Earlier today, Wrestling Inc reported that Andrade requested his release from WWE on Monday during Raw. I had a post all ready to go highlighting the possibilities of Andrade’s potential post-WWE career. Right before slapping the publish button, F4W.com confirmed the promotion denied his request.
Despite the shifting narrative, there is one primary symptom that influenced today’s events.
The former NXT and United States champion hasn’t wrestled since the 10/12/20 episode of Raw, where he lost to Angel Garza after spending most of last year teaming with him.
In February 2020, Garza made his debut on the main roster on the same day Andrade returned from a 30-day suspension for violating WWE’s wellness policy. They were managed by Zelina Vega, who was released from WWE last November, one month after Andrade lost his last match.
Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the end for Andrade from the moment they paired him with Angel Garza. When comparing the two, Garza is talented, younger, more charismatic, and has a better grasp of the English language.
Andrade and Garza are similar, and when they began teaming, Garza was the prospect, and Andrade was the star. Their differences became apparent and revealed an inconvenient truth. Garza is the performer WWE wanted Andrade to be.
Suddenly, it was Garza who got the segments with The Bachelor contestant. It’s was Garza who won their tag team matches while Andrade took the falls. It was Garza who was drafted to Raw while Andrade was undrafted. Finally, it was Garza who pinned Andrade in their only match to break up the team.
Garza under the learning tree of Andrade seemed like a good idea. In hindsight, WWE never should have put them together. Andrade nor Angel Garza did anything wrong. It was a plan that garnered the opposite result.
What’s next for Andrade is anyone’s guess. WWE could decide to keep him happy and start using him on television. Maybe it’s time to pair Andrade with fiancé Charlotte Flair and see what happens.
Some suggest Andrade return to NXT, where he found great success. However, if rumors of NXT moving to Tuesdays are true, then it all becomes moot. NXT’s sole reason for being on TV was to hurt AEW’s ratings on Wednesdays. Without the ratings war, there is no reason to bolster the back and gold brand.
They could also keep Andrade on ice for the foreseeable future or even the remainder of his contract. It’s never a bad idea for a company like WWE to keep talent on their roster while preventing it from serving the competition.
Andrade’s work in the ring is undeniable. However, he’s not the most engaging character, which is half the battle. While he removed all mentions of WWE from his social media accounts, today, Andrade’s tenure in catering remains unchanged.
**Updated 3/22/21** Andrade was officially granted his release from WWE on 3/21, six days after his publicly requested release was denied. Today, it was reported that Andrade’s release does not come with the usual 90-Day non-compete clause. This means Andrade take bookings ASAP.
There are lots of places for him to go. Mexico, to a certain extent, is out of play at the moment. ROH would be cool but it’s not a big enough platform. AEW has too many wrestlers on their roster and there is a good chance he would get lost in the shuffle, just like he did in WWE. New Japan Pro Wrestling is a place where someone with Andrade’s dynamic talents can rise to the top.