Earlier today, it was reported that WWE Superstar Andrade requested his release from the company. The story was initially broken by Wrestling Inc., detailing that the third-generation star requested his release earlier this week during the Monday Night RAW tapings. It’s important to note that, at the time of this reporting, his release has not been officially granted. Nonetheless, he has removed “WWE” from his Twitter handle, further intensifying the story. Later in the day, Sean Ross Rapp of Fightful and Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT confirmed the story.
— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) March 12, 2021
Prior to making his WWE debut, Andrade made a name for himself around the world. From CMLL to New Japan Pro Wrestling and beyond, he became an international star, wrestling under a mask. Many long-time wrestling fans will remember him during his time as La Sombra, even defeating Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. He would sign with WWE in November of 2015, reporting to the WWE Performance Center from there. Starting with NXT, he shed his trademark mask and began to wrestle under his new moniker: Andrade “Cien” Almas.
Though Andrade debuted in NXT as a babyface, lukewarm fan reception changed his trajectory. In late 2016, he turned heel, attacking Cedric Alexander following their loss in that year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The year after, he joined forces with Zelina Vega, who put him back on track. This pairing would prove invaluable, particularly for Andrade, who would go on to defeat Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: WarGames later that November. In NXT, Andrade became well-regarded for his in-ring work, especially against Johnny Gargano, the two having wrestled at TakeOver: Philadelphia in 2018. This was the first NXT match to receive a five-star rating in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
In the spring of 2018, alongside Vega, Andrade made his main roster debut on SmackDown. However, his success on the main roster was arguably less substantial. Though he won the United States Championship on one occasion and formed a tag team with Angel Garza, Andrade struggled to replicate his NXT success. His final WWE appearance took place this past October on RAW. On this episode, Andrade and Vega were attacked by “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss, being laid out in the process.
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