On Sept. 19, 2022, Hurricane Fiona devastated the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Five years after the devastating Hurricane Maria, the effects of which can still be seen and felt in parts, the island was hit hard again. Fiona caused flooding, sweeping away plantations and houses, boats were washed ashore, and electricity failed throughout the island. Once again, people lost their livelihoods, their belongings, the roof over their heads. Even days later, the power supply was not restored, and worse, the water supply was still interrupted in some regions, and a heat wave threatened Puerto Rico. But the Boricua do not give up, ever. If you want to learn about solidarity, you have to take a closer look at this people, who immediately helped each other, built huts, carried mud and soaked furniture to their doors, provided medicine, water, electricity generators and food, and got organized. The government cannot be relied upon and no one trusts them or the power company LUMA, which had employees working on the damaged power lines during the hurricane (totally irresponsible) but could not restore power even a week later. In all the destruction and all the suffering that was far too much negated and ignored by the world, it was clear that the very quickly announced event Broken By Glory by Espiritu Pro Wrestling Dojo would not take place. People had been surprised anyway that just a month after the last Master Series event, it was already going to go ahead. Two matches had been announced, tickets were not yet on sale, then came the warning and then Fiona haunted the island. It was redeeming to gradually see a sign of life from acquaintances, dear spectators, new friends, wrestlers, referees and fan clubs. Only the official cancellation of Broken By Glory was missing. Until 21.09.2022, four days before the event. Then it went blow by blow, tickets were offered, more fights were announced, even 24 hours before the start a last fight was announced. At first I thought it was a bit selfish and irresponsible to let the event take place despite everything, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the importance. It had to happen. If CEO and Founder Mike Mendoza only somehow had the opportunity to follow through with his plan, he had to do it – for himself, for the dojo, for the wrestlers, for Puerto Rico. It almost seemed like a defiance, a rebellion against the hurricane’s damage – but above all, something to give to Puerto Rico – symbolically, to show that wrestling is rising again and won’t let anything bring it down on its way back to its former glory; and also quite physically, a bit of distraction, a bit of diversion and normalcy for the beleaguered Puerto Ricans.
The Espiritu Fitness Center was allegedly not sold out, the information about this varies. But whoever was there was offered something. This time IWTV had to wait a long time to see the fights, but the wait was worth it – and we know that a lot, a lot has happened in this time. Starting with Alfredo Mélies vs. Xavier Millet, fans get to see a new face for the first time. Anyone who doesn’t know him – like me – doesn’t know what to expect from Millet. But one immediately assumes that it will be a quick and fairly easy fight for Mélies. However, Millet is not the inexperienced rookie who becomes the plaything of El Academico, but knows how to defend himself and in the meantime also gains the upper hand again and again. Even the “referee with the boots” has his hands full, because if one has attempted a pin, the opponent immediately follows up. But in the end it’s Mélies who wins – and that’s a good thing. Anything else would have been strange. We will certainly see and hear a lot more from Millet.
It continues with a lot of anger and a match that we should have seen earlier but had to be postponed until tonight due to health reasons. Still, that doesn’t detract from the anger of Adam Riggs. He’s looking for a fight again and in this intergender match there is a lot that still needs to be clarified. Yaide, his opponent that night, and Riggs had teamed up at No Actors, Wrestlers and things went wrong, the two got in each other’s way and then there was a kick in the face from Yaide that she couldn’t forget . The subsequent loss infuriated Riggs and so this match was inevitable. Yaide is the one who brings experience and rage to the table and can take on just about any guy. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid, she attacks her opponent and has to take it too, but Riggs is a bit cautious at the beginning. Yaide puts on her show, flirts with the cameras and photographers, and quite clearly dominates this game. At times, Riggs is more of a fun training partner who still has a lot to learn. But we know Adam Riggs, who doesn’t put up with anything so easily and doesn’t get down either, he finally defends himself – and in between still has to discuss with the audience, which is more on the side of the opponent. And he also discusses with the referee, he has a lot to say to him because he doesn’t agree with his intervention. When it looks like Riggs is going to win, Yaide is able to kick out at 2. The woman has made her AEW debut so it won’t be easy to keep her on the mat. Strong punches and a juicy slap follow, it goes fast, a kick, a closeline, both opponents lie on the mat and are counted. They can only pull themselves together with difficulty, then the anger is back, but it’s not enough to get the pin. Riggs manages to free himself twice more just in time, then it’s up to Yaide to defend himself against the pin. Full of anger, Riggs brings a chair into the ring, is stopped by the referee, Yaide lunges at him again, but is finally defeated and defeated. The audience doesn’t celebrate the winner, Yaide seems to be injured and has trouble getting out of the ring. Has the last word already been spoken here?
Cut. JC Navarro makes his entrance for EPW. I will always find this entrance silly with tequila in hand, drinking with the crowd and somehow …. Not that Navarro is a bad wrestler, but I just can’t take him seriously and think this gimmick is dumb. For me it’s clear who wins, the eternal champion of the dojo just has to decide this match for himself. It’s not about the belt, but whoever wins here might have a chance at the title. Los Muchachos are at the start again and welcome and celebrate El Atleta Manu loudly. Finally something comes from the corner, because on this evening the dojo could use a little more atmosphere. Referee is Jordy, who is known for his acting talent and who sometimes seems to take his job less seriously. It just never gets boring with him. From the audience come the “Manu, Manu” shouts and the champ is ready. Theoretically, one thinks, Manu could end this very quickly, but of course that wouldn’t be in the paying audience’s mind at all. There is a short stress with the referee, both fighters don’t seem to agree with his intervention and decisions. Will he also get his fat this evening? But it goes on. The match gets faster, you can see nice moves, both experienced wrestlers who have made a name for themselves in other leagues and have won titles. Navarro visibly attacks Manu and makes it hard for him until they both leave the ring and Navarro lands on one of the support posts. He’s battered and Manu clears the rows of chairs with him right away. One of the chairs lands pretty hard on Navarro’s back, so Mendoza, who was watching the scene with a smile, has to admonish both wrestlers to return to the ring and not to destroy the bar. Back in the ring Manu tries the pin, but that would be too fast. There is atmosphere in the audience, unlike the two matches before, the crowd goes along more, there are heckles, commotion, applause, there is much more reaction. After two hard punches to the back, with sweat visibly rising in a fine mist, Manu is so pissed that he tries a quick pin and then makes a mess of the referee, who counts way too slow. This has to go faster! No, everything done right, Jordy finds. Alright, next failed pin attempt, Navarro visibly battered, Manu gets his bottle and pours himself one. Salud, Navarro! The ext the cup, the audience likes it, the boss apparently too and because Navarro asks for it, there is another cup. But the drink is not swallowed, but spit in Manu’s face. The short breather is over, the fight continues quickly. As Navarro gets the upper hand, Manu goes out of the ring, moves aside two or three of the re-erected chairs and has to intercept a jump from Navarro and then take his hit with one of the chairs. The champ is battered and briefly you wonder if he has finally found an opponent who can beat him. But no, unexpectedly he is back on his feet and now really wants to finish it. But despite Jordy hurrying up with the count, Navarro is able to break free again. Manu runs out of ideas. He grabs the sombrero, wants to show Navarro off, but he attacks him from behind, but can’t keep him on the mat for three seconds. Then he has to use the title belt as a weapon, Manu rams it into his opponent’s face, the match is stopped immediately, but Manu doesn’t want to rest yet, the referee is kicked out of the ring. He grabs a mic and calls for Android 787, who wanted a title fight so badly after all and isn’t there to take the title. Manu makes it clear that he is the champion and not Android. What Manu then says is not translated by the English commentators, but the Spanish original is not beeped out either. May you watch it yourself, you can learn enough swear words at the EPW events in any case.
Things are moving fast this evening, the taping is only an hour long, the Main Event is coming up, a Tag Team Match. Fuerza Recia, consisting of the beasts Baltazar Bruno and Reckless Harry William. It’s still a brilliant move to put these two in a tag team. Opponents – or victims? – are Pure Culture, El Gentil and Hijo del Enigma. The latter clearly have the better performance, coming to the ring with Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and unceremoniously singing the song with the audience. When the opponents are introduced, Bruno lets out a primal scream that makes me cringe in front of the screen. One does not like in the dark … well, maybe not encounter otherwise, certainly not when the giant is angry. El Gentil and Bruno begin the fight. It’s a wrestle, both use a lot of force, this is already wrestling on another level, crazy fun to watch here. How El Gentil can put away the punch to Bruno’s chest will forever remain a mystery (well, that’s wrestling experience, they’re pros!), but just watching it all hurts like hell. There’s clapping, no applause, really loud, you can only imagine how hard and powerful those punches must be. Then both teams change. A cautious feeling out, the first attempts to mount an action, then again a circling. El Gentil applauds his team partner, the audience has chosen his side pretty clearly. But it’s also fickle. A sequence full of punches to the chest follows, you can’t even keep count, and it gets fast. All four go at each other, leaving the ring, clearing the rows of chairs, hitting each other, then Hijo del Enigma mounts the top rope and jumps on … all three of them. Why not. The audience likes it, they film along fascinated. One loses track of who has just been legitimately tagged in – and thus could make a pin, but the referee apparently has the overview, or does he? When Harry holds William El Gentil on the mat, the man with the boots has to ask his teammate to leave the ring first and thus the pin attempt fizzles out. The four give each other nothing at all. It’s a powerful, very physical and exhausting match that demands everything from the wrestlers. It is a pity that the dojo is not completely sold out this evening, but the atmosphere is still there. Bruno is furious, takes turns, goes after El Gentil, roars, rages, has found a victim here who can hardly fight back at times, but then El Gentil gets up, rears back, dares to throw two punches, then gets taken down in the ring corner and worked over by both opponents at the same time. It looks like the end, but he fights back again. Why is Enigma so good? The then comes in furiously, beating William into the corner and clearly dominating the action for a while. El Gentil can’t help, can’t intervene, he’s battered, lying on the edge of the ring and can only watch. When Bruno is substituted, it seems like it’s all over, but Enigma holds onto the ring ropes, then El Gentil charges back into the ring and you don’t quite know what’s happening, where to look, so much is happening. Finally, as all four lie exhausted in the ring, the count is taken. They pick themselves up, Bruno tries a Powerbomb, but Enigma fights back, but finally lands on his back. Again El Gentil takes over, again all four lie in the ring and get counted out. It’s a worthy Main Event, giving the crowd a quality match. In the end Furza Recia win, but are visibly battered and didn’t have it as easy as one might have thought at the beginning. A really great finish.
Unfortunately, one fight is missing from the recording. The offspring, the future compete against each other. It must have been a memorable match, unfortunately you can only find short excerpts or photos on social media. Well, to call Edrax a youngster is as brave as it is wrong, he has already earned his spurs. And Nathalya Perez has also proven herself in the ring. She’s not the first third-generation wrestler to step into the ring and be successful because of it, she’s made a name for herself and has proven what she’s capable of. Perez belongs in the ring and I see her having a really great future in wrestling – and who knows what league we’ll see her in next. That’s what Mike Mendoza thinks, too, who climbs into the ring after the match to the winners Perez and Felix Aldea and appreciates them and also encourages them. It’s good that the master himself is there and officially makes it clear that the two don’t have to hide and that they had a great match. Gian Carlos, who formed the opposing tag team with Edrax, still has to learn a bit, but he hasn’t been in the ring that often either. It’s refreshing to watch him, to see the joy and pride on his face at conquering the ring of the dojo. It will not have been the last appearance of any of the four.
Broken By Glory was the distraction that was needed after Fiona. Big thanks to Espiritu and the wrestlers who made this evening possible. How important it was to make the evening happen is also clear on the social media channels, where several fans thanked them warmly. Life in Puerto Rico goes on because the Boricua are proud and let nothing and nobody get them down.