The Impact of Rey Misterio Jr.
March 3, 2015
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Rey Misterio Jr., or for WWE fans Rey Mysterio, has been all over the wrestling media for the past week and for good reason. After a multiyear struggle with WWE over his release from the company, the Lucha legends contract finally expired. On Tuesday Mexican promotion AAA made it official that their biggest star ever would be returning to the promotion this month at “Rey de Reyes.” Rey Misterio Jr. hasn’t been inside a AAA ring since 1997 and hasn’t been in a Lucha ring in Mexico since December of 2001 for CMLL. Rey’s return press conference was treated as a major deal, cameras and media all over the place, and his return to the ring will be treated no different. “Rey de Reyes” will be marked as one of the biggest nights in Lucha Libre history because the biggest star in Lucha history makes his return home.
The crazy thing is that Rey wasn’t close to being the star he is now the last time he was in AAA or even the last time he was in any Mexican promotion. Don’t get me wrong Rey Misterio Jr. was a big star and a good draw in Mexico in 1997 and he damn sure was in 2001, but Rey Misterio Jr. in 2015 could quite possibly be the biggest draw in Lucha history. Rey is returning to Mexico as a Mexican hero much in the same way that Alberto del Rio did last year, but to a much bigger degree. He was the first luchador to ever win a WWE World Championship and the first masked star to win a WWE World Title too. You might think that I’m overstating things here but I think when it is all said everyone will realize just how important Rey is to Lucha Libre.
One of the more annoying things to me as, yes I will admit I’m a massive Rey Misterio mark, has been the outpouring of hateful messages made towards the lucha legend. I even saw one classy youngster saying, when he saw that “Rey Mysterio” was trending on Twitter, “why is Rey Mysterio trending? God, I hope he died.” The hate for Rey over the past few years has been pretty insane by a certain faction of the fan base, a lot of it has to do with his countless injuries over the past few years, but the joy that came from many WWE fans over Rey’s departure was odd. I was happy too but for different reasons. I finally get a chance to see Rey back in a Lucha ring and with some of AAA’s incredible talents.
Rey Misterio Jr. is a guy that has legitimate destroyed his body for the fans entertaining and the business that he has grown up loving since he was a young child. We are talking about a man that starting in the wrestling business as a boy training since he was a child with his uncle Rey Misterio Sr. and making his debut in a wrestling ring before he could even legally drive. Rey Misterio Jr. has undergone countless painful surgeries and despite all that each time he went to the ring he went out there to try and wow a crowd once more. He is finally healthy again, hopefully after a year longs worth of rehabilitation, and is surrounded by some of the best talent in the entire world in AAA both young and veteran alike. We have a chance to see Rey in the ring with old foes like Alberto el Patron, Perro Aguayo Jr., Averno, and maybe even old rivals like Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis (the original of course) if AAA brings then back in or even some of the youngsters like Fenix, Pentagon Jr., Angelico, Hijo del Fantasma, Flamita, and others.
AAA boasts what might be the best, top to bottom, roster in the world in my humble opinion, especially if you include the Lucha Underground roster in the discussion. AAA now has some of the biggest draws in the history of Mexico on their roster (Rey, Myzteziz, Blue Demon Jr., Perro Aguayo Jr., Averno, and Alberto el Patron) along with an array of young incredible talents to go along with them. AAA has set out in 2015 to become a “worldwide” wrestling promotion and over the last year brining in international stars like Alberto, Rey, and Myzteziz along with getting on English American TV with Lucha Underground they have done just that. In May they will attempt to further that with a special event that will feature a tournament, a “World Cup” of sorts featuring teams consisting of teams from AAA, Mexican Indies, Lucha Legends, multiple teams from America (likely Lucha Underground), and a team from Japan. AAA is going to be represented in that tournament by a team consisting of the three biggest names in the last two decades in Lucha Libre: Alberto el Patron, Myzteizz, & and Rey Misterio. Those three names alone would sell out any venue in Mexico on any day of the week, you wouldn’t even have to name another luchador on the card. Most people expect that “TripleMania” will be the next event that Jeff Jarrett’s GFW broadcasts on PPV in America, but that “World Cup” event could be the even bigger draw for the group and for AAA. At the very least it needs to be streamed to American and worldwide audiences on the internet with hopefully more success than internet streams have had with AAA.
One of the bigger questions surrounding Rey going forward, now that we are 100% sure where he is headed, is how much left does the aging star have in his tank? The obvious goal for AAA right now with Rey is to capitalize on his name and his buzz and draw some huge houses along with ratings, but the ultimate goal will be to build some of their young budding stars up further into potentially the next Rey Misterio. That is a goal that will be difficult to reach and is something that AAA will have to be wary of when American promotions like WWE eventually come calling like they did with Rey. Whatever happens it sure does make for some fun and interesting times in those of us that follow Lucha Libre. Stay tuned for what happens next!