Damian Priest makes history as WWE’s first Puerto Rican World Champion in 50 years

After winning on Sunday, he addressed the importance of his Puerto Rican roots. He was raised in Dorado.

After winning on Sunday, he addressed the importance of his Puerto Rican roots. He was raised in Dorado.

Wrestler Damian Priest won the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 40, on Sunday, becoming the first Puerto Rican champion in 50 years. With a 19-year career, Priest has won several championships, such as the WWE United States Championship in 2021, the 2023 Men's Money in the Bank contract, and a four-time tag team champion, holding the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships twice. The 41-year-old wrestler’s real name is Luis Martínez. He was born in New York to Newyorican parents, but after his parents got divorced he moved to Dorado, Puerto Rico, with his mother.  After winning on Sunday, he addressed the importance of his Puerto Rican roots, during a news conference.

RELATED: Puerto Rico’s women’s basketball team is going to the 2024 Summer Olympics

“I think everybody by now knows how proud I am and how adamant I am about cultural representation. I didn’t do this alone. I think I had not just an island behind me, I had a whole culture. And it’s one of the most proud things I’ve accomplished is just being able to represent and getting people to represent their cultures no matter where they are from. Being a representative of WWE, I could not be prouder of my people,” he said. Later on Sunday, Priest wrote “Orgulloso, gracias!” with a Puerto Rican flag emoji on X, formerly known as Twitter.  In previous interviews, the wrestler said that it was in Puerto Rico where he became interested in wrestling, because like many children on the island, on Saturdays he saw the legendary Puerto Rican wrestler Carlitos Colón face the Invader. Damian Priest is the first Puerto Rican World Champion in WWE since Pedro Morales 50 years ago.

By Mivette Vega

April 8, 2024

After winning on Sunday, he addressed the importance of his Puerto Rican roots. He was raised in Dorado.

Wrestler Damian Priest won the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 40, on Sunday, becoming the first Puerto Rican champion in 50 years.

With a 19-year career, Priest has won several championships, such as the WWE United States Championship in 2021, the 2023 Men’s Money in the Bank contract, and a four-time tag team champion, holding the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships twice.

The 41-year-old wrestler’s real name is Luis Martínez. He was born in New York to Newyorican parents, but after his parents got divorced he moved to Dorado, Puerto Rico, with his mother.

After winning on Sunday, he addressed the importance of his Puerto Rican roots, during a news conference.

RELATED: Puerto Rico’s women’s basketball team is going to the 2024 Summer Olympics

“I think everybody by now knows how proud I am and how adamant I am about cultural representation. I didn’t do this alone. I think I had not just an island behind me, I had a whole culture. And it’s one of the most proud things I’ve accomplished is just being able to represent and getting people to represent their cultures no matter where they are from. Being a representative of WWE, I could not be prouder of my people,” he said.

Later on Sunday, Priest wrote “Orgulloso, gracias!” with a Puerto Rican flag emoji on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In previous interviews, the wrestler said that it was in Puerto Rico where he became interested in wrestling, because like many children on the island, on Saturdays he saw the legendary Puerto Rican wrestler Carlitos Colón face the Invader.

Damian Priest is the first Puerto Rican World Champion in WWE since Pedro Morales 50 years ago.

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

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