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Pride Championship Wrestling ceases operations after founder’s sex offender status resurfaces

PCW founder Ignacio Mendoza, who wrestled as ‘Texas Hellhound’ Madness, said both PCW and himself are ‘done’ following the news.

Madness
PCW founder Ignacio Mendoza, aka “Texas Hellhound” Madness
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San Antonio-based pro wrestling promotion Pride Championship Wrestling, one of the longest-running LGBTQ-led promotions in North America, has folded after founder and out pro wrestler Ignacio “Iggy” Mendoza’s status as a registered sex offender resurfaced via social media in recent weeks.

News of Mendoza’s past resurfaced on Aug. 18 in a Facebook post by San Antonio-based pro wrestler Veronica Brazier. “Ugh I have no words,” Brazier wrote alongside promotional images of Mendoza, who wrestles under the name “Texas Hellhound” Madness, and a screenshot of his page on the Texas sex offender registry. “Another one we had our children around … Iggy, so disappointed.”

The designation stems from a 2004 conviction on one charge of possession of child pornography. According to records from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Mendoza was arrested on March 25, 2004, during the execution of a search warrant at his home. He admitted to officers at the time that pornographic images of minors were present on computer equipment that he confirmed was his.

Mendoza was sentenced to five years of parole and mandatory supervision. The PCW founder didn’t dispute these facts when contacted by Outsports, but claimed that he was “duped into taking the fall” for a person who he said actually committed the crime. Mendoza was unable to provide anything supporting his statement when asked.

Brazier told Outsports that she was made aware of Mendoza’s presence on the state sex offender registry on the same day she made the Facebook post. Brazier, a 22-year veteran of the San Antonio wrestling scene who has worked events featuring Mendoza, said that, to her knowledge, Mendoza had disclosed his status to one person in the local pro wrestling scene, though that did not emerge until after Brazier made her post.

While Mendoza told Outsports that he disclosed his status to a few people “that understood my situation,” he never disclosed his status to the public that attended PCW shows. Mendoza informed Outsports that his personal pro wrestling career was over as well due to the situation.

LGBTQ pro wrestling documentary “Out In The Ring” cut ties with Mendoza soon after the news was revealed. Mendoza is interviewed in the film about PCW and his own experience as an out pro wrestler.

In a statement to Outsports, “Out In The Ring” director Ry Levey said that he and his team would be editing the film to remove Mendoza after learning of his registered sex offender status and conviction.

“We are shocked and saddened by the information regarding Mr. Mendoza. Please be assured that we were unaware of Mr. Mendoza’s criminal history, and we are doing our due diligence to remove his presence from our documentary ‘Out In The Ring’, but keeping the other talents featured from the PCW roster, who so richly deserve the spotlight provided by the film,” Levey told Outsports.

In addition to removing Mendoza from his film, Levey also shared that he canceled an upcoming screening of the LGBTQ pro wrestling doc at San Antonio QFest, the city’s LGBTQ film festival run by Pride San Antonio. Mendoza was scheduled to appear alongside Levey and other figures from the film at the screening. “Ry did what he needed to do and I don’t blame him,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza is best known for his work as the head of PCW. He founded the company in 2012 after running his first event in cooperation with Pride San Antonio and remained known mostly within the local scene until it received higher notoriety by being featured in Levey’s documentary earlier this year. He also regularly wrestles on PCW shows and works for multiple promotions in Texas. PCW events were featured as part of the city’s annual Pride festivities in addition to other events not associated with Pride San Antonio throughout the year.

Mendoza stated that figures within Pride San Antonio weren’t aware of Mendoza’s status during their decade-long working relationship. Outsports has reached out to Pride San Antonio for comment, but the organization has not responded.