Averno has signed with WWE, expected to drop his mask at Jucio Final

Averno & Mistico, 2010 (photo via Record)

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.

40 thoughts to “Averno has signed with WWE, expected to drop his mask at Jucio Final”

  1. I don’t see how this is going to work. WWE won’t fully let them do their style and really how many matches will WWE let them have? You are spot on in that choosing Kidd would be a better idea.

  2. I think what Cubs meant with the Kidd analogy was that Kidd was brought in to fill a very specific need – another “Hart” to team with Smith & Neidhart. Now that that team has broken up, there is nothing in the works for Kidd. So, the parallel would be that, once Averno finishes his feud with Sin Cara, his future in WWE may be bleak.

    I wonder if UG being added to the programming team has anything to do with all of this…

  3. My thinking is, if WWE was going to push a small talented worker just for those reasons, they would be pick Kidd before Averno. And they’re doing nothing with Kidd, so the fear is they’ll do even less with Averno after his run with Sin Cara ends. But we’ll see.

    I think this deal is outside the booking changes and Averno would’ve gone even if things were going great, but I do think the environment (and the payoffs) make it easier. Giving one guy more power when everyone is in their own faction makes people more unhappy.

  4. by that I mean WWE hired TAKA to work with Sasuke and get him over and ended up keeping him on forever while Sasuke went back to Japan and was never heard from again WWE wise

  5. Averno is a great talent who is not a total flippy-dippy worker. I still think it’s a mistake for WWE to bring in Averno the same way as they did Cara. IMO couldn’t they bring up Hunico, Epico and Alex Koslov who are ALREADY under deals to face Cara. They have been under deals for a while now so they know the WWE style and can help Cara.

    And the Sasuke-TAKA deal was that Sasuke went and bragged to the Japanese media that he would be the star of the Lightheavyweight Division and WWE did not like that. The WWE brought in a guy to book the division and Sasuke instantly clashed with him. Sasuke killed Sasuke’s chances for being Sasuke which does not work in America.

  6. Hey, if Averno is gonna go and burn his bridges on the way out, I hope he can hang on and make money there. However, because of his height and build, I just don’t see him doing better than a Kaientai, Braden Walker, or Scottie Goldman.

  7. There are rumors going around that Sombra & Volador may not be too far behind as well. The Averno deal has been in the works since Sin Cara signed and it was just a matter of time before he joined him.

  8. That CMLL banned list continues to grow. You figure they’ve added Durango Kid at the very top of the list ahead of El Hijo del Santo.

  9. What’s funny is that in a recent interview, Konnan made the point that CMLL is losing talent, especially to WWE. That’s only because CMLL has talent worthy of raiding for a major league outfit, while AAA talent could never be major league anywhere but in AAA(Aerostar is the only exception).

    It looks like a slightly modified version of La Mistica will be Sin Cara’s finisher on guys who can’t go to the top rope with him. And that’s probably what this is all about. Guys who can do the finisher.

    I still don’t see the reason why Averno has to come in. WWE has guys like Peter Orlov, Mystico Juarez, Trent Baretta, and an entire developmental league filled with guys who grew up watching Lucha who can be molded to work with Sin Cara.

    If WWE is unhappy so far, well yeah, Sin Cara’s PPV debut was against an aging Guerrero. His finisher is extremely difficult. Signing more CMLL talent is not the answer.

    Based on some of the commentary on Smackdown, I guess Averno could be brought in as someone from Sin Caras’s past. But I’m guessing that Averno will wear a mask and portray a series of personalities along the way.

  10. I was specifically told WWE wants Averno unmasked. That’s why he’s trying to get a payoff for his mask now.

    This is probably more a WWE thing, but bypassing those guys in FCW (and how they’ve treated other guys they’ve brought up – like the entirety of NXT) shows what WWE thinks of their developmental group (not much!)

  11. One thing is for sure… lucha libre can be accused of being many things except boring :)

  12. Biggest losers in this Averno departure are Mephisto and Ephesto. Now they gotta figure out a new faction name. Although I like Rob’s idea of putting Semental in with them.

  13. Those of you who keep asking about other guys on the roster who could work with Sin Cara obviously missed the important part of the story:

    “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. ”

    The answer to that question was obviously not Tyson Kidd or whoever Trent Bareta is.

    Averno will play the role Super Calo (and others) did in WCW. WCW did not bring him in to be a star in their cruiserweight division, they brought him in b/c Rey Misterio Jr. (presumably via Konnan) suggested him as an opponent for a PPV so they could have a good match. The idea was never to make Super Calo into a big star on Rey’s level obviously. He was there to have a good match, take all of Rey’s spots and lose. A job he could do much better than Jim Powers or Scotty Riggs. Once that job was over he was kept around and did nothing which nobody should be surprised about. Will Averno suffer the same fate? Probably. But he knows what he’s getting into and honestly what’s the big deal with getting a nice payoff for your mask, a nice guaranteed contract w/ the possibilities of bonuses (he’ll surely do at least two PPV matches – hello royalties!) and knowing that even if he does nothing more than just put over his friend he’ll be able to come back to Mexico when the contract expires. ESPECIALLY at Averno’s age! He isn’t exactly a young guy who has the ability to wait a few more years and hope CMLL’s business picks up so he can start making good money again.

    As Cubs said – CMLL is a complete mess right now, the likes of which most of us can’t even begin to comprehend. Averno is leaving at the right time and I wish him all the luck in the world. He deserves it. He’s worked hard throughout his career and it’s time to cash in while he can. Anyone remember Rencor Latino and some idiot on the Highspots board who used to pimp him as a future star kinda like he does with Semental these days?:P

    I just hope CMLL doesn’t overreact (assuming they ever leave the bubble for a snack and happen to find out the news about Averno and the fact BETA is now obsolete) and ends up either telling Averno to fuck off (doubt it) or change the match to a cage match to add the “element of surprise”. You don’t need any element of surprise in a match like this. You just need to put together the best possible feud you can. There was never any element of surprise in any Hijo Del Santo mask matches, the ones that drew were the ones where he had opponents people wanted to see lose. Fans are going to come out anyways, MAYBE even moreso now knowing it’ll be the last time they see Averno and to see a future WWE entertainer get unmasked.

    Gonna be an insane amount of news in the next month coming from Mexico!

  14. @Rob: This all makes perfect sense so of course I expect CMLL to do the opposite.

    Most wrestling promoters and bookers nowadays overthink shit. Its not just a CMLL thing either, but I get the feeling that when CMLL’s staff read the reaction to the whole “oh, so Averno’s dropping his mask on June 17th” they’ll make the change. It would be dumb on their part. I actually like this mask match and I’m not a big La Mascara fan. They need to build up La Mascara and what better way than to have him beat their #2 rudo and the guy who worked with Mistico for 5 years. You could even have the announcers at the end mention that Averno’s leaving because he’s ‘humilated by this loss’ or La Mascara did something “Mistico coudn’t do”. People watch wrestling for entertainment purposes first and foremost. I think people in today’s internet age forget that and then when something entertaining happens they’d much rather bitch and moan about how its all a work. Then they complain about how its not ‘how it use to be’. Its a no win situation. Might as well have fun with it and give people the best match/show you can.

  15. I feel bad for Mascara Dorada. What a shitty timing to be in Japan these days. He could have had his first big mask win, and now La Mascara gets it.

  16. For the sake of argument, if Averno was not leaving, what would the stip match at Juicio have been? There was always going to be a stip match to counter Triplemania I assume.

    Anyone think Averno vs. La Mascara will outdraw Triplemania?

  17. By the way, Averno still has a NWA title. CMLL should use the chance and do a tournament!

  18. See this is good news for CMLL after all! Another reason to do a tournament so the bookers don’t have to actually do their job for another 3 weeks!:)

    They could kill two birds with one stone and do a tournament where the winner gets Averno’s belt, the loser gets Shocker’s. Or they can do like the Copa Victoria in 1997 and have a tournament where once you get eliminated, you then drop down into the losers bracket and have a seperate tournament for the other belt! The possibilites are endless!

  19. @Ringo: They kind of have to if they’re still doing the Unviersal Tournament in a month! (Maybe quick title change is more likely.)

  20. The truly awesome part of this is that we may eventually get to see Averno vs Rey Mysterio Jr. now which should make everyone smile just alittle.

  21. Well perhaps CMLL could put the Invasores back into the mains to make things fresh again. At least it’s not another Villano-Panther feud.

  22. @Rob: I would love to see Rey and Cara vs Averno and Jericho, there are alot nice matchups that could be had.

    @mkpunk I like the idea of the Invasors back on top but they would need a huge move to make an impact. But i love Histeria,Psicosis and Alebrije as a trio.

  23. I wonder what Hunico is thinking now? He’s been working WWE style for years but they still don’t bring him up.

    I just want a Averno/Kane tag team.

  24. Pretty shitty news for Mephisto and Ephesto but might be great news for Rey Escorpion

    Have i missed something on the blog about changes to CMLL’s bookers? I seem to be out of the loop :(

  25. @UltimoTG: Ultimo Guerrero has been added to the programming department. It’s unclear how much influence he has, but it’s definitely made some people happy and some other people not so happy.

    @Arakas: Would you believe:
    04/12 @ Arena Coliseo Guadalajara
    Delta, Gallo, Stuka Jr. vs Shigeo Okumura, Vangelis, Virus
    Máximo & Rush vs Héctor Garza & Volador Jr.

    I’m aiming to do a chat at the top of the hour. Trying to get at least some work done today (not really happening) and the stream is down at the moment…

  26. As Cubs said, I don’t like news coming out that can adversly affect a wrestler making money. At least Cubs had the decency to say he didn’t want to release it until it was already known, but I wonder if anyone of the others news outlets even gave a shit about Averno in face of making a few bucks.

  27. @Rob: Cara/Rey vs Averno/del Rio seems like a good dark match main event for the Mexico tapings in Oct. Before this news, I had been hoping that WWE would do a del Rio/Cara/Rey trios vs top three heals dark match with “Mexican Rules” 2/3 falls captains match, but now this can top that.

  28. Kudos to you Cubs for keeping this under your hat for the reasons you did up to this point. As for the guys in FCW who can work the style, as noted, Sin Cara was asked who he’d like to work with that can do his style; I’d be shocked if he didn’t pick Averno.

    As for Averno’s shelf life in WWE, how about WWE bring up Koslov & Hunico and put them in a group with Averno; their sole purpose is to take out Sin Cara. Make them a trio from his past who are out to get him. Three guys who can work the style and hopefully lengthen the program; gives WWE a chance to see all three and maybe have ideas for them when the program runs its course? I know, WWE and ideas….silly me.

  29. Strange. I could have sworn when Taichi was about to leave Mexico and Yujiro/Naito were about to leave Mexico it was reported here many times that those guys were headed back to New Japan with new looks. Yet nobody complained back then that it ruined the results of the Maximo/Taichi match or Terrible/Texano vs No Limit match. Two matches which actually drew really well even though the results were known ahead of time.

    Strange, indeed.

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