Jack Meléndez

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Hector Meléndez, born in Ponce, Puerto Rico better known by his stage name "Moody" Jack Meléndez, is a Puerto Rican professional wrestling sportscaster. He is known in the United States as the Spanish play-by-play announcer for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and the personal ring announcer for The Latin American Xchange, a stable in TNA. He has also worded for wrestling promotions in Puerto Rico. Melendez is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English.

Early life[edit]

Early in his childhood Meléndez enjoyed wrestling, and his mother used to take him to the World Wrestling Council shows every Saturday, during this time, he became interested in Capitol Sports Promotions until Bruiser Brody was allegedlly killed by José Huertas Gonzalez at an event. After this event Meléndez became interested in the programming of the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling, he continued watching Capitol's programming but his interest in local wrestling was not revived until the debut of the International Wrestling Association (IWA).

Career[edit]

Puerto Rico[edit]

While working for a magazine publisher in Puerto Rico's metropolitan area, Meléndez pursued a job with the IWA, he was selling them advertisements and writing articles about the promotion. While doing this, he met Savio Vega and was hired by the company as a creative consultant, he subsequently received a position with the creative team along with Dutch Mantel. Mantel took him under his wing and taught him about telling a story inside or outside the ring. Mantel would give him the content of every story and Moody would organize it while having his input, he learned the politics of the business from Victor the Bodyguard who became his godfather in wrestling so to speak and later on from Ray Gonzalez with whom he became very good friends and people say they great chemistry between them. One of the first lessons he got was that nobody is expendable in the business so he realized the closest he could get to not being expendable was by doing a little bit of everything. While writing storylines, he tried to contribute to other parts within the company, he started doing camera work shooting his own ideas and Mantel's as well. He took upon himself to learn how to edit watching Orville Collazo work, the only IWA editor at that point, his first work with a storyline involved producing an angle that was written by Mantel and Moody who also edit it. It was the Starr Corporation taking over IWA angle with the video being a career recap also narrated by Moody, after this he started working with the editing of music videos for every single storyline in IWA. Under him everybody and every single wrestler in the company had a storyline, even the first match. Not only did Moody had a storyline for everybody, he also made them part of the creating process by allowing them to be themselves and have input in everything, this made Moody the best star makers in Puerto Rico since Carlos Colón in the '80s. He has been responsible for some of the biggest angles and stars in Puerto Rico's recent history, it comes to mind Los Hermanos en Dolor vs Starr Corporation,deemed as one of the best angles ever when Savio Vega turned on the fans and joined Starr Corporation resulting in the union of a baby face ( Shane the Glamour Boy ) and a heel ( Ricky Banderas ) coming together to stop the Corporation and Savio's dictatorship. Also important was the angle of Apolo being the people's champ as a loner with no alliances. Later on, after an exodus of stars, Moody created La Revolución Dominicana as the top heels of the company, it was foreigners vs Puerto Ricans. Around this time he also created Los Rabiosos, two regular guys ( Mr. Big and Blitz ) raised in the street that loved to have a good time always drinking beer and being funny, they were rock stars, Melendez just let them to be themselves, they were heels but the people loved their act and were very popular, at the same time, Melendez had a babyface team called Zona llegal ( El Chicano and Jumping Jeff Jeffries ) who were also raised in the streets but were more like rappers. During a Christmas company party Los Rabiosos got drunk and ended up at the babyfaces party where they collided with Zona llegal but by the time the party was over Los Rabiosos and Zona llegal agreed to join forces and face the Dominicans, naming themselves La Calle ( the street ), it was to this date one of the best skids ever done in Puerto Rico, and so it started, La Revolución Dominicana vs La Calle de Puerto Rico, converting La Calle in stars and the angle becoming an instant classic. When Brian Wickens, also known as Bushwhacker Luke Williams, entered the company he became his last mentor instructing Meléndez in aspects of the creative organization and the two became very good friends. Moody was also the TV announcer for IWA, he style is said to be unique and full of passion making the product the people were watching very believable and exiting leaving the people wanting more. This is stated as one of the reasons IWA was drawing so good during Moody's first stint in IWA.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling[edit]

Meléndez left Puerto Rico in 2004 and joined TNA, then based in Nashville, Tennessee, as a sportscaster and video editor and producer thanks to Dutch Mantel and Jeff Jarrett, he was originally partnered with Armando Quintero before Konnan began providing commentary, replacing Quintero. This would prove bad for Meléndez since allegedly he felt that Konnan was preventing him from doing his job as an announcer because of Konnan's disrespect for the position and lack of interest in doing a good job;[1] in December 2005, Konnan formed a stable known as the Latin American Xchange (LAX), claiming that Latinos were discriminated against in TNA.[2] The LAX had their own entrance with Moody making the introduction in Spanish becoming the voice of the LAX; in mid-2006, the LAX set up a "border zone" around the Spanish commentary table, attacking any wrestlers who crossed the "border". From TNA Victory Road 2006 Moody also interfered in matches on their behalf, helping them to defeat their opponents several times;[3] in October 2006, Melendez quit Total Nonstop Action Wrestling because he felt that the pay raise he was offered was not sufficient to make up for his increased duties. It was rumored that he had a fallout with Jarrett for unknown reasons, it is also rumored that Melendez wanted to be more involved in the creating process and had already accepted a position as head booker for IWA, but Melendez issued a statement where he said that accepting that position was only " a fact after the matter just because I wasn't a yes man. "

Return to Puerto Rico[edit]

He then returned to Puerto Rico to work there full-time as the IWA head booker alongside Luke Williams, since Melendez departure in 2004, the IWA struggled to keep its place as the number one wrestling promotion in the island, losing fans and talent left and right. With the future of the IWA in question Melendez took the position. While Melendez was gone, Victor Quiñonez ( owner ) died leaving the company in the hands of Savio Vega and Miguel Pérez, they were losing talent and IWA agree to heavy money deals with Ray Gonzalez, Shane the Glamour Boy, Ricky Banderas, Thunder & Lightning and Moody Jack himself. Melendez was putting people on the seats every week and the ratings for the TV show went up again but it simply wasn't enough to pay the high salaries that Vega and Pérez had promised, this led to the departure of Ray Gonzalez, Ricky Banderas and Thunder & Lightning, four out of the top 5 stars IWA had. Melendez created La Revolución Dominicana vs La Calle de Puerto Rico angle that got over huge, but with Quiñonez death, the company was left in financial peril, a fact never made known to Melendez or anybody else during negotiations. The company had a lot of debt and just couldn't keep up. Melendez had no choice but to abandon ship, it is believed that Savio Vega and Miguel Pérez still owe a lot of money to their talent of those days.

On the January 18, 2007 edition of TNA Impact! Meléndez returned to television in his previous role and also as the new manager of the LAX. Once again, he was occasionally involved in the outcome of LAX matches, this second stint didn't last long as Meléndez decided to take a breakfrom wrestling. This lasted around four months when shockingly Moody accepted a position as the head booker for the rival WWC in Puerto Rico.

Meléndez then began working in the World Wrestling Council, where he worked not only as the booker, but also head of TV, commentator and then some, he covered all the bases. All this while serving as manager of La Rabia, a stable of wrestlers that jumped to the company with him, this stable of wrestlers were non other than the whole La Calle de Puerto Rico. With both companies in Puerto Rico struggling, Melendez took charge of WWC, his idea was to take the business struggles in the island and make them "real", or simply said, put on TV. Throughout the years, WWC has been a company known for not paying their wrestlers, even when they were doing good, this practice was assumed also by the IWA in the post Melendez era. So Moody wanted to make it look like these wrestlers were there to stop the abuse of power by the ownners while leading to believe that the IWA was next, they were full of rage against management, hence the name La Rabia. They would be wearing hoods covering their faces but everybody would know who they were. One day Melendez got a phone call from El Chicano who told him that all four members of La Calle were ready to leave IWA. Melendez talked to Carlos Colón and pitched the idea and this led to a meeting in WWC offices between Colón, Moody, Zona llegal and Los Rabiosos where they discussed the angle. Melendez wanted to turn the Colón family heel. According to people close to the situation Colón was very difficult when it came to the family name, and even though Eddie Colón, Orlando Colón and even Carlito Caribbean Cool were being booed working as babyfaces Carlos Colón would not turn them heel. Word is that Melendez knew this coming in but he probably thought that when Carlos saw that they were drawing consistently for the first time in over ten years, Carlos would go with it, the first Rabia attack went over instantlly creating a buzz that wrestling in Puerto Rico had not experienced since the IWA glory days. Zona llegal were the first to show up at a WWC show, the plan was that they would be followed in the upcoming weeks by Mr. Big first and then Blitz but it didn't happen exactly like that. El Chicano was convinced to return to IWA with promises never fulfilled, Blitz was also convinced to stay in IWA. All this after the angle was already on wheels, leaving Moody with only one member of Zona llegal ( Jumping ) and one member of Los Rabiosos ( Biggie Size ). Melendez then hired Jumping's brother ( El Niche ), a spectacular high flyier with no experience, but he needed a fourth member and in order to keep the concept intact, it had to be a former IWA member or someone with ties, like El Niche. Melendez then called Stefy, one of the original members of Zona llegal with El Chicano during the IWA glory days who was at that moment semi retired, it didn't matter who the members were, the concept was over and Melendez was a great story teller. Troubled arise when the crowd completely turned on Carlos Colón, it is said that Colón called Melendez out saying that he hasn't been booed in Puerto Rico in over 30 years and he was blaming him for it, demanding a change in the story. Moody argued that if it was drawing and making money why change it? Why don't just go with it? But Colón wouldn't allowed the Colon name to be associated with evil and he stopped supporting Melendez who was left with no choice but to turn La Rabia heel in what proved to be a big mistake. The houses went down 50% right off the bat, and according to witnesses just two weeks later Melendez was told by Victor Jovica ( WWC owner ) that maybe Carlos Colón had made a mistake and that maybe La Rabia could be faces again, it was said that Moody realized that it was the beginning of the end since what Jovica was asking was impossible and Jovica had to know it. Melendez followed the order and wrote a story to start the change to babyfaces again, he did it, but the magic had been lost, leaving Melendez frustrated and unhappy.

Mexico[edit]

Since 2004, Melendez had been contacted by the president of AAA (Mexico), the late Antonio Peña. Peña wanted to revolutionize wrestling in México and he believed Melendez was the man that could help him do it offering him the job as booker alongside him. Moody declined this offer several times but with the latest developments in WWC he felt that it was time to go. Melendez quit WWC, after that he had a brief run on IWA Puerto Rico and then took a three-month break and accepted the booking position with AAA México where he resides working as a creative consultant to the Peña family, agent, TV producer and video editor. In 2011 he returned to Puerto Rico, he has since been replaced by Miguel G. Fonseca.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wojcik, Alan J. (2006-03-12). "3/12 TNA Destination X PPV HOLT report: Live perspective on entire event". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  2. ^ Clevett, Jason (2006-09-21). "Konnan raps on race, TNA and LAX". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  3. ^ Sokol, Chris (2007-01-19). "Impact: Angle has a Phenomenal match". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 

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