With WWE having recently shortened his ring name from Andrade “Cien” Almas to just plain Andrade, it now appears that the company has further plans for the SmackDown Live star formerly known in his native Mexico as La Sombra. According to a pair of new reports, WWE is planning a babyface turn for Andrade, and might also align him with veterans Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, giving the blue brand a new three-man stable at some point in the near future.
The rumored face turn was first reported by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, as Dave Meltzer wrote this week that there’s a chance WWE will book Andrade as a top babyface star in 2019 and start doing so by ending his ongoing feud with Mysterio. As cited by WrestlingNews.co, this would allow Andrade and Mysterio to form a new tag team, with the younger Andrade “getting the rub” from his veteran teammate and the duo effectively strengthening SmackDown Live’s tag team division.
As further noted by Meltzer, WWE appears determined to bolster the tag team divisions on both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live in order to keep the wrestlers happy and prevent them from signing with Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks’ new upstart promotion, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), once their contracts come up.
Shortly after the above report was published, another subscriber-only report, this time from PWInsider, suggested that the above plan might involve Andrade switching from a villainous to a heroic role as rumored, but this time joining forces with both Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Per Wrestling Inc., this could hint at the formation of a three-man babyface faction, though it’s still unclear at this point whether the group will also involve Andrade’s erstwhile manager, Zelina Vega.
“[Vega] is a great heel but they typically don’t pair babyface teams/stables with managers so it will be interesting to see what her role will be,” WrestlingNews.co speculated.
Regardless of the type of group Andrade ends up joining, it appears that WWE is grooming the 29-year-old grappler to become the company’s next great Hispanic babyface, much like the late Eddie Guerrero was for most of the first half of the 2000s. However, the new reports also came after rumors suggested that Andrade, who has mostly been booked as a mid-card performer on SmackDown Live, had warned another Mexican wrestler about potentially signing with WWE. Per Fightful, recent Ring of Honor signee Rush had previously considered joining WWE, only for Andrade to allegedly caution him that the company “wasn’t what it was cracked up to being.”