Puerto Rico Special Report 11.30.06: Old companies, New Talents
Welcome to another special edition of the Puerto Rico Report. This shorter than usual installment will focus on the many names from NWS and WWS that have migrated to the “big two” over the past six weeks. NWS seems to be dead and WWS is on life support and the big two have wasted no time in picking up names from the smaller companies. Here is a list of some of the jumps, from the less significant, to those that scream huge potential.
Vertigo is one of those small and quick juniors who can pull off some neat moves, but lacks the psychology or experience to be a big player right now. He went from NWS to WWS as part of the original group of talent that defected NWS to form the WWS. Several weeks ago, he made the jump to IWA and has become a glorified jobber in the Juniors division. This serves him well, allowing him to work with the veteran talent and hopefully, learn the tricks of the trade.
Lord William De La Vega
De La Vega in my opinion was one of the better talents in the NWS. His “Spanish conquistador” gimmick allows him to get cheap heat, based on his remarks to black people as slaves and how “criollos”, the term used to describe Puerto Ricans as mixed bloods, should bow to him. He also has the Spanish accent down and it adds to the gimmick. His ring work is also very solid and he can work many styles, from the typical junior fights, to good brawls(as shown by several hardcore matches in the NWS). However, you can tell he is a Puerto Rican by how he looks and this takes away from the effect his character has I think. He works for IWA now and has big wins over the likes of Joe Bravo and Diabolico and now feuds with Carlitos, who IWA views as the top figure in the Junior Division. Once again, the topic of the feud is the “Spanish conquistador wants to humiliate local black wrestler” story, but it works and is making William into a top talent. Just the fact that he is feuding with Carlitos makes me think he will be around for the long run.
Bolo the Red Bulldog
The last ever NWS Cruiserweight Champion also works for IWA right now. He started jobbing in some matches and then was quickly pushed into beating “El Enjabonao” Julio Franco to win the IWA Junior Heavyweight Title. Granted, Franco was the weakest champion in the history of the title and IWA seems to be starting from scratch after that, by stripping Bolo of the title and retiring it forever with the intentions of creating a new “Cruiserweight” Title, which is basically the same thing. This opens up plenty of possibilities for Bolo to be in the mix, claiming he is the last undefeated Junior Champion and thus, should be the #1 contender at the new title or something. One thing is certain; Bolo is among the best talents in the division and deserves to be pushed.
Hmmm…the last ever NWS World Champion, a guy who was also the first WWS World Champion and a three time Universal Champion in WWC. A proven main event talent who is charismatic, has great ring ability and psychology and could be a champion anywhere he goes. This screams potential….right? Wrong! Why? Because IWA has him, that’s why. IWA always screws it up with this guy. Flashback to 2004. Rey Gonzales leads the Millennium Family in IWA. Diamante is HOT after being Universal Champion in WWC and arguably the top heel in the promotion. He jumps to IWA, joins Rey and the Family….and then IWA books him like a midcarder, never giving him a thing until he gets pissed and quits. This time he comes from being the ONLY main event talent in the NWS, an undefeated world champion for over a year(He never lost the NWS title when he jumped to the WWS, never lost the WWS Title when he jumped back to the NWS, won the NWS Title and never lost it before the company went down) and now comes back to IWA, going back to his “I am a Dominican” days to join Bacano’s Dominican Revolution, which is arguably the top heel stable in IWA. This sounds so much like 2004 all over again. And guess what? He is booked in an upper midcard program for the Tag Team Titles, which I don’t see a way for them to win right now. Unless he somehow takes control of the Revolution and kicks Bacano out, I don’t see how he will make it past the midcard again.
The Bad Guys: Crazy Rudy and Bandido
The undefeated NWS Tag Team Champions are in WWC now. But outside of a few matches with Castillo and Joel, they are not even a tag team! Rudy has been pushed as a hardcore psycho and has worked with many upper midcard talents like Noriega and Abbad, while Bandido has been a step under him, working and usually jobbing to more established stars. Perhaps they are trying to get WWC fans used to them, but they better work as that unstoppable heel team again, or at least one of them is going under. Rudy can become a main event talent in the bloody atmosphere of WWC, but I don’t see the same thing in Bandido’s future.
Potential: As a team: 9/10, Rudy: 8/10, Bandido: 5/10
“Mr. 450” Hammet
What can you say of a guy who is one of only two men to win Junior gold in WWC, NWS and IWA? A guy who works some of the best matches in the card and is barely in his early 20’s? Unlimited potential, specially in WWC. It is true that he is one of only four or five natural juniors in WWC and seems to be involved in a never ending feud with Brent Dail. But we have seen with the likes of Eddie Colon, Fire Blaze, Barrabas Jr and Noriega that smaller men can be pushed to higher spots in WWC. Perhaps two years and half a dozen Junior Titles later, he can be moved over to Puerto Rican Title level.
The former “Warmachine” Ash and “Superstar” Ash Rubynsky in the NWS now works as hired muscle in IWA. Since IWA suffers from a big man fetish, much like Vinnie Mac (although Rey Gonzales, Chicano, Shane and Ricky Banderas where small) chances are he will get his shot to be IWA Champion one day. He has the looks and his skill is pretty decent for a big guy. If this where WWC, he would be booked in the upper midcard right off the bat. But in IWA, he will spent his share of time in the midcard ranks until he builds up his fan base. But ever since I first saw him in NWS, I always felt this guy was destined for big things and I still believe so.
That is all for this special edition, until next time!