Dragon Lee is CMLL’s new Mistico

photo by @apolovaldes/MT

At a press conference today at Arena Mexcio, CMLL announced young Guadalajara tecnico Dragon Lee would now be known as Mistico, the second to use that name. Fray Tormenta, the luchador priest who had been said to raise and teach the original Mistico in his original back story, anointed Dragon Lee with the new name. Tormenta had appeared in Lee’s corner last Friday, and explained he was impressed with Lee’s performance (despite losing) to offer him the new name. Dragon Lee immediately accepted and donned the mask.

The Mistico name had previously been used by WWE’s Sin Cara, and his popularity was the driving force behind the last great boom in CMLL business. Sin Cara made a sudden acrimonious departure from CMLL in early 2011, and CMLL indicated at the time that they would one day give the character to a new luchador.

Angel de Oro, also present at this press conference, was the name most often rumored to take over the role. Sin Cara’s cousin, Magnus, was also rumored to be in the running, and his ‘candidacy’ for the (only hinted at) position was a storyline on last year’s El Luchador reality show. Dragon Lee, who has also rumored been mentioned as possibility, appeared on that show as Magnus’ best friend and superior as luchador. Season 2 of El Luchador is currently being filmed, and this development would continue the storyline of the Magnus/Dragon Lee relationship.

It’s uncertain how the casual fanbase will react to a new Mistico. Both AAA and CMLL have a Psicosis luchador at the moment, and both have had La Parkas at times. In both case, it’s proven surprisingly easy to fool the general public, who see the mask and not the luchador underneath. It may not be as easy to do it with ‘the real Mistico’ on WWE TV. The core audience has reacted strongly against all suggestions of a new Mistico. Those same fans do not particular seem to like Dragon Lee, though not quite as strongly as they dislike his brother Rush. CMLL is desperate to draw from beyond their base group of fans, but there is going to be a strong and vocal push back on this move.

Dragon Lee’s change to Mistico was the tail end of the discussion of the En Busca de un Idolo tournament. CMLL presented the four finalists. Dragon Lee finished third, behind fellow Guadalajara tecnico Titan and rudo Euforia, who meet in the final on Friday. CMLL also the winner would receive an all expense paid trip to Cancun, a one year gym membership, a shot at the CMLL title for their weight class, and elevation to the top matches in CMLL. Dragon Lee, as the new Mistico, will be elevated to the top matches and likely will soon win a title match, and those announced awards make it seem as though the plan for this tournament was for Dragon Lee to win this tournament en route to becoming Mistico. As far back as month ago, when all four finalists and their mentors met in a special trios match, Dragon Lee (and Euforia, to a much lesser extent) was showcased as the star of the quartet. In addition, the shadiest portion of the tournament was when Dragon Lee received a surge of fan votes right before the semifinal round ended, saving him from elimination at the last moment.

CMLL’s plans were fouled up by fans of Titan voting for him many times in the public balloting. It was enough to advance Titan from the semifinals to the final four despite a losing record, and it was enough to get Titan to the final match despite another losing record and his only win coming on a reversed decision. CMLL appears to have realized Titan was going to be in the final and decided a natural final against rudo Euforia would be better than one where Dragon Lee might be exposed. The final round was booked accordingly, though there are a lot of peculiar booking decisions in retrospect (Diamante beating both Dragon Lee just before he was to become Mistico and beating Titan right before he went to the final.) In the end, and despite his evident popularity, Titan appears to be least likely to get anything out of this tournament of the four finalists. Third place Dragon Lee is now Mistico. Fourth place Diamante has a new Santo/Zorro Plateado look. Second place Euforia is the expected favorite to beat Titan and get that beach trip and title shot, though a Titan win still is possible.

Dragon Lee’s next scheduled match is Sunday, in Arena Coliseo, on a match that is scheduled to be streamed live on Terra.com. Dragon Lee could be in the new identity then, though they may hold it off until his next Arena Mexico appearance.

Changing Dragon Lee to Mistico is a desperate move. It is highly unlikely to fix anything, and misunderstands why Mistico was so popular in the first place.  It was never as much about the specific name and mask as CMLL seems to believe. A new Mistico pushed and booked like the original might work, but would require a lucahdor as sensactional and steady as the original. Dragon Lee got this far based on his ability and willingness to do spectacular moves, but has proven to be anything but steady. There were, and are, many people better qualified for the position. It will take outstanding effort by Dragon Lee’s opponents to make this work.

(the rest of the news from the press conference to follow)

18 thoughts on “Dragon Lee is CMLL’s new Mistico

  1. Out of all the talent on the roster, CMLL chooses Dragon Lee to be the new Mistico ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Fuck You CMLL ! Fuck You !!!

  2. It has been a long time since the original Mistico left. So why come out now with a fake now? Maybe a merch deal? Or maybe they figure the real one is not working out in WWE and will be coming home soon, and they’re planning ahead for Mistico vs. Mistico next year.

  3. This was one of those moments when you either fly or fall off a cliff… and hand over the mother of all “screw you’s!”. Nothing flew.

    If CMLL wanted Dragon Lee to be seen AGAIN as such a star, it would have made more sense to hold the annointment “ceremony” in front of the live crowd at the “En busca de un ídolo” final and have Dragon Lee decline saying at the top of his teenage voice: “Me siento muy honrado pero Místico es un gran personaje y yo quiero seguir mi propio camino por respeto a mi mismo y a todo este público que merece lo mejor siempre.”

    I am marking my calendar: June 20, 2012. What a sad day :(

  4. I’d be surprised if Sin Cara leaves WWE anytime soon. Yeah he struggled a bunch during his debut and the subsequent months but he seems to be more comfortable in the ring since his comeback last month. Course I could be wrong but WWE needs a Mysterio replacement and Cara is the best option they have right now.

  5. @Wirehead: I didn’t even see Sin Cara merch at Nassau Coliseum on Monday. I hope he works out, but I can see why some might look at him now and think he could be gone next year. I don’t think WWE wants another high-risk always injured guy on the payroll. If he gets hurt again I don’t see how he’ll keep his job.

  6. Yeah if Cara screws up again, intentionally or unintentionally, he’s done. They should just team up Rey and Cara to start and eventually build up to a singles match between the two.

  7. @LLL: That reminds me I was looking on WWE shop the other day and it seems they’ve discontinued his masks, though they still sale his robe (Has anyone other than Vengador Radioactivo actually bought one?).

  8. Dumb. Dragon Lee might not be the best wrestler in the world, but he is a youngster, and he shows promise. He has the family ties that should lead him towards a solid career path.

    All this has done is take a young guy that has potential a few years down the line, and burn him. CMLL is going to just massively shove Lee up the card just like he was Mistico, and when business doesn’t pick up like it did when Mistico was at his peak, they will either sandbag the gimmick and blame it on Lee (dooming him to purgatory forever), or they will just keep pushing him refusing to believe they were wrong.

    And that is just if Lee is passable. Unless Lee somehow is amazing and jaws drop all over Arena Mexico, he will not live up to expectations. He could be as good as Sombra and it won’t be good enough. If he is the level of Magnus in the ring, it could be a long four or five years for CMLL…

    I don’t get why CMLL didn’t take a different approach to this from the start. Why not figure out some way to team Averno/Lee in the relevos incredibles tournament earlier in the year, and follow that up with Lee being a pesky thorn in Averno’s side? Then when Lee finally turns the tide on Averno, trot out ol’ Fray and have him give the thumbs up to Lee? That would work out a lot better than simply having a guy who didn’t win a popularity contest start working the gimmick of the most popular young wrestler in the past decade for no apparent reason. Plus, you get even more mileage of Averno as he makes his way out the door (if he is truly leaving).

  9. @LLL:

    I saw Sin Cara masks at NXT last week. Of course, he was in one of the main events and was pretty over.

    I don’t see new Mistico lasting long. They should bring him in as a rudo because no way will he get cheered.

  10. Man, this puts a ton of pressure on Lee. Even if he handles it well I’m surprised they didn’t wait until an unknown could maybe handle the character. I mean, there’s only ONE Mistico so why not let Lee just be himself?

  11. @Tim: I was suprised to see no masks for sale or in the crowd at Nassau Coliseum. It was weird hearing people blurt out “Feed Me More” but no sign of Sin Cara support.

    Sometimes an item sells out fast. For example when I got to Nassau there was a big stack of the new ECW DVD for $10 and by the time Superstars finished taping just before 9p they were completely sold out.

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