WWE has landed one of the biggest names in Mexican lucha libre.
Dragon Lee, an elite in-ring worker, signed a deal with WWE earlier this month and will start with the promotion in January, he told ESPN.
Lee finished Wednesday with Mexico’s Lucha Libre AAA promotion, a tag team match with his brother Dralistico against FTR for the AAA tag team titles. The plan, he said, was to start with WWE in January, starting with the NXT developmental brand.
Lee, a 27-year-old who wrestles under a mask, has been champion of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Ring of Honor, AAA and CMLL, Mexico’s oldest promotion. He comes from a family of wrestlers. Lee’s father is a luchador named La Bestia del Ring. Lee recently teamed up with his brother Dralistico in Mexico and another brother, Rush, is performing for AEW. He will be moving with his family to Orlando in the near future for the opportunity with WWE.
Lee’s signing is notable as WWE continues to expand globally with a push into developmental territories in several more countries in 2023. Latin America is a priority for the promotion, sources said. Shawn Michaels, the legendary former champion and now WWE’s senior vice president of creative talent development who runs NXT, recently mentioned that the promotion is considering an NXT branch in Mexico.
“Dragon Lee is a terrific talent who will immediately add value to the NXT roster,” said WWE Head of Talent Strategy and Operations James Kimball. “This signing reflects WWE’s renewed focus on globalizing our talent pool with Latin America positioned as a core market.”
Although he had a match with Rush and his close friend Andrade at AEW in August, Lee said being in WWE was still the “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.
“I think I can be the new Rey Mysterio in WWE,” Lee said. “I just need an opportunity.”
Lee said he had spoken with former WWE talent relations manager Canyon Ceman in the past, but the ball picked up after a conversation with WWE star Finn Balor a few months ago. Lee then worked with WWE strategy and talent development specialists James Kimball and Trent Wilfinger on his way to signing a contract in early December.
“[Balor] said to me, ‘Do you want to be in WWE?'” Lee said with a laugh. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure. Why not?’ … It was something special for me.”
One of Lee’s goals, he said, was to work towards becoming a more well-rounded artist. In the ring, he is one of the best wrestlers in the world with the ability to work different styles, from lucha libre to hard hitting style to a technical mat-based match. Lee said he worked diligently on his English and his ability to connect with fans on the microphone.
“It’s my challenge to find out more about promos,” Lee said. “You’ll never stop learning in pro wrestling. But every time you wrestle, you learn. But about promos, it’s something new for me. I’d like to learn something new, how to become not just a wrestler – an artist.”