“You guys aren’t wrestlers, you’re actors and you just do wrestling and I don’t think that’s a dig. You guys make way more money than me like, good on you. But I just feel like when I say proudly, ‘That’s a wrestler. I am a wrestler, I am not an actor,’ but I know you guys can wrestle, you’re just not really allowed to show it, I guess … but other than you want to make a lot of money and retire, that’s what WWE is kind of for these days.”
Will Ospreay, British wrestler currently under contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, caused a furor at the end of May with this statement – and quite rightly so. Some found it courageous, many he spoke with it from the soul, not only wrestlers, but also the fans, who increasingly criticize the behavior of the probably largest wrestling promotion WWE and turn away from it more and more. Gone are the old days with true wrestling heroes, who also had a name outside the ring and had properly faced the fight. All show? No, not then, not today either. If you want to talk about show, feel free to refer to scripted matches, to the promos that run before, in between and after, to arranged victories, but everything that happens in between is real. Right? You can’t underestimate that no professional wrestler just got in the ring and punched an opponent in the mouth and became a star (although…). Anyone who wants to become a pro wrestler has a hard, often depriving time ahead of them, training, diet and special nutrition, their own sleep-wake rhythm developing, even more hard training. Something between endurance, strength and technique. Sure, you like to see Brock Lesnar’s mountains of muscle, read Mark Davidson’s statement about wanting to reach his physical best this year, and like one training picture after another, the growing six-pack, the veins clearly showing after a hard Legday. But that’s not the end of it. Those who dedicate themselves to wrestling and do it seriously, sell their body and sometimes their health. Punches and kicks to the head, falls, serious injuries are all not uncommon, yet they get back up again, the show must go on after all – and on the social platforms Angel Garza, Jeff Hardy and Co. smile away concussions and lacerations. Occupational hazard, sure, all great, I’m fine – thanks for your good thoughts. Bret “Hitman” Hart, successful wrestler for years, is a living legend, for a whole generation the entry into wrestling, active and passive, he dealt, took, made money, took drugs, neglected his family – maybe finally found his peace. The wrestler’s life, which reeks of success, prestige, money, travel and women, has darker sides, about which he now speaks openly, providing insight into what a promotion would like to sweep under the rug. Nowadays, wrestlers also have to be able to talk, present themselves, act. Roman Reigns, meanwhile a successful figurehead of the WWE, could not do this at the beginning of his career, was booed, laughed at, but he has learned and is a very good example of the fact that the audience attaches importance to the trappings. But does that make them all actors who have forgotten how to wrestle? No. It’s just that the WWE doesn’t seem to focus on great matches anymore, but much more on the glitz around them. Whoever is under contract with the WWE is no longer a wrestler, this term is almost pejoratively discarded, one is a WWE Superstar and thus above all. My favorite example of how much you change in WWE is and always will be Damian Priest. The two-time MMA title winner had a very different, rougher, perhaps more honest fighting style at the beginning of his WWE tenure, standing out with hard kicks, jumping over the top rope, being refreshingly different. Quickly the WWE noticed what it has in the Puerto Rican: A likeable guy, who is liked in the locker room, who doesn’t show any airs and graces, who can be sold very well, because young and old like him, the men would like to own his charm and his power, the women fly for the Latino, that brings sold tickets and merchandise, that means money into the cash register. Having a Latino who can be sent to the Latin American Music Awards and to the Puerto Rican Day Parade as an ambassador shows that we are open to the world: We are open-minded, we recognize Puerto Rico and Hispanics have the same chances in our country – no matter what evil tongues, even from our own ranks, claim. To be honest: Damian Priest deserves all of this and has worked very hard to earn it, he should be heartily congratulated. He plays the political game of the WWE perfectly, no criticism, no matter how shitty he finds a decision, the language quickly adopted, well-behaved nodded off and fulfilled what is required of him. Who has a dream and gives everything for it, he does that and he deserves the resulting success.
But you can also see that he is changing. In the ring is another fighter who has become softer, interchangeable with the others, aligned with what WWE says they want to see and publicly portray. WWEers can wrestle, or most wouldn’t be where they are. But are they still allowed to wrestle and be themselves, or are they actors, puppets who have surrendered to the strings they hang on to live their dream?
Whether Ospreay’s statement was the reason for Mike Mendoza to provocatively title his next event “No actors, wrestlers!” remains pure speculation, at least for outsiders. Anyone who researches Mendoza a little quickly finds out that he is a third-generation wrestler, with heart and soul, a role model, a good teacher, a visionary who provides terrific new talent with his school. Since the move to new premises at the beginning of the year, according to him the fulfillment of a dream, he organizes quite regularly mainly with his students wrestling shows, which are quickly sold out. Students sounds like inexperienced kids showing their parents what they’ve learned in the last two months. Far from it, at Espiritu Pro Wrestling the students are otherwise in the ring for other promos, for example LAWE or recently like the bundle of energy Yaide at AEW. This is an accolade for both students and teachers. (It should be briefly noted that you have to painstakingly gather info about EPDW or the associated Espiritu Fitness Center. Supposedly there is a website, but it doesn’t work, at least in Germany, and the social media appearances are quite good, but of course can’t offer the breadth of information of a website. However, I concede to the CEO that he does most of it on his own and simply has to draw a line somewhere, if only for reasons of time. If you follow him on Instagram, you get the impression that the man doesn’t sleep more than four hours a day, so where’s the time left for the rest). Mastermind Mendoza likes to be in the ring for a match, well, it would be strange and a pity if not. He didn’t win the champion title though, that went to “El Atleta” Manu a year ago in an exciting, sweaty match that you can watch on IWTV. This time, six matches were announced, including a mixed tag team match, a tag team match and a title match. At the end of the last show “House of Lucha” Hijo del Enigma clearly laid claim to the belt, wanted it most immediately and could hardly be calmed down even by Mendoza, who quickly promised him a title match. Those who couldn’t be there because the rare seats were sold out quickly or simply because they couldn’t be in Puerto Rico at that time, have the chance to watch everything online on IWTV. There you will also notice small details that probably do not immediately jump to the eye in the live event, because you have a different perspective or simply do not look at the right moment. Already in the run-up one had expected with tension which matches would still be announced and one was not disappointed, considered however which match would become the highlight. The tickets were gone quickly, no idea how many are really offered, on the videos it looks like just under 40 seats plus an undetermined number of standing room. It happens to be a small but very fine venue, the cadre of “El Escorpion”. After the evening there are a handful of photos and some videos, what happened, nevertheless there are a lot of questions left open and above all: You want to see the Chicos y Chicas wrestle! Anyone who is even a little interested in the sport will see and feel the finesse, the beauty, the technique, the passion and the mutual respect that is at the forefront of Espiritu (the name says it all). Several times the Espirituians speak of family and that is what they seem to be, to that they seem to grow together. Here it is not about money, glitter effects and show, here it is about discipline, respect, passion and cohesion.
This time the recording starts more fiery, you see more and more moves and clips from the past, that brings back memories. After the somewhat harder number “Come and Get Some” by 5 Star Day, a swinging dance music from the last millennium follows, as the matches of the evening are presented on a TV. Then a drone flight through the worn-out alleys of San Juan, on the right a building that once saw better days (but please don’t forget that Puerto Rico has had some hard years). In the backyard, the gates of the Espiritu Fitness Center, Mike Mendoza’s place of work.
Alfredo Méliès is one of the commentators for IWTV this evening. The first match is immediately contested by a dazzling figure: Androide 787 vs. Rey Reyes. Androide is THE representative of the LGBTQ movement – at least in EPWD – of Puerto Rican wrestling. He captures the audience with his charisma and inspires with his open, very cheerful manner. The young man conveys a crazy charisma even through the photos on his social media accounts and shows his love for fellow wrestler EROS quite openly – and the two are a great couple! Plus, he seems to have been one of EPWD’s first wrestling students. Here we go, the two actors circle each other, going at each other quickly. At first they are very much at eye level, you can’t really make out who is better. The audience applauds the actions, the first pin attempt is quickly made. The two know each other, so they know roughly what to expect. But of course it’s not over so quickly. Counterattack, there is a lot on offer. No blatant jumps or breakneck moves, as you might like to see, but quite a bit of technique that you can appreciate if you’ve had a wrestling affinity for a while. Android 787 soon gets the upper hand, but Reyes is able to retaliate quickly. It’s a very even match, as a starter it’s actually just the thing to get into first and get in the mood for what’s to come. Soon it looks like Android will be defeated, but he finds his way back into the match. At some point you see two moves on him that give away his teacher, Mike Mendoza, but he is able to apply the jump over the top rope and the following kick a bit better – he is also taller and therefore has it easier. The referee also has his hands full to make sure you really stay within the rules, and the experienced Many does a good job, counting three seconds in the end and Androide 787 wins against Rey Reyes. How surprising is that? I’m not quite sure, would have expected the outcome.
The second match should be a bit more brutal Edrax vs. Baltazar Bruno – wow! Bruno is greeted with boos, which I can’t relate to at all, because the giant is a beast. He gets big, intimidating, not a man of many words, who can take more than many a wall. Edrax I just knew from a single short Insta video of an older fight until the announcement of No Actors, Wrestlers, so the excitement is high. The two circle each other just briefly, then Bruno demonstrates his strength. Edrax can’t impress his opponent much with his dropkick, though. He fights back, sends Edrax to the mat and plays with him a bit. As usual Baltazar Bruno tries to pin his opponent with only one hand. Sometimes it works, but this time not (yet). The spectators have clearly distributed their sympathies, I just don’t understand why. Spinebuster, phew, against Bruno, you don’t see that every day. This time there is a camera filming down on the ring from above, that gives new, very exciting perspectives (but only for exactly this one shot) . The monster strikes again, chokeslam, that could have been it, but the attempt fails. Edrax seems to slowly gain the upper hand, dares a lot to educate a quick victory. Again and again the commentators emphasize that they are not actors, but wrestlers. Did Mendoza give the order: Let it get tough? Probably not, he knows what he is teaching his students, what they can do and what matters. A middle finger to the audience follows, with a foot on the chest Edrax is pinned, Bruno quickly leaves the ring without celebrating himself as the winner. What stands out? Announced was a completely different opponent for Edrax, namely Ricardo Blakeman.
Cut. Felix Aldea appears, I don’t know him either, he wears the LuchaTeesPR shirt “Yo Soy Espiritu” – I am Espiritu. He is followed by “Reckless” Harry Williams, there are divided opinions, some celebrate him, some shout “Boo!”. Williams has had a fantastic journey and in one year has shaped his body insanely, something he can be proud of – and rightly so. He can care less about boos because he knows what he can do – and he shows it right away. He pushes his opponent into the corner of the ring, followed by numerous quick punches to the chest. When Aldea again pushes him into the corner and punches, two women shriek in horror. Shortly after, Aldea is down, Williams goes for a quick cover. You notice a different style here than in the previous two fights – and that’s what’s so exciting about EPWD events: Same school, and yet everyone is different, has his moves, his specials, his strengths and weaknesses and sweeps them out clearly. With Williams, there’s an absolute powerhouse in the ring who has a great path ahead of him if he keeps doing what he’s doing. This is the future of Puerto Rican wrestling that we get to see here. There’s already more speed in this match, it’s back and forth, kicks, punches, neckbreakers, pin attempts, short breathers to set up the next move. Williams wins. That was good, powerful, Williams is a future champion, a few more months and he could be fighting for the title – and he promised we will see a lot more of him at Espiritu!
Enter “El Maquiavélico” Adam Riggs. He always seems like he’s going to snap at any moment and just punch everyone who’s around him in the face. At the LAWE Summerfest press conference, he once again showed that he totally lives up to that character. As he performs and heads to the ring, the camera pans clearly for the first time to a group of fans who are creating some buzz this evening. They show very clear front, but more on that later. It hasn’t even been 30 minutes yet, we’re already on match number four, two to go and we still have an hour to go. Should the first three matches have been given more time? But now it’s getting exciting, because there are two tag team matches to follow and they will – hopefully – take more time anyway. The first four-way match is a mixed match – and when we’re in Puerto Rico and the show is called “No Actors, Wrestlers,” you can expect that those involved won’t care which gender is in front of them and won’t be quick to high-five to have the same gender as their opponent in the ring. Standing next to Adam Riggs in the corner is the wonderful “La Brava” Yaide. She made her AEW debut a few weeks ago and did very well. A great woman who is finally putting wrestling front and center and not being the fakemodel Instagram girl. We’re about to see another woman in the ring and with that we know that finally women’s wrestling has a great, glorious future because here are two ladies with great futures. Nathalya Perez – the only female luchadora in the third generation, and Alfredo Méliès perform together. Méliès has just graduated from university and is already back in the ring – which he did before. The mob on the sidelines is getting into the spirit of things, Riggs is getting worked up, he’s not the only one on this evening. Of course, it takes a bit for the crowd to clearly distribute their sympathies and create a mood, here it starts to go too far. One notices that already now, later even more clearly. Riggs and Méliès start, the ladies hold back. Personally, I’m waiting for Yaide, who was in the ring against Mike Mendoza last year – she lost, unfortunately sold herself a bit short in my eyes. I’d love a rematch – and I think “El Escorpion” wouldn’t have it so easy this time. Back to the match, Riggs is sitting on the mat by now, his opponents apply a double dropkick, then it’s Perez vs. Yaide – Riggs yells something not quite fine through the hall. But on with the girls. Yes, they don’t spare themselves, there’s just as much punching and kicking, there’s hard moves and very rough handling. Yaide tries the first pin, in vain. Let’s go on. You can watch these two women for a long time, it’s just beautiful. This no “my fingernail broke” smooch like other promotions. While the referee and Yaide stand in a ring corner discussing, Riggs interferes, it’s quickly stopped, but Perez is battered but can’t tap out. Then it’s off to the side, superplex on Yaide, both women high-five. Méliès is furious, goes hard into the fight, sends Riggs to the mat. Here’s power, here’s what’s at stake. Alfredo finally wants Nathalya to pin Riggs, but Yaide runs around the ring to her and stops her from getting in the ring. Then it quickly continues outside the ring. Stupidly Riggs kicks his tag team partner Yaide in the face and knocks her out for a bit, Nathalya sees it and takes her chance, pins Yaide, wins. I honestly wasn’t sure who would take home the win here, it was a pretty balanced match, was fun. Afterwards Riggs gets his entrance again, reproaches Yaide, calls her “Stupida”, gets a juicy slap for it. This isn’t over yet – for a moment I think this is the first announcement for a match for the next show, but then Riggs attacks Yaide directly. Honestly, Yaide has to fight him next time and show him where the hammer hangs! (a rather German saying).
40 minutes are over, 40 minutes are still ahead of us. Yes, of course, another tag team fight, the Master himself is about to enter the ring, he wants his time and has earned it, besides, there is still the title fight. And if I write, the fights are quite balanced, then that is surely also so wanted. The last two encounters were the highlights from the beginning, everyone knew that. Was I however of the opinion that the title fight comes at the end, Mendoza puts himself at the end – I think he always appears at the end, no matter if he has a match or just interferes, that’s a right he takes for himself as the boss – at the moment though I’m a bit disappointed by the fact that it’s not the fight for the belt at the end. Alright, two tag team matches in a row might not be the real deal either. Difficult. For me it has a lot to do with value and if Mendoza puts himself at the end, that’s a certain arrogance – which he can afford, yes, definitely, it still remains this critical but. And of course I’m grumbling before I’ve even seen what happens next.
The title match has already been announced at “House of Lucha”, as Mendoza had promised Hijo del Enigma exactly this chance, when the young wrestler stormed to the ring and could hardly be stopped from thrashing Manu. So now the big chance. Manu is the first EPWD champion, in almost a year. Back then, he won against his teacher in a rather bitter, at one point desperate match, when the Scorpion didn’t pounce, but unceremoniously bit. You can still watch that, too, at IWTV. It’s worth it. But now challenger Hijo del Enigma strides to the ring, he is greeted by some with a handshake, quickly a selfie with fan, then he stands in the ring. His thigh is adorned with a tattoo of the EPDW logo, stamped, it is clear who he feels he belongs to. “El Altleta” Manu, however, is greeted louder, he is champion, the fans like him, they expect a good fight that the latter will dominate. But even during the introduction and before the bell, Enigma races towards him, Manu pushes him into the corner, throws him twice powerfully to the ground, Enigma leaves the ring. It’s fast, you don’t even know where to look. Manu tries to climb out of the ring, Enigma hangs on his leg, forces him out of the ring. Now it continues outside, hard blows echoing in the room, the chairs are folded and taken as a punching aid. Clears the seats, demands Enigma, holds Manu in a chokehold, who finally frees himself, throws Enigma through the ranks. Now it is he who strikes with the chair, which is finally snatched from his hands by the referee. Cell phones are drawn as Enigma is pushed against the steel door, another hit with a chair, Enigma drags himself back to the ring, Manu following shortly after. It continues and it becomes clear: this is not a clear fight, this is not a quick win for the defending champion. The German Suplex is not executed, both try, then it goes to the ropes, Mega Punsh by Manu, a cover attempt, in vain. Did we get promised wrestlers? This promise was so fulfilled! No mercy here, nothing that seems forbidden. Manu attacks his opponent’s left arm specifically, goes out of the ring, but Enigma recovers quickly, fights back. During the next pin attempt, the wild mob chants “Oh Pedro Portillo”, something that doesn’t fit in here at all right now. It’s not about LAWE, it’s not about CPR, Portillo, Pesadilla and Mendoza, it’s about EPWD and the title. The two wrestlers don’t let that bother them though. However, there seems to be disagreement in the background between the crowd due to the chanting that is going on. Enigma doesn’t let it get him down. Finally Manu manages the German Suplex, but it’s not over yet. Would one have expected that? That Manu would have such a hard time? No, certainly not. But you can see more clearly with every minute why Manu is champion – and would like to see him more often in other promotions. Another cover, but again the referee can’t count to three. On it goes to the shrieks of the female crowd. Manu gets distracted, Enigma sees his chance, pushes him into the corner of the ring, hits him, but also this attack lasts too short. The best scene is the dear grandma, who storms to the ring in anger and gives Manu a piece of her mind. Honestly, you don’t mess with grandmas. This one would even get Manu down. But that doesn’t help much either. Enigma is cheered on, the mood changes a bit, because you realize by now that you’re watching a fierce, but very good wrestling fight. Without actors, with technique and above all with a lot of passion. Here you are ready to hurt, to show what you have learned and to fight for the belt until exhaustion. This also includes that some actions are not executed quite cleanly, but who cares? We experience a good fight in which both give everything and no one will give up, no one will let himself be pinned. Manu is horrified, he doesn’t quite know what’s happening here. He probably imagined this would be easier. Finally both are on the ropes, Enigma is finally able to throw Manu to the mat, it looks like he’s going to win, one, two … no, Manu pulls his shoulder up. It looks good for Enigma, who finally focuses on Manu’s leg, but he’s stronger, manages to get up with Enigma on his leg and slams him against the ring post. What a fight! A powerbomb brings the end. Manu shows the middle finger, angry, but still champ. But if we’re honest, Hijo del Enigma is the real winner of this match, he put up an insane fight, a great match that we’ll be talking about for a long time. Who has challenged Manu so much so far, who has stood up to him and put him in such a spot? Manu celebrates himself briefly, then extends his hand to his opponent. A sign of respect. But then, the surprise attack. He knocks Enigma down from behind with his belt, then punches and kicks the man lying on the ground. It’s unsportsmanlike, but it shows how angry the defending champion is. Help comes from android 787, who storms into the ring and chases Manu off. Then he grabs the mic – is he challenging Manu? Really? Unfortunately, you can hardly understand what he says, Manu’s answer is lost in the roar. Finally he shouts, lets himself be celebrated, he is the champion and whoever wants to compete against him has to earn this chance. Then again appearance: the bravest grandma of Puerto Rico, who stands up in front of Manu – Manu, you don’t stand a chance against that woman, just give her the belt! She looks like she’s going to slap the title holder every second. Even Manu’s attempt to scare her goes nowhere. Such unplanned scenes are still the best. We’re now curious what’s in store for the next show – I’d have some suggestions …
Well, 20 minutes to go, we know what’s coming and in itself I would find it totally awesome, but for now my anticipation is dampened – and none of the four upcoming wrestlers can do anything about that. First to them: 2/3 of La Anexion take on Gravedad Zero. Four absolutely great wrestlers, let’s leave Mendoza out of it, the man started a wrestling school, he knows very well what he’s doing and is capable of leading and controlling any match, no matter in which direction. Mark Davidson is in the shape of his life – if you have stupid comments about the hard trained muscles, you can keep them to yourself, behind it is such a blatant discipline, diet and a tough training plan, many would capitulate just listening to him. It is impossible to imagine the wrestling world without him. People are waiting for the big contract that will bind him to a promotion – and for our sake I hope that never happens, but I wish it for him. On the other hand Justin Dynamite, who initially moved below the level of these wrestlers for me, but far from it. Already in 2019 he was in the ring against Mendoza and after that he continued to deserve it, even the AEW is interested, so I grossly underestimated him (lo siento!). With him, however, you can clearly see the problem of the Puerto Rican wrestling scene: you just don’t know the fighters. How could they? Puerto Rico is too small and has destroyed its popular sport over the years from within and through outside influences, and has only recently begun the arduous process of rebuilding it. After some research on this article, I find out that he already fought for the WWL in 2016 and even won a title there, together with Mark Davidson, one of today’s opponents. To continue the digression for a moment: A wiki in English about PR Wrestling, the leagues there and especially the wrestlers would be bombastic! Nobody does it, because it’s work, but maybe some dedicated people will get together to build it up. Hello, Puerto Rico, there is the Internet, use it extensively to make your popular sport great again and more known worldwide! Back to “El Futuro”, who I got to know through a shared video with Olmo – and for me he’s still very much in the shadow of his tag team partner, even outside of this fight. I follow Samuel Olmo all the more. Meanwhile, he regularly publishes tutorials on Instagram, absolutely brilliant – I would never copy, but who wants to learn certain moves, try it out! It is super explained! Samuel Olmo, I think if I were sitting live at the ring, I would squat in front of him like a little kid with my mouth open and stare at him in awe. He is an absolute giant of jumps and tightrope walking, gravity seems – hence the tag team name – to be suspended by him at times. The martial arts background (which a Mike Mendoza and many others also have) certainly helps him with body control, but again, what this man performs on and off the ropes is true art! So now these four strong fighters are going up against each other. For me, Mendoza vs Olmo would be enough, I’d like to see Olmo vs Dynamite – and while we’re at it: Another Davidson vs. Mendoza wouldn’t be bad either, that’s almost always possible. But that’s not a wishful thinking (maybe for next time?), it’s a fixed match that … Wait, yes, exactly, that brings back old memories, the constellation a bit different, but Davidson, Mendoza, Olmo, a heavy kick during the dance on the rope, we know that from LAWE! So what can we expect today? Olmo and Dynamite appear, are received with cheers and already the way they enter the ring makes clear: here comes a special duo. Small fact on the side: Justin Dynamite is quite hot for the title belt, who isn’t, Olmo is the one who supports him in this and now has to settle something with a bitchy Mendoza, who is obstructing and wants this match to not take place. Mendoza and Davidson are met with loud boos, the other half is happy and applauds, the usual “Mike Mendoza” shouts are missing. Well, here we are again with the troublemakers. They call themselves Los Muchachos Wrestling and of course hold up a Pedro Portillo III photo to the two. While Mike tries to ignore it at the beginning, Davidson immediately goes confrontational, showing the extended middle fingers and shouting something in their direction. When they start to sing, “El Escorpion” first looks amused-annoyed at them, then the discussion starts. What the muchachos are shouting I don’t understand, middle fingers are shown, in any case it’s not compliments that are exchanged. Mendoza, on the other hand, makes it clear that they are in his house. In addition to the recording of IWTV, there is the recording of the Muchachos posted on Instagram. It shows the two wrestlers from the front and thus you have a perfect all-around view. He asks them to leave, they throw some stuff at each other, as Mendoza presents himself in the ring, they again shout something that triggers his displeasure (sounds like “tráelo aqui”, something like “bring it here”). He seems annoyed, this is his house, his event and certain things – justifiably – have no place there, and quite frankly, it’s fucking disrespectful. Mendoza may be able to put some things away as a professional, his look at one point reveals just how much this elevator sucks. During the match, “Pesadilla” is called out, the nightmare that is Mendoza’s opponent at LAWE Summerfest. A bitter storyline that attacked Mendoza’s family that just doesn’t belong here. I knew the Muchachos video before it aired on IWTV and I thought it sucked then to pull something like that. Yes, we are all fans and have our favorites, yes, wrestling lives a little bit from this dirty talk and the bland provocation. Still, you guys are ruining a great night, a great match – whether you ruined it for those four guys in the ring, I don’t know how annoyed Mike Mendoza really was, I don’t know, but you’re ruining it for me! I sat in front of the screen for an hour until I finally played that last match because I was mega pissed after 1.5 weeks of waiting and anticipation. Shitty action and even though I know that insults and foul gestures are commonplace in Puerto Rican wrestling: They don’t belong here, that’s another story, another house. I think if I had been there, I definitely wouldn’t have held back and someone would have kicked me out on edge and banned me forever, but the muchachos would have kept their mouths shut.
Was there actually a match? Kind of, but I really don’t feel like it anymore – and there are three of my favorites in the ring. But I force myself to keep watching, with no great desire or euphoria. Still in the ring, it continues, then Olmo grabs the mic and attacks the Referee Many. Olmo of course has a special guest referee in the bag: El Gentil. This can’t go well, this can’t be fair, but it makes the story exciting. This guy is going to be biased, isn’t he? Here we go, nobody dares, at least the idiots on the sidelines shut up. Davidson vs. Dynamite. Handshake? No. Middle finger from Justin, Mendoza calms the parties, gets in the ring against Olmo. Handshake. Pesadilla shouts. What follows is a seemingly simple trick from the trainer. He grabs Olmo’s hand and rolls off over his shoulder, giving him a clear advantage over his opponent, whose arm he now turns on his back in an uncomfortable position, forcing him to the ground. Olmo takes the latter’s head between his legs, frees himself, there is a hard slap on the back. Both get up again. Several twists of the arms follow – we see wrestling on a very high level here. This is fun! Finally Olmo goes for the ropes, hach, nice how he bounces around between them, unfortunately he slips and therefore can’t quite apply the planned move cleanly, Mendoza takes advantage of that, but doesn’t get him much. Dropkick, Mendoza claps off and knocks Dynamite out in the ring corner. Olmo and Davidson know each other, you can tell, but not that much happens then, a quick exchange, Mendoza flies off the rope onto Samuel Olmo lying on the mat, tries a pin, Justin wants to interfere, but he doesn’t have to. Again and again Olmo shouts, meanwhile he stands in the corner and is worked on by “White Shadow”. “El Arquero” contests this match, he fights the match for his tag team partner and has to take quite a beating. Mendoza knows no mercy, but again and again the look flies to the Muchachos, completely concentrated he is not, puts his fingers to his lips. Be quiet! Olmo seems visibly stricken, the anexion claps off, Mendoza wants to create a mood, but the audience doesn’t go along. I feel sorry for him – and the other three wrestlers right along with him. Olmo manages to avoid a cover again, can’t quite seem to finish an action. On the next cover attempt, Dynamite steps in and interrupts. Break off, it’s Mendoza’s turn. Finally he has Olmo in the corner and punches him in the chest several times, it’s loud as it needs to be, but honestly Samuel, please stop being so masochistic and high-five! You need a break! He finally does. And Dynamite is ready like never before. First he eats Davidson’s breakfast, then he carries Mendoza out of the ring over the top rope, kicks him in the head shortly afterwards, tries a cover. The sympathy is on Olmos’ (!) side. Davidson and Mendoza briefly disagree on who is officially in the ring, so the cover attempt is a bit late. Dynamite becomes the plaything of the two more experienced wrestlers, but is able to dodge it, kick to Davidson, while Olmo pulls Mendoza out of the ring and crashes him into the ring post. It’s quick, tap out or not? Olmo wants to jump off the top rope, while Davidson knocks Dynamite out, Mike pushes him down there, both triumph in the ring. This fight is fast, a lot happens, you have to have your eyes everywhere. Mendoza poses in the ring, boos come from the familiar corner, this kissing gesture follows, which at least here in Germany means something like kiss my ass. Actually it should go on, but then there is discussion again. The next action of Anexion goes wrong, but they get a Double Superkick, Mendoza falls out of the ring, Justin Dynamite takes a run-up and flies out of the ring onto Mendoza through some rows of chairs. Meanwhile a 450 Splash against Davidson. This could be the end, but Mark kicks out. Now it’s pretty clear how this is going to end, isn’t it? The two Ds fight bitterly in the ring, quick tag off, Mendoza jumps in, stomps on Olmo (one of those moves you never replicate at home anyway please, if you don’t know how to do it!), cover? No. Then it’s quick again, an action goes wrong, Olmo gets the upper hand, superkick to Mendoza, who goes down in the corner of the ring and finally gets Davidson with full weight. He rolls out of the ring, Davidson is on his own and at the mercy of the duo. Olmo goes for a cover, Mendoza interferes, gets held down by Dynamite. Gravedad Zero wins! Great match, big respect to Samuel Olmo who delivered big time and took so much! Wow! The anexion gets up, Mendoza holds out his hand to Olmo, and after a short hesitation they fall into each other’s arms. One can only guess what “El Escorpion” whispers in his ear, it should be quite some respect. Olmo seems to have hurt himself, El Gentil finally leads him to the backstage area, if you can call it that. Davidson gives Dynamite a lot of respect, because he really delivered here. Waiting for this to happen, the landlord sits down on the edge of the ring, extends his middle finger to the Muchachos, and then wordlessly walks past the fans and antifans, seemingly angry and disappointed. It seems like support, comfort, like strengthening and encouragement after the misbehavior of the muchachos when he kisses “la reina de su mundo”, the queen of his world, before he disappears.
Wow! With each event you get the impression EPWD is getting better, more mature, more experienced, not only the wrestlers but the events as well. But what we saw most of all at No Actors, Wrestlers was wrestling. Great matches, class coordinated encounters and opponents who gave nothing to each other. Particularly noteworthy is the fight for the title – probably most expected Manu to make pretty short work of his challenger. Hijo del Enigma has perhaps delivered the fight of his life, but in any case a strong will and high level on the day. Man of the evening is for me nevertheless another: Samuel Olmo. Does one stand alone for the most part against 2/3 of La Anexion? No. He did it anyway and delivered an incredible fight, “El Arquero” had a mission and on this evening he outdid himself. This is not an up and coming talent that will eventually make it big, Samuel Olmo to me belongs in the first guard of not just Puerto Rican wrestlers. This man is better than most of the current champions of the two major US wrestling promotions!
Gracias, Mike, gracias Espiritu y luchadores por este evento!
>>> click here for original German version <<<
© pictures: Espiritu Pro Wrestling Dojo