Bandido has signed with Ring of Honor, will debut in 2019

photo by Josh Garcia/Rudos Photography 

Bandido had a 2018 like few others. He came in a well regarded Mexican prospect virtually unknown elsewhere. Bandido’s 2018 saw him incredibly included in the headline match on the biggest non-WWE US show of the year and in the final of the biggest indie tournament of the year. Bandido will also have a 2019 like no other: he’s the first Mexican wrestler to sign a full-time contract with Ring of Honor.

My understanding is the deal between Bandido & ROH is done. It has not yet been officially announced by Ring of Honor, probably intending it as a surprise similar to how Brody King and PCO were not officially announced prior to appearing on their TV taping Saturday night. (Sorry.) Bandido is expected to start in ROH in early 2019; I’ve been told a couple different dates and I’m not sure which will be his first.

Bandido’s favorite hashtag slogan is #elmasbuscado – The Most Wanted. That was very accurate for him situation the last few months. I’ve heard Bandido received offers from multiple companies, including WWE. Bandido was part of a tryout at the WWE Performance Center a few months ago – one that was never made public – but ultimately decided to pass on going to WWE at this point. Everyone who wrestled on All In appears to be receiving a lot of interest and Ring of Honor looks like they want to continue to be an important destination after the departure of the Elite.

Bandido will be fulfilling most of his already scheduled dates. (When asked, WrestleCon specifically told me he’s still on their WrestleMania show. He’ll surely work the ROH MSG show too.) Bandido will finish up with Dragon Gate at the end of this current tour. Assuming ROH continues to allow their wrestlers to work PWG, I expect Bandido to still be at the Globe. It is theoretically possible Bandido will be used in NJPW, but I haven’t heard anything specific about that happening.

Ring of Honor exclusive deals do not cover Mexico, so he’d be free to continue teaming with Flamita in the Crash and elsewhere. I expect that team to continue. I have no idea where this will leave Bandido with AAA, but my guess he’s not going to be free enough for AAA to do anything with him so they’ll just skip the potential political hassle and move on.

I’m really curious about how CMLL will feel about ROH signing a Mexican wrestler. Bandido did technically start under that name in CMLL and has some ties to that promotion, but this is a deal completely independent of ROH’s deal with CMLL. CMLL wrestlers have appeared in ROH sparingly and someone who left the promotion (and worked for AAA!) getting a full-time spot is going to provoke some feelings.

Again, I expect Flamita & Bandido will keep teaming in Mexico. They won’t be doing in Dragon Gate. If Dragon Gate leaves that spot open for another Mexican wrestler, it becomes the most valuable spot for a wrestler. Bandido being Flamita’s partner got him in that great match with Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz; he never gets to PWG without that match. If Bandido’s never in PWG, and never doing really well in PWG, then Bandido is probably never in the main event of All In, and maybe Ring of Honor doesn’t even know about him. It probably won’t go as well for the next guy – Draztick Boy was really good in Dragon Gate before Bandido and never had a similar moment. Still, there are few paths to make it as an international star out of Mexico. Bandido found one that didn’t seem to exist.