In 1995, the landscape of sports-entertainment in the United States was dramatically different. No one of Rey Mysterio’s size or aerial ability had ever been featured in this country. The highest flier Americans had seen up until that point was “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, and the most famous luchador was Mil Mascaras, who really never left his feet except for a bodypress off the top rope.
When ECW suffered a dramatic talent raid at the hands of WCW, many thought it could have been the death of our company. Our backs were against the wall. How could Extreme Championship Wrestling come back from a devastating blow? I knew our only hope was to come out blasting and make the next major show even better than anything anyone had ever seen before. We literally had to show the world we were still the innovators of new styles. Groundbreaking concepts were used on TV, unmatched ferocity was presented on the mic and the most cutting-edge style was presented in the ring.
I reached out to Konnan in Mexico, and without hesitation, he sent Rey Mysterio and Psicosis to South Philly for the next ECW Arena show. Konnan guaranteed me their matches would not only be state of the art, but also that nothing could match Rey vs. Psicosis in the United States. The ECW audience, which lived by the philosophy of “accentuate the strengths and hide the weaknesses,” never paid attention to the fact that Rey Mysterio wasn’t a bodybuilder, or 6-feet tall, or 300 pounds. The ECW audience saw a magnificent performer the likes of which the United States had never seen. Mysterio not only lived up to my expectations, but he also single-handedly opened up the U.S. market to the concept of cruiserweights. And he turned one of ECW’s darkest hours into one of our greatest triumphs. Gracias, “Paul Heyman tipo”!
#2 – Rey Mysterio
No mask in this world is as universally recognizable as the one made famous by “The King of Mystery.” The story of Rey Mysterio encapsulates one of the truest tenets of lucha libre: the tradition of honoring warriors who came before. In the case of the three-time World Champion, his name and elements of his mask design were derived from his uncle and trainer, Rey Mysterio Sr. Yet The Master of the 619 has never allowed his appearance to grow stale: Over the course of his career, Mysterio has continuously evolved the design, having worn literally hundreds — if not thousands — of variations.
That’s to say nothing of Mysterio’s in-ring legacy. “Revolutionary” only begins to describe his effect. The Ultimate Underdog broke new ground in the ring, to the awe of the WWE Universe, and he’s served as an inspiration for undersized athletes everywhere, proving it’s the size of the fight in the dog that matters most.
Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton recently attended a Make-A-Wish Private Part in Little Italy, New Jersey on Friday, April 05, 2013. They met with Make-A-Wish kids as they posed for photos and had a great time with one another! Make sure you check out the photos by clicking the link below as they are precious~
WWE.com recently posted a new article entitled “The 20 Coolest Tattoos in WWE History,” where they, well, look at the coolest tattoos! Of course, you can’t think of cool tattoos with out remembering Rey Mysterio’s! WWE.com featured the falcon tattoos on his chest. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t feature Rey’s awesome back piece that he gets recognized for or anything. Anyway, WWE.Com wrote:
15. Rey Mysterio | Tattoo: Pair of wings | Location: Chest
Rey Mysterio has mastered the art of aerial maneuvers and getting tattoos that hold meaning for the masked Superstar. From a prayer to Jesus that a WWE fan gave him to the names of his daughter and son, Aalyah and Dominik, The Human Highlight Reel has filled his skin with ink that represents his enduring ties to family, religion and tradition.
Perhaps the piece that most accurately displays his identity as a Superstar is the set of wings emblazoned on his chest. The matching tattoos are designed in the same vein as his signature luchador mask and also resemble the intricate groove marks of the Aztec calendar, further showing Mysterio’s connection to his Mexican heritage.
WWE.com recently posted a brand new article entitled “The 20 Greatest WCW Matches of All Time,” and of course, Rey Mysterio was featured. He was featured three times, as he was an incredible talent on the roster back then. The three matches include his debut match at the Great American Bash in 1996 against Dean Malenko, a match against Ultimo Dragon at World War 3 1996 and the notorious match against Eddie Guerrero at Halloween Havoc in 1997. WWE posted:
#4 Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero — Halloween Havoc 1997
In 1997, WCW’s Cruiserweights were one of the Atlanta-based organization’s premier attractions. At the heart of the division were competitors of Mexican descent that upheld the rich traditions of their wrestling families and the lucha libre style. At Halloween Havoc that same year, two of the most gifted fliers in WCW battled for the coveted Cruiserweight Championship. Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero were in the process of building their legendary careers when they met at the October extravaganza. After they stole the show, millions of fans all over the world took notice of both individuals and their astounding abilities.
The stakes of the contest were high as both Guerrero’s Cruiserweight Title and The Ultimate Underdog‘s mask were on the line. Rey was appropriately dressed for the battle in memorable ring gear that resembled Lee Falk’s comic book character The Phantom. Channeling “The Ghost Who Walks,” Mysterio displayed his incredible agility in a high-octane Cruiserweight contest that left fans gasping for air. As the battle raged, it quickly became obvious that Rey and Eddie were setting the precedent for every future Cruiserweight bout. Following an incredible hurricanrana from the top rope, Mysterio secured the victory in a clash that would help define his early career.
#6 Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon — World War 3 1996
The opening contest of the second WCW World War 3 event pitted a young Rey Mysterio against the legendary masked Japanese highflier Ultimo Dragon. At stake was the most prestigious championship in Japan — the J-Crown Championship. Consisting of eight prestigious junior titles, the J-Crown was once the goal of every highflier in the world.
When the opening bell sounded, the masked grapplers wasted no time blowing away the capacity crowd in the Norfolk Scope with their ninja-like agility. High-flying moves were countered back and forth as neither competitor maintained a clear advantage. Ultimo Dragon tried to use his size to gain the upper hand, but The Ultimate Underdog’s quickness made it difficult to execute any offense masterfully.
As both Mysterio and the Dragon scored many near-falls, it became clear that one of them would have to capitalize on a mistake to win the match. That opportunity came when Mysterio launched himself onto the top rope to execute a hurricanrana. Acting on instinct, Ultimo Dragon countered with a Dragon Bomb and finally scored the pinfall as WCW fans hit their feet in excitement.
#14 Rey Mysterio vs. Dean Malenko — Great American Bash 1996
There are only a handful of competitors throughout history whose debuts have made fans and fellow Superstars alike immediately take notice of their abilities. When Rey Mysterio made his first WCW appearance at Great American Bash 1996 against WCW Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko, jaws dropped at what the incredibly agile competitor was able to do inside the squared circle.
Though Mysterio earned some notoriety in ECW following a series of battles with Psicosis, he had yet to become a household name in the United States. Malenko, on the other hand, was a respected and feared competitor widely regarded as one of the finest mat technicians of all time. The Iceman certainly needed his arsenal as Mysterio’s uncanny agility seemed to take him by surprise and make the contest unexpectedly even.
Malenko realized it was futile to attempt to keep up with Rey, so he relied heavily on his technical prowess to keep The Master of the 619 grounded. Mysterio stayed in the contest, however, displaying the resilience that would eventually make him a World Champion. Finally, after a series of near-falls, The Iceman expertly countered an attack with a powerbomb, using the ropes as leverage to ensure victory.
As SmackDown celebrates its 700th episode this week, WWE.com took a look at all of the milestone moments that have occurred in the past couple years.
May 26, 2006: After losing the United States Championship, JBL demanded a rematch from World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio that same night, proclaiming that if he lost, he would walk away. When Mysterio defeated him, the self-proclaimed “wrestling god” had no choice but to step down and transition into semi-retirement as a SmackDown Color Commentator.
Aug. 20, 2010: In his SmackDown debut, Alberto Del Rio stunned the WWE Universe by scoring a huge victory over Rey Mysterio.
In honor to celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the Royal Rumble this year, WWE.com wrote an article entitled “25 Stunning Royal Rumble Match Statistics,” where they, well, look at 25 stunning statistics from past rumbles. In some interesting news, Rey was featured in four out of the 25 statistics! Of course everyone knows he has spent the longest time in a Royal Rumble match, but there is so much that he has accomplished in these matches! WWE.com wrote:
Longest time spent in the ring: Rey Mysterio, 1:02:12 (2006)
One of WWE’s smallest Superstars showed just how big his heart was during the 2006 Royal Rumble Match. WWE’s Littlest Big Man entered the fray at No. 2 and outlasted 29 other Superstars, eliminating Randy Orton after one hour and two minutes of action and earning a World Title Match at The Show of Shows, WrestleMania. After the victory, the high-flying Superstar dedicated his performance in the match to his late friend, WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero.
First Masked Royal Rumble Winner: Rey Mysterio
Believe it or not, only one masked competitor has ever won the Royal Rumble Match: Rey Mysterio lasted more than an hour in the ring, besting 29 other competitors on his way to victory in 2006. Unquestionably, it’s a pretty tall achievement for WWE’s Littlest Big Man.
Superstars who won the Rumble at No. 2: 2
A big deal is made when a Superstar draws No. 1 and goes on to win the Royal Rumble Match. But the No. 2 entrant has to last just as long to claim victory. In fact, the second Superstar in the Royal Rumble Match has gone on to win the whole shebang just as often as the first. In 1999, Mr. McMahon drew No. 2 and went on to win, eliminating the No. 1 entry, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin last. Rey Mysterio entered second in 2006 and set a record for longest time in the Rumble before claiming victory. These two Superstars show that, at least when it comes to the Royal Rumble, No. 2 doesn’t have to have a bad connotation.
Number of Rumble Winners to win a World Title at WrestleMania: 12
Since the prize of a World Title Match at WrestleMania was first awarded to the winner of the Royal Rumble Match in 1993, 12 warriors have gone on to win championship gold on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The list is a who’s who of WWE Hall of Famers and Superstars who have or may well join the hallows of legends. The massive Yokozuna did it first in 1993, following up his Rumble match victory by defeating Bret “Hit Man” Hart at WrestleMania IX for the WWE Title. Hart, as co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble Match, recaptured the title from the Japanese juggernaut at WrestleMania X. Others to accomplish this feat include Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (who did it twice), Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker and Sheamus (who was the last to do so, in 2012).
WWE.Com has recently posted a brand new article entitled “10 Dream Matches that Actually Happened” and featured two high flying masters that squared off in 1996, Rey Mysterio Jr & Jushin Liger. Both luchadors were well known for their styles during this time and with Rey just entering WCW, it was a dream come true for fans to see! WWE posted and article as well as 014 high quality photos which is now in the gallery. WWE posted:
Before WCW’s cruiserweight division exploded in popularity during the mid-90s, Japanese star Jushin “Thunder” Liger helped redefine the genre after joining the Atlanta-based organization in 1991. His rivalry with Brian Pillman over the Light Heavyweight Championship — the precursor to the Cruiserweight Title — was memorable, but his oft-forgotten battle with Rey Mysterio is the true definition of a cruiserweight classic.
Making his WCW debut in June 1996, Mysterio’s unique lucha libre style quickly made him the most popular highflier in the Atlanta-based organization. With Mysterio’s status rising, Liger — who had been on hiatus from WCW — returned to face The Ultimate Underdog at Starrcade 1996. Though the event was headlined by Roddy Piper and Hollywood Hogan, the bout between Liger and Mysterio was truly a display of the tested veteran against the rising young star.
Facing such an experienced international competitor, Mysterio — still early in his career at 21 years of age — displayed impressive agility and flexibility inside the ring. Liger was well-prepared, though, having wrestled a variety of competitive styles throughout his illustrious career. Rey refused to quit — a character trait he has displayed countless times in the years since this battle. But Liger’s experience proved to be the deciding factor as the Japanese Superstar secured the win in the only match between the two iconic fliers.
WWE.com caught up with Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel backstage celebrating their Survivor Series win. Justin said that the match was insane and it was a really fun match. Tyson then said that himself, Justin and Cara have idolized Rey Mysterio growing up and say how much of an honor it is was to just tag with him. After, Rey said that it he was teaming up with the future of superstars of the WWE. Rey said that combining all four of the styles, they just turn into Voltron! Rey also says that Cara was impressive and then tells Cara the interview question and translates for him, saying that it is amazing to combine the style and they all give their own for sure.