Over the course of his 20-year career, Andrade El Idolo has already proven himself to be one of the best wrestlers in the world, showcasing his talents all over the world.
Whether he was wrestling under a mask as La Sombra in Mexico, in the WWE as Andrade “Cien” Almas, or in AEW as Andrade El Idolo, the Mexican star has never failed to impress when stepping into the ring.
He is also legendary for founding one of the top factions in all of wrestling. In CMLL, he founded the Los Ingobernables faction, which later spun off in Japan to the Tetsuya Naito-led Los Ingobernables de Japon.
Here is the list of Andrade’s best matches from throughout his career, whether that be as La Sombre, Andrade “Cien” Almas or Andrade El Idolo.
10. AEW Championship #1 Contender Casino Ladder Match – AEW Dynamite 6/10/21
Andrade competed in his first ladder match in AEW in 2021, which featured some of the most brutal bumps you’ve ever seen in.
The Casino Ladder Match on the 6th October 2021 came at a perfect time for Hangman. He had been off TV for months, missing AEW All Out to be home for the birth of his first child.
He made a surprise return as the joker card in the ladder match, entering last and rushing the field in his pursuit to finally get his revenge over Kenny Omega and become the AEW Champion.
In a brilliant, hard fought match, he came out on top and became the number one contender. His highlight of the match was performing a Deadeye on PAC off the top of a ladder through a table.
9. Andrade El Idolo vs Rey Fenix (AEW Rampage, 22/6/22)
Both of these men were missing from the Forbidden Door card (due to Mexican promotional politics), so the decided to put on a match of the year candidate to prove that they truly deserved it.
This was a fantastic back-and-forth match between two of the most talented on the deep roster of AEW. Andrade wrestled a much more ruthless style than usual, while Fenix was his usual self of high-flying flamboyance.
The match also saw the AEW debut of Rush, with Andrade El Idolo reforming La Facción Ingobernable after the match.
8. Andrade El Idolo vs Darby Allin vs Sammy Guevara (AEW Rampage, 3/4/22)
AEW does not usually put on triple threat matches, but when they do they always deliver.
The story of the match saw Darby Allin and Sammu Guevara recognizing Andrade as their biggest threat, and trying to take him out together before turning on one another.
It was more like a handicap match, making Andrade look like a monster by single-handedly fighting off two of AEW’s top young stars.
This will go down as not just one of Andrade’s best matches, but one of the best three-way matches in AEW history.
7. Andrade Almas vs Rey Mysterio (WWE Smackdown, 15/1/19)
A dream match for all fans of Lucha Libra happened on Smackdown of all places, when Andrade “Cien” Almas had one of his best matches ever against a wrestling legend in Rey Mysterio.
Fans had waited to see these two icons for years, and it finally happened in 2019.
Andrade played the arrogant heel perfectly, while Mysterio was the ultimate babyface (as always). They wrestled a formulaic match, but they both performed exceptionally in one of Andrade’s best ever matches.
6. Andrade El Idolo vs Buddy Matthews (AEW Collision, 17/6/22)
Andrade returned to AEW for the first time in nearly a year for AEW Collision’s first episode.
Fans were excited to see him in the ring again, chanting “welcome back” to the former NXT Champion.
He had been missing due to a shoulder injury, something Buddy Matthews exploited during the match.
Both men sold incredibly well in the match, and the pair put on both one of their best singles matches in AEW so far.
5. Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 7/4/2018)
Although the NXT Title match at TakeOver: New Orleans was somewhat overshadowed by the emotional and intense Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa main event, it remains one of Andrade’s best matches in WWE.
This match saw Andrade, at the peak of his powers in NXT, finally losing the belt to Alaistar Black (who later signed for AEW as Malakai Black).
The bout was a classic NXT main event, with some fast-paced action and numerous near-falls to keep the crowd on their feet.
4. Andrade El Idolo vs PAC (AEW Rampage, 22/10/2021)
In what could be Andrade El Idolo’s best match in years, he wrestled against British wrestling star PAC on an episode of AEW Rampage.
The matches build-up saw Andrade trying to undermine PAC’s friendship with Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix. This added some high stakes to the match, and made PAC the babyface to root for.
Given both man’s experiences in the ring, the match had some insane high-flying spots and risky maneuvers. It gave fans a glimpse of what Andrade El Idolo could be in AEW.
This is by far the best singles match of Andrade’s AEW career, although there are no doubt going to be more incredible matches for the Mexican star in the future.
3. Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 3, 19/8/2017)
Kicking off the third installment of NXT’s unforgettable Brooklyn events was a remarkable clash between the adored underdog Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas, marking Almas’ inaugural match with the guidance of his manager, Zelina Vega.
The bout showcased a dazzling array of intricate chains and skillful counters, captivating the audience with their technical prowess and ring chemistry. However, amidst the exhilarating action, Vega cunningly exploited Gargano’s lingering emotional scars from the disintegration of #DIY, manipulating the situation to her advantage.
Utilizing Gargano’s still-healing wounds, Vega devised a strategy that ultimately propelled Andrade to a triumphant victory. This momentous win set the stage for an even more extraordinary encounter between these two competitors in the months that followed, solidifying their rivalry as one for the ages.
2. La Sombra vs Atlantis (CMLL 82. Aniversario, 18/9/2015)
Nothing in Mexican can compare to the sheer drama that comes from a Lucha de Apuestas (mask vs mask) match.
Back in 2015, as La Sombra prepared to make his way to WWE, he aimed for the stars with his farewell performance against Atlantis. Their clash took the form of a thrilling 2/3 falls mask vs. mask match.
Atlantis, a revered veteran and one of Mexico’s most prominent active luchadores, was nearing his mid-50s, making La Sombra’s quest to claim his iconic mask in an Lucha de Apuestas match an extraordinary feat surpassing any championship accolade.
This encounter proved to be an absolute masterpiece, showcasing the exceptional skills of both luchadores. Ultimately, La Sombra suffered defeat, compelling him to unmask and unveil the face that fans recognize today.
1.Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, 27/1/2018)
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia delivered yet another unforgettable night of professional wrestling, with a match that left fans in awe and solidified its place in the pantheon of wrestling classics. The encounter between Andrade “Cien” Almas and Johnny Gargano was a masterclass in storytelling, athleticism, and emotional investment that captivated the audience from start to finish.
From the moment the bell rang, the intensity was palpable. Gargano, the beloved underdog, was determined to prove himself against the confident and skilled Andrade, who was accompanied by the cunning Zelina Vega. The chemistry between the two competitors was electric, with seamless transitions, crisp strikes, and breathtaking high-flying maneuvers that showcased their incredible talents.
What set this match apart was the emotional depth infused into the storyline. Gargano was fueled by his desire to overcome the obstacles and prove himself as a true champion. Meanwhile, Andrade, with Vega by his side, exuded arrogance and dominance, exploiting Gargano’s vulnerabilities and inflicting punishment with calculated precision.
The match was a rollercoaster of emotions, with near falls that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The audience hung on every move, every reversal, and every close call. The resilience displayed by both competitors was extraordinary, as they pushed their bodies to the limit in pursuit of victory.
The storytelling was impeccable, as each near fall and each moment of despair for Gargano built tension and anticipation. The involvement of Vega added an extra layer of intrigue, constantly interfering and manipulating the outcome in favor of Andrade. Gargano’s determination to overcome the odds and triumph against all obstacles endeared him to the audience, who passionately rallied behind him.
In the end, the match reached its climactic conclusion. Gargano’s heart and resilience were on full display as he fought valiantly against Andrade and Vega’s underhanded tactics. Though Gargano fell short on this night, his performance left an indelible mark on the hearts of wrestling fans worldwide.
Andrade vs Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia was a true masterpiece. The combination of technical skill, high-flying action, and emotionally charged storytelling created a match that will be remembered for years to come. It was a testament to the incredible talent and dedication of both competitors, as well as the brilliance of the NXT brand in delivering consistently outstanding in-ring performances.
This match stands as a shining example of what professional wrestling can be at its best—compelling, captivating, and capable of evoking genuine emotion. Andrade vs Johnny Gargano will forever hold a special place in the annals of NXT history, as a testament to the artistry and passion that exists within the squared circle.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.