Rey Mysterio is free! The former WWE superstar and champion has reportedly reached a settlement which allows Rey to become a free agent. Rey becomes the second biggest Latino star to leave the company in recent months, leaving a huge void in that market place.
Mysterio may be one of the biggest overachievers in WWE history. At 5′ 6″, Rey is probably the shortest, most successful wrestler in WWE history. Rey peaked as a WWE world champion in 2008 and has been a big merchandise seller with kids throughout his tenure with the company. I think it is fair to say that Rey has probably been the most consistent performer in terms of match quality. Rarely would you ever see anything less than a pretty good Rey Mysterio match.
Mysterio has been hampered with injuries in recent years, expected due to his acrobatic style over the last 25 years. Since 2012, Rey has been on disabled list with injuries ranging from knee to wrist to concussions. Rey’s last WWE match was a match on RAW the night after WrestleMania 30 in which we was defeated by a returning Bad News Barrett.
Most recently Rey will probably be remembered as the sacrificial lamb in the 2014 Royal Rumble. Rey entered the match as number 30 and was booed out of the building. The rowdy crowd in Pittsburgh took out their frustrations over Daniel Bryan not being booked in the match on poor Rey. Steve Austin even joked on his podcast that he would have taken that spot in favor of sacrificing “Rey Rey.”
Mysterio is expected to return to the ring in Triple A and Lucha Underground. A free agent for the first time in 13 years, Rey could easily clean up on the independent circuit here in the United States if he wanted to. I am just uncertain on how much Rey wants to wrestle at this point. After years of nagging injuries, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Rey take a greatly reduced schedule, picking his U.S. spots randomly throughout the year.
Rey’s void will not only hurt match quality but it will greatly impact the Latino market. In recent months the WWE has now lost both Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio, their two biggest Latino and Hispanic draws. I’ll tell you what, if you are a Latino wrestler who can work with a great look you can probably get yourself a hell of a deal these days from the WWE. I can’t recall a time in recent memory where the WWE didn’t have at least one Latino star to cater to that market. It’s a huge hole and I am not sure how they fill it.
Rey will be missed and the real shame here is that he never got a good run with the title. Sure he got the title, but Vince McMahon never believed in him, and he was booked as a fluke champion. Rey was red hot when he won the title and could have become an even bigger star if the company went with him. They didn’t and it showed in his booking as champion.
Thanks for a great 13 years of WWE action Rey Mysterio. Your presence will greatly be missed.