Gilbert (wrestler)

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Gilberto Cruz
Gilbert Meet&Greet.jpg
Born November 12, 1976
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Gilbert
El Super Medico
El Super Fenix
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed from Puerto Rico
Trained by Savio Vega
Debut 2009

Gilberto "Gilbert" Cruz (born November 12, 1976) is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. Cruz, who wrestles under his real name, debuted in the International Wrestling Association, where he won the first two championships of his career. In August 2010, he joined the World Wrestling Council, entering an angle with Ray Gonzalez, which evolved in a general feud against all those that are considered cornerstone wrestlers in Puerto Rico. This advanced to a highly publicized contest against José Huertas González at Aniversario 2011. Gilbert later led Team WWC in an invasion against the IWA in July 2011. On October 10, 2014, he defeated Carlito to win his fourth WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship.

Career[edit]

International Wrestling Association (2009-2010)[edit]

Cruz was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, where he completed his high school education at Rexville Superior in 1994. After wrestling in the independent circuit as part of a team known as The Rutgers, he was first brought to the International Wrestling Association as a face. His first feud was against "Ravishing" Richard Rondón who assaulted Gilbert, who was planted in the crowd. The angle was elaborated when Rondón insulted his wife, prompting several run-ins which saw him being expelled from the events due to being "an unlicensed fan". Eventually, a match was set between both, marking his official in-ring debut. He remained active in the midcard during the following months, until he joined "La Compañia" the predominant heel faction initially led by Savio Vega and subsequently by Joe Bravo, adopting the "Future Hall of Fame (Inductee)" gimmick, which saw him win the IWA World Tag Team Championship.[1] As this character he began feuding with multiple champions, including the IWRG "Rey de Reyes" holder, Ricky Cruz.[2] At Juicio Final 2010, he was pinned to lose the tag team championship.[3] Outside of performing, he created a public campaign promoting education.[4] During the final months of his participation in the IWA, Gilbert won the IWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, dropping the belt before leaving the promotion.[5]

World Wrestling Council (2010-2014)[edit]

Gilbert vs. Huertas González at Aniversario 2011

On July 31, 2010, Gilbert debuted in the World Wrestling Council, interfering in a match and costing Ray González the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship.[6] He continued performing under his real name, but his character evolved into one based on Terry Benedict from the Ocean's Eleven trilogy franchise due to his physical similarity to Andy García. During the following weeks, an angle was run where he would pursue González while prompting the public to "burn the past". For his in-ring debut, Gilbert issued an open challenge, defeating jobbers in consecutive contests. However, his first storyline was left inconclusive when González left the company. Due to this outcome, Joe Bravo was brought in to the promotion, beginning a feud between both due to Gilbert's "inability to follow orders". This went on to numerous matches between both, including a tie at Septiembre Negro for the first contendership to the Universal Heavyweight Championship.[7] However, the animosity between both was subsequently dropped and a pseudo-partnership emerged occasionally. In November 2010, Gilbert won his first title in the promotion, the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship from "El Sensacional" Roger Carlitos Díaz, which he retained for several months.[8] The feud between both extended to Lockout 2010, closing the year. On February 27, 2011, WWC launched a talk show titled "La Opinión de Gilbert", where he began hosting retired or otherwise established wrestlers.[9] He continued his alliance with Bravo, helping him retain the Caribbean Heavyweight Championship.[10] In March 2011, Gilbert assaulted Julio Estrada in a live edition of "La Opinión de Gilbert", adopting a pattern that included similar attacks against "Invader #3" Johhny Rivera, "El Profe" Ángel Pantoja Rivera, Jesús Castillo, Jr., Rubén "Hercules Ayala" Cruz, "Invader 4" Maelo Huertas and Carlos Colón.[11][12][13]

In April 2011, he entered a feud with Shane Sewell, from which he emerged with the Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship.[14] Both wrestlers were included in a 4- man gaunlet match for the vacant Universal Heavyweight Championship, but were uninvolved in the outcome.[15] Eventually, Gilbert hosted Díaz, who after being attacked, decided to bring José Huertas González back from his retirement.[16] At Summer Madness 2011, he retained the championship, defeating World Wrestling Entertainment superstar, Eddie Colón[17] In this event the feud with Huertas González began official, with Gilbert attacking him with a folding chair.[18] An official match was scheluded for Aniversario 2011. In the meantime, Gilbert wrestled Díaz in grudge matches. The contract signing for Aniversario concluded in the revelation that José Laureano would be the special referee.[19] During the weeks leading to the event, Gilbert's push continued, with him defeating members of the midcard while receiving assistance from Laureano. The contest was heavily promoted by WWC, with both wrestlers making appearances in television and radio stations.[20][21] The first contest between them took place in a tag team match, where Huertas González and Díaz won by pinning Gilbert's partner, Laureano.[22] The main match between both was left inconclusive, seeing intervention from Huertas González's family.[23]

Gilbert interrupts Quiñones' Hall of Fame induction.

On July 17, 2011, the IWA and WWC began an interpromotional angle, the first between both, where IWA wrestlers entered the ring at WWC Aniversario 2011 and issued a challenge. Two weeks later, Gilbert led Team WWC in retaliation, interrupting a ceremony where Victor Quiñones was being inducted into the Puerto Rico Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.[24] After taking main stage during the act, he proceeded to cut a promo where he claimed that Quiñones was undeserving of being a Hall of Famer and adding more insults. This led to Team IWA's reaction, who issued a challenge to the Colón family, which was promptly accepted by Team WWC. Following two successful title defenses, the feud with Huertas González was resumed, costing him the title by forfeit, recovering it when Díaz decided to vacate due to dissatisfaction with the manner that it was won. The day after, Gilbert began pursuing the Universal Heavyweight Championship defeating the incumbent, Carly Colón.[25] At Septiembre Negro, he won a lumberjack match against Huertas González, which counted with several former champions and veteran wrestlers surrounding the ring. A third contest ended in similar fashion. This closed this angle, with Gilbert going on to demand the title opportunity that he won by defeating Colón. On October 30, 2011, he defended the first contendership defeating Chris Masters.[26] His first titular opportunity ended in a no contest, after Colón assaulted two different referees.[27] A week before Lockout, Gilbert decided not to challenge for the title in that event, instead choosing yo feud with a returning González. However, he was booked to defend his first contedership against Kenny Dykstra.[28]

Gilbert lost the contest due to outside interference from González, responding later in the event by assaulting him with a chair.[29] González won the first contest between them at Euphoria 2012. At La Hora de la Verdad, Gilbert won a rematch to regain the first contendership, following intervention from Orlando Toledo on his behalf and using a folded chair.[30] Toledo also worked as the advisor of the Extreme Wrestling Organization, the largest independent promotion in Puerto Rico, which was also holding an interpromotional angle with IWA concurrently. On February 22, 2012, Gilbert vacated the Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship in anticipation for Noche de Campeones, where he would employ his Universal Championship opportunity. At the event, he turned on Laureano and officially made Toledo his manager. To close Noche de Campeones, Gilbert defeated Colón to win the Universal Heavyweight Championship. At Camino a la Gloria 2012, he retained the title by losing via disqualification in a rematch against Colón.[31] Concurrently, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him ninth in their International ranking.[32] Gilbert was subsequently involved in two short programs involving Roberto Rubio and Richard Filipo, emerging from both with the title. On June 9, 2012, his Aniversario 2012 opponent was announced, former world champion Germán Figueroa.[33] On the opening night of the Summer Madness tour, Gilbert lost to González in a non-title match. The following night, he lost to Chris Angel, who had just joined WWC after the becoming the only wrestler to win the IWA Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship undefeated.[34] In the opening show of Aniversario 2012, he lost a non-title contest to Orlando Colón.[35] The following night, Gilbert dropped the Universal Heavyweight Championship to Figueroa. He closed Aniversario with a victory over Shelton Benjamin. After winning a non-title rematch over Figueroa, Gilbert continued active by gathering wins over midcard talents. He then entered a feud with Angel, trading victories. At Septiembre Negro, Gilbert participated in a three-way elimination match, but was expelled from the heel stable upon being pinned. He closed the event by emerging from the public to defend the faces from an assault led by Colón and Thunder and Lightning. Gilbert then joined Ray González to feud with Thunder and Lightning, gathering mixed results.

At Halloween Wrestling Xtravaganza, he teamed with German Figueroa (Apolo)for the first time to wrestle Thunder and Lightning. However, German Figueroa (Apolo) costed them the match and left him alone in the ring. At WWC 40 Aniversario, he was defeated by Ray Fenix, unmasked him.[36] On January 19, 2013, Gilbert defeated Apolo to win the Puerto Rican championship.

On December 15, 2013, he announced that he was leaving WWC.[37] Despite this announcement, he reached an agreement with the promotion during the winter offseason and was booked to appear at Euphoria 2014, losing a contest to Orlando Colón. During the second night of the event he entered a feud with Germán Figueroa and after their first encounter ended in a draw, Gilbert won a rematch to win the Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship. On October 25, 2014, at Aniversario 41, Gilbert lost the title against Chicano.[38] On October 10, 2014, Gilbert defeated Carlito Caribbean Cool to win the Puerto Rican Championship.[39] However, he regained the title on November 8, 2014.[40]

Fighting Spirit Wrestling (2011-2012)[edit]

Gilbert's international debut took place on December 9, 2011, at Fighting Spirit Wrestling's debut event Immortals Holidays, competing in a four-way main event against Shane Douglas, Homicide and Sami Callihan.[41] Gilbert won the contest, becoming the first FSW World Heavyweight Champion. His first title defense was programmed for February 25, 2012, with his opponent being Chavo Guerrero.[42] Gilbert retained following a piledriver and participated in a post-match beatdown on Guerrero that included two other wrestlers.[43] On May 26, 2012, he reappeared in FSW by competing in a 3-on-3 contest. On August 22, 2012, Gilbert headlined FSW's first event in Atlantic City, titled Boardwalk Empire. The main event was the same of Aniversario 2012, featuring a rematch between him and Figueroa for the FSW World Heavyweight Championship. Gilbert emerged from the card still holding the title. Gilbert lost the FSW World Title after he was stripped off the title by FSW for no-showing a Fighting Spirit Wrestling event which made the title vacant which was later won by the "Funky Monkey" Angel Ortiz.

World Wrestling League (2014–2015)[edit]

On December 13, 2014, Gilbert left WWC and made his debut in the World Wrestling League, where he served as a surprise challenger to WWL World Heavyweight Champion Shane Sewell. After winning the title with underhanded tactics, the decision was reversed and the match concluded in a disqualification. Originally brought in by Savio Vega, he turned on the former and joined the heel faction known as The Gentlemen's Club. Gilbert was then relegated in the rankings and lost a bid to become the first contender to Germán Figueroa. Afterwards, he participated in an arm wrestling contest against the debuting Chris Angel, assaulting him along several of his allies. Shortly afterwards, Gilbert announced his intention of pursuing the new World Champion, Alberto "El Patrón" del Rio. After weeks of backstage confrontation, he defeated Angel in a street fight at Sin Piedad.[44] Later that evening, Gilbert joined the rest of The Gentlemen's Club and turned on Negrín, with the group adopting José Chaparro as its new leader.[45]

After a title match between Banderas and Del Rio was announced for Wrestlefest, Gilbert made an announcement where he noted that the envelope granting him a match against the champion at any time was still in his possession. In the weeks leading to the event and after a backstage segment placed him at odds with Banderas, he was officially announced as the special referee for the encounter. While officiating at Wretlefest, Gilbert tried to cash in his opportunity after suddenly using knuckle brasses to steal the pin, but Del Rio interrupted this attempt, which led to the title being held up. Later in the same event, he lost a dog collar match to Chris Angel after Banderas distracted him.

Championship and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IWA: Cartelera "Juicio Final" Ricky Cruzz vs Shane por el Campeonato Peso Completo- Gilbert & Stanley defienden ante "Faces of Fear". Superluchas.net. April 17, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "IWA: Resultados Juicio Final Ricky Cruzz se corona Campeón Peso Completo- La Compañía Elite pierde todos los títulos- Savio Vega regresa!". Superluchas.net. April 17, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
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  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ "Resultados: Crossfire Carlito se corona Campeón Universal- El Rabioso Blitz regresa- Gilbert nuevo Campeón de Puerto Rico". Superluchas.net. November 28, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "NOTAS DE WWC: Banderas oficialmente despojado de campeonato; Aparente fin de segmento dominical". Prwrestling.Com. February 27, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "WWC EN CAROLINA 2/26: Lumberjack Match, Shane vs. BJ; Carlitos vs Saito por el campeonato de PR". Prwrestling.Com. February 27, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ "WWC EN MOCA 3/13: Carlitos vs Joe Bravo; Cambio de campeonato". Prwrestling.Com. March 14, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "AVANCE DE SUPER ESTRELLAS WWC: Invader No. 4 en la Opinión de Gilbert y otras notas". Prwrestling.Com. April 5, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ "AVANCE DE SUPER ESTRELLAS WWC: El Sensacional Carlitos continúa su búsqueda". Prwrestling.Com. December 5, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ "NOTAS DE WWC: Avance de Super Estrellas y otras noticias de la empresa". Prwrestling.Com. August 4, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ "CAMBIO EN CARTELERA DE WWC: Torneo por el campeonato Universal cambia de dinámica". Prwrestling.Com. April 18, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ "AVANCE DE SUPER ESTRELLAS WWC: Lo que pasará este fin de semana por Wapa TV". Prwrestling.Com. April 29, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ "WWC SUMMER MADNESS EN CAGUAS 6/4: Cara a cara del Invader y Carlos Colón; Nuevo campeón Universal". Prwrestling.Com. May 6, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ "NOTAS DE WWC: Invader anoche en Caguas; Talento en sala de operaciones". Prwrestling.Com. May 6, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "WWC EN BAYAMON 6/25: Chicky Starr es el asesor de Gilbert; Firma de contrato". Prwrestling.Com. June 26, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ "INVADER EN LOS MEDIOS: El 'Gallito' con dos apariciones pautadas en radio y TV". Prwrestling.Com. June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  21. ^ "APARICIONES DE TALENTOS WWC: Entrevistas pautadas para el miercoles en ruta a Aniversario". Prwrestling.Com. December 7, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  22. ^ "WWC ANIVERSARIO EN PONCE 7/15: Invader y Carlitos vs Chicky y Gilbert; Thunder, Lightning y Pelayo atacan". Prwrestling.Com. July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  23. ^ "ANIVERSARIO 2011 EN BAYAMON 7/17: Savio Vega y la IWA invaden el evento de la WWC". Prwrestling.Com. July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  24. ^ Anthony Piñero (July 31, 2011). "Notas de Summer Attitude 2011: Luchadores de WWC cruzan la línea de la IWA – Gilbert llega al homenaje de Víctor Quiñones – Miguel Pérez se une a The Academy" (in Spanish). Superluchas.net. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 
  25. ^ José Roberto Rodríguez (September 5, 2011). "WWC en Aguadilla 9/4" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ "WWC HWX en Caguas 10/30" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  27. ^ Anthony Piñero (November 26, 2011). "Resultados Crossfire: Carlito Caribbean logra retener el Campeonato Universal ante "Precious One" Gilbert – Primo Colón derrota a Manu – Invader reaparece en WWC" (in Spanish). Superluchas.net. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Ray aparece en Super Estrellas WWC" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. December 10, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  29. ^ "WWC Lockout en Bayamón 12/27". Puerto Rico Wrestling. December 17, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  30. ^ "WWC La Hora de la Verdad 2/4" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. February 5, 2012. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  31. ^ "WWC Camino a la Gloria 4/8" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. April 8, 2012. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ "PWI Ratings - For Period Ended April 13, 2012". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Apolo en Aniversario" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
  34. ^ "WWC Summer Madness en Bayamón 6/16" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Aniversario WWC en Ponce 6/29" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. June 29, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  36. ^ http://solowrestling.com/issue/e/110/0/33125/resultados-wwc-aniversario-40.html
  37. ^ http://www.prwrestling.com/noticiasprw2/9653.php
  38. ^ http://www.pwinsider.com/article/89151/wwc-aniversario-41-carlito-hernandez-ray-gonzalez-gilbert-invader-1-bronco-chicky-starrs-recognition-jerry-lawler-sends-a-message-more.html?p=1
  39. ^ http://prwrestling.com/nw/?p=1776
  40. ^ http://www.pwinsider.com/article/89509/isle-of-puerto-rico-wwc-titles-change-hands-aniversario-41-available-on-demand-wwl-touts-navidad-corporativa-event-new-trios-belts-to-be-disputed-mr-450-speaks-about-his-match-with-sensacional-carlitos-ewo-news.html?p=1
  41. ^ "The Indy Buzz: Fighting Spirit Wrestling Fed Presents "Relentless Force"". 1Wrestling.com. October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  42. ^ Mike Johnson (February 22, 2012). "Former ECW star talks poker, WWC stars from PR in NYC this weekend, Pearce vs. Cabana, New iPPV, A note from Mike and more". PWInsider.com. Retrieved February 23, 2012. 
  43. ^ Francisco "McGyver" Gatzambide (February 26, 2012). "Talentos Boricuas ven accion en NY" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Wrestling. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  44. ^ [6]
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  46. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/pr/iwa-pr/iwapr-t.html