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El Boricua

History/Context Thread

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Hi everyone. This will be the thread where I will give history and/or context to the matches and extras in the set. I'll be going chronologically and try to give what information I can as to the set-up of the matches and extras, as well as background on the participants as it pertains to Puerto Rico. There are definitely some matches where knowing the lead-up and context is important to getting the most out of watching them. Also, I hope I can help bridge the language barrier for those that are not fluent in Spanish so they can also get more out of the experience.

 

This thread will focus on context and lead-up for the matches and I will try to keep it spoiler free as to the matches themselves whenever possible. I will post comments about the matches in their respective threads.

 

Hopefully my ramblings will enhance and enrich your set viewing experience.

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Really excited to see this. I don't think I'm struggling much to get into this set but I am curious to know what's going over my head or what else I could be picking up on, so thanks for taking the effort to help us all out.

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Boricua, hoping to dive in today and generally plan to jump to the appropriate extras as I come to them in chronological order. Any reason to avoid/jump around certain bonus footage?

No reason to jump around, although quite a few of the extras for the 82-85 period are a bit stand alone due to the scarcity of match footage for that time period.

 

I'm behind in starting the tidbits due to the island wide power outage that happened, but I'm hoping to get it started tonight. I'll be going chronological with matches and extras interspersed where they go in the timeline.

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This sounds amazing thanks for this El Boricua. As a PR novice I was excited to start watching the set and make comments, but your opening post where you mention the importance of knowing the lead-up and context for some of the matches has made me think I may be best served slowing down a bit and getting some background first so I can get the most out of the set. Perhaps I'll apply the breaks a bit after disc 4. Don't get me wrong i'm loving it so far, but getting a bit of history will make it even richer.

 

Thanks again

 

Andrew

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Before we start on our chronological journey of sorts, I’d like to give a little background about Puerto Rico just to give some context for our setting. Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean located approximately 1,000 miles southeast of Miami. The original inhabitants of the island were the Taínos, who called the island Boriken or Borinquen. The name means "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords". If you ever wondered where the term Boricua comes from now you know. In 1493 Christopher Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage to the New World. When originally colonized the island was named San Juan Bautista and the city was called Puerto Rico. Eventually, the two names were switched and the island was named Puerto Rico and its capital city was named San Juan. Puerto Rico remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish American War when, due to the Treaty of Paris, control of Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States. It remains part of the U.S. to this day, currently as a commonwealth.

 

The island itself is approximately 106 miles long and 37 miles wide, meaning you could travel by car from one end of the island to the other in about two and a half to three hours’ time. The official languages are Spanish and English, although Spanish is the dominant language for the majority of the population (and English fluency varies depending on location). The island is mostly mountainous with large coastal areas in the north and south regions of the island, as well as some adjacent islets. The island’s population represents a cultural and racial mix stemming from the initial mix of Tainos and Spanish, followed by the incorporation of African slave labor immigrants. This is the base of where Puerto Rican culture evolved from, but add to that other immigrants from places such as China, Italy, France, Ireland, Germany and Lebanon and you get quite the mix of influences. Since 1898 the U.S influence has been very notable, and in recent times Puerto Rico has had an influx of Cubans (exiles from when Castro took over) and Dominicans.

 

Some final facts about Puerto Rico. There is no such thing as Puerto Rican citizenship. In 1917, the United States granted Puerto Ricans U.S. statutory citizenship. This means that all native born Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens (my passport is a U.S. passport). Our currency is the U.S dollar, and our economic system is the same as in the U.S. (meaning we follow all U.S. labor laws, pay social security and medicare, etc.). Our military is the U.S. military, our mail service is the U.S. Post Office, and we observe the U.S. federal holidays (as well as our own national holidays). Granted, there are some notable differences as well (Spanish language, no right to vote for president, in international sporting events we compete as a separate country, among other examples), and we still retain several customs from the near 400-year Spanish influence (such as celebrating both Christmas and Three Kings Day, influences on government and judicial systems, etc.). Still, even though it is the differences between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland that are usually noticed, in other aspects things are not that different.

 

If I had to summarize Puerto Rico, it would be one foot in the U.S. and one foot in Latin America, belonging to both and to neither. Too U.S. for the rest of Latin America, too Latin American for the U.S., but here we are just the same. Good place for wrestling to pop up though.

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In Puerto Rico, wrestling got its start in the 50’s and 60’s, with influence coming in part from the U.S. and also from the movies starring Mexican luchadores that were prevalent across Latin America as part of the cinematic offerings that would be shown. For a brief synopsis of how wrestling in Puerto Rico started and developed, you can read the following article for some background:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_wrestling_in_Puerto_Rico

 

For now, our focus will be on Capitol Sports Promotions since this is the company from which the selections on the Puerto Rico 80’s set originate. Founded in September of 1973, CSP would become the leading wrestling company on the island. Its founders were Carlos Colon and Victor Jovica, with Gorilla Monsoon joining them as part of the shareholder ownership group. The company would start on TV in the last months of 1973, promoting its first show for Jan. 6, 1974 (Three Kings Day). Its initial titles were as follows:

  • North American Title – Initial champion was Gil Hayes. Carlos Colon would win the title in June of 74, and would proceed to wrestle a variety of challengers (Dr. Jerry Graham, Crazy Luke Graham, Ox Baker, Ernie Ladd, Shaft Thomas) as part of establishing him. For the next few years the NA singles title would revolve around Colon losing it and regaining it from different rudo challengers.
  • North American Tag Titles – Initial champions were the Castillo brothers (Huracan and Maravilla). Carlos Colon would team first with Gino Caruso, then with Jose Miguel Perez in trading the titles back and forth with the Castillo brothers. Carlos would move on from the NA tag title scene when he won the NA singles title. The NA titles would then revolve around Jose Luis Rivera and different partners, before having more ‘permanent’ teams fight over it.
  • Puerto Rico title – Jose Miguel Perez was billed as the first champion and was the main star initially while they went about establishing Carlos Colon. Perez would hold the title for most of the first two years, then the title would be used to highlight other top tecnicos.

The first months of 1974 did not go well for the company. L&G Promotions was still holding monthly shows on the island with many of their crew from Florida. The first sign of turnaround for CSP happened when they promoted Gil Hayes against a wrestling bear. The novelty of this helped the company stand out and start getting notice from the local fans. The second big lift came when in early 1975, CSP booked El Santo to come in for a tour. El Santo not only wrestled, but filmed a movie during his stay which featured local talent. From then onwards, CSP started growing even with competition from L&G Promotions, and then later in 1975 after L&G stopped running shows, from promoter Arturo Mendoza’s rival promotion based on the island’s west coast.

 

As the 70’s progressed, additional titles would start to pop up in Capitol Sports, as well as various wrestlers that will be seen to different extents on the set. Competition wise, after Mendoza’s promotion closed there would usually be an opposition group running to some degree. As 1980 dawns it is the All Star Wrestling promotion that is running opposition. This group featured such talent as Hercules Ayala, Barrabas and a tag team that had initially begun wrestling as Los Hermanos Peron. This group had an alliance of sorts with Poffo’s ICW and had closed out 1979 by running a joint card with them featuring Randy Savage, Bob Orton Jr., Ronnie Garvin, Bob Roop and Boris Malenko among others. Still, it was CSP that grew in prominence of the local companies.

 

We will talk more about certain wrestlers and their history when we reach them on our journey. As for the titles, here is a summary of the titles as 1980 dawned:

  • NWA World – Capitol Sports Promotions joined around August of 79 and would recognize the NWA world champion. Harley Race is champion at the beginning of 1980.
  • World Junior – Title had first been contested at the end of 1974 when Dick Steinborn arrived and was billed as champion. Carlos Colon would almost immediately win the title from Steinborn (there is some dispute as to whether Colon did win the title though), but Steinborn would regain it at the beginning of 1975. Title would eventually be vacant and inactive until mid-1980.
  • World Tag – Title created in February of 77 when The Fabulous Kangaroos (Don Kent and Al Costello) arrive to Puerto Rico and are billed as the world tag champs. Carlos Colon and Jose Luis Rivera (the top tecnico team at that time known as La Pareja Dinamica) would defeat them for the titles. As 1980 begins, the World tag champions are Terry and Dory Funk, having just recently defeated the Invaders I & II for the titles in late December 1979. These are the top tag titles in the promotion, although they would rarely be defended in the first few years of the decade.
  • North American – At the start of 1980, the champion is Invader I. The top singles title for the company, although it’s importance would start waning in the next couple of years.
  • North American Tag – At the start of 1980, the champions are Roger Kirby and Dick Steinborn (both are rudos). They had just won the titles days earlier from Huracan Castillo and Ciclon Negro.
  • Caribbean – This title is actually the one created by L&G Promotions back in 1968. Jose Lothario was the first champion. When L&G Promotions ceased running shows in Puerto Rico, Lothario (who happened to be the champion at that point in time) would start making appearances as the Caribbean champion for Arturo Mendoza’s promotion. Eventually, when Mendoza closed up shop, the then current tile holder was Huracan Castillo. He started appearing for CSP with the title in May of 77 and the title remained in CSP since. Current champion at the start of 1980 is Ciclon Negro, having recently won it from Dick Steinborn. At this point in time, the least important of the local singles titles.
  • Caribbean Tag – Title history is a mess. The first billed champions appear to be the Castillo brothers, but initial recognition is unknown (probably late 1977). This is the title Bret Hart won with his brother Smith during his tour in 1978. Not sure if the title was actively recognized in 1980 or not. My suspicion is that the title was only recognized to counter Los Hermanos Peron billing themselves as the Caribbean tag champion on the opposition cards they wrestled on.
  • Puerto Rico – The current champion is Abdullah the Butcher who recently won it in December of 1979 from Carlos Colon. Second most important singles title locally, but more focus is put on it going into the first few years of the decade.

Some other titles would be local to the other markets that CSP would occasionally run (such as the West Indies title for Trinidad & Tobago) and only really used in those countries.

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Even though we have almost no footage from the first two years (and to be honest a definite dearth of footage for the first half of the decade), I’m going to provide a short summary of highlights of 1980 and 1981 to help set the stage for what’s to come. As we enter 1980, CSP has been an NWA member for a few months and is in the midst of another chapter in the feud between Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher (which has only been going on for a year and half at this point in time). The wrestlers in the company to star the year are Carlos Colon, Invaders 1 & 2, Ciclon Negro, Jose Luis Rivera, Huracan Castillo, José Miguel Perez and Eric Froelich for the tecnicos; for the rudos we have Abdullah the Butcher, Roger Kirby, Dick Steinborn, Mr. Fuji, Moose Morowski, Haru Sonoda. Mitsu Ishikawa, Al Costello, and rudo manager extraordinaire Hugo Savinovich.

 

1980 Highlights:

  • Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher start the year continuing their feud over the Puerto Rico title. The title is held up in a barbed wire match on 01/05/80, but Colon wins the title in a streetfight one week later (01/12/80). He will remain PR champion throughout the year. Abdullah would return in March and face Colon in a cage match.
  • Mr. Fuji arrives in January. He starts of the year feuding with Invader I over the North American title (winning it from Invader 1 on 01/26/80). Fuji would hold the title for almost six months. He would have a matches with Invader 1, Jose Luis Rivera and Ciclon Negro those first few months. At one point, invader 1 would wear a special mask with laminated coverings over the eyeholes in order to counter Fuji’s salt throwing.
  • Giant Baba returns to CSP at the beginning of February for some appearances. Baba had appeared the previous year billed as the World champion (this is before CSP joined the NWA). While in his prior visit he had faced the likes of Abdullah the Butcher, Baba this time works as a rudo and has singles matches against Carlos Colon and Jose Luis Rivera.
  • Also in February, The Funks make a World tag title defense against the team of Carlos Colon and Eric Froelich. While Dory would make other appearances throughout the year, the titles would only be defended once more this year.
  • As for Carlos Colon and Eric Froelich, they would win the North American tag titles from Roger Kirby and Dick Steinborn on 02/09/80. They would lose the titles to the team of Luke Graham and Gorgeous George Jr. and would feud with that team and later Luke Graham and bulldog Brower over the titles.
  • El Gran Apollo makes his debut in mid-February for the promotion. Apollo would go on to become a popular face with the fans and a presence throughout the next five years.
  • During the month of February, Huracan Castillo leaves the promotion. Castillo, considered by many as one of the greatest rudos in Puerto Rican wrestling, had worked on and off for CSP since its inception (as well as other competing companies). He would work for CSP competition during the next few years.
  • Invader 1 feuds with Moose Morowski in the early months of 1980, culminating in a taped fist match.
  • Probably the biggest feud up to this point in CSP history has its last chapter, as Pierre Martel makes his return in March and once again faces off against Invader I. This final chapter sees Invader 1 steal Martel’s loaded boot and leads to a final encounter cage match on May 10th where Invader I has his taped fist and Pierre Martel has his loaded boot. The match ends in a tie when both men end up unable to continue. Both men would be carried out of the ring.
  • Carlos Colon feuds with Mr. Fuji in late spring, leading to Colon beating Fuji in a hair match in June.
  • Pierre Martel bounces back from the cage match by teaming up with Mr. Fuji and winning the North American tag titles on 05/23/80 from Bulldog Brower and Luke Graham in a heel vs heel match. However, after losing a match against La Pareja Dinamica (Carlos Colon and Jose Luis Rivera) on 6/14/80 due to miscommunication, Pierre and Fuji have a falling out that results in Pierre turning face for the first time in Puerto Rico. He would remain a face for the rest of his tenure in Puerto Rico. The resulting feud between Pierre and Fuji sees Pierre win the North American title on 7/19/80. The North American tag titles are vacated due to the team splitting up.
  • Ciclon Negro, who had held the Caribbean title for six months, loses it to Gama Singh on 6/07/80. Over the next six weeks, the title would change hands from Gama Singh to Jose Luis Rivera, and then to Luke Graham. In October, Graham would lose the title to Chief Jay Strongbow, leading to a feud between them.
  • Les Thornton appears for the promotion and is billed as the World Junior Heavyweight champion. The title would be recognized going forward and remains active to this day.
  • After being shown evidence that invader 1 was not responsible for Michel Martel’s death, Pierre Martel ends up asking Invader 1 for forgiveness for blaming him for Michel Martel’s death for the past few years. This would result in an unexpected alliance between the two former blood feud foes. When Mr., Fuji brings in tag partner Toru Tanaka in July to help him against Pierre, it is Invader 1 who ends up teaming with his former foe for a series of matches against the Japanese wrestlers. The feud would escalate to a match where Pierre and invader 1 (with the taped fist and loaded boot in tow) took on Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka in August.
  • Also in August, top heel manager Hugo Savinovich has an in ring feud with El Gran Apolo that culminates in a cage match.
  • Rick Martel returns to Puerto Rico as a face, taking on Mr. Fuji on behalf of his brother Pierre.
  • Dutch Mantel returns with new partner Danny Condrey (Wayne Farris). Dutch had been a top heel with partner Frankie Laine in 78-79.
  • The tournament for the vacant North American tag titles is held on September 11. The field is comprised of Carlos Colon & Jose Rivera, Dory Funk & Terry Funk, Pierre Martel & The Invader, Professor Tanaka & Mr. Fuji, Chief Thundercloud & Chief War Cloud, Gran Apolo & Invader 2, Mighty Igor & Jose Miguel Perez, Dutch Mantel & Danny Condrey, Crazy Luke Graham & Gama Singh, and Abdullah the Butcher & The Sheik. La Pareja Dinamica would win the titles. The top challengers would become Dutch and Condrey after defeating Fuji and Tanaka in a number one contender’s match.
  • Invader I’s decision to team up with Pierre Martel for the tag tournament causes resentment form Invader 2 for being passed over. This would lead to Invader 2 turning on his partner and feuding with Pierre Martel. The matches with Martel are violent and eventually lead to the commission decreeing that they would not be allowed to face each other again.
  • One month after winning the North American tag titles, La Pareja Dinamica lose them to the team of Dutch Mantel and Danny Condrey. This would be the final title reign for the team of Colon and Rivera.
  • The feud between Carlos colon and Abdullah the Butcher reignites in October. They face off in a match where Hugo Savinovich is locked in a cage. Colon would move on to feud with Dutch Mantel (including a barbed wire match).
  • Invader 1 returns from being taken out by Invader 2 and feuds with him for the rest of the year. They will face each other several times, including in a taped fist match. At year’s end they face off in a loser leaves Puerto Rico match.
  • Johnny Rivera joins CSP in October. He would become a fixture for the next few years before adopting a new identity.
  • Mr. Fuji brings in a new tag partner by the name of Mr. Onita (yes, that Onita).
  • Colon wins the right to challenge the NWA world champion at the first show of 1981 in a match against Abdullah the Butcher.
  • The big year end show sees Carlos Colon take on the Sheik, Invader 1 send invader 2 out of Puerto Rico, the Funks defend the World tag titles against Pierre and Rick Martel, Fabulous Moolah defend the Women's title against Dallas Cowgirl, and Danny Condrey win the Caribbean title from Jay Strongbow.

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Baba as a heel in 1980 feuding with Colon sounds incredible. Seriously, you could have posted ALL of this in the "Holy Grail" thread. Invader I vs Invader II. Invader I vs Mr Fuji. Dutch Mantell & Honkey Tonk Man teaming up. Invader II having a feud with Pierre Martel that was deemed "too violent." All of this sounds amazing. Puerto Rico man. This is where its at.

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I'm not religious, but Boricua, you are doing the lord's work here. An incredibly enriching read that has me stoked to cue up disc 2 this weekend. The context and history is beyond invaluable. Keep it up!

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Invader I using laminated eye hole coverings to offset Fuji throwing salt is so great.

 

It already feels like there's going to be a ton of potentially awesome matches and feuds in the first half of the decade that we'll likely never get the chance to see.

 

This, of course, is a hell of a thread, and a huge thanks to Boricua for doing it.

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1981 Highlights:

  • Carlos Colon faces NWA World champion Harley Race on Three Kings Day. The match sees Colon lock Race in the figure four, but Dutch Mantel interferes to save race from losing the title. This would lead to Colon and Dutch continuing their feud.
  • The Three Kings card also sees the debut of Buck Robley and Los Pastores in a battle royale.
  • Killer Karl Krupp makes his way to the promotion and is built up over the first couple of months. He eventually defeats Pierre Martel for the North American title on 03/14/81.
  • Carlos Colon and Invader 1 defeat Dutch Mantel and Danny Condrey (Wayne Farris) for the North American tag titles on 01/19/81. The match is a rare tv match title change. In their first title defense, Dutch ends up laying out Colon and puts him temporarily on the shelf. Pierre Martel would team up with Invader 1 to avenge Carlos against Dutch and Condrey.
  • In a stunning upset, Maravilla defeats Danny Condrey for the Caribbean title on 02/09/81. The other half of the Castillo brothers, Maravilla had returned at the beginning of the year and was basically a jobber before the unexpected title win.
  • Los Medicos join the promotion in February. This version of the team is Jose Estrada (Medico 1) and Johnny Rodz (Medico 2). Medico 2 quickly captures gold by defeating Maravilla for the Caribbean title on 03/07/81, but would lose it to recent arrival Tommy Gilbert two weeks later.
  • Carlos Colon comes back from being taken out by Dutch Mantel, but he and invader 1 lose the North American tag titles to Los Pastores on 02/28/81. Los Pastores would go on to face a variety of tag teams over the next two months, including the Briscos in their first title defense.
  • Ciclon Negro returns to Puerto Rico and teams up with Invader 1 against Los Pastores.
  • Abdullah the Butcher has a feud with Mighty Igor. The fued revolved around a test of strength over who could break a chain. Igor (managed by Miguel Perez) broke the chain, Abdullah (managed by Hugo Savinovich) couldn’t break it and attacked Igor with the chain.
  • In a heel vs. heel match-up, Los Medicos defeat Los Pastores for the North American tag titles on 04/04/81. This would actually lead to a feud between the two heel teams.
  • Andre the Giant makes appearances for CSP the weekend of April 11, including a battle royale win.
  • The NWA World title rematch from Three Kings Day is held on 04/18/81. Carlos Colon takes on Harley Race in a match where any wrestler that interfered would be suspended by the NWA. Also on the card, the Funks defend the World tag titles against Mil Mascaras and Jerry Brisco, Les Thornton defends the World Junior title against Dick Steinborn, Killer Karl Krupp defends the North American title against Invader 1 in a lumberjack match, Los Medicos defend the North American titles against Pierre and Rick Martel, Tommy Gilbert defends the Caribbean title vs. Luke Williams, and in a special appearance Jack Veneno regains the Dominican Republic title against rival Relampago Hernandez.
  • In a match where two titles are on the line, both the North American and Puerto Rico titles are held up after a match between Killer Karl Krupp and Carlos Colon on 05/02/81. Colon wins the following week’s rematch and becomes a double title holder.
  • Kim Song defeats Tommy Gilbert for the Caribbean title on 05/16/81, only to lose it to Jack Brisco two weeks later. Brisco would remain Caribbean champion almost to year’s end.
  • Dick Steinborn has another series of matches with Carlos Colon.
  • The feud between Los Medicos and Los Pastores escalates, as now their managers are wrestling each other (Hugo Savinovich for Los Pastores and El Cirujano for Los Medicos). Los Medicos take out Butch and ‘cousin’ Johnny Miller (Johnthan Boyd) takes his place on the team. Los Pastores would remain as Luke and Johnny for the rest of the team’s stint in 1981. Los Pastores would eventually regain the North American tag titles from Los Medicos.
  • Black Gordman debuts for the promotion and would remain a semi regular heel presence for the next four years. His first feud is with Pierre Martel.
  • During a tag match against Los Pastores, Ciclon Negro turns on tag partner Jose Luis Rivera. This leads to a feud between them which will include a boxing match between them.
  • Carlos Colon comes to the aid of Jose Luis Rivera during a Ciclon Negro attack and starts a feud with Ciclon Negro. The feud would culminate in Colon winning a hair match vs. Ciclon.
  • Another one of the Martel brothers, Daniel, makes his return to the island and teams up with Pierre. They earn a World tag title shot vs. the Funks by defeating Los Pastores. On that same 7/25/81 card where the Martels faced Los Pastores, Jack Brisco wrestles Terry Funk in a Caribbean title match.
  • Jose Luis Rivera starts a feud with Kim Song which includes a Judo jacket match.
  • Black Gordman lays out Invader 1, who has to be carried out on a stretcher. A feud begins thew two of them, including Invader refusing to wrestle unless he is granted a taped fist match against Gordman.
  • The Briscos defeat Los Pastores for the North American tag titles on 08/08/81. They would hold the titles for two and half months and their reign includes a match against Pierre Martel and Invader 1 on 9/19/81 (Pierre and Invader had defeated Gordman and Ciclon for the right to challenge for the titles).
  • Abdullah the Butcher defeats Carlos Colon for the Puerto Rican and North American titles on 08/10-11/81.
  • After losing his hair, Ciclon Negro starts wearing a mask. A feud would begin with Pierre Martel when Pierre tried to yank of Ciclon’s mask during a match. The feud would eventually lead to a hair vs. mask match won by Pierre.
  • September sees Tully Blanchard make a few appearances wrestling Mike Graham. Also during the month Jose Luis Rivera feuds with Mr. Pogo.
  • Fall sees the return of Invader 2 and the Kangaroos (this time comprised of Don Kent and Bruno Bekkar), as well as the CSP debuts of Mr. Pogo and Sweet Daddy Davis.
  • Hugo Savinovich states that for Carlos Colon to get his desired rematch with Abdullah, he must get past Mr. Pogo first. Colon does so and get his rematch with Abdullah where he regains the Puerto Rican title in a barbed wire match on 9/26/81. Abdullah remains the North American champion.
  • Invader 1 and 2 pick up their feud once more during October. They meet in several matches including a cage match. Invader 2 gets a new manager named the Bounty Hunter.
  • Super Gladiador makes his debut. He would eventually form a tag team with Invader 1.
  • The 10/24/81 card sees Carlos Colon defeat Harley Race in a no DQ match to earn the right to challenge the NWA World champion. This card also has the aforementioned Invader 1 vs. Invader 2 cage match, Pierre Martel vs. Dick Steinborn, Jose Luis Rivera vs. Ciclon Negro in a match where they wear boxing gloves, and Super Gladiador vs. Mr. Pogo.
  • Also on 10/24/81, The Kangaroos win the North American tag titles from the Briscos. They would begin a rivalry with Invader 1 and Super Gladiador over the titles. La Pareja Milagrosa (Invader and Gladiador) would win the titles on 11/23/81, but would lose them back to the Kangaroos in an Australian coal miners match on 12/06/81. The Kangaroos would also face the team of Jose Luis Rivera and Tommy Gilbert.
  • Les Thornton, who has made appearances throughout the year defending the World junior title, loses the title to Joe Lightfoot for a week in November before regaining it right back.
  • On 11/21/81, Carlos colon faces Abdullah the Butcher in a stretcher match for the North American title. During the match, Abdullah attacked Carlos viciously and hurting his right eye. The attack was so severe that it resulted in Jose Colon coming to his brother's aid. Abdullah would also attack Jose. This attack on a civilian would cause Abdullah to be stripped of the North American title.
  • Invader 2 gets into legal trouble when during a card celebrated during the first weekend of December he hits a minor in the crowd during a match. He gets into further trouble when he hits a newspaper photographer as he was being led to be arraigned.
  • CSP closes out its year on 12/20/81. The card sees Ric Flair defend the NWA World title against Pierre Martel, Carlos Colon taking on Abdullah the Butcher in a super libre match, Invader 1 and Super Gladiador defeat the Kangaroos in a barbed wire match to determine who would challenge the Funks for the World tag titles on Three Kings Day, Les Thornton defend the World junior title against Jerry Brisco, and a special appearance by Pedro Morales against Mr. Pogo. Supposedly, Jack Brisco loses the Caribbean title to Hans Muller on this card as well.

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Glad you guys are finding these post helpful. I definitely need to give thanks to Manuel Gonzalez's write ups at Kayfabe Memories, clawmaster's available results, and Matt farmer's Puerto Rico and Caribbean wrestling history Facebook group for being a huge help as sources for putting these initial highlight summaries together. One thing about the special mask Invader 1 wore to counter the salt attack ,this actually was not something new for him. About a year or so before this, both Invaders had donned similar special masks while feuding with the team of Kimura and Sasaki.

 

And we've actually reached our first entry on the set.

 

Match - Abdullah the Butcher vs. Carlos Colon (September 1981)

 

It seems fitting that the first match on the set features the eternal rivals Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher. Carlos and Abdullah actually first encountered each other in Canada in the early 70's. The feud would really kick into gear when Abdullah made his first incursion into Puerto Rico in the latter half of 1978. He was brought in by rudo manager Hugo Savinovich to take on the tecnicos, in particular top dog Carlos Colon. And just like that, a legendary and lengthy feud was born. At the time of Abdullah’s initial arrival, Carlos held the Puerto Rico title and this was the focus of their early rivalry. Of course, the rivalry would develop and evolve over the next years. Here are some of the highlights prior to this match.

1978: Abdullah would debut in PR as one of Hugo Savinovich’s first clients and attack Carlos to set up a feud. Abdullah would go on to win the PR title from Carlos on 11/18/78 and hold it for over eight months. Abdullah would not lose the title to Carlos, he would lose it to Pampero Firpo on 7/31/79 (both men were heels).

1979: Faced each other on June 2nd. Would wrestle against each other on Nov. 7 and 24, leading up to a No DQ match on Dec. 15. On 12/15/79, Abdullah would defeat Carlos again for the PR title (Carlos had won it from Firpo on 9/22/79).

1980: The year starts off with a series of matches over the PR title. The title is held up on Jan. 5 when the match (a barbed wire match) is a no contest. Carlos wins the rematch (a streetfight) on Jan. 12. They would have matches against each other on Feb. 23 and Mar. 8 (this one supposedly a cage match). Would face off again later that year on Sept. 27. They wrestled at the year-end show to determine who got a shot at the NWA World title at the first show of 1981. Carlos won that match.

1981: Carlos defeats Killer Karl Krupp for the held up North American title on May 9. Carlos now holds both the North American and Puerto Rico titles. Carlos and Abdullah face each other on June 13, which would lead to a match on Aug. 10 that saw Abdullah win the Puerto Rico and North American titles (I've also seen Aug.11 in Trinidad listed as the date of the NA title match).

 

This match takes place in Trinidad and Abdullah appears to be defending the West Indies title in this match.

 

We’ll continue to follow the Colon vs. Abdullah rivalry as we make our way through the set, but to take us through to the end of 1981, following this match, the feud would continue in a barbed wire match on Sept. 26, in a match where Carlos injured Abdullah's knee. Carlos would regain the Puerto Rico title in that match, but Abdullah remains the North American champion. Abdullah would then face Carlos in a stretcher match on 11/21/81. During the match, he attacked Carlos viciously, trying to injure his eye. This caused Carlos' brother Jose colon to come in to help his brother. Abdullah would attack Jose and this attack on a civilian would lead to him being stripped of the North American title. They then face off in a super libre match at the year end show.

 

On to 1982.

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1982 Highights:

  • The year kicks off with the traditional Three Kings Day opener. The main event is a rematch for the NWA World title between Ric Flair and Pierre Martel. The match goes to a 60-minute time limit draw. Also on the card, the Funks defend the World tag tiles against Invader 1 and Super Gladiador, Carlos Colon defends the Puerto Rico title vs. Hans Muller, Jose Rivera faces the debuting Bobby Jaggers, Tommy Gilbert brings in his son Eddie as a tag partner to challenge the Kangaroos for the North American tag titles, Gama Singh takes on Invader 2, Victor Jovica takes on new arrival The Mongolian Stomper, and Johnny Rivera faces Frank Savage.
  • A few days later Charlie Cook makes his debut for the promotion teaming with Tommy Gilbert to face Invader 2 and the Bounty Hunter.
  • Pierre Martel wins the Caribbean title from Hans Muller (possibly on 01/09 or 16/82). He would go on to feud with Bobby Jaggers over the title (including a Texas Bullrope match on 02/13/82), but would lose the title on 2/20/82 to Angelo Mosca.
  • As for Bobby Jaggers, he either wins or is awarded the North American title (which had been vacant since November of 81) by 2/20/82.
  • Invader 1 and Super Gladiador defeat the Kangaroos for the North American tag titles on 01/26/82. They would lose them to recent arrivals the Moondogs on 02/13/82.
  • Bruno Bekkar leaves the promotion. Don Kent wrestles solo for a month or so but eventually brings in Johnny Heffernan as his new Kangaroos partner.
  • Carlos Colon and the Mongolian Stomper start a feud that lasts over two months. Stomper would defeat Colon for the Puerto Rico title on 02/06/82 and would include a rematch on 2/13/82 with Jose Rivera as special guest ref, and a cage match on 2/20/82.
  • The 2/27/82 house show sees La Pareja Dinamica (Colon and Rivera) take on Los Monstruos (Abdullah and Stomper). This would be one of the last times La Pareja Dinamica would team up. Also on the card, Angelo Mosca defends his recently won Caribbean title against former champ Pierre Martel, Charlie Cook challenges Bobby Jaggers for the North American title, the Gilberts challenge the Moondogs for the North American tag titles (the beginning of a feud that would last for over three months), Invader 1 face Hans muller and Super Gladiador face Don Kent.
  • Invader 2 faces Invader 1 on 03/06/82 in Bayamon. Shortly after, Invader 2 would transition to wrestling on the other islands of the Caribbean throughout 1982 but would not wrestle in Puerto Rico. He would not return to Puerto Rico for five and a half years.
  • Also on 03/06/82, Carlos Colon teams up with Pierre Martel to take on Abdullah the Butcher and the Mongolian Stomper.
  • Carlos Colon regains the Puerto Rico title from the Mongolian Stomper on 03/13/82 in a streetfight. Also on that card is Abdullah the Butcher vs. Pierre Martel and Jose Rivera taking on Hugo Savinovich in a lumberjack match.
  • Invader 1 defeats Bobby Jaggers for the North American title on 03/27/82. In a surprising move post-match, Invader 1 voluntarily removes his mask and reveals his identity to the fans. He states that the reason for doing so is he was tired of the fans not knowing that he was Puerto Rican and that he wanted to represent them with pride. From then onwards he
  • Angelo Mosca is stripped of the Caribbean title when he leaves the promotion in mid-March. Dick Steinborn wins a tournament final over Charlie Cook to become the new champion. Cook would defeat Steinborn for the title on 4/20/82.
  • After two and a half years as World tag champions, the Funks lose the title to the Fabulous Kangaroos (Don Kent and Johnny Heffernan) on 05/01/82.
  • May sees Carlos Colon and Pierre Martel feud with the Fabulous Kangaroos. The Gilberts continue their feud with the Moondogs over the North American tag titles, with the titles being declared vacant on 05/08 and then being won by the Moondogs the following week. Hangman Bobby Jaggers is the Caribbean champion.
  • The end of May sees Jose Rivera finish up for CSP. He had been a mainstay on the face side from the beginning of the promotion and had been one of the top local tecnicos throughout his tenure. According to Hugo Savinovich, the company had been booked throughout the late 70s/early 80s by the trio of Colon, Invader 1 and Rivera. He would not make an appearance again for WWC until the mid 00s.
  • The Gilberts finally win the North American tag titles from the Moondogs on 06/05/82. Meanwhile, Carlos Colon has a short series of matches with Bobby Jaggers during the first half of June and invader 1 teams up with Pierre Martel against the Fabulous Kangaroos.
  • The feud between Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher reaches a breaking point and they wrestle each other in a cage match on 06/24/82 in Barbados and in a barbed wire loser leaves town match in Puerto Rico. Abdullah had previously ambushed Carlos during a match between Carlos and the Mongolian stomper. This attack put Carlos temporarily out of action and led to the loser leaves town match. Hugo Savinovich was to be locked in a cage to prevent him interfering. As the match approached the participants would be interviewed on the TV show. Hugo would be complaining about being caged like some type of animal. Later in the show Carlos provided his comments. However, as he was leaving the set

 

As for the match, Carlos would win and banish Abdullah from Puerto Rico. Or so was thought.

  • The team of Invader 1 and Pierre Martel defeat the Kangaroos for the World tag titles on 06/26/82, but lose them a month later on 07/24/82 to the Moondogs.
  • Abdullah the Butcher defeats Antonio Inoki to become the WWC World champion in Japan (allegedly). Because of his status as World champion, Hugo Savinovich uses this as a loophole to bring back Abdullah the Butcher to Puerto Rico not even a month after he had been banished.
  • Kareem Muhammad debuts in Puerto Rico billed as Abdullahs cousin.
  • Carlos Colon is named the number one contender to the WWC World title and faces off against Abdullah. They have two matches where Carlos is unable to win the title due to Abdullahs tactics. This leads to
EXTRA: Carlos Colon Training Video (7/24/82)

 

Carlos Colon is at the interview desk with Rickin Sanchez. Carlos is getting ready for a World title match. He has been training with Pierre Martel to get ready. We go to a video of Carlos training. It turns out that Carlos is training for a third match with Abdullah the Butcher on Saturday July 31st (next week). Carlos asks for the fans support and says this is his last chance. Third times the charm. Hes held every title there is to hold except the World title. He wants to win the World title not just for him, but also for Puerto Rico. He promises not to let the fans down. Carlos would go on to defeat Abdullah and become the WWC World champion on 07/31/82.

 

EXTRA: Johnny Rivera Training Video (7/24/82)

 

Also training for a World title match on 07/3182 is Johnny Rivera. Johnny has been a mainstay on the tecnico side for the past few years, becoming a top challenge in the junior heavyweight division. Rickin Sanchez talks up Johnnys career trajectory and how hes doing things the right way. Johnny is challenging for the World Jr. title on the 31st, the champ being Les Thornton. We also get a training video where he is training with both Carlos Colon and Pierre Martel. Those neck spins he does in the video make me wince just watching them. Back at the desk and Rickin talks up Johnnys dedication and is optimistic about Johnnys chances at winning the title. Johnny mentions that he wants to thank the fans for the support they gave him last Saturday when he defeated Dick Steinborn to become the top contender and is hoping to do his best against Thornton. Rickin says that God willing well have two World champs on Saturday. Before throwing it to a studio match, Rickin asks Johnny about the battle royale scheduled for that nights house show and Johnny says that the purse money would help a lot.

 

In case anyone wants to know what the scheduled 7/31/82 card was, here it is:

 

WWC World Title: Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah the Butcher ©

NWA World Junior Title: Johnny Rivera vs. Les Thornton ©

World Tag Titles in a 'super libre' match: Invader 1 & Pierre Martel © vs. The Moondogs

Gorilla Monsoon vs. Kareem Mohammed

Bunkhouse Match: Terry Funk & Dick Slater (Slater is substituting for the originally scheduled Dory Funk) vs. The Fabulous Kangaroos (Don Kent & Johnny Heffernan)

North American Tag Titles: Tommy & Eddie Gilbert © vs. Los Medicos

Minis: Kid Bugalu vs. Chico Santana

Big Red vs. Dick Steinborn

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1982 Highights:

 

  • The end of May sees Jose Rivera finish up for CSP and head to the WWF (where he would eventually achieve eternal cult notoriety at Survivor Series 88). He had been a mainstay on the face side from the beginning of the promotion and had been one of the top local tecnicos throughout his tenure. According to Hugo Savinovich, the company had been booked throughout the late 70’s/early 80’s by the trio of Colon, Invader 1 and Rivera. It would not be until 90-91 that Jose Rivera would return to wrestling locally, and even then it would be for rival promotions to CSP. He would not make an appearance again for WWC until the mid 00’s.

 

José Rivera and José Luis Rivera aren't the same person, right ?

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1982 Highights:

 

 

  • The end of May sees Jose Rivera finish up for CSP and head to the WWF (where he would eventually achieve eternal cult notoriety at Survivor Series 88). He had been a mainstay on the face side from the beginning of the promotion and had been one of the top local tecnicos throughout his tenure. According to Hugo Savinovich, the company had been booked throughout the late 70s/early 80s by the trio of Colon, Invader 1 and Rivera. It would not be until 90-91 that Jose Rivera would return to wrestling locally, and even then it would be for rival promotions to CSP. He would not make an appearance again for WWC until the mid 00s.

José Rivera and José Luis Rivera aren't the same person, right ?

Ah crud, you're right. I always forget that detail. I'll amend the tidbit. Thanks!

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So, because there were random VHS releases in the late 80s, I kind of have to wonder. Is there any chance that a lot of this footage exists in some TV studio closet somewhere or something? Or is it all just lost forever (or never taped in the first place).

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So, because there were random VHS releases in the late 80s, I kind of have to wonder. Is there any chance that a lot of this footage exists in some TV studio closet somewhere or something? Or is it all just lost forever (or never taped in the first place).

 

Who knows. I believe some of the 82-83 footage actually was sourced from America Samoa or the Philippines, so who knows if there is something out there in unexpected places. Locally it's believed that there really isn't anything left from those early 80's years (the commonly told story is that WWC had their tape library damaged by a hurricane). Now, whatever long-shots may be out there would be looking in countries where the program would air in. So places like Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, USVI, etc. in the Caribbean, countries in Central and South America, and even some U.S. markets. But, all of these years later and with the tropical heat and natural disasters that hit the area, who knows if there may be anything left at all.

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Still, the big difference here is that they were at least filmed, right? So long as that's the case there's a chance. If something simply wasn't filmed (like, I don't know, lots of 80s UWA, right?), then there's no hope.

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Still, the big difference here is that they were at least filmed, right? So long as that's the case there's a chance. If something simply wasn't filmed (like, I don't know, lots of 80s UWA, right?), then there's no hope.

 

Yeah, they would always film the important house shows during the weekends to have footage to air for the feuds and angles on the TV show. They would sometimes film stuff on Friday nights with a single camera if there was something needed for feuds, angle advancements or title changes. They would not film weekday house shows, typically only the weekend stuff unless it was a big holiday show that occurred on a weekday (like Thanksgiving, or Three Kings Day).

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Sorry for the delay in continuing the context tidbits, the MLB postseason has derailed my progress on those a bit (life long Cubs fan here so this has taken up a lot of my free time the past few weeks). I will continue later tonight with the rest of 1982 and the start of 1983.

 

As for..

 

What other wrestling shows were available in Puerto Rico, if any? Just curious what other styles the fans might have been seeing.

 

Going by what I have heard mentioned and from my own experiences, more than you would think initially. From before my time as an avid viewer, i know for certain that they aired Poffo's ICW on channel 4, pretty sure that WWf was available (definitely mid-80's onward with Rickin Sanchez hosting the wraparounds locally, before that very likely due to the PR connection of sorts there), and if you had cable TV, you had access to whatever wrestling was available on those stations (TBS, WWOR, USA, WGN, later on ESPN). Also airing locally was Titanes en el Ring (the Martin Karadagian fed), which is actually what hooked TNT/Savio Vega into becoming a fan. Also there were local indies that would air, among them PRALL (Puerto Rico Ases de la Lucha Libre). Not sure what else would air from that time period. Also, never forget the presence and influence of lucha libre from Mexico, the films would air here in movie theaters and TV creating interest in that style and influencing others into becoming fans (Hugo Savinovich and Jack Veneno are two examples of people that got hooked by watching luchador movies).

 

When I committed to being a wrestling fan (which would be latter half 1990), I could watch WWC (both Saturday and Sundays), WWF Superstars and Challenge (both in English and in Spanish with Miguel Alonso and Pedro Morales as your announcers), all of the USA Network WWF shows, NWA/WCW on TBS, the WCW show they had on WGN (the ones that included the Brickhouse Bonus segments), USWA and later GWF on ESPN, and one of the local channels carried LPWA. In late 90-early 91 there was a short lived local startup on one of the channels that featured Chicky Starr and someone else at a desk presenting matches form other feds (here i saw Hennigs vs. Road Warriors, Hansen vs. Vader whee Vader got his eye socket fractured, Bunkhouse Stampede, GLOW matches and so forth). There would also be some random lucha, since i recall seeing a match with the Cocos and also an eight man tag featuring four exoticos taking on four ninja turtles. By late 91 you had AWF on channel 2. Oh, and also PPV since the late 80s.

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life long Cubs fan here

 

Aw man, I'm sorry to hear that. But we all have our flaws. :)

 

Really though, I haven't watched a baseball game in over 10 years but I'm still rooting for the Cubs. Good luck!

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