Off the Top Rope: Should AEW pursue Andrade?
If you’re AEW founder Tony Khan, you almost have to sign Andrade, released on Sunday by WWE, reportedly with no non-compete clause that would make him wait out three or six months of inactivity.
It’s not that Andrade, a former U.S. and NXT champ in WWE, would immediately make AEW that much better.
He’s a good hand, workrate-wise.
His lack of English skills makes it hard to get him over without attaching him to a mouthpiece, as WWE did by pairing him with Thea Trinidad, who was packaged as Zelina Vega in The E.
Trinidad is also a free agent, so …
Could go that route, could pair him with another manager.
Andrade – it’s actually part of his real name, Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza – could go by a version of his real name, as he did earlier in his career, when he was known as Manny Andrade, to take advantage of his name recognition from his recent WWE stint.
He’s a value in the ring.
AEW already has a growing stable of Latino wrestlers – Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero M, the debuting Laredo King, women’s top contender Thunder Rosa.
Andrade is a boost in terms of reachout to the Latino fanbase.
The bigger value: Khan signing him would be a big F-U to Vince McMahon.
He just stole Paul Wight and Christian Cage from WWE, gotten great business out of former top WWE stars Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and FTR.
Just having Andrade show up – and, advice to Khan, think this through, unlike your clumsy rollouts with Wight and Cage of late – and the wrestling interwebs will be buzzing again.
Story by Chris Graham