WWE could have had one foot in the Mexican wrestling scene as a new report says they tried to purchase the CMLL promotion a few years ago.
CMLL is one of Mexico’s two biggest wrestling companies alongside AAA. Formed in 1933, it is the oldest major wrestling organisation still in existence anywhere in the world.
Dave Meltzer in his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has reported that WWE wasn’t a piece of the wrestling pie in Mexico for itself a few years back and CMLL was the focus of their attention, only for the deal to fall apart over arenas:
“While not known about, there were talks a few years back of WWE buying CMLL. WWE wanted to run Mexico with the idea it could get the cream of the cream talent in Mexico and then groom some of them for the U.S. market. The belief was that if they owned CMLL and got all the top talent, that AAA wouldn’t be able to keep its talent and they’d have the best of both. Where the deal fell apart was for CMLL to sell, they wanted selling the arenas as part of the deal and WWE didn’t want to own so many older arenas.”
It had been rumoured that when WWE began the NXT UK brand that it was to be the first of regional territories throughout the world that would operate under the NXT umbrella. It is unknown if CMLL had been part of those plans but they never got any further than the UK based brand.
Currently, the future of NXT as a whole is the subject of many rumours with the brand seemingly set to undergo major changes.
In 2014 CMLL became only the second wrestling company based in the Americas after WWE to draw a $1 million gate at their 81st Anniversary show. That show was headlined by Atlantis defeating Ultimo Guerrero in a two out of three falls mask vs. mask match.