As reported in yesterday’s new edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for subscribers, the WWE Performance Center announced that Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza, the former La Sombra, started in developmental today.
La Sombra, who just turned 26, was one of the top stars in CMLL, and would have remained one of the company’s biggest stars for the remainder of his career there. He just came off losing his mask to Atlantis at the Anniversary show.
Andrade, who used to date WWE trainer Sarah Stock years ago, was originally expected to be in the New Japan tag team tournament that starts on Saturday, but when the teams were announced, Tetsuya Naito’s partner was listed as Evil (Takaaki Watanabe). Recently, Andrade did a rushed program with longtime partner Rush, that climaxed after one singles match on Friday night when Sombra lost clean in the middle in the third fall.
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He’s a super talent with a good look, but he will have to learn a completely different style and will also be able to master English well enough to do a strong promo to reach anywhere near his potential. But he was a success working with the Japanese and Americans in New Japan, and even held the Intercontinental title there at one point, so it’s not all new to him and he has the basics for being able to adapt to a different style.
While he’s good looking, there is actually more potential for him in the U.S. as a modern day Mil Mascaras type masked character aimed at the Hispanic audience.