If CWA can just get about 200 on YouTube, 0ne must imagine they don’t go past the thousands on TV.

The primary story on the show is Louis Forza, the former PR Champion, going after World Champion Manuel Rodriguez. The other main story is new women Allison & Tiffany Nieves fighting constantly. Allison was a guest on CWA’s spin-off talk show, Malecon Night Club, hosted by Rodrigo Garcia. It’s the same segment where the Tigresa controversy took place and, of course, they double-downed on it whenever they could, including an off-screen cat-call of “too much clothes” fired at Allison. It’s a common thing on our TV shows, I understand that. The island has always been known for being incredibly crass with its humor; Just look at what happened to Willie Urbina in All Elite Wrestling. However, this particular instance truly showcases how little the people involved in driving off an entire roster of women learned. It almost feels like they’re proud of it.

Learn more on CWA’s YouTube Channel.

LAWE Takes Cues From Cobra Kai

Latin American Wrestling Entertainment’s second show was scheduled originally for this weekend and has scheduled another AEW vs National Wrestling Alliance main event in the form of Santana and Ortiz vs the NWA Tag Team Champions, La Rebelion. The card would also see the start of LAWE’s tournament to crown their first champion. A short show called LAWE Update and an interview column called LAWE Confidential are the company’s primary venues for furthering angles. This week’s update had a stellar fight between Mike Mendoza and former student Samuel Olmo. Continuing the story from the first PPV, Olmo wanted revenge for his teacher injuring him and others. Olmo burst into Mendoza’s school and challenged him to a match. Mendoza agreed and they had a match surrounded by the students trying to help Mendoza. Mendoza stopped them, hit one, and continued. He then hit a low blow on Olmo, which left the referee confused but was yelled at to keep going.

It was one hell of a Cobra Kai-inspired angle as eventually Star Roger, another owner of a wrestling dojo, came to the rescue. He begged for Mike Mendoza to be re-entered into the title tournament for the opportunity to face him. However, before the episode ended, someone else burst into the school later and beat Mendoza’s students; this individual was a THIRD teacher, Morgan, also seeking revenge against the very John Kreese-esque Mike Mendoza. This set up several matches in the tournament as the various people Mendoza injured look to eliminate Mendoza’s subordinates in the Anexión stable to then go after him personally. I wonder if they’ll rename the tournament ‘The All-Valley” at some point.

Stay up to date on LAWE’s YouTube Channel.

 

WWC Stays the Course While One of Its Wrestlers Go the Extra Mile

WWC never fails to remind us about how truly old-school it is. As the island is forced to stop its events, WWC does the bare minimum for TV. There are no matches taped, not even without crowds, making them the only company to not do that, even if LAWE just taped one match. It’s still more than WWC. Vignettes or promos involving the current roster are either very rare or simply non-existent. Instead, they go through the usual array of old matches and act like it’s the norm.

However, one WWC wrestler has really grabbed people’s attention: Pedro Portillo III. One of WWC’s top heels best promos, Portillo has been running an angle with a local influencer named Benny Beni. The two have had heated arguments on social media and even did interviews face to face, confronting each other. This led to the island’s #1 influencer and successful comedian/podcaster Chente Ydrach to interview Portillo. The interview was a rousing success.

Sporting the usual high numbers the top podcast of the island boasts as well as a long list of very positive comments on its YouTube broadcast as many non-wrestling fans wound up being grasped by Portillo’s talking ability and passion. Will WWC capitalize?. The company has shown how out of touch the company it is in this sense. However, it may result in a good bump in attendance for all of wrestling on the island, as Portillo put over in the interview. He may be the one to attract some very much-needed young, new fans.

Both shows only had old matches, but these were very sloppily edited. In one particular match on the Sunday edition, Abdullah the Butcher vs Big Hages, the commentator clearly had no clue who Hages was. They didn’t even identify him. A quick Google search of ‘Abdullah the Butcher Jimmy Hart Joe Don Smith Bayamon” yielded the result for me, as well as the event where the match took place: Septiembre Negro 2001.

The IWA Puerto Rico/MLW Alliance Gets Stronger During the Pandemic

IWA Puerto Rico is a weird company in the sense that their booking very much favors shock value over wrestling quality. That’s not to say they never have good matches. However, the company’s appeal is its crazy, dramatized booking over wrestling. Case in point, the main event of their postponed Histeria Boricua pay-per-view is Savio Vega and Lightning vs Mighty Ursus and Manny Ferno. It’s the usual IWA vs IWE fare. However, the main draw of the match is its two guest referees, Chicky Starr and Invader #1. Yes, THAT Invader. The moral compass of Puerto Rico, even during this pandemic, isn’t exactly pointing north. And the man responsible for that damaged moral compass yet again is in the business.

The second instance of IWA’s love for drama is the primary story of this week’s TV show, as the Major League Wrestling & IWA tag team titles were up for grabs. The match that was originally scheduled for Histeria Boricua between the team of 5150 and the Owners of Time took place in a taped, no-crowd match. The results were seemingly spoiled by MLW when they posted an image of 5150 with both sets of titles. IWA would promote on their social media with the far too common “what happened here?” line.

With one-half of the IWA Tag Team Champions injured, World Champion Manny Ferno subbed in. But an accidental crutch to the face resulted in 5150 winning the titles after a solid match. The rematch is set for the Histeria Boricua event once a date can be announced.

Court Bauer himself cut a promo on the heel stable of the IWE Alliance to hammer home how the working agreement between IWA & MLW is truly growing.

Ratings Analysis:

This ratings/views analysis is based on information taken on Sunday afternoons from each companies respective YouTube channels. WWC & CWA programs are also distributed through traditional TV.

CWA Campeones Del Hexagono – 1/21/22: 1,300 views. This is a big increase from last week’s only 212 views at press time.

IWA Impacto Total – 1/22/22: 10,000 views. This is the exact number as last week’s episode.

LAWE Update – 1/21/22: 1,500 views. Also, the same number as last week’s episode.

WWC – 1/22/22 & 1/23/22: 1,500 & 765 respectively. This is a big dip for WWC as, last week at press time, the company garnered 3,100 for Saturday & 2,100 for Sunday.

TV Results:

CWA Campeones Del Hexagono 01/21/22:

  1. Manroop Dhadli defeats Voltage Rivera
  2. Toros Salvajes defeat enhancement talents
  3. CWA World Champion Manuel Rodriguez defeats Sacrilegio

IWA Impacto Total 01/22/22:

  1. Aiden Grimm defeats Xone The One
  2. 5150 defeats IWA World Champion Manny Ferno/Nick Mercer for the MLW & IWA Tag Team Championship

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.