76 Year Old Invader #1 Challenging For Puerto Rican World Championship

Invader 1 Jose Gonzalez
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July 17, 1988 was the darkest day in the history of Puerto Rican wrestling when The Invader #1, backstage at a World Wrestling Council show, allegedly stabbed Bruiser Brody with a knife and killed him. The trial failed to go through when witnesses were strangely summoned past the trial for it and José Huertas González, ‘El Invader #1’, was acquitted of the murder, instead being labeled an act of self-defense.

Before and after this horrible incident, The Invader has been one of the island’s most successful wrestlers. Dubbed “The Puerto Rican Dream”, he has headlined the most successful events in the history of Puerto Rico and won many championships throughout his 50+ year career. However, that long career has yet to actually end.

Invader #1 Challenges for World Title Gold

Following a recent return to Savio Vega’s International Wrestling Association promotion in December, The Invader has been a staple of the programming. After a match he was scheduled to referee in was postponed due to a halt to all major indoor events due to a COVID-19 outbreak, said match was finally able to take place in early March. This led to an angle where he was confronted by IWA World Champion Manny Ferno, leading to a story where Ferno would seek retribution for Invader “sticking his nose in his business”.

On the March 26 edition of IWA’s Impacto Total (Total Impact) YouTube show, Manny Ferno went to The Invader’s house and in a very eerie sight, wrapped a crowbar under a towel. Just as how Tony Atlas, witness of Bruiser Brody’s murder, detailed was done with the knife that was used that night. The crowbar was never used however, as Ferno approached Invader’s daughter and swore revenge on her father before simply leaving. Invader would end the episode dramatically punching the table and grabbing his mask as his long-recognized theme, Eye Of The Tiger, played to end the show.

On the Histeria Boricua – La Revancha live event that took place that same night, following the evening’s main event of World Champion Manny Ferno & Intercontinental Champion Khriz Diaz vs Savio Vega & Electro, it was made official that The Invader would be challenging Ferno for the IWA world title at their next major event titled Juicio Final (Final Judgment). If Invader loses, he will never be allowed to return to the IWA.

What to Know About 76-Year-Old Title Contender

Despite the long-documented happenings of that dark night on July 17th, 1988, The Invader has never really slowed down wrestling on the island. He’s always found his way to the top of the card. Most fans that reside here will defend the tragedy, saying it was in self defense or that it happened long ago. The latter is especially ironic defense when, to this day, a 76-year-old is still pushed to the top of the card while the island, beaming with potential new stars, constantly struggles creatively to push anyone young as a long-standing dependence on nostalgia tends to cloud most of the island’s top promotions. Most persistently, Savio Vega’s IWA and the long-standing WWC.

Well past their prime stars like El Bronco, Ray Gonzalez, Chicky Starr, and others are often brought in at non-wrestling capacities to try and patch attendance for events when they feel tickets aren’t selling well enough. While by no means this is meant to discredit many of these legends, it is a big symptom to a very large problem as we see the constant complaint of how “the stars of today don’t compare to the one’s of yesteryear.”

Funny enough, the island’s most successful promotion at the moment, Orlando Colón’s Latin American Wrestling Entertainment, avoids this. Instead, the company focuses on their young roster, patching it with several recurring international stars they can bring in sporadically such as the National Wrestling Alliance’s La Rebellion, All Elite Wrestling’s Proud & Powerful, Thunder Rosa, and others. It’s led to fast growth for the company that just started this past November.

IWA’s events tend to also carry the Major League Wrestling brand when promoted, as Savio Vega has a working relation with MLW CEO Court Bauer that resulted in MLW talent coming in and having short title reigns. As such, all IWA events are promoted as “IWA, IWE & MLW present” events, IWE being a branding used to name the company’s top heel faction.