Exactly one month earlier, at the main event of Aliados y Enemigos, the sounds of the entrance song by Mecha Wolf sounded – and irritated Mike Mendoza, who finally lost not only the fight against his student Androide 787 and thus his chance for the EPW Heavyweight Champion title, but also his hair. The fact that the student should now compete against him and maintain the honor of the dojo attracted many spectators. But not only the main event was a blockbuster, also the last match of El Gentil had been announced, and many wanted to pay his last respects, see him again, in the ring and outside – and the unmasking was also on the program. Four more fights were on the schedule and it was clear from the outset that they would be anything but boring.
But from the beginning. Nathalya Perez is very angry with Eros – that’s a bit in the family, after all, Eros and Hijo del Enigma, Perez’s partner, have a long feud behind them – and even that is not over yet. Since the last event, the recordings of EPW have changed, the intro is missing, the entrances of the wrestlers are no longer shown, you are in the middle of the fight. And the two opponents immediately attack each other aggressively. One would think that a woman has little chance against a man in the ring, but that is deceptive. Perez has to take it, but can then pick herself up and assert herself properly against her opponent. The atmosphere in the Espiritu Fitness Center is good, a lot of babble of voices, many pulled out mobile phones and cameras, the dojo is developing rapidly, and this becomes clear through small things. But back to the fight. Perez has to take a loud chop, then comes a closeline and a head scissors from her. She rears up, but then has to free herself quite soon from a pin attempt of Eros, who holds out the inserted middle finger to the bestiefelten referee. When Eros finally takes her in the pincers and exerts uncanny pressure on Perez’s knee , she has to admit defeat and knocks off. The fight is over, Hijo del Enigma storms to the ring, drives the opponent clear words to him: Look here, asshole, you want to compete with my family, I’m tired of it and next time it’s you against me again, no disqualification, no rules, just you and me. This is a clear declaration of war and we know immediately what will happen in April. Will Eros and Hijo del Enigma finally finish what they started a long time ago? There is a lot at stake about staying with EPW, Eros makes it clear that he has less to lose, after all, he does not have the logo of the dojo tattooed on his thigh. The fight itself is short, but it’s more about what happens afterwards and the mood is heated, you probably want to buy tickets for this encounter right now.
Xavier Millet and JC Navarro collide – that probably describes it best. Even before the fight has officially started, the two go at each other and Millet seems to be angry and wants to end the whole thing quickly. Jordy is the referee and has to count JC Navarro in the first minutes . But he frees himself, wants to strike back, but he apparently has no chance against the giant. He transports it over the ropes to the edge of the ring, lifts it up and places it rudely on the post of the ring corner. But then Navarro fights back, albeit briefly. This match deserves to be called a showdown. Even if it seems like Millet is the one with the most power. Already the third pin attempt, this also fails. Millet looks frustrated, apparently would have liked to finish the fight quickly as a winner, but he underestimated his opponent – and we know that Navarro can do more. He now straightens up and a dropkick carries Millet out of the ring. There it goes on briefly until Millet Navarro slams on the edge of the ring with a chokeslam. He grabs the sombrero and lets himself be celebrated. We’ve had a similar scene before, haven’t we? When it comes to his gimmick, Navarro understands little fun, regains his headgear and brings Millet to the ground with a suplex from the top ring rope. This is followed by the well-known blows to the chest, which are celebrated by the audience. It has to be said that the fans are in a better mood this time, are louder, go along more and that’s also really fun when watching at home. The two opponents are now outside the ring, there is a loud chop on Millet’s back , which drags itself back into the ring. Navarro has turned the tide and is no longer the plaything of his opponent. But does it stay that way? For the time being, yes, Navarro in top form, but cannot keep Millet on the mat for three seconds, next pin attempt by Millet, but even he does not manage to defeat his opponent. Both need an idea and now the tequila comes into play. Millet takes a sip, but can’t do what he’s up to. Navarro sees his chance, an elbowdrop ends the whole thing in his favor.
Former champion El Atleta Manu faces Adam Riggs. One wants the title back, the other is a bit crazy and that makes him dangerous. Just 20 minutes have passed and the third match has already begun. Of course, you want to take your time for El Gentil and the title match. Meanwhile, the videos on IWTV are also quite edited, which gives the recordings a little more professionalism, but also takes away a bit of the EPW feeling from the viewers at home. However, the fact that the audience now creates a powerful atmosphere makes you forget in places that you are in a small fitness center and not in a large hall. What are the two fighters doing in the ring? They check out a bit. There are actions, but for both of them this is slowed down foam, as they say, this is not the size you know. It is noticeable that much fewer chairs are set up and the area in front of the ring has been increased. Which is a good thing, because of course Manu and Riggs like to go out and fight their fights outside the ring. Manu is now furious, he hits Riggs with a chair, who looks battered. The former champion is the superior, he is perhaps a bit further than Riggs, but he can take a lot and still come back. A short rebellion, then comes another pin attempt by Manu, which fails, but for which he can still be celebrated. You can see his class, he has already developed a lot, if you look at the last year alone. He was a power machine, angry, sometimes a bit thoughtless and dirty, but now you see a lot of technique in him, a much clearer plan in his actions and fights, that’s another level that Manu has worked his way up. But Riggs hasn’t stood still either. The apparent boy has become a man, he has worked physically a lot on himself – mentally certainly also, as one might hear in a recent interview – and found his place. Meanwhile, both fighters are quite exhausted. Such a fight is physical, exhausting and demands a lot from both. It seems as if only Manu can pull himself together again and join forces, but Adam Riggs is not finished yet, does not want to admit defeat yet. In the long term, he will probably be a candidate for the EPW title, but he is not ready yet. He also loses the fight that evening when Manu is able to attach a power bomb. Good match, great performance from both.
The next powerhouse is on the agenda. Baltazar Bruno. He opposes Niche, who is already an old hand in the ring. Bruno cannot be defeated with strength, but only with technique. Niche will have to find out that this evening. He rolls through the ring after the first action of his opponent with a pain-distorted face. Bruno picks him up, hurls him across the ring, Jordy can only watch stunned, because there is nothing for the referee to intervene – besides, he may have to take care of himself a bit. Niche has nothing to oppose and for a short moment you hope that he just surrenders and can be pinned. But Bruno is like a cat that first plays with its prey, and Niche is too much a wrestler with heart and soul to simply admit defeat. How was that? Exactly, Bruno can only be beaten down with technology and that’s exactly what Niche is trying to do now. He puts the giant on the mat, which is a good start. It won’t last long, but there’s more to come. Niche brings a lot of experience and can always start to counter Bruno. This one is battered, but it takes a little more to bring it down. But then it happens very quickly. Bruno intercepts an action, pins Niche, you can argue if it was really three, but as close as it seemed, Bruno won.
Then it gets kind of sad and sentimental. Unmasking, farewells to a gimmick, that sounds so simple, so succinct, for the fans and especially for the wrestler, but here a small era comes to an end. El Gentil fights in his last match against Hijo del Enigma, who was also his tag team partner for a long time. The two will fight differently, that’s for sure. And that’s exactly how they get started. It’s not about demonstrating strength, about the performance of the WWE well-known wrestling moves, but you go back to the roots, bring great technique, strong elements from wrestling, which are actually the origin of the whole. What initially seems like a dance of technique and power then becomes faster, shifting to the area in front of the ring. Enigma demands that those present vacate the seats, but then pushes El Gentil back into the ring. A little laugh, something of this silent theater play of a pantomime, which you could see again and again in recent years by El Gentil. The audience likes it, it honors this action with applause and laughter. It continues in the ring. El Gentil works on his former teammate with chops in the corner, then he fights back. But El Gentil is able to free himself. Enigma has stiffened on his opponent’s arm, wants to weaken him, but El Gentil keeps coming back. Pin experiments that come to nothing, almost acrobatic performances, Octopus Stretch. As if it were a journey through a wrestling history, through the matches of the blue and yellow wrestler. The two are at eye level and even if there are friends – or maybe because of it – they do not give each other anything and harmonize perfectly. At some point, both kneel in the ring and the chops fly back and forth. El Gentil shows the pendulum, a tour de force and not exactly pleasant for the opponent, who can free himself. The splash ends for El Gentil on the mat, his counterpart has rolled away. Both try the surfboard, which hurts from watching, both can free themselves, Hijo del Enigma goes again on the already attacked arm. Another Octopus, El Gentil has to give up. “Gracias,” he says finally, stands up, there are standing ovations. That’s it. This dance was a worthy farewell. The speech afterwards is emotional and part of it you can perhaps only really understand if you are Puerto Rican, if you know about Hurricane Maria, a word in which there is so much, so much destruction, suffering, pain, hopelessness and death – and so much cohesion and pride of the Boricua. El Gentil was born in December after that devastating hurricane at the Celebrating Christmas event, in which he dedicated a match to a fan who had been torn from life by Maria. On this last evening, he wants to celebrate life and gives a mask to a little fan who has a birthday on this day. El Gentil’s goal was to revive technical wrestling and that’s something you could see in every single one of his fights. Probably boring for glamour wrestling fans, El Gentil has always shown a style that you could hardly see in the ring for a long time, wrestling technique at a high level. Today, he says, this is no longer necessary, because the best technical wrestler sits there in the corner of the ring: Hijo del Enigma. El Gentil – or rather the man under the mask starts a new chapter in his wrestling career and we are very grateful that we do not lose him as a wrestler, even if it hurts not to have El Gentil anymore. Does it make a difference? Yes. A mask changes a wrestler, is a gimmick, is something that shapes his appearance, his style, he takes off the mask, is he someone else – not only the private person behind it, but also another wrestler. With the removal of the mask and the adoption of a new ring name, El Gentil shows a new face, a different style, presents itself differently and I maintain that he also fights differently, no less technically, but you will notice differences. But first he takes off his mask. Chris Mendoza is underneath. Brother of Mike Mendoza, soul of EPW, terrific technician and wrestler – and hey, no eye remains dry, even without his brother coming into the ring and hugging him. It’s a part of EPW, a great wrestling character who has done a lot for wrestling silently and very modestly and has shaped some wrestlers and was very much appreciated by the fans. A pantomime, a dancer in the ring. With Chris Mendoza, a new chapter is opened, a new era begins and we can all be curious to see what we will see from him. Gracias, El Gentil, gracias!
The tears have dried, because now it gets exciting. Mecha Wolf has entered the dojo and wants the title. The wolf has brought the night, the horror, the horror, but his opponent Androide 787 is still not afraid. He wants to defend EPW’s honor and is driven and pushed by the victory against Mendoza. He is still smiling as Mecha Wolf stands rigid and dumb in the ring. It is animalistic, the wolf that stands, stares, estimates, then shakes the hand of its opponent and goes in wait. As if a wolf were stalking its prey, ambushing it, and then pounced on it. But let’s be honest, this is EPW, the title will stay with Androide, can’t go to the Mexican, can’t leave the dojo. The fact that the insistent has the upper hand seems like a spectacle. But Androide 787 also defends itself properly, tests a bit how his opponent is on it – by the way, one of his dream opponents. The audience is tensely silent, clapping and laughing briefly, but is otherwise very concentrated. Every now and then you can hear a howl, the trademark of Mecha Wolf. It now seems to be battered, but that’s camouflage. He defends himself, puts Androideproperly, jumps out of the ring on Androide, who remains battered for a long time. “450, 450”, chants the audience, which now gets louder, celebrates the guest, acknowledges the chops roaring. It almost seems like it’s over quickly and the wolf would go home with the title, but that’s impossible, and if Mendoza, i.e. Mike, storms into the ring himself and intervenes. The title will remain. Mecha Wolf lets himself be celebrated, kicks Androide painfully in the back, once, twice. Then he even calls for Mendoza, but he probably prefers to watch the whole thing from a safe distance – or not at all. Androide picks himself up, asks for support from the fans, attacks his opponent, wrestles him down. But he also knows that he can’t pin his opponent yet and doesn’t want to. More has to happen here, whoever enters the dojo must expect resistance and punishment. Good attempt, but Mecha Wolf fights back, Go To Sleep, pin attempt … That was close. Androide is battered, can he still do something about it? It doesn’t seem that way. He has to take a power bomb, then a hard kick with his knee in the face, but he frees himself from the pin again. Mecha Wolf is visibly angry, but there is more to him than expected. Androide rears up, can start a pin attempt, but does not manage to keep the other on the mat for three seconds. So he puts him on the top ring rope, which is supposed to be a suplex, Mecha Wolf defends himself, bites his opponent in the forehead, referee Jordy looks helpless and a bit stunned. Androide successfully defends himself, throws Mecha Wolf into the ring, pins him – no, two is over, well, actually that could have been a three, if you had counted faster … But we remain fair. Chops, the two hit each other with their elbows, this is more like a boxing match for a short time, followed by kicks, a reverse faceplant by Mecha Wolf, oh, that doesn’t look good. Both lie visibly exhausted on the ground and are counted. Mecha Wolf is cheered on by the audience, raps himself up, both now want to end the match, Androide is the one who tries the pin, no. He does not manage to keep his opponent on the ground for three seconds. What else should he do, he seems to ask. It continues with blows, but Mecha Wolf is an old hand and angry. 450 from top rope to Androide, 1 – 2 – 3, Mecha Wolf defeats Androide 787 and takes the title! How can that be? The title does not belong to any EPW student, the invader has won! What’s next? Mendoza cannot accept this and his music sounds, he comes to the ring. Congratulations, he is so much of a fair sportsman. He calls Mecha Wolf one of the best wrestlers in the world and he means it honestly. But Mecha Wolf is not interested. Mike, how can you say you’re the best wrestler in Puerto Rico? We all know that’s not true because you have to beat the best to be that and I have the title, not you. He throws the title belt on the ground, steps on it. This is a stupid school, he says. The crowd chants Portillo’s name, we already know that. And Mendoza? He stands there again, grins, puts up with everything. In the end, he says he can win back the title at any time anywhere from Mecha Wolf , but this is a school and the students deserve a chance. “You’re Mecha Wolf in the world, but Mike Mendoza is Mike Mendoza in Puerto Rico and I’ll show you that.” One waits for Mendoza to pounce on him, for him to please forget himself, that he forgets this school and maybe also the students, that he defends his house and … It’s EPW, it’s not a promotion that has room for this solo effort. We will have to wait for Mike Mendoza, who proudly holds a title against a hall ceiling, that will not happen here.
Cima de la Montana was reminiscent of a match that took place almost a year ago in Puerto Rico, when it was about the first LAWE Champion. Farewell, new beginning, a new champion – once again EPW has offered its fans a lot. What is unfortunately missing in the IWTV recording is the announced match Sabath, Harry William, Edrax vs. Felix Aldea, Crowley, Terror Nocturno. What happens next is already known. On April 16, Chris Mendoza will be in the EPW ring for the first time, fighting alongside Nahir Robles. Mike Mendoza will fight JC Navarro, El Atleta Manu and Androide 787 for the title chance. With Ruben, another important milestone will be set, the autistic wrestler will have his ring debut. And Hijo del Enigma and Eros are eponymous for the event: In Loser Leaves Town, the loser of the hardcore match will have to leave EPW. Mecha Wolf returns to the Caribbean island on June 4th and will defend the title at Wrestling Machina – but this time not at the Espiritu Fitness Center. The dojo is growing, Mendoza wants to aim high, but does so with a lot of thought and planning. The YouTube account has also been revived, previous matches are provided free of charge, there are now promo shoots and from Tuesday weekly at 20 o’clock local time (that’s 2 o’clock in Germany) the Espiritu podcast with Chris Mendoza and AB Morales from Impacto Estelar.