Is often said, “Real heel heat is dead!” Well… not in Puerto Rico. Rodrigo García, who employs a Cuban gimmick for Championship Wrestling Association (CWA) was the center of controversy last week in the island.
Cuba over Puerto Rico
The former CWA Puerto Rican champion got a lot of angry responses and even attention in the press when a photoshoot of him calling Puerto Ricans a “muertos de hambres” went viral on Facebook. For English-speaking readers, “muerto de hambre” is a derogative term, it implies that Puerto Ricans live in a third world country, with nothing to eat and that they’re worthless.
García statements were part of his gimmick as a Cuban immigrant who feels that his country is better than Puerto Rico. He often brings the Cuban flags to wrestling matches, refers to Puerto Ricans as a savages and that they don’t have real heritage like Cuba. The post where García told the statement had over 3,000 comments and more than 1.2K shares.
A pseudo-news outlet wrote an article and people quickly jumped to García’s Facebook page to tell him to comeback to Cuba. Moreover, dead threats and beatings were promised to the Cuban. It was amazing how in 2018, someone can still gather that kind of blowback. People were quick to call García racist for his comments, ignoring that this was wrestling and that in Puerto Rico, gimmicks depicting Arabs, Mexicans and other ethnicities have always been rampant.
A Similar Story
Back in the 2000s and further in the 1990s, Bronco I called Puerto Rico a inferior country to his home country of the Dominican Republic. The heat that he got was gigantic, not because it was racist, but because Puerto Ricans, racists themselves towards Dominicans, think that their country is better. In the 1980s, Chicky Starr dared to call Carlos Colon a “stinky monkey”. Again, the heat was because of their love for Colon, not because they thought it was racist. Puerto Ricans have always been in the wrong side of race issues. They (we) are very proud. Puerto Rican’s only see racism when it towards them, but not the other way around, as it happens with racism against Dominicans.
Back to Rodrigo García, CWA released a statement apologizing for García’s behavior. Many fans viewed this as a poor choice by the company, since their long time heel finally got the heat needed to step-it up from the mid-card. Willie Urbina, former Impact Wrestling commentator, called the CWA press release a “real shame”. Danny Nieves who now heads WWL loved how García was hated in the island.
There was a petition to have the CWA Convention Center canceled, but that didn’t went anywhere. Plus, García kept his attacks towards Puerto Ricans intact, which would make Jim Cornette and Sami Callihan really proud.