Dragon Lee debuted for AEW last summer, then signed with WWE in December despite interest from Tony Khan.
Bandido was said to have received an AEW contract offer the night he debuted on television last September, but didn’t sign with them until a couple months later while he weighed a WWE offer.
Komander debuted on Dynamite this past Wednesday (Mar. 1), showing off and showing out in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match eventually won by Powerhouse Hobbs. Lo and behold, the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter tells us the much buzzed about luchador “was not under contract when put on the show and is very much on WWE radar.”
While it’s true Komander, like Bandido & Dragon Lee before him, were almost certainly on WWE’s radar before appearing on TBS, there does seem to be a pattern here. I’ll let someone who follows the lucha libre scene closer than I do break that down for you:
with Dragon Lee and Bandido, WWE had contact with them over the years, the heat just got turned up after they appeared on AEW TV w/o contract— luchablog (@luchablog) March 3, 2023
I'm sure Komander was on a list somewhere, but suddenly moved to the top of it last Friday
(“Lauderdale” is GCW owner Brett, CIMA has handled booking for Dragon Gate and other smaller promotions in the Asian market, and “S. Dragon” is PWG founder Super Dragon. Komander wrestled for all three last year.)
We’ll see what happens with Komander. In the Observer, Dave Meltzer points out he’s under contract to KAOZ — a Mexican indie Konnon is affiliated with — and AEW or WWE would need that promotion’s permission to sign him. KAOZ works with AAA, who’s a partner of Tony Khan’s... but that didn’t give them the inside track on Dragon Lee, so it’s probably worth keeping tabs on rumors about those relationships while thinking about U.S. landing spots for lucha libre talent.
A potential twist to this story, should Komander end up signing with Triple H & company? He wasn’t even TK’s first choice for Wednesday’s show. Meltzer writes that AEW wanted AAA Mega champ (and Kenny Omega dream opponent) El Hijo de Vikingo, but was told he wasn’t available.
Let us know where you see Komander eventually ending up, and if AEW should start signing these guys before debuting them or if it’s no big deal considering how deep the market for talented wrestlers is these days.