The man formerly known as "La Sombra" almost went back to Mexico. Little did he know of future that awaited him in NXT.
"El Ídolo", the current NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas has made a complete 360 with his NXT career. With the addition of Zelina Vega as his manager, the former CMLL superstar has become the top guy on the NXT brand. Speaking with Milenio which is a major news publication in Mexico, Almas shared that he misses home very much, but he had to leave in order to fulfill his dreams.
"I miss everything, fight here, the friends, the unruly, my family and the food, but I knew that to succeed and fulfill my dreams I needed to leave Mexico," Almas stated.
Early on in Andrade's WWE career, things were not panning out the way that he imagined. Coming off of an amazing run in CMLL and a 50-day IWGP Intercontinental Title reign, transitioning to WWE and waiting around for an opportunity could be degrading for any wrestler. Andrade stated that he considered returning to Mexico, but his friend and former two-time WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio convinced him to tough it out and continue chasing the dream.
"When I came to WWE I thought about going back because of the lack of opportunities and criticism, but I talked to Alberto del Río and he told me to stand up for my chance and I kept fighting for what I wanted."
The current NXT Champion appeared at the #7 spot in the 2018 Men's Royal Rumble match and had a good showing. He was able to mix it up with a few main roster stars, and a few who he stood in the ring with are his WrestleMania dream opponents.
"My ideal fight would be in a WrestleMania, against whom, I do not know. There are many figures in wrestling, but I would like to face Triple H or John Cena," Almas revealed. "Currently one of the figures I would like to face would be Roman Reigns".
Almas being fortunate enough to compete in Mexico, Japan, and the United States has given him a great deal of experience on how to deal with different types of fans and how to please a specific type of crowd.
"The fans from Japan, the United States and Mexico are very different. Cultures are very different everywhere, but it will never be the same as my country."
The former IWGP Intercontinental Champion is currently at the top of the NXT mountain. He plans to stay on top and is making the effort everyday in hopes of being the best in the world at what he does.
"I train every day with the intention of being better. I try hard and I do not know if someday they'll call me legend, I want to do things as well as possible and if it happens, that's good". Almas expressed.
Andrade has been the NXT Champion for four months now, but his next challenger is lurking in the shadows and can be just as forceful in the ring as Almas can. At NXT TakeOver: New Orleans on April 7th, Andrade "Cien" Almas will have his toughest task yet as he defends the NXT Championship against the 2017 NXT male competitor of the year, Aleister Black.