We’re still getting to the first half of 2018 and wrestlers like JC Navarro and OT Fernandez are blossoming in front of the Puerto Rican crowds as two contenders for breakout wrestler of the year and huge talents for both World Wrestling Council and World Wrestling League to move forward.
The curious thing about this is that both wrestlers aren’t unfamiliar with each other – in fact, they both represented the tag team that we come to know as La Franquicia (The Franchise).
Their Early Years
Navarro and Fernandez started in various indies, but it was in 2014 in WWC, that The Franchise became a young and promising tag team. They went up against various tag team, including former tag team champion Los Templarios with Ash (El Nazareno) and William de la Vega.
Excursion in Mexico
In the early days of La Franquicia, Navarro and Fernandez trained in Mexico, specifically with Arkangel de la Muerte in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). There, both promising prospects were part of Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon. In Mexico, the duo trained and wrestle many indie talents in Mexic,o like the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Hiromu Takahashi. The learning experience help developed the technical style that OT and JC are known for and help gain a new and unique view that Puerto Rican wrestlers rarely gain – many don’t get to go to Mexico. OT Fernandez at one point walked into Arena Mexico as the WWC Junior Heavyweight champion, which boosted the title as a goal to other talents in the island.
In 2017, both JC Navarro and OT Fernandez started separate careers. The young tag team went with the top promotions in Puerto Rico, WWL and WWC respectively. Navarro went to WWL were he joined the heel faction known as Puro Macho where he was dubbed as “The Executioner”, because of his aggressive technical style and tough presence. On the other hand, Fernandez went with WWC, were he quickly became WWC Junior Heavyweight champion. Fernandez started to defend the title in the US and presented it in Mexico, bringing back a little bit of the glory that the title had in the 1990s.
Becoming Important Players In Their Respective Promotions
Both Fernandez and Navarro started to spark a fresh light in both companies. Navarro had a career making match against Mike Mendoza in WWL in Juncos. The match was third in votes for MOTY in Puerto Rico and really established JC as a good mid card heel for Puro Macho and WWL. Just last week, he won the WWL Americas title – the mid card title of WWL – from Spectro and is dubbed as the top wrestler from the top heel faction in WWL.
— Jocay 🇪🇨 (@Jocay19) July 24, 2017
OT Fernandez had a steady run until he lost his Junior title against Peter the Bad Romance. But now in 2018, he turned heel and won the returning WWC Television Championship and in the process – like his partner in WWL – joined the top heel faction in WWC. Fernandez being part of El Sindicato in WWC has been one of the few good moves the promotion has done, preparing a promising talent for the good things to come.
As of now, the experiment known as The Franchise has shown results. The long trainings in Mexico and the patient that the tag team showed early in their career has paid dividend for them. Both guys are having solid singles run as heel champions. Their top-notch technicality and good discipline makes them huge prospect for the shifting scene in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The Franchise is schedule to reunite in Coastal Championship Wrestling on June 23 in Coral Springs Charter School in Florida.