Universal Wrestling Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Universal Wrestling Association
Acronym UWA
Founded January 29, 1975
Style Lucha Libre
Headquarters Naucalpan
Founder(s) Francisco Flores
Ray Mendoza
Benjamín Mora, Jr.
Owner(s) Francisco Flores
Ray Mendoza
Benjamín Mora, Jr.

The Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) was a Mexican Lucha Libre or professional wrestling promotion based in Naucalpan, Mexico State that operated from 1975 until 1995. The name of the actual promotion was Lucha Libre Internaciónal (LLI) ("International wrestling") but outside of Mexico it is generally referred to as the UWA as it was the name of the fictional international sanctioning body that in storyline terms oversaw all championships promoted by the UWA. The company was founded by wrestler and trainer Ray Mendoza, promoter Francisco Flores and investor Benjamín Mora, Jr. as when they broke away from Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre to form their own promotion. The company had working agreements with wrestling promotions both in the United States and Japan as they worked with New Japan Pro Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (JWP).

History[edit]

In 1974 Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (CMLL) founder and owner Salvador Lutteroth brought his son into the promotion, grooming him to take over when the aging Lutteroth, Sr. eventually had to retire. This action combined with a very rigid and conservative promotional philosophy led EMLL's Promoter in Naucalpan, Mexico State, Francisco Flores, EMLL wrestler and trainer Ray Mendoza and investor Benjamin Mora, Jr. to break away from EMLL to form their own company and challenge EMLL's dominance in Mexico.[1] With the impending change of management in EMLL many wrestlers who had previously been loyal to Lutteroth decided to leave with Flores, Mendoza and Mora including Mendoza's close friends Rene Guajardo and Karloff Lagarde and a number of young wrestles, frustrated with the lack of opportunities in EMLL. They formed the company Lucha Libre International, which would later be known as the Universal Wrestling Association and held their first show on January 29, 1975 creating the first true rival for EMLL in decades.[1]

To some the promotion was simply Lucha Libre from El Toreo de Naucalpan, the promotion's home base and a building Flores had promoted wrestling in for years before the split. El Toreo as it was simply referred to became UWA's main venue, used for major title matches, their anniversary shows and significant Lucha de Apuesta (bet matches) matches. UWA's more relaxed approach to wrestling, combined with their willingness to promote younger wrestlers made the promotion a quick success as they drew repeated sell-out crowds at El Toreo. The promotion was the first to elevate wrestlers such as El Canek, Dos Caras, Fishman, Perro Aguayo and Villano III to main event status. El Canek became the "face of the UWA", holding the UWA World Heavyweight Championship no less than 13 times during the promotion's life span,[2] drawing full houses when he "defended Mexico's honor" against foreign wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Tatsumi Fujinami or Big Van Vader.[3][4]

The UWA also reached out to promotions around the globe and forged working relationships with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the United States and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (JWP) in Japan. This working relationship resulted in a larger influx of foreign wrestlers than EMLL was ever able to produce and also led to the UWA actually gaining exclusive rights to promote a WWF branded championship, the WWF World Light Heavyweight Championship in the early 1980s, even if the promotion does not acknowledge the lineage in their official title history today.[5] The UWA even began working with EMLL in the 1980s, co-promoting shows and allowing EMLL to book UWA wrestlers on their shows. By the early 1990s UWA began to struggle financially as several of their top wrestlers left the company to work for EMLL who could offer them more money. In 1992 Antonio Peña broke away from EMLL, much like the UWA had 18 years earlier, and formed a new company called Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) further affecting the UWA's profit margin. When the Peso lost its value in the mid-1990s the UWA was forced to close its doors in 1995.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The UWA is remembered as the place where a lot of main event wrestlers of the 1980s and 1990s got their start, including El Canek, now considered a legend in lucha libre.[4] The UWA also helped popularize the match format that is now the most common in Mexico, the Best two out of three falls Six-man tag team match, or Trios match when they put together the rudo (bad guy) trio Los Misioneros de la Muerte (Negro Navarro, El Signo and El Texano) and matched them up against trios of popular tecnicos (good guys) and drew so many sell-crowds that other promotions began to heavily promote the Trios format as well.[1]

Los Misionares de la Muerte were originally workhorse midcarders in the UWA, but their stock rose immediately in a UWA match on November 2, 1980 in a match where the three faced Huracan Ramirez, Black Shadow, and the legendary El Santo. Santo, 63 years old at the time, suffered a legitimate heart attack during the match, which ended in a no contest while he was rushed to the hospital. The three were then re-cast as fallen angels sent to Earth to take out Santo, and were programmed against trios of other tecnicos.[6]

Championships[edit]

The Universal Wrestling Association promoted a large number of wrestling championships, spread out over several weight classes like Boxing and even co-promoted championships with the WWF, Universal Lucha Libre and JPW in Japan. Some UWA titles are still being used today, some in Japanese promotions who bought the rights to the belts and the name to give them a lucha libre link, others are considered more "vanity" championships, owned by whoever holds them and are often used more as a storyline prop, although they are at times defended and even change hands. In some cases the UWA championship belts are bought and sold by the champions.[7] At times both Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (previously known as EMLL) and AAA have acknowledged and promoted UWA championships as recent as 2008.

Championship Last official champion Date won Current champion Date won Promotion Active
UWA World Heavyweight Championship El Canek March 18, 1994[2] Dr. Wagner, Jr. June 18, 2004[8] Personal No
UWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Edgar Echeverria October 14, 1988[9] Enterrador December 15, 2013[10] Gladiadores Yes
UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship Gran Hamada September 22, 1993[11] El Salvaje February 25, 2007[10] Personal Yes
UWA World Light Heavyweight Championship Villano V January 1, 1994[12] Chessman August 18, 2007[13] AAA No
UWA World Middleweight Championship El Texano February 12, 1995[14] Quiet Storm March 15, 2009[15] Kaientai Dojo Yes
UWA World Welterweight Championship Shinjiro Otani December 13, 1994[16] Takeshi Minamino September 9, 2004[15] Kaientai Dojo No
UWA World Lightweight Championship Loco Valentino September 22, 1994[17] Kato Kung Lee Jr May 9, 1997[13] Personal No
UWA World Featherweight Championship Coralillo August 25, 1992[18] None N/A No
UWA World Tag Team Championship Los Villanos
(Villano IV and Villano V)
March 1993[19] Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei December 3, 2008[20] El Dorado Wrestling Yes
UWA World Trios Championship Los Misionares de la Muerte
(Negro Navarro, Rocky Santana and El Signo)
October 9, 1994[21] Hikaru Sato, Keisuke Ishii and YOSHIHIKO June 13, 2010[22] El Dorado Wrestling Yes
UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship Gran Hamada and Great Sasuke November 20, 1992 KAZMA and Kengo Mashimo March 6, 2005[23] Michinoku Pro Wrestling No
UWA World Women's Championship Zuleyma February 23, 1991[24] Miss Janeth 2002[25] Personal No
UWA World Women's Tag Team Championship Yumiko Hotta and Takako Inoue September 5, 1993[26] Inactive N/A UWA No
UWA Women's International Championship Harley Saito February 11, 1991 Inactive N/A UWA No
UWA/JWP Junior Championship Cutie Suzuki October 10, 1991 Inactive N/A UWA No
WWF World Light Heavyweight Championship Villano III January 1995 Inactive N/A WWE No

Shows[edit]

Event Date City Venue Main Event
UWA Debut Show January 29, 1975 El Toreo de Naucalpan Naucalpan, Mexico State Aníbal defeated Rene Guajardo[27]
UWA 1st Anniversary Show 1976 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 2nd Anniversary Show 1977 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 3rd Anniversary Show 1978 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 4th Anniversary Show 1979 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 5th Anniversary Show 1980 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 6th Anniversary Show 1981 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 7th Anniversary Show February 14, 1982 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan Abdullah the Butcher and Perro Aguayo defeated Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami[28]
UWA 8th Anniversary Show 1983 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 9th Anniversary Show January 29, 1984 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan El Canek defeated André the Giant[29]
UWA 10th Anniversary Show 1985 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 11th Anniversary Show 1986 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 12th Anniversary Show 1987 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 13th Anniversary Show 1988 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 14th Anniversary Show January 29, 1989 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan El Canek defeated Konnan[30]
UWA 15th Anniversary Show 1990 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan No record found for match results
UWA 16th Anniversary Show January 27, 1991 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan El Canek, Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras defeated The Hawaiian Beasts (Fatu, Great Kokina and The Samoan Savage)[31]
UWA 17th Anniversary Show January 26, 1992 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan Chris Benoit defeated Villano III[32]
UWA 18th Anniversary Show January 31, 1993 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan Vampiro defeated El Canek[33]
UWA 19th Anniversary Show January 30, 1994 Naucalpan, Mexico State El Toreo de Naucalpan Yamato, Villano III and Villano V defeated El Canek, Gran Hamada and Transformer[33]

Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Madigan, Dan (2007). "Ray Mendoza and Los Villaños". Mondo Lucha a Go Go: the bizarre & honorable world of wild Mexican wrestling. HarperColins Publisher. pp. 1936–196. ISBN 978-0-06-085583-3. 
  2. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: Universal Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  3. ^ Various (2005). "El Principle Maya / the Mayan Prince". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. pp. 58–59. ISBN 968-6842-48-9. 
  4. ^ a b L.L. Staff (2008). "Lucha Libre: Conoce la historia de las leyendas de cuadrilátero". El Canek (1952) (in Spanish) (Mexico). p. 15. Grandes Figuras de la Lucha Libre. 
  5. ^ "History of the Light Heavyweight Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ Dave Meltzer (February 18, 2009). Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 
  7. ^ SuperLuchas staff (January 3, 2006). "2005 Lo Mejor de la Lucha Mexicana". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). issue 140. 
  8. ^ "Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: Universal Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  10. ^ a b "Universal Wrestling Association World Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: Universal Wrestling Federation Junior Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  12. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: Universal Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 397. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  13. ^ a b "Universal Wrestling Association World Light Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  14. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Middleweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  15. ^ a b "Universal Wrestling Association World Middleweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  16. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Welterweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  17. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Lightweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 400. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  18. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: UWA World Featherweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 398–399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  19. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: UWA World Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 398. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  20. ^ "U.W.A. World Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  21. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Mexico: UWA Trios Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  22. ^ "U.W.A. World Trios Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  23. ^ "UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  24. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: UWA World Women's Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 399. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  25. ^ Box y Lucha staff (January 19, 2003). "2002: considerar detrás". Box y Lucha Magazine (in Spanish). issue 2593. 
  26. ^ "U.W.A. World Women's Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  27. ^ "UWA Debut Show". ProWrestlingHistory. January 29, 1975. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  28. ^ "7th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. February 14, 1982. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  29. ^ "9th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. February 12, 1984. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  30. ^ "14th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. January 29, 1989. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  31. ^ "16th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. January 27, 1991. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  32. ^ "17th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. January 26, 1992. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  33. ^ a b "18th Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. January 31, 1993. Retrieved July 12, 2010.