This past Tuesday on Smackdown, Andrade Cien Almas and Daniel Bryan had a fantastic match, with reactions echoing Almas and Styles’ unexpected clinic on TV in July. He’s been on fire pretty much ever since he turned heel in NXT, acting as the first actually interesting champion since early Balor, but there was trepidation when he was called up. At least he was on the wrong brand to get thrown at Ziggler.
However, fears that he’ll be lost in the shuffle seem to so far be unfounded. Obviously he was untouchable as La Sombra, but the only person to defeat him so far on the main roster has been AJ Styles, and that’s hardly a burial. They’re taking him slow and steady, which is good, but hard to trust. I’m going to choose trust, because it’s more fun that way.
Almas and phenomenal mouthpiece, heel manager, and huricanrana machine Zelina Vega will slowly rack up wins, occasionally having great exhibition showings like this one. He’ll have small but solid feuds with guys like Rusev. And hopefully in a few months, when the time is right and he feels fully credible, Almas will take a title, likely the US Championship.
It helps that he didn’t come up with a completely unattainable level of hype. Of course there was still a ton of it, but it wasn’t a Nakamura situation where the myth was always going to be too big for the man. Almas is unquestionably a future WWE Champion within the next few years. There’s no need to rush. In fact, I’d say Almas has had the most patient, satisfying, and stable call-up in a long time. No crushing expectations, no Roode-esque stripping away of all character, no interminable callup feud with probably Ziggler like everyone else.
Just show up, be a tool with Zelina, have good matches reliably, have a great showing once a month or so, and do the work.
Oh, and keep it Tranquilo. That can’t be overstated.
Image courtesy WWE.com