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CMLL's top star Mistico signs with WWE

In the biggest pro wrestling story of 2011 so far, Mistico, the top star of CMLL in Mexico, has signed with WWE according to the cover story of the newest issue of Super Luchas (via The Cubs Fan's Lucha Blog).  He had a closed doors tryout with WWE a few years ago and they were impressed by him, but contract issues kept WWE from signing him.  Presumably, those issues were gone when he tried out again this past October.  With CMLL business down the last several months and the success of Alberto Del Rio (the former Dos Caras Jr.) giving hope to Mexican wrestlers who felt going to WWE was a bad idea, it seemed like a better idea for Mistico to make a move to either AAA (CMLL's rival) or WWE.  CMLL owns the gimmick, at least in Mexico, so it should be interesting to see how he's re-gimmicked in WWE, especially if they hope to push him heavily on their tours south of the border.

After the experiences of The Mexicools (Super Crazy, Juventud Guerrera, and the original Psicosis/Nicho el Millionario) and others, many Mexican wrestlers had been hesitant to deal with WWE.  Meanwhile, WWE has been looking for a Rey Mysterio replacement for when his injuries completely catch up to him.  Alberto Del Rio and Hunico (the original Mistico/Mystico from Juarez, who's in developmental at the moment) were signed as part of the effort to make a new Mexican star.  Del Rio breaking out came as a shock.  On one hand, he's tall with a good physique and speaks English.  On the other, he was never especially impressive in Mexico as a worker or a draw, and he was new to wrestling without a mask.  In developmental, he was a bland babyface.  Somehow, when he was called up to the main roster and given a gimmick that parodied the real-life persona of his uncle, Mil Mascaras, everything clicked, and he turned into a really solid heel with great facial expressions.  In Mexico, the idea that Dos Caras Jr. is now getting a huge push in WWE was a big shock to the system, and that changed a lot of people's feelings, even though his size and English speaking ability makes him a rare commodity.

As far as Mistico goes, he's a second generation wrestler with almost 13 years of experience.  In 2003, looking for a change, CMLL surveyed its fans, who wanted more new stars.  The first attempt at a big push of one of the younger wrestlers was given to Genetico, who was re-dubbed Sagrado, doing a devout Catholic gimmick where he was pushed as a protege of Father Fray Tormenta, the famous wrestling priest.  Sagrado wasn't ready and bombed on top, so they held off for a year and re-did essentially the same gimmick with Astro Boy becoming Mistico.  As a charismatic, spectacular high flyer who hit his spots with impressive accuracy, he got over huge, starting a new boom period for CMLL, and he was in demand all over the country from independent promoters (in Mexico, the major offices book their stars out to the indy promoters), working a very busy schedule.  Thanks to his success, his contemporaries like Volador Jr. also got a boost up the totem pole.