Former Ring of Honor World Champion Bandido has agreed to a deal with All Elite Wrestling, according to a new report from Fightful Select on Wednesday. The masked luchador made his in-ring debut for the promotion on last week's AEW Dynamite and came close to ending Chris Jericho's new reign as the ROH World Champion. It was reported later that week that AEW wanted to lock Bandido in on a contract but it was unknown if he had agreed to their terms at the time.
"Several that were backstage spoke highly of Bandido's demeanor and attitude in the situation, from not being able to get his gear, to being brought in to lose. He was visibly excited after the match and hugged Tony Khan," Sean Ross Sapp wrote. "We've heard there had been interest from numerous companies about signing Bandido in recent months."
Debuting in 2011, the Mexico native took the name Bandido in 2016 and built up his name on the independent scene wrestling in promotions like Lucha Libre Elite, The Crash, PWG and AAA. He first broke out here in the United States by being booked in the main event of the All In show in 2018, teaming with Rey Mysterio and Rey Fenix to take on The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi. The success of that show helped set the stage for the launch of All Elite Wrestling the following year, but instead of joining AEW at its launch Bandido opted to sign a full-time contract with Ring of Honor. He finally won the company's top title at Best in the World 2011, ending Rush's second reign just before it reached 500 days.
Bandido was supposed to defend the title at Final Battle last December, which had already been marked as Ring of Honor's final pay-per-view before shutting down (and getting bought by AEW's Tony Khan). Unfortunately, a positive COVID-19 test would see Bandido pulled from the card and he would not get a unification match with new champ Jonathan Gresham until this past April at Supercard of Honor (which Gresham won). After Jericho defeated Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH title at AEW Grand Slam, Khan offered Bandido a title match as he never got the chance for a rematch with Gresham.
Neither AEW nor Bandido have officially announced the signing, but stay tuned for more details as they become available! And stay tuned for full coverage of tonight's AEW Dynamite in Washington, D.C.