AEW Plans Thrown Into Chaos As Visa Crisis Strikes

Tony Khan AEW

In recent weeks CMLL talents have been seen on AEW television in high-profile matches but that arrangement could be crashing to a halt.

AEW and CMLL have formed a partnership that has seen several of the Mexican promotion’s stars appear on AEW television. The Blackpool Combat Club has already made clear they’ll be heading to Arena Mexico as they look to assert AEW’s dominance on the promotion’s home patch. Many believe CMLL will be a part of Forbidden Door in 2024 alongside AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

However, the ongoing presence of CMLL talent on AEW television is now in serious doubt as a visa crisis has engulfed many of CMLL’s stars according to a report by PWInsider: is told that 19 luchadors including Volador Jr., Hechicero and Mascara Dorada (who have all appeared on AEW programming of late) as well as Blue Panther, Dulce Gardenia, El Sagrado, El Suicida, Electrico, Espiritu Negro, Euforia, Fugaz, Gemelo Diablo 1 and 2, Magico, Robin, Sangre Imperial, Soberano, Templario, and referee Sagaz are expected to be impacted and unable to perform in the United States.

The situation is said to have arisen due to a breakdown in the relationship between CMLL and Texas independent promotion Full Blown Pro Wrestling. Full Blown had sponsored many US visas for talent but ran into a clash with CMLL when the Mexican company had their own employees try to handle the process.

The US Department of Homeland Security soon became involved, warning Full Blown’s promoter Jerry Cadena that he could be accused of fraud if the visas were flagged due to him being the one to sponsor them. CMLL told Cadena they’d attempt to work out the issue with the US Embassy in Mexico with PWInsider noting that a family member linked to CMLL worked at the Embassy.

However, it is the Department of Homeland Security in the US that handles issuing visas and not individual embassies in each country.

CMLL stopped contact with Cadena so he informed the DHS that he had severed his working relationship with CMLL and their talents on February 28th.

When Will CMLL Stars Return To AEW?

There seems to be no timeframe in place for the issue to be resolved as it can take months for new visas to be issued. Not only does that affect AEW’s plans but is also the worst time of year for this to happen for the wider wrestling community.

Many of these stars have been booked and advertised for matches taking place on independent shows over WrestleMania weekend. Without new visas, none of these Mexican stars affected would be able to compete on them either.

It is not yet known if the situation will cause issues for stars if it is not resolved when AEW returns for shows in Canada this summer as different visa rules will apply.