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Puerto Rico Report 4.14.08: IWA vs IWE: Fact or Fiction?

April 14, 2008 | Posted by Armando Rodriguez

Welcome to another edition of the Puerto Rico Report. I am your host, Armando Rodriguez, your link to all the wrestling information out of the last living territory, Puerto Rico. Last week I introduced you to the man behind “El Condor”, Rey Gonzalez and how his return might save wrestling in Puerto Rico. This week we tackle the confusing situation of IWA Puerto Rico in a little piece I would like to call IWA vs IWE: Fact or Fiction?

The key to understanding this dilemma is to know all the players, so let us start with a small history lesson.

In the late 90’s, several men came together to create what eventually became IWA Puerto Rico. Victor Quinones, who sadly passed away before his time two years ago, was the owner and majority shareholder(51%) of IWA Puerto Rico, but other investors include, and might not be limited to, Juan Rivera(Savio Vega), Jose Miguel Perez Jr. (Miguel/Miguelito Perez) and Hector “Bebo” Moyano. The reason I say might not be limited to is because we do not know all the shareholders in IWA and most wrestling sites seem to have several different names. The names I placed above are the ones that have been mentioned everywhere. Other names that appear in some sites include Dutch Mantell and Luke Williams, but since I am not 100% sure, take those names with a grain of salt. With Victor Quinones in charge of things, nothing seemed to go wrong. But after his death, things got out of hand pretty quickly.

IWA ran into financial trouble due to declining ratings, declining attendance and whether they admit it or not, some pretty bad booking. This is how the name Mario Savoldi comes into the equation. Mario is the son of former wrestler Antonio Savoldi and was one of the founders and owners of ICW, which later merged and became IWCCW (International World Class Championship Wrestling). He is known for producing those cheap DVD’s with old footage from the likes of Steve Austin and The Undertaker during their WCCW days. Savoldi had worked for WWC (Then Capitol Sports Promotions) in the 80’s and was working with WWC at the time. Savoldi was responsible for names like Sean Waltman and Billy Kidman appearing in WWC last year. For some reason he was fired from WWC, or left WWC, and ended up in IWA. The details are a bit hazy, but apparently Savoldi was given some sort of power inside IWA and he paid for some debts or expenses the promotion had. He was responsible for Apolo’s brief return to IWA (Apolo is one of his clients, that’s why nobody was surprised when Apolo jumped from WWC to IWA soon after Savoldi did) and also brought guys like Team 3D, Ricky Vega and The Naturals to IWA. But somewhere along the way, this relationship turned sour and Savoldi left on bad terms. That’s when the IWA offices where raided by Savoldi’s people and apparently the production truck, IWA video library and some other assets from IWA where stolen and stored in a warehouse. Savoldi claimed that this assets where his for some reason, but the court ruled against him and all the assets where returned to IWA. Now Savoldi claims that he will be promoting under the banner of International Wrestling Entertainment and that the International Wrestling Association does not exist anymore and that the promotion died when he came in and “created” IWE.

Is this a real life situation, an angle or…..*gasp* both? The opinion around the wrestling community of Puerto Rico is evenly split. Some people feel that this is just an angle to capture some sort of WCW vs NWO magic and compete against WWC’s Anniversary Show during the summer. Others feel this is a legit situation. Let’s break down the points that can be made for both sides and I will leave you, my loyal readers, to come to your own conclusions.

Why this is a legit situation

First of all, due to all the issues involving the apparent split, IWA practically abandoned their TV slot for two weeks. In one week they aired a “special” best of show that focused on the IWA Summer Attitude 2003 DVD. The second week they aired an older show from two weeks past and they had to bleep all the mentions of live events and stuff that happened during the original airing. I don’t think IWA would be stupid enough to sacrifice their only mainstream TV slot for the sake of an angle.

Also due to all the situations involving the break-up, IWA vacated their World Title, World Tag Team Titles and X Division Title and basically pressed the “reset” button to start anew. This has led to a series of rushed matches being announced for their next event, Juicio Final (Judgment Day) and once more, I don’t think it would be a wise move to practically restart the whole company for the sake of one angle.

Finally, if this was really the angle that could save IWA, then why did Rey Gonzalez leave? We can argue, like many insiders who know him, including former IWA announcer Willie Urbina who said so in an online interview for lucha libre online, that Rey’s heart has always been in WWC and that he left WWC for IWA simply because he was owed money and he had to make a living. We have to understand that Rey’s return to WWC is something that has been rumored for almost three years and it finally happened last week. But if he really was offered the position of being the leader of the IWE group, as Mario Savoldi said to lucha libre online before Rey’s jump to WWC, that Rey Gonzalez and Los Aerios (Carlitos & Hiram Tua) where the only Puerto Ricans allied with him, why did Rey leave? If this is really an angle, it will be very profitable and would have placed Rey back on top in IWA as a heel, the role he plays best.

Why this is an angle

Because without big Puerto Rican names, IWE will not be profitable. As far as I know, the only big name Savoldi represents is Apolo and he has so many issues that his return to wrestling could take months, months that IWA can and will use to recuperate. I am not sure how Puerto Ricans would buy into the concept of sporadic shows with lesser known indy talents and WWE outcasts. I tried to search best I could for a reliable list of talents that are represented by Savoldi or have deals in place with him, but the only names that popped up included Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Billy Kidman, Team 3-D, The Naturals, Ricky Vega (Machete in TNA) and some lesser known Mexican Luchadores like Cassandro. The only other Puerto Rican talents mentioned where Hiram Tua and Carlitos, both of them popular but a far cry from “box office attractions”. And unless he manages to lure a Ricky Banderas to his side, there are no big names out there that are no longer working for IWA or WWC. Maybe Glammour Boy Shane, but I think he has too many friends in IWA and was very loyal to Victor Quinones, which leads me to believe he will not work IWE. IWE’s best bet would be to create an “All-Gringo” group and compete against the locals of IWA.

Which leads me to my second point: IWA has ZERO North American wrestlers in their roster! That’s right, outside of El Bacano who is Dominican (and not a gringo), they have decided to focus on the local talent. Hmmm…appropriate don’t you think? An all Puerto Rican promotion against an All-Gringo promotion. All the cards are in place for a stable war. And please, do not be offended at the term Gringo since it is of common usage in Puerto Rico, Mexico and other places when referring to North Americans and IWA is referring to them as such, so I have to follow suit.

What do I think personally? Well, I believe that if this is an angle, it has to be the most amazing angle ever! I mean, court cases, stolen property charges, missed TV shows, pressing the restart button, all of this is too real to be an angle. Or is it? The “smark” in me wants to scream “Angle!” but I still have my reservations. You be the judge. I would love to hear from you all what do you think about this situation.

And what’s in store next week? A little bit of fantasy booking as we try to book the finals of the Universal Title Tournament and the IWA vs IWE war.

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