Puerto Rico Report #8 – Smackdown Has Competition

Puerto Rico Wrestling Smackdown
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After weeks off due to circumstances out of our control, we’re back to recap what’s going on in the island of Puerto Rico. We have lots of legends coming back to the ring, new programs, and one promotion skyrocketing and being positioned as competition to Smackdown on TV in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Report #8 – Smackdown Has Competition

LAWE – They Have Rocketed To The Top? Giving Smackdown Competition in Puerto Rico?

LAWE had its first show on November 20 last year. They announced plans for TV in January, debuted it in February on a secondary TV station Saturdays at 8 pm. In just three weeks, Telemundo, one of the 4 top TV stations on the island, plucked an already prepared episode of LAWE Adrenalina (Adrenaline) from that secondary channel and placed it on their main channel to go head to head with Wapa TV’s Saturday airing of WWE Smackdown at 2 pm in Puerto Rico.

Wapa is seen as the top TV channel in Puerto Rico, with Telemundo being seen as #2 behind it. In the late 90s, WWF Raw aired at that time and in the 2000s, IWA broadcasted their Impacto Total weekly show at that time. But wrestling had not been a part of the station in over a decade.

Their next show will be TV tapings where the Quarter Final round of their Championship Tournament will take place. AEW’s Santana is a part of it, as well as NWA Tag Team Champion Mecha Wolf.  Thunder Rosa is also slated for the tapings.

WWC – It Exists

WWC’s weekly shows have not been uploaded to YouTube for some reason. Despite that, the company is marching along. Any mentions of their 48 Anniversary have vanished along with all the talent that they announced months ago like Andrade El Idolo, The Good Brothers, and Alberto El Patron. That aside, former CWA ace, Mike Nice, finally debuted. We were told he was coming in all the way back in January but the pandemic slowed things down. He was immediately thrust into a rivalry with Enyel over the WWC TV Championship which Mike Nice has won.

There are teases of Ray Gonzalez, current GM, stepping into the ring once again. He last wrestled in 2017 when he won the Universal title in a very questionable move. He was in extremely rough shape, following back surgery. While he was never known for being the best wrestler, it was becoming very pronounced how limited he was a couple of years prior to said title reign. Hopefully, he’s in far better shape.

IWA – It’s The Same Nostalgia Trip

IWA started 2022 with a story bringing back The Invader. In my wildest dreams, I didn’t imagine it would culminate in the 76-year-old controversial figure we just love going back to being placed as #1 Contender to the IWA World title. But that’s the case now for IWA’s next big show, Juicio Final (Final Judgment).

As usual with IWA, their only major story is the power struggle between current World Champion Manny Ferno and Savio Vega. This led to Invader coming in and our current main event predicament. Outside of that, as typical with IWA very little goes on. Young talent John Hawkings won a #1 Contenders match to challenge King Muertes for his IWA Caribbean title, but not that long ago, he was losing alongside his two partners Jax Di Franco & Jay Cobbs 3 on 2 against then-Tag Team Champions 5150 with relative ease.

They have several weeks to build towards what they see as this big-time show.

CWA – Bandido Unable To Show Up; A Touch Of Realism

CWA this past Sunday had their ‘Batalla Por El Oro’ show (Battle For The Gold). It featured a Royal Rumble match. Also, previously announced for the event was the current ROH World Champion Bandido. Earlier in the day, he informed on his social media that he would not be able to make the flight to Puerto Rico for the event. No reason was given, but due to the circumstances of the pandemic in the last 2 years, it’s not really that unexpected.

Instead of his scheduled match, we had an angle where his designated opponent and new top heel of the promotion, Louis Forza, berated commentator Robert Diaz. It’s not normally acknowledged on-screen, but Diaz is the owner of CWA. Forza berated him for always paying for international talent and neglecting the local talent that works hard for almost no pay. Which is, in fact, a shoot. Based on the incident that revolved around the company in 2018 when CWA brought in the likes of Shane Strickland, Billy Gunn, Tessa Blanchard, Zeuxis, Matt Sydal, Super Crazy and so many more. But their local talent saw no real profit from the show. It led to an exodus. A similar incident took place this last December regarding the entire women’s roster and a portion of their production staff due to an incident of disrespect. This particular angle with Forza & Diaz was meant to air the real-life grievances that surround the company and have plagued it many times over.

This is by far the most interesting thing that has happened in CWA in a long time. We’ll see if it’s able to help them recover some of the spark they showcased last year in the midst of so much competition.

GZW – Strong Start

GZW used to be one of those promotions that offered live events, but no type of programming. Which, was very typical in Puerto Rico. They debuted their new YouTube program ‘Accion Sin Limite’ (Accion Without Limits) three weeks ago. The show has gained about the same amount of views as any episode of WWC on YouTube.

They also have a legend coming out of retirement in former member of Los Boricuas in the WWF, Huracan Castillo. In WWF he was known as Jesus Castilo & El Merenguero. He was given a tribute at the last GZW event which led to an angle where heel manager El Profe had all the major heels in the company attacking wrestler Demolition X. Castillo made the save. Demolition, a student of Castillo, went to thank him at his home when Huracan Castillo suggested teaming with him for what he claims will be his final match.

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.