Why Rey Mysterio is Nonpareil Submitted by LoneLee on 10/10/2018 at 08:37 PM
On the precipice of Smackdown 1000, it was announced that the most renowned luchador to ever grace a WWE ring would be returning to the full-time roster. Now 43 years of age, I started to wonder what more Rey could have to accomplish at this stage in his career. He's not a name that has vanished or expressed vested interest in returning to the company since his departure in 2015. Today, I look at what Rey truly means to WWE and his possible future in the business.
Since his early days in WCW, and even as far back as ECW, Rey had been presented in a different light from other the luchadores making their stride in the US. He was involved in featured storylines, given consistent mic time, and an assortment of colorful ring gear. What made the 20-year old colt such a phenomenon? Was it his ability to speak Spanish and English both fluently? Was it that natural charisma I wrote about last week? Of course, it was. On top of that, Rey could be credited as a pioneer of the high-flyers we see so many of today. WWE has tried countless times to replicate this artistry in the Latino/Hispanic demographic since but have come up short.
Starting with the infamous Sin Cara. Botching his own debut entrance was undoubtedly a foreshadowing of his future in the company. A run marred with blunders, injuries, and wellness policy issues couldn't even be salvaged by teaming with Mysterio himself. Also, having been presented in a different light (literally) the fans never had a chance to learn more about Sin Cara until the role was noticeably given to another wrestler. Now represented by the former Hunico, he's just kind of...there.
Another one I had excessively high hopes for was "Mexico's Greatest Export" Alberto Del Rio. Everything about his initial introduction was gold from the get-go. He had the lineage and all-around wrestling skills to support his accelerated push. Questionable circumstances led to both of his departures from the company. Sequentially, his professional and personal problems followed him to each destined promotion.
Then there’s Kalisto. It was believed during his early NXT run that he would be the next Rey Mysterio, I mean, he said it almost every chance he had a mic in his hand. That’s where I believe WWE dropped the ball with Kalisto. Rather than being presented as a new generation of luchador, he came off as being a copy or Rey Mysterio or Rey Lite (Rey Jr. Junior?). Imitations and comparisons only hurt the talent. Also, we’re amid a generation of fans that reject being force fed a commodity. Now he’s part of a piñata carrying trio…ok then.
What sets Rey apart from these individuals is he is an original. THE original. Never having been relegated to a disconcerting gimmick or known to bring his personal issues backstage. He’s an established name with a fair track record and known for being easy to do business with. Rey connects with not just
Hispanic/Latino, but all demographics. He was the sizeable underdog before there was a Daniel Bryan. Through his mask and small stature, kids look up to him (not very far up) like a modern-day super hero. His popularity could only be rivaled by the late Eddie Guerrero, whom in turn, brought Rey to that next level of stardom through their historic matchups.
And that is what today’s generation of wrestlers need: A veteran established rivalry. It’s easy to predict an eventual feud with Andrade Cien Almas. Given the rumors Vince is high on Almas, I see nothing but success for El Idolo in a long-term feud with Rey. Perhaps on the grandest stage of them all?
What do you think this run holds in store for Rey Mysterio?