WWE superstar Rey Mysterio is 36 years old. He has the knees of an 80-year old. If he keeps up longer without getting a break, he’ll be in a wheelchair by age 50. Each week, in what I can imagine to be against his better judgment sometimes, he takes at least one big bump that drops my jaw.
A tumble to the outside. Going hard into the ring steps or post. Taking an extra stiff move, like the slingshot powerbomb from The Miz on Monday night RAW. He’s leaving it all in the ring, despite the fact that it’ll cost him his mobility. And what does a good portion of people I interact with on the Internet do?
They tell him he sucks as an in-ring worker and base it on his overuse of the 619, his booking or a combination of both.
[adinserter block=”2″]Granted, Rey doesn’t do any of this for trolls on the Internet. He does it for the people who do appreciate him, the kids and the people who still marvel at his high-flying tactics. I also am not telling anyone how to think. I mean, no you don’t have to like Rey Mysterio‘s character, nor do you have to accept his push from years ago fresh off the heels of Eddie Guerrero‘s untimely death (although I would say it’s been five years and that even I’ve dropped most of my grudges against Triple H). However, when denigrating him, I expect you to be honest.
Yet, I don’t see any honesty out there. People patently ignore the fact that the guy kills himself for the art of a great wrestling match, and people say he’s terrible because of the 619 set ups, despite the fact that it’s a move that’s over as all get out and stuff that’s over gets driven into the ground in WWE. Meanwhile, other guys kill themselves without the purpose or ear towards storytelling that Rey does, and they get the blanket praise.
Pardon my French, but I think that’s screwed up.
You have the right to your opinion. You don’t have the right to facts, and the facts are that Rey Mysterio does the same things in the ring that have gotten men such as Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Bryan Danielson, CM Punk and others high marks from an in-ring standpoint. He bumps hard, he works great matches and he gets the crowd involved. But you think his finisher is contrived, random Internet poster?
Name me the most contrived move in wrestling history. If you didn’t say “The Irish Whip” then you’re flat out wrong. To wit, it’s not even that contrived to think that Rey Rey, a veteran of over 20 years,would know how to get people into the 619 position.
Meanwhile, the other argument is not to be laid at Rey’s feet at all. He wins all the time, so let’s hate him. Okay, I could buy that argument if the guy was booking the company, but like John Cena, Mysterio is just a wrestler who happens to be super-over with the existing crowd. Do I like seeing the same guys win all the time? Hell no. But at the same time, I don’t sit here and pretend that it makes Rey a bad worker. His bosses like him and give him chance after chance to shine. That’s not on Rey, that’s on the bookers who don’t know how to book.
[adinserter block=”1″]So yeah, meanwhile, Mysterio is going to end up crippled later on in life while a virulent and vocal section of fans ignorantly shake their heads over his accomplishments. That’s screwed up. Again, I’m not asking you to like the man. I’m also not asking you to feel sorry for him because again, it was his choice. I’m just saying that if you’re going to hate on a guy, at least base that hatred in something other than fallacy or ignorance.
Otherwise, you’ll continue being the reason why we nerds can’t have nice things.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.