Averno, one of the top rudos for CMLL for the half decade, has signed a contract with WWE. Averno is joining the US promotion to resume his feud with Misitco (now Sin Cara) as an unmasked heel. The plan was for him to lose his mask to La Mascara at June 17th’s Jucio Final, but plans may change as this news gets out. Multiple sources have confirmed to me both Averno’s signing and his imminent mask loss.
WWE has been unhappy with Sin Cara’s matches so far. Atypically, they’ve sought to resolve this by bringing in more agreeable opponents for him to work with. The story I was told is WWE went to Sin Cara and asked him that if he could work with anyone in the world, who would he most like to work with. Obviously, he picked his long time rival (and probably close friend) Averno. WWE earlier had Averno in for a tryout last October, the same tryout Mistico and Diamante were at (and which Durango Kid helped set up), but decided not to sign him at that time. Things have changed, and Averno secretly signed with WWE during their last tour of Mexico.
It’s worth noting this is not actually an expanded WWE raid of CMLL luchadors or lucha style wrestlers in general. They want Averno to fill a specific need. I do not believe this directly increases (or decreases) their chances of signing anyone else from Mexico. To put it simply, WWE signing Averno does not mean they’re about to sign Fantasma or Sombra or anyone else.
This is also a big risk for Averno; he’s coming in for a defined spot, but there may not be plans past that; compare Averno to Tyson Kidd, who works the style they WWE prefers, is very good at it, and is barely on their roster. Dropping your mask and going to WWE in hopes of a big push worked out for Alberto Del Rio, but not so much for Rey Ortiz. Since the plan is for him to work against Sin Cara, I expect he will be brought to the main roster quickly, and not go to FCW.
Averno has not informed CMLL of his WWE signing. Instead, Averno only told their programming department he wanted to lost his mask ASAP and, if they weren’t willing to do it, he would go to whichever outside promoter could pay him the most to drop it. CMLL agreed to do it there and scrambled their plans for June (a cage match which would’ve included the Gen11/Rayos feud and probably other rivalries; no loser had been definitively been decided), putting Averno’s mask loss in on 06/17. Mascara Dorada would’ve been the preferred choice to win the mask, but he’s locked in with NJPW comittements. It’s unknown if other people were considered, but CMLL is said to be a very divided and unhappy place at the moment, and politics surely played some role in the decision (as they do in most.)
As I write this, I believe upper CMLL management is still unaware of Averno signing with WWE (though I’m the impression that many other people in the company, which again speaks to the fractured nature of CMLL) and would’ve been when the card for next Friday was announced. Averno is not yet on any of the big six cards next week (GDL/Puebla/Mexico/Coliseo), but I do not believe that has anything to do with this news, and he is scheduled to work shows in Queretaro (Tuesday) and Xalapa (Wednesday).
I have declined to post about this because of that, and because early release of this information may cost people’s jobs, and may cost Averno a big payday. That’s not really worth being first, to me. I’m posting this story now because the word has gotten out to enough people that there’s really no way it can be kept as a secret any more. SuperLuchas has put the Averno to WWE portion on their cover, out today, though they are not confirming the mask loss.
It’s possible that CMLL may pull the match – as much for the betrayal as the result getting out – (though that would mean Averno would just find someone else to pay for the mask), but the CMLL way tends to be to ignore the world around them. Also, they’d be able to beat soon to be WWE star on the way out, and CMLL thinks that would mean a lot to their fans. We’ll see.
Sorry I had to spoil this result for everyone. Didn’t want to know who was going to win myself, but can’t tell this story without telling that part.