The Best of the Best 2018: Puerto Rico

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Photo: WWE

We’re ready to finish an incredible year in pro wrestling, especially in Puerto Rico. The year featured the rise of new stars, great matches, and more high profile companies on the island. Now, we rank the best things that happened in Puerto Rican wrestling in 2018. We’ll grant awards for the Match of the Year, Wrestler of the Year, Best Tag Team, Heel of the Year, Best Show and Most Improved Wrestler.

Wrestler of the Year 2018: Mecha Wolf 450

Photo: WWL

Mecha Wolf is arguably the best wrestler in the island, and 2018 cemented that fact. Wolf started the year by winning the World Wrestling League Heavyweight Championship in WWL’s return show after Hurricane Maria. Then, he proceeded to have classics against Mr.BIG in Golpe de Estado and his brother, Morgan, in War in the West. The former Mr. 450 brought much-needed stability and high caliber wrestling to the WWL title. Moreover, 450 finally had his dream match against El Mesias (Mil Muertes), where he was victorious, and also wrestled for the CWA Championship against Star Roger.

Best Tag Team 2018: Westside Mafia (Tabu & Morgan)

Photo: Contralona

Tag Team wrestling had an incredible year in WWL. The company featured outstanding Tag Team wrestling with teams like Los Primos Melendez (now 2x WWL Tag Team Champions), Puro Macho and The TIDE with Mike Mendoza & Angel Fashion. But, no tag team was more prominent than Westside Mafia. The boys from the west started early this year as the WWL Tag Team Champions, before losing the titles in Golpe de Estado against Primos Melendez (in an incredible match). WSM proceeded to have tag team classics against The TIDE and Los Primos in the following events. This lead to the TLC classic that took place in Dorado on August, WSM became 2x WWL Tag Team Champs. Although the Boys are heading to Championship Wrestling Association‘s (CWA) main event scene, is not a secret how big of an impact they made in their company. When 450 was not around, Morgan & Tabu picked up the slack for a big attraction for the WWL shows.

Most Improved Wrestler: Electro

Photo: WWL

Did anyone predict the surge of Electro? The man was everywhere on the island and became everybody favorite’s badass. Electro main event WWL’s biggest show, won the WWL Trios Championships alongside Khris Diaz & PMS, wrestle for the WWL Championship in their closing show – and made the champion puke in the process – and had colossal bloodbaths against Noel Rodriguez. Electro is a sure-star, his physique was incredible, and it had tons of attention – he was invited to CWA to wrestle Shane Strickland. 2019 looks promising for Electro, International Wrestling Association came calling for him, and many promoters have their eye on him.

Best Heel 2018: Rodrigo Garcia

This was a close one between CWA’s Rodrigo Garcia and WWL’s Manny Ferno, but, ultimately, the way Garcia transcended to casual fans was the big giver. Rodrigo Garcia’s Cuban antics gather him the hate of the majority of Puerto Rican, even receiving death threats. Garcia was part of the rise of CWA, in part thanks to his heel persona. Manny Ferno, although a great heel and leader of Puro Machos, couldn’t make such reactions. Moreover, at some points, Ferno seemed to be the face in their feud against IWA Originals.

Match of the Year: Mecha Wolf 450 vs. Morgan for the WWL Heavyweight Championship (WWL War in the West II)

Photo: WWL

The match of the year features the two brothers that went at it for WWL’s biggest prize. Mecha Wolf 450 returned to the island and his brother Morgan had defeated his tag team partner in Westside Mafia, Tabu, to win an opportunity. The match was an excellent blend of high-speed offense and terrific close calls. Tabu played as the referee here and really gave us moments where we thought that Mecha Wolf’s reign was over. The crowd went from “This is Wrestling” to “Fight Forever” in the last minutes. The WWL championship has had especial matches, but this one is arguably the greatest in its short history.

Show of the Year: Golpe de Estado 2018

For the show of the year, some factors have to be taken into account. Golpe de Estado had a soldout show, with 800 fans in the building and many left outside the door. Although World Wrestling Council had a more prominent display, more fans and a bigger venue, the quality of wrestling can’t be compared to the quality that Golpe de Estado brought. Hugo Savinovich had the biggest show in Puerto Rico, but the wrestlers couldn’t put together a good show, with many foreigners doing the least amount of work and just playing with the crowd. CWA had better talent in their Christmas Showdown show in the Puerto Rico Convention Center, but fans didn’t show up to the evening as the GDE show. Golpe de Estado had to great matches with Mecha Wolf vs. Mr.Big and the triple threat between The TIDE, Westside Mafia and Primos Melendez. Their story for the show was better than any other show on the island this year, and, although it was a bluff, it gathered a huge crowd. Fans might protest that CWA had a better show that same night in Dorado, but when you look at both talents in their respective companies, the only thing that Anniversary AXE had over WWL was the debut of Caristico in the island.

Best Wrestling Promotion 2018: WWL 

Photo: WWL

If the previous awards didn’t tell you something, let me put some numbers for you. WWL had the most significant average of fans per show this year, with at least 315+ fans per show and two sell outs! CWA had more events this year, but only had two big shows that went over 300 – their average is close to 150+ fans. WWC had the biggest show of all of the three leading companies in the island, but was for one night; they barely crack the 100+ fans per show – is close to 70+ per show – the whole year. In the department of solid wrestling, although CWA had a big adjustment at the end of the year, WWL had the best one. In the top 5 best matches of the year, four were by WWL (Mecha Wolf 450 vs. Morgan, TLC between the TIDE, WSM and Primos Melendez, Mecha Wolf 450 vs. Mr.Big, The TIDE vs. Primos Melendez vs. Westside Mafia), CWA only managed to squeeze Justin Dynamite vs. Star Roger from their last show. In the department of better talent, fans can argue that CWA brought better international talent this year. But, WWL developed the best local talent, with their faction Puro Machos having wrestlers that will have great years in 2019, like Manny Ferno, Electro, and JC Navarro. Also, Mike Mendoza in the last half of the year became the fan-favourite to become the face of the company. While Mark Davidson show promising glimpses. Moreover, the tag team division in WWL ran circles against other two promotions (CWA and WWC). In conclusion, while there’s no doubt that CWA worked very hard this year and made significant steps, WWL had better results and delivered better. Two thousand eighteen was the year for La Liga.

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