AEW recently announced a new partnership with one of the oldest wrestling companies in Mexico, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). Last Friday, CMLL released a statement about partnering with AEW. Tony Khan commented about being very excited about partnering with them.
The first match under the new partnership was CMLL World Historic Middleweight Champion Mistico versus CMLL World Historic Welterweight Champion Rocky Romero. Neither title was on the line in the grudge match. It was dubbed “Mexico’s Pound for Pound Crown”.
Mistico and Romero have been beefing since the 2023 Grand Prix International Final when Romero damaged Mistico’s trophy and disparaged him. At CMLL’s 90th Anniversary event, Romero attacked Mistico following a trios match they were both in. Romero went so far as to rip Mistico’s mask.
Following their match being taped after Dynamite, CMLL released another statement to express gratitude to AEW and Tony Khan. “We wish to reiterate our firm intention so that the collaboration between CMLL and AEW is fruitful and beneficial for both parties, and could be the beginning of a solid alliance.”
Fans may recognize Mistico as the first Sin Cara in WWE. Since returning to CMLL, he has been one of their most popular luchadors. Just the announcement of his match on Rampage seemingly led to 2100+ tickets being sold (reduced ticket prices likely contributed as well). As soon as his music hit, the crowd was hot.
The match was 2 out of 3 falls with Mistico winning the first fall. Romero played up being the heel in a company where he’s always been the babyface. He leaned into rudo behavior, including ripping his opponent’s mask again. Mistico enjoyed the adoration of the Texas fans all match long.
Romero evened the falls at 1-1 via a pin. The wrestlers were very familiar with each other’s game and had counter after counter for their opponent. In the end, Mistico got the second fall by pinning his opponent. The match was a fantastic showcase of both wrestlers.
AEW having a relationship with CMLL is a huge deal. They still enjoy a relationship with AAA, so long as wrestlers from the rival promotions don’t appear on the same show, it should work out. With the announcement of a relationship comes requests for Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson to wrestle at Arena Mexico. Many fans hope to see Stephanie Vaquer go toe-to-toe with AEW’s best women.
As we’ve seen with AEW’s relationship with NJPW, the Forbidden Door opens up so many possibilities. It’s good to be a wrestling fan in 2023.