World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico is having a hard time keeping up in the wrestling world, specially in their home base.
Yesterday, WWC was scheduled to have a house show in Dorado, Puerto Rico, in a 200-seat arena. The main event was WWC Universal Champion Mighty Ursus vs. Puerto Rican champion Lightning, in a rare champion vs. champion match. The winner was set to win the championship of his opponent. After just 40 to 60 fans getting to the building, Victor Jovica and other directors decided to cancel the show. It was a move that not even the wrestlers in the locker room knew that was coming.
This has sparked concerns and outrage by many fans. It also shows the obvious disconnect with fans that drove WWC to have one of its lowest attendances in their history. This is the worst since the first show after the Bruiser Brody murder.
How did we get here?
This is something that’s has followed WWC since the start of 2017, when they decided that veterans like Ray Gonzalez, Thunder and Lightning were more valuable than Mecha Wolf 450, standout prospect Mike Mendoza and Angel Fashion. The company gave the Universal title to Mecha Wolf in a tournament when he beat Ray Gonzalez, but then made him lose it to Thunder the next day. This would be start of a giant exodus of many key components for WWC.
Mecha Wolf joined the rising World Wrestling League project that Savio Vega and Boris Bilbraut (majority owner of WWL) started. This would lead to Mike Mendoza, Angel Fashion. and later Vanilla Vargas to follow his footsteps. It started a shift of tides in the wrestling scene in the island. In less than two months, WWC, who were averaging 300 to 400 fans per show, started to get just 120 to 150 fans per show. WWL, went from 100 fans to an average of 450 fans for the rest of the year. Golpe de Estado, the show that started it all, drew over 800 fans.
WWC Business Troubles
WWC would have a hard time staying afloat the next month. Not even the returns of former WWE Superstar Carlito and Mighty Ursus could change things. Apolo, Cuervo and other wrestlers went on to pursue other promotions, leaving WWC in a bad state. Things got even worse in September when Hurricane Irma and Maria destroyed anything that WWC had left. Dave Meltzer wrote on the Wrestling Observer, “A hurricane basically destroyed the little wrestling scene that the island had left.”
Since returning in 2018, many fans hoped that WWC would have a change of direction and focus on their young prospects. They hoped the promotion would forget about veterans that can’t draw new eyeballs to the product. That hope quickly faded away. Ray Gonzalez remained Universal champion and veterans dominated the scene. Even worse, disqualifications, count-outs and inconclusive matches started to return to the promotion. They even tried to run a 3,000 seat building, bringing multiple time champion Apolo and WWE Superstar Primo Colon, but managed only a little over 300 fans into the arena in Manati.
WWC seemed aware of their decline, giving more opportunities to guys like exiting indie prospect Bellito and OT Fernandez. Yesterday, in Dorado, that proved to be too little, too late. Their old-school territory booking has finally scared fans off. More exiting products like WWL and Championship Wrestling Association are dominating the weak wrestling scene in Puerto Rico. The fanbase is now more interested in wrestling quality over stories. The Strong Style brought by wrestlers like Mecha Wolf 450 gave fans a new perspective. Many promoters ignored the trend, thinking that it was just a niche group. The fact is that fans on the island are in love with it. One of the top five countries with interest in New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 was Puerto Rico.
Sources are reporting that the next WWC show is on June 2. They have in their schedule a big event called La Hora de la Verdad. July 13, 14 and 15 is their Aniversario 45 weekend. The big event will include former WWE Superstars Carlito and Primo Colón. This means that they have 1 month in a halve to rebuild and bring a refreshing product. Thye started good, giving their main title to Ursus, who although limited, is more refreshing than Ray Gonzalez who barely can take a bump. Now, they need cleaner finishes, more quality in the ring and less wacky stories.