Mexican lucha libre star Dragon Lee signs deal with WWE

WWE has taken over one of the top titles in Mexican lucha libre.

Dragon Lee, a top performer, signed a deal with WWE earlier this month and will start with the promotion in January, he told ESPN.

Lee finished Wednesday with the Lucha Libre AAA of Mexico promotion, a tag team match with his brother Dralistico against FTR for the AAA tags. The program, he said, would begin with WWE in January, starting with the development brand NXT.

Lee, a 27-year-old who fights under a mask, has been a champion in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Ring of Honor, AAA and CMLL, the former promotion in Mexico. He comes from a wrestling family. Lee’s father is a luchador called La Bestia del Ring. Lee has been teaming up with his brother Dralistico in Mexico lately and another brother, Rush, works for AEW. He will take his family to Orlando in the near future for an opportunity with WWE.

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Lee’s signing comes as WWE continues to expand globally with a push to move into development centers in several other countries in 2023. Latin America is the most important development, sources said. Shawn Michaels, the former legendary wrestler and current WWE vice president of talent development running NXT, said recently that the promotion is looking at the NXT Mexico branch.

“Dragon Lee is a tremendous talent who will be a valuable addition to the NXT roster,” James Kimball, WWE’s head of talent development and operations, said. “This signing reflects WWE’s new emphasis on marketing our talent pipeline and the Latin American market.”

Although he had a match with Rush and close friend Andrade in AEW back in August, Lee said that being in WWE was always a “dream” and he wants to follow in the footsteps of the legends he saw growing up, like Michaels, Batista and, of course, Rey Mysterio Jr., the most famous masked luchador of all time.

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“I think I can be the new Rey Mysterio in WWE,” Lee said. “I just want the opportunity.”

Lee said he had spoken in the past with former WWE talent judge Canyon Ceman, but the ball started moving again after a conversation with WWE star Finn Balor a few months ago. Lee then worked with James Kimball and Trent Wifinger, WWE talent strategy and development mavens, on the way to signing a contract in early December.

“[Balor] he told me, ‘Would you like to be in WWE?'” Lee said with a laugh. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure. Why not?’ … It was a special thing for me.”

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One of Lee’s goals, he said, was to work on becoming a well-rounded player. In the ring, he is one of the best competitors in the world with the ability to work different styles from lucha libre to heavy-hitting strong styles to technical, mat-based matches. Lee said he has been working hard on his English and his ability to connect with fans on the microphone.

“It’s my challenge to learn more about promos,” Lee said. “You never graduate in pro wrestling. But every time you wrestle, you learn. But about promos, it’s a new thing for me. I want to learn something new, to stop being just a wrestler — a singer.”

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