In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported that AAA lucha libre star El Hijo del Fantasma, who is also known in the US as King Cuerno of Lucha Underground, has reportedly signed with WWE and will report to NXT as the part of the September class of new recruits at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. WWE has long had interest in Hijo del Fantasma, going back to 2016 when they tried to get him for the Cruiserweight Classic. At the time, his Lucha Underground contract prevented such an appearance.
A second generation luchador, El Hijo del Fantasma is the son of El Fantasma, who wrestled for such Mexican promotions as AAA, Universal Wrestling Association (UWA), Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), and International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) since the late 1970s. His uncle is also a famed Mexican grappler in Ángel de la Muerte, while his cousin wrestles as Fantasma Jr.
Hijo del Fantasma begin in 1997 in various Mexican indie promotions, before joining his father at IWRG in 2003. He would work various promotions over the next few years, including AAA, before signing with CMLL in 2008. He would win the CMLL World Trios Championships twice as part of Los Angeles Rebeldes with Garza Jr. and La Mascara, and in 2009 would win his first major singles title in the CMLL World Middleweight Championship.
In 2013, he jumped ship to AAA, where he would immediately become one of the top cruiserweights in the company. The jump also paid off for exposure in the United States, as he was cast in Lucha Underground, AAA’s TV project in the US, as a new masked character known as King Cuerno. He won the Gift of the Gods title in the first season and became one of the program’s top stars, which caught the attention of the WWE. In 2016, he was hoping to take part in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, but his Lucha Underground deal blocked the appearance.
In 2014, he captured the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship, holding it for 945 days before finally losing it in early 2017. But he rebounded quickly, and that October he won the AAA Latin America Championship, which he held for another 425 days. At AAA TripleMania XVI last year, he lost to LA Park, Pentagon Jr., and Psycho Clown in a fatal four-way Mask vs Mask match, where he was unmasked to the world.
Starting in 2017, he began making appearances for IMPACT Wrestling as well, during all their Mexico tapings, before taking part in a class-action lawsuit against Lucha Underground to have his contract terminated. On March 26, 2019, he was granted his release. It came just days after he announced he had departed AAA as well.
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