Andrade made his professional wrestling debut a month before his 14th birthday and worked initially as Brillante Jr. In 2007 he began working for CMLL as La Sombra and was met with in ring success as he won the 2007 Torneo Gran Alternativa tournament, the 2011 Universal Championship and at one point he was a triple champion; holding the Mexican National Trios Championship, NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship and CMLL World Tag Team Championship at the same time. He also made appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he is a former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. While working as La Sombra, Andrade was one of the founding members of the Los Ingobernables ("The Ungovernables") wrestling group, and won the masks of El Felino, Olímpico and Volador Jr. by defeating them in Lucha de Apuestas matches before losing his own mask to Atlantis.
Andrade was born on 3 November 1989, in Gómez Palacio, Durango, Mexico, the son of Jose Andrade Salas, who is better known as the wrestler Brillante. He became part of the third generation of the Andrade family to compete in lucha libre. His grandfather, Jose Andrade, wrestled under the ring name "El Moro", his father works as Brillante, his uncles wrestle or wrestled under the names Diamante/Moro III (Sergio Andrade), Zafiro/Pentagoncito (real name unrevealed), Kevin (Juan Andrade), Espanto Jr./Pentagón (Jesus Andrade), Espiritu Magico (Juan Andrade) and one of his cousins works as the current Espanto Jr. (real name unrevealed) Due to the secretive nature of lucha libre, where they often do not reveal the real names of masked wrestlers, it is possible that some more of Andrade's siblings or cousins are also professional wrestlers. With his father, uncles and grandfather being involved in running a local lucha libre promotion and school in Durango Andrade began training for a professional career from an early age, initially by playing around with his father and uncles, but later began to train seriously for a career in the wrestling ring. He made his professional wrestling debut on 3 October 2003, a month before his 14th birthday, but only after his father signing a waiver for the local boxing and wrestling commission to issue him a license. He began working under the ring name Brillante Jr. in honor of his father.
Working for his family's wrestling promotion Andrade used the name "Brillante Jr." from 2003 through early 2007. During that period of time he got involved in a storyline rivalry with his uncle who wrestled as "Zafio", leading to his first ever Lucha de Apuestas, or bet match. By defeating Zafiro he won his first headline match, forcing Zafiro to have all his hair shaved off after the match per lucha libre traditions. He would later win another Lucha de Apuestas match, forcing the masked wrestler Camorra to unmask in the middle of the ring and reveal his real name. During this time period Andrade also competed as the enmascarado (masked) characters "Guerrero Azteca" ("Aztec Warrior") and "Rey Azteca" ("Aztec King") on occasion.
In 2007 he signed with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre ("World Wrestling Council"; CMLL), and began training under CMLL head trainer El Satánico. He made his CMLL in ring debut on February 27, working as "Brillante" just like his father had. In June CMLL changed his name, rechristening him La Sombra ("The Shadow"). CMLL previously had other people work under the name "La Sombra" in the 1980s and 1990s; CMLL did not promote the most recent La Sombra as having any relation to the previous incarnations at all, although it was later subtly acknowledged relationship was acknowledged when La Sombra began wrestling in a black and silver version of his father's mask.
La Sombra quickly moved up the ranks of CMLL in the months after his debut. The first sign of CMLL putting their faith in La Sombra came when the promoters him teamed up with CMLL's main good guy (known as a técnico in Spanish) Místico for their annual Torneo Gran Alternativa ("Great Alternative Tournament") where a rookie and a veteran team up. La Sombra and Místico defeated Heavy Metal and Super Nova in the first round, Dr. Wagner Jr. and Mascara Purpura in the semi-final and the team of Último Guerrero and Euforia in the finals to win the 2007 Tornero Gran Alternativa. The following month, La Sombra teamed up with El Sagrado and Volador Jr. to defeat Mr. Águila, Damián 666, and Halloween, collectively known as Los Perros del Mal ("The Bad Dogs"), to win the Mexican National Trios Championship. On November 27, 2007, La Sombra added the NWA World Welterweight Championship to his collection when he defeated Hajime Ohara to win the title; his victory made him the youngest wrestler to hold the championship, winning it at the age of 18. Throughout 2008 La Sombra was busy defending both championships on several occasions. On January 16, 2009, La Sombra became a triple champion as he teamed up with Volador Jr. to defeat Averno and Mephisto, winning the CMLL World Tag Team Championship. La Sombra's time as a triple champion lasted just over two weeks, until February 3, when Sangre Azteca, Black Warrior, and Dragón Rojo Jr., collectively known as Poder Mexica ("Mexican Power") defeated La Sombra, Volador, and Sagrado to win the Mexican National Trios Championship. On May 27, 2009 La Sombra lost the NWA World Welterweight Championship to Mephisto.