WWE Rumors: Andrade's Request to Be Released from Contract Denied

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

WWE has reportedly turned down a request to release former NXT and United States champion Andrade.

According to F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), Andrade reportedly asked for his release, but WWE has denied the request at this time.

WrestlingInc.com first reported Friday that Andrade asked for his release Monday at Raw, and Alex McCarthy of TalkSport later confirmed the report.

Andrade has not been seen on WWE programming since losing a match to Angel Garza on the Oct. 12, 2020, edition of Raw.

The 31-year-old native of Mexico signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2015 and made his in-ring debut for NXT in 2016.

After a lackluster run as a babyface under the name Andrade "Cien" Almas, Andrade aligned himself with Zelina Vega and turned heel. He then reached new heights, beating Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship and holding it for 140 days.

Andrade and Vega got called up to the main roster in 2017 and established themselves as a key midcard act. Most notably, they engaged in a long-running rivalry with Rey Mysterio that resulted in several high-quality matches on both SmackDown and Raw.

El Idolo won the United States Championship during that feud and went on to hold it for 150 days before dropping it to Apollo Crews.

Vega was released in November during Andrade's absence from television, meaning he will be without an important part of his act if and when he returns to action for WWE.

One way to potentially freshen things up would be to pair him with his real-life fiancee, Charlotte Flair. Charlotte told Scott Fishman of TV Insider earlier this month that she has pitched an idea for a storyline with Andrade to WWE's higher-ups.

While Andrade is still working on his English-speaking skills, he is already a masterful performer in the ring, which suggests he should have value to WWE with or without a mouthpiece. Perhaps that is why the company is reportedly reluctant to part ways with him.

If WWE does eventually decide to release Andrade, however, he will likely have every other major company fighting to sign him.

AEW would be the most popular choice since it has emerged as the No. 2 promotion behind WWE, but Andrade would essentially have his pick of the litter.

Returning to Mexico's CMLL under his La Sombra gimmick could be a good fit, as could going to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Impact Wrestling or even Ring of Honor, the latter of which boasts plenty of top Mexican talent, including Rush, Dragon Lee and Bandido.

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