That’s right. Andrade El Idolo is All Elite. Many were speculating such a thing happening, but that is also the case for any wrestling free-agent with some standing. Still, ‘The Idol’ is here in AEW and primed for all manner of dream matches.
Before we get into the Internet Wrestling Community’s favourite pastime, fantasy booking, let’s first have a look at how we got to this point.
The wider world of wrestling fans will likely know Andrade from his time under the WWE banner as Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Of course, his Lucha past in CMLL and New Japan Pro-Wrestling should not be forgotten, but that’s not where the majority of people will recognize him from.
His most prolific run in WWE was on NXT where he won the big gold from Drew McIntyre. He also managed to get WWE’s first Meltzer-approved five-star rating since 2011, quite a feat. So even if you don’t know much about Andrade, you can be assured we’re in for some quality.
Andrade’s main roster run didn’t go quite as well as his NXT one. He spent most of his time there being underutilized, despite stealing the show most of the time he was on the card -which, if you think about it, was why he never got a proper push. WWE has a habit of not letting their talent get over with the fans without their approval.
After having enough of WWE, Andrade requested his release. Vinny Mac had yet again let a potential mega-star slip away.
There’s been a fair amount of criticism online for Andrade El Idolo’s lackluster debut. During an in-ring speech by another recent acquisition -Mark Henry- Vicky Geurrero interrupted to announce Andrade. While that seems fine on paper, the crowd didn’t seem to know what was going on at the time. It was like they were waiting for some music or a video on the tron, so the live reaction was mixed. It didn’t help that at times Vicky can be quite hard to understand.
Surely a bigger moment could’ve been crafted by AEW to garner a better reaction. Of course, the obvious way is to have Andrade appear to interrupt a match, setting up the first feud. They could’ve set up a mystery opponent for someone too. There were plenty of options, but they went with Andrade slowly sauntering out to a silence only broken by the voice of Vicky Guerrero. Questionable to say the least.
Let’s break this down into two parts. Firstly:
The First Feud
So, considering the opportunity for a surprise appearance to set up a first feud has been scuppered already, let’s set something up from here.
If you want to establish Andrade El Idolo to the AEW faithful, the best way to do that is with a cracking match. It’d have to be on Dynamite as the next pay-per-view is quite far away and the launch of their new show, Rampage, isn’t for a few months yet. It’s not like AEW are against the idea of a mid-week supercard, so an Andrade classic shouldn’t be out of the question.
So, who could Andrade have a cracking match with whilst also getting the win?
Option 1: Rey Fenix. Two luchadors putting on, in the words of Kalisto, ‘a good lucha thing.’
Option 2: Jungle Boy. After his title shot of course because, if we’re honest, he’s not winning it.
Option 3: Darby Allin. He looks to be part of the tag division for the foreseeable so a singles record won’t matter too much. Darby bumping like a champ will give Andrade some serious clout.
From here Andrade could have a month or two of back-and-forths with any of them or their stablemates. Imagine him going through each member of Death Triangle. Matches with Pac, Penta, and, of course, Rey would be tremendous. That could potentially lead on to Eddie Kingston and Mox. He could even team up with someone. I’m not entirely sure who as everyone and their mums are associated with one stable or another, but somebody.
The one thing they should avoid is him being put against a former WWE guy first. That would likely send the wrong message, even if the potential of Mox, Christian, or Pac would be a saucy prospect.
While the idea of pushing a recently-departed WWE wrestler to a title is an inadvisable one -initially anyway. Remember that we aren’t talking about a Jericho, a Hardy, or a Christian. Andrade, much like Miro and Mox, is absolutely in his prime. It’s not even like he’s that associated with WWE as he was never considered main-event caliber. Though, of course, he should still be established as an AEW name first.
With the right backing, Andrade is absolutely a big enough draw for a World Championship reign down the line. Obviously, the next natural progression for the strap would be the Hangman vs Omega feud, but Andrade could definitely be the heel-foil to Page far down the line.
In the meantime, high-profile feuds with all manner of talent would go down well. The only way is up for El Idolo.