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Възхода и падението на пуерториканският кеч


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Една статия, която поне за мен беше доста интересна и научих много нови неща:

Being only 24 years old, and not growing up in Puerto Rico during the 1980’s (My family moved back to Puerto Rico in 1988), I didn’t catch much of the wrestling action that the local federations were having. All I knew is that my mother wouldn’t let me watch too much wrestling in the period because of the grueling style of hardcore action featured on the weekends (at 11:00 AM, interesting enough).

As I grew older and started to appreciate the wrestling industry itself, the curiosity grew stronger each time someone older mentioned that era. So I decided to start sleuthing around and get some more information about those years. I wanted to find out how popular wrestling was here in Puerto Rico, and how it has gotten to where it’s at today.

I’ve been talking to a couple of older friends who are in their late-thirties and in their forties. Whenever I asked them about wrestling, they remember lots of great matches and personalities from that timeframe. The names that are dropped instantly whenever I mentioned ‘Puerto Rican Wrestling’ are Carlos Colon, Abdullah the Butcher and The Invader (Jose Gonzalez). Those are the true icons of pro wrestling on this island.

Puerto Rico seemed to be an increasingly popular hotbed for wrestlers to apply their trade. Before the WWE went international, there were territories where wrestlers would go to. Once their run was finished, they would just go ahead to the next hot territory and have a fresh start. Puerto Rico was famous for bringing in the toughest wrestlers and have the sickest matches this side of Japan. Granted, the WWC didn’t always have the best talent around, but they did wonders with what they had at the time.

I have seen footage of old matches from the World Wrestling Council (WWC), which was the hottest fed here. The matches that Carlos Colon had with Abdullah the Butcher were so bloody, that 99% of ECW’s matches were tame compared to this one. I even met Carlos Colon one day at a mall here a couple of years back (and as a side note, I also met his sons Eddie and Carly Colon – the latter now known as Carlito Carribean Cool), and his forehead resembles a slab of steak. All the blading he did, and he also assured me that most of the time his opponent was the one who busted him open, took a toll on his face forever. Puerto Rican fans are notorious for being blood-thirsty, so the wrestlers never let the fans down. The most notable aspect I saw from those old tapes was the jam-packed arenas. In some stadiums, there were more than 15,000 strong.

Tons of established American and Japanese wrestlers were active here all the time. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Big John Studd, Randy Savage, Harley Race, Andre The Giant, Kendo Nagasaki, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Keiji Mutoh and Kendo Nagasaki were a few of the great wrestlers that have battled in a Puerto Rican squared circle. After doing a bit of research on the Internet, the largest wrestling show ever here in Puerto Rico drew more than 30,000 fans.

After all this success and influx of great stars coming in and making great business, it seemed that it would remain as one of the top spots in the world to wrestle. But because of one event that shook the entire industry, the WWC and Puerto Rican Wrestling in general would never be the same. I can be argued that the downfall of the WWC can be pointed to that day.

On July 17, 1988, in a WWC event, an American wrestling star, Bruiser Brody, was murdered by Jose Gonzalez, The Invader, in the locker room. To make a long story short, there was supposedly real-life tension between the two of them. For whatever reason, Gonzalez asked Brody to step in the shower to speak privately about business. A few moments later, Gonzalez stepped out of the shower by himself. Someone later found Brody stabbed a couple of times in the shower floor. Brody was then taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Reportedly Tony Atlas was on the scene, and saw Gonzalez enter the shower with Brody, while having his hand wrapped with a towel, covering the knife that was used in the murder. Because he did nor any other wrestler testified against him, plus a probably weak justice system, Gonzalez was acquitted of all charges due to the stabbing being in ‘self-defense’.

From that point forward, all the great wrestling stars stopped traveling to Puerto Rico. They were probably scared, or sick of the fact of what happened to Bruiser Brody, that they just stopped working here. Most thought that the WWC higher-ups were covering up the entire mess. Even after that happened, Jose Gonzalez was still wrestling as if nothing ever happened. He wasn’t fired, not even reprimanded for what happened. This led to a drastic reduction of talent.

Ever since that day, the WWC never really could get back in the game as they used to. Small crowds, less talented wrestlers and bad matches plagued them for years to come. I can honestly say that the quality of the matches nowadays are so bad, that even I feel sorry for them. Also, you can look at the crowds on TV, and you can count how many people attended that night. The last time I went to a live event with a friend, there were less than 100 people there. It also hasn’t helped that the stars from yesteryear, like Carlos Colon, Abdullah, Invader, Chicky Starr and others, are still main eventing, even though their skills and physical attributes have all but vanished.

Even with bad business, the WWC still managed to stay afloat. Suddenly, a new federation appeared in the form of the International Wrestling Association (IWA). This new fed wouldn’t help the struggling business of pro wrestling on the island by itself. But the IWA formed an alliance with the almighty WWE, and started featuring some WWE Superstars on their programming. The WWC saw this threat and quickly formed a partnership with the IWA that stands up to this day.

The interesting part is that I started writing this column on Friday, only to see that the WWC is having an event tonight (July 16) in honor of Brody. Dubbed as the “1era Copa Bruiser Brody” (The First Bruiser Brody Cup), there are a couple of notable wrestlers who are competing for the Cup, like Sabu and The Sandman. What is kinda eerie for me is the motto for the event: “Porque nunca es tarde para recorder a los Grandes y la Historia obliga”. That is roughly translated to “Because it is never late to remember the Greats and History demands it”.

I’m thinking that I was born a tad bit too late. I wish I could’ve seen all those stars and classic matches from that era. My best friend’s father told me that he attended a show way back in 1982-83 that featured Carlos Colon vs. Harley Race (who was NWA Champion at the time), Andre the Giant vs. Abdullah the Butcher and even a young Ric Flair vs. Pedro Morales.

It’s also amazing how it could all crumble. Some argue that there were other backstage factors that buried the WWC in a hole they took a long time to crawl out from. But I still insist that the Brody murder was the main factor. If I were an American wrestler, I would be scared enough not to work here after the Brody incident. Nowadays the WWC seems like most of the independent feds out there. There aren’t too many stars who want to stick around here for a long time.

I really hope that the partnership form between the WWC and the IWA lasts, because it could only benefit both federations. Plus, I heard some rumors that the WWC could become a breeding ground for the next WWE stars, like OVW. That would rock, since I would be able to attend most of the shows!

Well, I certainly enjoyed finding out all these facts from the long history of wrestling here. I never knew how hot wrestling was here in the early eighties. Hope you all had a great time reading this, as much as I had writing about it. After all this time I spent writing, I’m impressed in how much I love pro wrestling, no matter how much things suck. I’ll always stick with it, through the good and bad times.


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Първо, статията е от преди половин година. Вторo, авторът сам си го казва, че не е много запознат с нещата... Като цяло статия е средна работа. Добре е предал нещата от златната ера, но после вече е почнал да се омазва. Целият възход от началото на 21-век липсва... Хех, сигурно онези пълните стадиони от преди няколко години са ми се привидели. :)

IWA & WWC вече няколко години имали partnership хахахахааххахаах :lol: :lol: :lol:. Мдам, колкото WCW & WWF имаха partnership през 90-те...

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