UPDATE: MLW CEO Court Bauer added some extra info on the process, stating that MLW never had contract talks with Dragon Lee. While it was not the articles intention to state that they had, we realized upon further review that one particular sentence that gave the implication that they may have been in talks, which has been removed. We thank Mr. Bauer for the clarification and open dialogue.
MLW has never had contracts talks with Dragon Lee. While I was told I can use other CMLL guys I was uncomfortable doing so. The only CMLL talent ever engaged was Rush. Once the political alliance demonstrated it was ironclad, @MLW moved away from CMLL talent.
— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) January 21, 2019
One of Mexico’s most exciting wrestler, Dragon Lee, will now be exclusive to Ring of Honor, according to a source within ROH. The two sides are in the final stages of a deal that would see the 23-year-old CMLL regular join his brother, Rush, in the Sinclair Broadcasting promotion.
Back when CMLL rudo Rush signed with ROH, it was wondered if Dragon Lee would also sign with the company. The CMLL Lightweight Champion has wrestled many times for the promotion and has been an emerging part of the junior division in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Recently, Major League Wrestling (MLW) appeared more interested in his services, with the company giving a big push to his brother. But, as the Rush signing proved, the CMLL-ROH relationship was a big push for locking up the Muñoz brothers.
Lee is regarded as the better athlete of the Muñoz family. Him, Mistico (II) and Rush are the main leaders in their Friday night shows. Lee has been out of the CMLL picture in the latter part of 2018. He was a participant in Exathlon Mexico and his last big match was in July in the NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco, where he famously injured Hiromu Takahashi. In CMLL, Lee tagged regularly with his brother Mistico and Caristico in the main events.
ROH Wins Big… Again
Now, in 2019, Lee, like Rush and Bandido, will play a big role in ROH. The company is in need of big stars, specially Lucha stars. After the departure of The Young Bucks, Cody, and SoCal Uncensored, the company went and brought guys like Brody King, PCO, and Mark Haskins. MLW seemed to be the leader in the US on how to book Lucha Libre talent, but, recently, ROH has been more aggressive on acquiring such talent.
Their relationship with NJPW and Revolution Pro (RevPro) Wrestling has been evident. But, when it comes to Lucha Libre and CMLL, they mostly have played little with such talent. Lee is the guy that has gotten more love from the American crowds and that they’re willing to put in championship matches. His risk-taking ability and his hard-hitting maneuvers are captivating.
Lee’s deal will only let him work for ROH in the US. He will still be a regular for CMLL as his brother Rush. He’s already a key player in the Best of Super Junior tournament in New Japan and is very popular in his matches in Japan. In CMLL, Lee is not used at his full potential, primarily because of how young he is. The promising star has accomplished more than any Mexican star that is 25 years or younger.
Is unclear how much the deal is, but, his brother Rush, was reported to sign a one-year $150,000 deal with ROH. Dave Meltzer, who reported on the Rush signing, explained that WWE Superstar, Andrade “Cien” Almas had warned Lee and Rush on signing with WWE. Here’s what Meltzer wrote:
“In the case of Rush, he’s very close with Andrade, who pretty much warned him and Dragon Lee about going to WWE. There is the belief Dragon Lee will be making a move similarly, with the same idea of signing a one-year deal if possible, to take advantage of free agency early next year. It still could be ROH because ROH offers the line to New Japan which, at least this week, AEW doesn’t. But who knows what happens by the end of this year.
In the end, ROH got the deal because New Japan, the promotional partner of CMLL, pushed Alonso to assign him to their partner as ROH wanted to use him as a regular in 2018 and because Andrade’s advice was that WWE wasn’t what it was cracked up to being, which also probably explains Andrade’s recent push now that there is a far more competitive marketplace and he’s a real talent who would have plenty of options when his contract expires.”