Little known fact sports fans; a non Mexican luchador doesn’t stop being a luchador when he or she leaves Mexico to go work elsewhere, especially when much of their success in so entwined with lucha libre. I bring this up because it’s a big day for someone many lucha fans know and love. According to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, All Elite Wrestling announced the signing of former AAA and Lucha Underground star Angelico. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it’s expected the deal is for multiple years, as many of the other AEW contracts have been reported.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the now 32 year old luchador has spent the last few years wrestling in Europe, working for well know promotions like wXw in Germany (where he was a former wXw Shotgun Champion), Progress and Revolution Pro Wrestling in England and Insane Championship Wrestling in Scotland. His claim to fame however was an eight year run in Mexico, where he received training from Último Dragón in Toryumon Mexico and later from lucha legend Negro Navarro. He worked for IWRG for three years before joining AAA full time in 2013. There he became one of the most beloved international stars in the promotion, winning the AAA World Tag Team Championships with partner Jack Evans on three occasions while wowing fans with his high flying, striking and mat work. He would leave AAA in 2017 after relocating to Barcelona, Spain in order to pursue work overseas.
Perhaps the best thing his AAA run led to however was a spot on Lucha Underground, where he debuted in 2015. After starting out as a cocky rudo, he would eventually become one third of AAA’s most popular, and dysfunctional, trio alongside Ivelisse and Son of Havoc (Matt Cross). They would go onto become the inaugural Lucha Underground Trios Champions and would win the titles twice, the most in company history. Their first title victory, over The Crew (Bael, Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco) was highlighted by Angelico hitting a running crossbody off Dario Cueto’s office, the first of four incredible dives from death defying heights Angelico would hit. The dive has since become known as one of the most iconic moments in Lucha Underground history and arguably the best moment of Angelico’s career.
Unfortunately, despite Angelico’s popularity and numerous big plans for him by Lucha Underground creative (as shared by writers Chris DeJoseph and Chris Roach on at least one podcast), his momentum in LU was ultimately derailed by injuries that kept him out of the second half of season two and the bulk of season three. He did not return for season four and announced his departure from the promotion on April 10th. Rumors have circulated since that Angelico would be sought by WWE, both because WWE tried to sign him and Evans in the fall of 2015 (he declined in order to remain with Lucha Underground) and because he had impressed many in the company, including Seth Rollins, during his appearances at PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles that year. In his report, Satin stated WWE had been interested in signing Angelico to NXT but instead decided to not get in a bidding war with AEW. Thus Angelico will now be joining the promotion of old rivals The Young Bucks, who he and Evans fought during their brief PWG stay (both teams have expressed desire for a rematch since). It’s unknown if Angelico will be working any AAA events in the future, though the relationship between AAA and AEW does open the door for a return.
Update: Los Gueros Del Cielo are reuniting! In a video posted on Twitter, Angelico officially announced he was joining AEW and revealed he isn’t coming alone, as current AAA and former Lucha Underground star Jack Evans will be joining him. This will officially reunite the former three time AAA Tag Team Champions, who have actually not teamed together since an independent show in Illinois in August of 2017, as well as put them on Primetime TV as The Wrap has just reported AEW will indeed be shown on TNT in the fall. Lucha Central congratulates to both Angelico and Jack on this awesome development.