As a younger wrestling fan and writer, Rey Mysterio was a god during my childhood.

Standing only 5’6”, 175 pounds, Mysterio’s acrobatic skills and ability to defeat wrestlers double his size made children everywhere fall in love with him. He was likeable, relatable and even wore a mask, which was super cool as a kid. Although his 619 finishing move seems so ridiculous as an adult, it was every kids favorite finishing move.

Discussing wrestling with friends who have fallen out of the current storylines, the name that always comes up is Mysterio. People ask if he is still wrestling and until recently the answer was, surprisingly yes. A small smile would always be distributed when they would hear that Mysterio was still wrestling because it brought back great memories of the masked man defying all odds and having a Hall-of-Fame career.

By growing up in the middle of the Attitude Era, but being too young to truly understand it, watching Mysterio win multiple Cruiserweight Championships was one of the first big memories. There was always a thought in my young mind that it would be great to see what Mysterio truly looked like under his mask, and that speculation became a reality in a WCW “Hair vs. Mask” match in 1999.

After losing to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall with his partner Konnan, Mysterio was forced to unmask himself and reveal to the world what he truly looked like. It was a bittersweet moment as a fan to see what he really looked like because it was cool to see his true appearance, but also sad as the frustration and sorrow in Mysterio’s eyes was so evident.

With his mask back in tact in the WWE, Mysterio’s feud a few years later with Eddie Guerrero is where Mysterio’s popularity would rise to an all-time high. The involvement of Mysterio’s real-life son Dominik was a great angle because it added real heat to the storyline and made fans pull for Mysterio more than ever.

After feuding with Guerrero, who was one of his best friends in real life, Guerrero’s death shocked the wrestling community. By being in grief, the love for Mysterio became even stronger with the fans, and young kids everywhere were rooting for Mysterio to eventually make history and win the World Heavyweight Championship.

Dedicating his performance to Guerrero at the 2006 Royal Rumble, Mysterio entered as the second wrestler, but came out on top, booking his shot at the WrestleMania main event. Fast-forward a few months later and the identity of the Mexican superstar was not a small high-flying wrestler anymore; it was a World Heavyweight Champion.


After performing his 619 finisher, Mysterio pinned Randy Orton to become the smallest champion in history and young fans everywhere couldn’t be happier. Mysterio was the underdog champion, but more importantly he was the youth’s champion.


Within my childhood there was no other wrestler more liked than Mysterio and he gave hope to small wrestlers everywhere that size doesn’t matter. Daniel Bryan is a great example of someone who got his WrestleMania moment similar to Mysterio’s moment due to his popularity with the fans and for his great in-ring wrestling skills.

With Mysterio officially leaving the WWE, the fan-favorite wrestlers of my generation are slowly drifting away. If Mysterio ends up wrestling with Lucha Underground or just retires, it doesn’t matter. There will never be another Rey Mysterio in the WWE.

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