Jack Veneno

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Jack Veneno
Born (1942-02-02) February 2, 1942 (age 75)
San José de Ocoa, Dominican Republic
Residence Santo Domingo
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Jack Veneno
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Billed weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st)
Retired 2000

Jack Veneno (born Rafael Sánchez; February 2, 1942) is a retired professional wrestler and politician.[1][2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

He became interested in wrestling as a teen, watching the Mexican luchador El Santo.[3] Also known as "El hijo de Doña Tatica", he worked for many years on Colorvision channel 9 during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, on a wrestling show called Lucha Libre Internacional.[4] He was the main star of the show as well as the owner of the production company Dominicana de Espectaculos.

Jack Veneno vs. Ric Flair, National History, Controversial Film[edit]

He faced Ric Flair in 1982, where right before Flair passed out, the time limit ran out. The fans then celebrated Veneno "winning" the NWA World Heavyweight Championship,[5] although his title reign is not officially recognized by the NWA.[6] Outside the Dominican Republic, he is famous for his matches against Ric Flair.[7] Flair said that he let Veneno defeat him in order to avoid a riot among the Dominicans against him.[8]

Veneno retired himself in 2000.[3]

In 2007 a trailer for a documentary featuring the lost footage of his match with Flair aired throughout the Dominican Republic, but was not released at that time. In April 2015 the documentary was finally released on the internet for free, and shows the only footage known to exist of the famous match, the film "Jack; La Historia de Jack Veneno" features Jack and others discussing his career and life. The film was produced by Benjamin Irish, a protege of Veneno, and is widely attributed to Veneno's resurgence of celebrity in the country after 2007.

The film is said to be the most watched movie made in The Dominican Republic. Facebook logged over 265,000 views as of June 2016. In a country believed to have one computer per every sixteen households, some estimates have speculated that approximately half of the country watched the film. Perhaps the most legitimate estimate is from the producer, Benjamin Irish, who claimed that as of June 2016 total distribution outlets resulted in around 900,000 views, or roughly 10% of the country's population. A statement was released in December of 2016 proclaiming viewership has passed 2,000,000.

The film has been shrouded in controversy for years. It is debatable if the film is being used for political purposes in the country. Following its first release in 2007 Jack Veneno began to endorse candidates for public office including for the Nation's presidency. The film re-appeared in 2015 alongside the endorsement of a presidential candidate by producer Benjamin Irish that year. (At the time Veneno, who was ill, could not perform an endorsement.) The film holds an attachment to a video featuring its producer Irish, who spells out a strategy for national development. Veneno and Irish are members of the Dominican Liberal Democratic Party, and Irish is a member of the United States GOP. During National Crises events, such as hurricanes and floods, Dominicans are encouraged to watch the film and its counterpart videos while in wait of relief.

During a hurricane in 2016 the film raised concerns that wireless internet service was unmeasured and a larger factor in the Nation's day to day economy than previously understood, the reason being that large numbers of households without power or a dedicated internet signal watched the movie and uploaded distress videos seeking relief through the film's Facebook page. It was then discovered that a significant mesh network of internet service existed in the country previously unknown.

There is also a unique cultural tradition to the documentary, making it a cult film in the Nation. Viewership soars between Christmas week and the New Year as fans watch Veneno's match with Ric Flair. For many years the match between the two was shown on television during the holidays, almost as if it were a Christmas present. In the late 1990s, during one such showing, the match went off air early and was never seen again until 2007 in the film. This "Christmas Show" viewership, which has reached as many as 500,000 people, equates the film as a Dominican version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

Veneno's career is rooted in his representation of the poor people in the country, which has a 6-in-10 dependency rate. His victory over Ric Flair is a part of the Nation's history. Events surrounding Veneno's legacy have led to changes in the country's laws, including those effecting likeness rights (sometimes called "life rights") and the Government's right to display images of public historic figures, as well as sports and entertainment regulation. In 2007 Veneno was one of the country's sports ministers and an attache to its Olympic Committee appointed by President Leonel Fernandez.

Political career[edit]

Although retired from wrestling, Veneno ran for Mayor of Santo Domingo Norte, one of the Santo Domingo Province municipalities, on the 2006 Congressional and Municipal Elections with the Institutional Social Democratic Bloc party.[3] In 2007, he was appointed by the Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernández as Vice-Minister of Sports.[4][9]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

1 ^ Veneno's reign is not recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jack Veneno's OWOW profile page". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jack Veneno Profile on PWA". Pro Wrestling Archive. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Peña, Carlos (2012-08-24). "Jack Veneno gana primera caída; espera sea su última lucha contra cáncer de próstata". El Nacional (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Designan a Jack Veneno subsecretario de Sedefir". Listin Diario (in Spanish). 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  5. ^ Flair, Ric; Greenberg, Keith Elliot. Ric Flair: To Be the Man. World Wrestling Entertainment. p. 25. ISBN 978-0743456913. 
  6. ^ Dykens, Brad (2011-04-21). "Ric Flair vs Jack Veneno (A Photo Archive)". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  7. ^ Dominican Republic Olympic Committee. "Jack Veneno contra Ric Flair" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  8. ^ Craig Letawsky (15 July 2002). "Ask 411 7.15.02: Raven's Nest, Jack Veneno, Super Crazy, LWO, Rocky King". 411mania.com. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Cáceres, José (2007-08-24). "Posesionan a Veneno; dice Leonel dignifica atletas RD". El Nacional (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  10. ^ http://sigamosconjesus.com/?p=1595
  11. ^ http://sigamosconjesus.com/?p=1595
  12. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/dom/dom-t.html
  13. ^ http://sigamosconjesus.com/?p=1595
  14. ^ http://sigamosconjesus.com/?p=1595
  15. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/dom/dom-h.html
  16. ^ http://sigamosconjesus.com/?p=1595