Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza (November 3, 1989), better known under the ring name La Sombra (Spanish for "The Shadow") is the ring name of a Mexican luchador, or professional wrestler signed with American promotion WWE under the ring name Andrade "Cien" Almas, where he is the current NXT Champion in his first reign. He is the son of Jose Andrade Salasa, who wrestles as Brillante. La Sombra made his professional wrestling debut a month before his 14th birthday and worked initially as Brillante Jr. (Spanish for "Diamond Jr.") after his father who wrestled under the name "Brillante" for part of his career.
In 2007 he began working for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) as La Sombra and has met with in ring success as he has won the 2007 Torneo Gran Alternativa tournament, the 2011 Universal Championship and at one point he was a triple champion; holding the Mexican National Trios Championship, NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship and CMLL World Tag Team Championship at the same time. He has also made appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he is a former IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
He is one of the founders members of the Los Ingobernables ("the Unruly") group along with Rush, La Máscara and Marco Corleone. The Ingobernables group straddles the traditional roles of the "good guys" and "bad guys" in lucha libre as they are basically against anyone who is not a part of Los Ingobernables. In his career he has won the masks of El Felino, Olímpico and Volador Jr. by defeating his opponents in Lucha de Apuestas, or bet matches, to force them to unmask.
Professional wrestling career
Working for his family's wrestling promotion Andrade used the name "Brillante Jr." from 2003 through early 2007. During that period of time he got involved in a storyline rivalry with his uncle who wrestled as "Zafio", leading to his first ever Lucha de Apuestas, or bet match. By defeating Zafiro he won his first headline match, forcing Zafiro to have all his hair shaved off after the match per lucha libre traditions. He would later win another Lucha de Apuestas match, forcing the masked wrestler Camorra to unmask in the middle of the ring and reveal his real name. During this time period Andrade also competed as the enmascarado (masked) characters "Guerrero Azteca" ("Aztec Warrior") and "Rey Azteca" ("Aztec King") on occasion.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
Various storylines (2007–2014)
In 2007 he signed with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), and began training under CMLL head trainer El Satánico. He made his CMLL in ring debut on February 27, working as "Brillante" just like his father had. In June CMLL changed his name, rechristening him La Sombra ("The Shadow"). CMLL previously had other people work under the name "La Sombra" in the 1980s and 1990s; CMLL did not promote the most recent La Sombra as having any relation to the previous incarnations at all. His family relationship was acknowledged as he began wrestling in a black and silver version of his father's mask.
La Sombra quickly moved up the ranks of CMLL in the months after his debut. The first sign of CMLL putting their faith in La Sombra came when he teamed up with CMLL's main good guy (known as a "técnico" in Spanish) Místico for their annual Torneo Gran Alternativa ("Great Alternative Tournament") where a rookie and a veteran team up. La Sombra and Místico defeated Heavy Metal and Super Nova in the first round, Dr. Wagner Jr. and Mascara Purpura in the semi-final and the team of Último Guerrero and Euforia in the finals to win the 2007 Tornero Gran Alternativa. The following month, La Sombra teamed up with El Sagrado and Volador Jr. to defeat Mr. Águila, Damián 666, and Halloween, collectively known as Los Perros del Mal ("The Bad Dogs"), to win the Mexican National Trios Championship. On November 27, 2007, La Sombra added the NWA World Welterweight Championship to his collection when he defeated Hajime Ohara to win the title; his victory made him the youngest wrestler to hold the championship, winning it at the age of 18. Throughout 2008 La Sombra was busy defending both titles successfully. On January 16, 2009, La Sombra became a triple champion as he teamed up with Volador Jr. to defeat Averno and Mephisto to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship. La Sombra was only a triple champion for just over two weeks, until February 3, when Sangre Azteca, Black Warrior, and Dragón Rojo Jr., collectively known as Poder Mexica ("Mexican Power") defeated La Sombra, Volador, and Sagrado to win the Mexican National Trios Championship. On May 27, 2009 La Sombra lost the NWA World Welterweight Championship to Mephisto.
In early 2010 La Sombra began a storyline feud with El Felino. The feud began on February 2, 2010, during a singles match between El Felino and La Sombra; when tied at one fall each, Puma King, El Felino's son, showed up wearing an El Felino outfit and mask, distracting both the referee and La Sombra long enough for El Felino to land a low blow on La Sombra to win the match. The two met in a Lighting match (a one fall, 10 minute time limit match) on the February 19 CMLL Super Viernes show. Once again Puma King tried to help his uncle, but this time the referee disqualified El Felino for the transgression. La Sombra and El Felino continued to feud, both interfering in a match between Volador Jr. and Místico. The storyline led to Místico, Volador Jr., La Sombra and El Felino being booked in a four-way Lucha de Apuestas match as the main event of the 2010 2010 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas ("Homage to Two Legends") show. La Sombra was the first man pinned at Dos Leyendas and El Felino was the second, forcing the two to compete with their masks on the line. La Sombra pinned El Felino, forcing him to unmask and reveal his real name.
On May 14, 2010, La Sombra teamed up with Máscara Dorada and La Máscara to defeat the then CMLL World Trios Champions La Ola Amarilla (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Okumura, and Taichi) in a non-title match to earn a shot at the Championship the following week. One week later the trio defeated Ola Amarilla again, ending the Japanese trios title reign after just two weeks. On July 12, 2010, at the Promociones Gutiérrez 1st Anniversary Show La Sombra participated in a match where 10 men put their mask on the line in a match that featured five pareja incredibles ("Incredible Pairs") teams, with the losing team being forced to wrestle each other with their mask on the line. His partner in the match was Histeria, facing off against the teams of Atlantis and Olímpico, Místico and El Oriental, El Alebrije and Volador Jr., Último Guerrero and Averno. La Sombra and Histeria were the first team to escape the match and retain their masks. While La Sombra had travelled to Japan to participate in the 2010 Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) tournament Volador Jr. had begun showing rudo signs, but when La Sombra returned the two teamed up, seemingly without any problems.
Sombra and Volador Jr. lost the CMLL World Tag Team Championship to the Los Invasores team of Mr. Águila and Héctor Garza on July 23, 2010, again without any signs of dissension between the two. During a later show Volador Jr. finally turned rudo when he attacked La Sombra and tore his mask off, provoking a feud between the two former partners. La Sombra entered the 2010 Universal Championship tournament and qualified for the finals when he won "Block A" on the July 30, 2010 Super Viernes show by defeating Mephisto, El Texano Jr., and Último Guerrero. In the finals Jushin Thunder Liger, with help from Okumura at ringside, defeated La Sombra to claim the tournament trophy. The unresolved issues between La Sombra and Volador Jr. as well as La Sombra and Jushin Thunder Liger led to all three wrestlers being booked in the main event of the CMLL 77th Anniversary Show, a 14-man steel cage Lucha de Apuestas, mask vs. mask match. The match came down to Olímpico and La Sombra after the other 12 men had escaped the cage; La Sombra pinned Olímpico to force him to unmask.
On March 13, 2011, La Sombra defeated Mephisto to win the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship. On July 15, La Generación Dorada lost the CMLL World Trios Championship to Los Hijos del Averno (Averno, Ephesto and Mephisto). On September 2, La Sombra entered CMLL's annual tournament of champions, the Universal Championship tournament. After defeating Mexican National Trios Champions Ángel de Oro and Diamante in his first two matches, La Sombra defeated NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion Rey Bucanero in his block's finals to advance to the tournament finals. On September 16, La Sombra defeated Averno to become the 2011 Universal Champion. On February 13, 2012, La Sombra lost the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship to Negro Casas, ending his reign at 337 days. On November 28, 2012 La Sombra won the advanced category in CMLL's annual bodybuilding contest. On December 14, La Sombra defeated Tama Tonga to win the 2012 La Copa Junior Tournament in the main event of CMLL's 2012 Sin Piedad ("No Mercy") show.
On February 15, 2013, La Sombra defeated Volador Jr. to win the 2013 Reyes del Aire tournament. Following their clash over the Reyes del Aire trophy Volador Jr. and La Sombra were teamed up for the 2013 Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles tournament, the same tournament that in 2010 was the impetus for Volador Jr.'s rudo turn. The rivals put their issues aside for the tournament, defeating the teams of Guerrero Maya Jr. and Negro Casas, La Máscara and Averno, and Shocker and Mr. Niebla to qualify for the finals of the tournament. On March 15, at the 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show, Volador Jr. and La Sombra defeated Altantis and Último Guerrero to win the Torneo Nacional de Parejas Increibles. The truce between La Sombra and Volador Jr. that allowed them to win the tag team tournament only lasted until the next time the two rivals were in the same ring. On February 17, 2013 La Sombra teamed up with Mark Corleone and Mistico against Volador Jr., Euforia and Último Guerrero. During the match Volador Jr. attacked both La Sombra and the referee, causing a disqualification before leaving the ring and his confused partners behind. On September 13 at CMLL's 80th Anniversary Show, La Sombra and Volador Jr. defeated Atlantis and Último Guerrero in a Relevos Suicidas match and thus advanced to a Mask vs. Mask Lucha de Apuestas against each other. In the end, La Sombra was victorious, forcing his rival to unmask.
Los Ingobernables (2014–2015)
In early 2014, as Volador Jr. turned back to the técnico side, La Sombra formed a partnership with Rush and effectively began working as a rudo, though the two refused to acknowledge themselves as such, instead referring to themselves as "técnicos diferentes" ("a different kind of good guy"). On June 6, La Sombra defeated Volador Jr. with help from Rush and La Máscara to win the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship in a match, where La Sombra's Historic Middleweight Championship was also on the line. The trio of Sombra, Rush and La Máscara was eventually named Los Ingobernables ("The Unruly"). On August 1 at El Juicio Final, La Sombra lost the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship back to Volador Jr. Later in August, La Sombra made it to the finals of the 2014 Universal Championship tournament, before losing to Último Guerrero. On May 1, 2015, La Sombra won the 2015 Reyes del Aire tournament ("Kings of the Air"). On July 21, La Sombra and Rush were involved in an incident in Guadalajara, where the two attacked fans who were throwing beers at them. The following day, Jalisco's Boxing and Wrestling Commission suspended the two from wrestling in the state for three months. While the commission only suspended them from wrestling in Jalisco, CMLL decided to pull both La Sombra and Rush from their Super Viernes show three days later. CMLL did not offer an official explanation for the change.
Over the summer of 2015 Los Ingobernables started to wrestle against tecnico teams instead of generally facing rudo teams as they had been up to that point. In August, 2015 Los Ingobernables found themselves facing off against Atlantis on multiple occasions, often with La Sombra going out of his way to attack Atlantis, tearing Atlantis' mask apart during matches to show his disdain for the veteran tecnico. On August 19, 2015 CMLL held a press conference where they announced that the winner of the main event of the 80th Anniversary, La Sombra, would put his mask on the line against the winner of the main event of the 81st Anniversary Show, Atlantis, in the main event of the CMLL 82nd Anniversary Show on September 18, 2015. On August 31, La Sombra lost the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship to Último Guerrero, ending his two and a half year reign. La Sombra lost the Lucha de Apuestas match to Atlantis. As a result, La Sombra was forced to unmask and reveal his real name. In early November, La Sombra and Rush began having issues with each other, which led to a singles match between the two on November 13, where Rush was victorious. After the match, which turned out to be La Sombra's final with CMLL, the two founding members of Los Ingobernables made peace with each other.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2010–2015)
On May 8, 2010 it was announced that La Sombra had been selected to participate in New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) Best of the Super Juniors XVII (BOSJ) tournament took place between May 30 and June 16, 2010 in Japan. At age 20, this was La Sombra's first trip to Japan as well as his first appearance for NJPW. On May 30, 2010 La Sombra wrestled his first match in the tournament, defeating Tiger Mask. La Sombra also pulled off an upset on the final day of competition by defeating the junior heavyweight wrestling icon, Jushin Thunder Liger. However, he only gained six points in total, which was not enough points to advance to the semi-finals. In November 2010 La Sombra and Máscara Dorada took part in New Japan's five-day-long Super J Tag League. After winning two out of their four matches in the group stage, Sombra and Dorada finished third in their block, missing the finals of the tournament.
La Sombra and Dorada returned to New Japan on January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, where they defeated Jushin Thunder Liger and Héctor Garza in a tag team match, when Sombra pinned Liger, earning a match for Liger's CMLL World Middleweight Championship in the process. La Sombra received his shot at the title on January 22, 2011, at Fantastica Mania 2011, a New Japan and CMLL co–promoted event in Tokyo, Japan, but was defeated by Liger. La Sombra returned to NJPW in August to take part in the 2011 G1 Climax. La Sombra started the tournament by picking up wins over Wataru Inoue and fellow CMLL worker Strong Man, but then went on to lose his remaining seven matches in the tournament, finishing eighth out of the ten wrestlers in his block. La Sombra returned to Japan in January 2012 to take part in the Fantastica Mania 2012 events. In the main event of the second night of the tour, La Sombra successfully defended the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship against Volador Jr. La Sombra returned to New Japan in April to take part in the 2012 New Japan Cup. After defeating Yoshi-Hashi in his first round match, he was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Hirooki Goto.
In January 2013, La Sombra took part in the three-day Fantastica Mania 2013 event. During the second night of the tour, La Sombra unsuccessfully challenged Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. During the third and final night, La Sombra defeated Dragón Rojo Jr. to win the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship. On May 31, 2013, La Sombra defeated Nakamura in a rematch in Mexico City to win the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, becoming the first Mexican to hold that championship. On July 20, he lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back to Nakamura during a tour of Japan. From November 23 to December 6, La Sombra took part in the 2013 World Tag League, where he and Tetsuya Naito finished with a record of three wins and three losses, failing to advance to the semifinals. In January 2014, La Sombra took part in the five-day Fantastica Mania 2014 tour. La Sombra returned to New Japan in November to take part in the 2014 World Tag League, teaming with Tetsuya Naito once more. The team finished in the middle of their block with four wins and three losses. In January 2015, La Sombra returned to Japan to take part in the Fantastica Mania 2015 tour, during which he feuded with Máscara Dorada, culminating in a singles match between the two on January 19, where La Sombra was victorious.
On November 19, 2015, it was announced that Andrade had signed a developmental contract with WWE.
Andrade debuted in 2016, on the February 6 edition of NXT where he defeated Christopher Girard in a singles match. On May 21 at NXT, Andrade debuted his new ring name as Andrade Almas in a title match for the NXT Championship held by Samoa Joe but did not win the title. On September 15, Almas teamed with Cedric Alexander to compete in the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic but they were eliminated in the quarter final by The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson). During the November 30th edition of NXT, Almas competed in a Fatal Four Way Elimination match to name the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship, but was defeated by Bobby Roode, involving Roderick Strong and Tye Dillinger. On that same date however, Almas won a Number One Contendership Qualifying match by defeating No Way Jose.
NXT Champion (2017-present)
Almas won the NXT Championship after defeating Drew McIntyre on November 18 at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. During the inaugural USA Network broadcast of the December 13th edition of NXT, Almas successfully retained his NXT Championship against Fabian Aichner.
Andrade was born on November 3, 1989 in Gómez Palacio, Durango, Mexico, the son of Jose Andrade Salas. He became part of the third generation of the Andrade family to compete in lucha libre. His grandfather, Jose Andrade, wrestled under the ring name "El Moro", his father works as Brillante, his uncles wrestled under the names Diamante/Moro III (Sergio Andrade), Zafiro/Pentagoncito (real name unrevealed), Kevin (Juan Andrade), Espanto Jr./Pentagón (Jesus Andrade), Espiritu Magico (Juan Andrade) and one of his cousins works as the current Espanto Jr. (real name unrevealed) Due to the secretive nature of lucha libre, where they often do not reveal the real names of masked wrestlers, it is possible that some of Andrade's siblings or cousins are also professional wrestlers. With his father, uncles and grandfather being involved in running a local lucha libre promotion and school in Durango Andrade began training for a professional career from an early age, initially by playing around with his father and uncles, but later began to train seriously for a career in the wrestling ring. He made his professional wrestling debut on October 3, 2003, a month before his 14th birthday, but only after his father signing a waiver for the local boxing and wrestling commission to issue him a license. He began working under the ring name Brillante Jr. in honor of his father. Andrade was previously in a relationship with fellow professional wrestler Sarah Stock.
- Finishing moves
- As La Sombra
- Brillante Driver / Shadow Driver / Sombra Driver (Schoolboy suplex)
- Split-legged corkscrew senton, sometimes preceded by a forward fireman's carry slam
- As Andrade Almas
- La Sombra (Hammerlock DDT)
- Running double knee smash to an opponent seated in the corner
- As La Sombra
- Signature moves
- "El Centinela del Espacio" (Spanish for "The Space Sentinel")
- "El Ídolo" (Spanish for "The Idol")
- "CMLL no Prince" (Japanese for "Prince of CMLL") (NJPW)
- "Cien" ("One Hundred")
Championships and accomplishments
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- CMLL World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Volador, Jr.
- CMLL World Trios Championship (1 time) – with Máscara Dorada and La Máscara
- Mexican National Trios Championship (1 time) – with El Sagrado and Volador, Jr.
- NWA World Welterweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship (2 times)
- Torneo Gran Alternativa: 2007 – with Místico
- CMLL Tag Team of the Year (2009) – with Volador, Jr.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #91 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
Luchas de apuestas record
|Mask||Briliante, Jr.||Camorra||Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico||November 2006|
|Hair||Briliante, Jr.||Zafiro (II)||Gómez Palacio, Durango, Mexico||2006|
|Mask||La Sombra||El Felino||Mexico City, Mexico||March 19, 2010|
|Mask||La Sombra||Olímpico||Mexico City||September 3, 2010||At the CMLL 77th Anniversary Show.|