Prior to 2017, Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas was floundering on the NXT roster, failing to connect with fans. The former La Sombra had a difficult time fitting in on the roster, but that all changed with the addition of Zelina Vega.
However, before his turn around, the NXT Champion was thinking about leaving the WWE but was talked into staying by none other than Alberto El Patron. Originally, Patron stated back in 2017 that he had talked to Almas in an interview with Mas Lucha.
I talked to my good friend Manny [Andrade Almas] and poor guy, he wants to come back. Unfortunately, when you go into that company, you have to abide by their rules. That’s just how it is.
It’s the nature of our business. I always put it like this. There is a problem with all the talent that goes there, it’s the inability to speak the language. They have the talent but when you go work for a company like this, you have to, I say this, something my great mentor Dean Malenko would tell me. Everything you know, forget it, delete the tape. You are starting from nothing.
Use one of the moves or things that will help get you over but forget about lucha libre. Lucha libre will not work here. You will never be anything if you focus and stick to being a luchador in WWE.
Patron went on to say that he told Almas he would have to change himself and adapt to the system to be successful. It seems to have worked, just as Patron had said, as Almas has put on killer matches with guys like Johnny Gargano and Drew McIntyre since then. Currently, Cien is on his way to a title defense against Aleister Black at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans.
In an interview with Milenio, Andrade spoke about how Patron’s words kept him in the company. Translation per WrestlingInc.
I miss everything, fighting here, the friends, my family and the food, but I knew that to succeed and fulfill my dreams I needed to leave Mexico. When I came to the WWE, I thought about coming back, because of the lack of opportunities and criticisms. But I talked to Alberto [El Patron] and he told me to stand up for my chance and I kept fighting for what I wanted.
While Andrade Almas looks forward to his fight with Aleister Black, rumors are swirling about El Patron heading back to the WWE, after he stated earlier in the year that he apologized to the company for any prior transgressions. Could we see Patron in the WWE again? And if so, will we see Mexico’s Greatest Export take on the NXT Champion?