Wrestling fans and casual viewers alike are familiar with the masked wrestler equipped with a high flying arsenal, a unique finishing move named 619, and an energetic entrance theme accompanied by different masks with each match. He’s Rey Mysterio, fearless even against the largest of foes, and with enough dedication and perseverance to go through the toughest of trials.
Those who religiously followed WWE may have noted his sudden disappearance from the wrestling giant, then reappearing in a different promotion, and a highly-publicized controversial match included his name.
What exactly happened to Rey Mysterio?
How Rey Mysterio Got Started- A high-flying superstar ascends
Oscar Gutierrez was born on December 11, 1974 at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in Chula Vista, San Diego, California. His parents were Roberto Gutierrez and Maria del Rosario, and he had three brothers namely Rojelio, Roberto Jr., and Luis.
Oscar’s uncle, Miguel Angel Lopez Diaz, was a luchador in Tijuana, Mexico and he performed under the name of Rey Misterio (which translates to Mystery King). Miguel worked on a construction company during the weekdays and wrestled on Friday nights, taking the young Oscar along to watch.
Since his mother and grandmother were both fans of lucha libre, they had no qualms in allowing Oscar to pursue his dream career of being in the ring. At the age of eight, his uncle trained him along with other aspiring luchadores, with Oscar being the youngest student. They held classes every Tuesday to Thursday in an old gymnasium next to the Tijuana Auditorium where wrestlers regularly performed during Fridays. Oscar met a lot of famous wrestlers like Caballero 2000, Negro Casas, Leon Chino, and La Gacela.
During his high school years Oscar worked for his brother Rojelio’s pizza restaurant named Godfather’s Pizza, and eventually his mother worked there as well. Oscar folded pizza boxes and bussed tables after school and on the weekends, while his mother set up the salad bar. It was during his work there where he had his first glimpse of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Oscar watched a replay of the WWF’s program “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and was impressed by Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ use of a live python to psych his opponents. Aside from that he also watched Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) , the Mexican equivalent of WWF and where the biggest names in the industry performed. Oscar dreamed of standing in the ring in Mexico City under CMLL which pushed him to give his best during the training sessions, even if he was unable to join the high school wrestling team because of his busy life balancing school, his job, and his training.
Eventually he was required to take a licensing test in order to wrestle, which he passed with flying colors. His first ring name was “La Lagartija Verde” or The Green Lizard, and then made his professional debut into the world of lucha libre as “Colibri” or hummingbird. His first feud was against Psicosis, a luchador who was also trained by Oscar’s uncle. It was also during his time as Colibri when he was given the “Most Improved Wrestler” award in Mexico.
At the age of 18, Oscar was finally allowed by his uncle to use “Rey Misterio Jr.” as a ring name, in accordance to the Mexican wrestling tradition of taking a form of the name of the wrestler’s father or uncle as a show of honor and respect. He then signed up with the Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA) lucha libre promotion and feuded with Juventud Guerrera, and even fought alongside his uncle in a tag team match versus Juventud Guerrera and his father Fuerza Guerrera.
In November 1994, Rey Misterio Jr. was one of the wrestlers who performed in When Worlds Collide, a pay-per-view made possible by the collaboration of AAA and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Viewers in the United States watched as Rey Misterio Jr. teamed up with Heavy Metal and Latin Lover to take on the trio of Fuerza Guerrera, Madonna’s Boyfriend, and Psicosis. The match was ranked four out of five stars by many critics, and the pay-per-view regarded by many as one of the critically acclaimed shows in the history of wrestling.
In 1995 Rey Misterio Jr. signed up for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and debuted in the pay-per-view Gangstas Paradise where he defeated Psicosis, who was also new to the ECW. Their rivalry turned into a long-term feud, and eventually Juventud Guerrera would sign up for ECW and feud with Misterio Jr.
Rey Misterio Jr. debuted at The Great American Bash pay-per-view of WCW on June 16, 1996. He challenged Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko for the title but failed to win the belt. He would again encounter and defeat Psicosis on the next pay-per-view event, Bash at the Beach, to determine who will get a shot at the Cruiserweight title. The following night, during WCW Monday Nitro, Misterio Jr. successfully defeated Malenko and earned his first title of Cruiserweight Champion. For three months Misterio held the title and defended it against other wrestlers until he lost it again to Malenko during the pay-per-view Halloween Havoc. He won and lost the Cruiserweight title until the third title shot where he beat Juventud for the title but lost it to Chris Jericho nine days later at the pay-per-view Souled Out. Jericho then used a toolbox to beat Misterio Jr. as part of an injury storyline to put the masked wrestler out of action for a while (as he needed a knee operation). Misterio Jr. returned six months later and defeated Chris Jericho for a fourth title reign, but immediately lost it the following night due to a reversal of the match result.
Misterio Jr. locked horns with real-life friend Eddie Guerrero as the latter forced him to join the stable Latino World Order (LWO), the Mexican counterpart of the New World Order. In this feud he again encountered rivals Juventud and Psicosis, and a new ally and later foe in Billy Kidman.
After the reformation of the New World Order (nWo), the stable demanded the end of the LWO. Misterio Jr. refused to yield, resulting in a vicious attack by the nWo and a “Hair vs. Mask” tag team match at the SuperBrawl IX pay-per-view. Misterio Jr. and his partner Konnan lost the match against the pair of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, and the stipulation robbed Misterio Jr. of his mask. He publicly expressed his disappointment over the decision and contacted his uncle about it with a heavy heart. The stipulation also offended the lucha libre community which persisted until the closure of WCW.
He was then dubbed as a “giant killer” for defeating foes twice his size. Despite his topnotch performance, Misterio Jr. was denied a push as Eric Bischoff (the president of WCW) did not prefer cruiserweight wrestlers. The luchador was vocal with his disdain regarding this.
After the WCW folded, Rey Misterio Jr. took time off from television and wrestled independently in Mexico. He was contacted by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002, and he again donned the mask despite the backlash of lucha libre fans back in Mexico as it was a violation of tradition. He was allowed to wear the mask again by the lucha libre organizations as he didn’t lose it in a “Mask vs. Mask” match.
Dropping the Jr. from his name and changing the spelling, Rey Mysterio debuted on SmackDown! on July 25, 2002. The fans loved him and his high-flying antics, and he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Jr., (Eddie Guerrero’s nephew), Olympic medalist Kurt Angle, and the Big Show. He again won and lost the Cruiserweight gold and the Tag Team Championship on several feuds.
Mysterio won his third Tag Team title on February 20, 2005 with Eddie Guerrero. During the pay-per-view WrestleMania XXI, the two fought each other in a friendly match where Mysterio won. Eddie Guerrero was frustrated by the fact that he can’t beat Mysterio, which led to his betrayal and a feud which involved Mysterio’s son Dominic wherein Eddie claimed that he was the biological father of the boy. The feud culminated in a Ladder Match at SummerSlam 2005 where Mysterio finally defeated his former partner for the “custody” of his son. After the death of Eddie in November 13, 2005, Mysterio gave an emotional speech for his friend and removed his mask afterwards, although he bowed his head to hide his face. He dedicated his matches in memory of Eddie by either name chanting or using the latter’s signature moves.
A year later Mysterio shocked the wrestling community after winning the Royal Rumble match in 2006 and eventually the World Heavyweight Championship in Wrestlemania XXII. He was given the nickname “underdog champion” and successfully defended the title against other wrestlers until losing it to King Booker at the 2006 The Great American Bash due to Chavo Guerrero’s interference. The two would then feud along with Vickie Guerrero, the widow of Eddie Guerrero, and end up with Mysterio written out of the storyline for another knee surgery.
Mysterio went back in action during SummerSlam 2007, exacting revenge on Chavo Guerrero and ended the storyline in the same year with an “I Quit” match where Mysterio emerged victorious in the same manner as how Chavo put him out of action. He feuded with Finlay and Edge until a biceps injury kept him out of the ring for six months, with three surgeries performed in one month.
June 23, 2008 marked Mysterio’s return to the ring and was drafted from SmackDown to Raw due to the 2008 WWE Draft. In 2009 he accepted the Intercontinental Championship challenge issued by John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) at WrestleMania XXV and won in a record time of 21 seconds. The victory earned Mysterio the prestige of being the 21st Triple Crown Champion in the history of WWE.
Mysterio was drafted back to the SmackDown brand at the 2009 WWE Draft. For the first time since 2002, the Intercontinental title was made exclusive to this brand thanks to the draft. Mysterio had a long-term feud with Chris Jericho which climaxed in a “Title vs. Mask” match where the luchador won by deceiving Jericho with another mask. On August 2, Mysterio was slapped with a 30 day suspension for violating WWE’s Wellness policy. Mysterio stated that he used a drug for his arm and knee which had a prescription but failed to show it to the company as he was on a promotional tour and vacation. This also cost him the Intercontinental title.
The masked wrestler returned on the 2009 pay-per-view Hell in a Cell with a failed attempt on the Unified Tag Team Championship with his former partner Batista. The two eventually became rivals after Batista lost his temper during a different match, causing him to attack Mysterio and gradually turn into a heel. The two clashed in the ring several times which later involved the legendary wrestler The Undertaker, and the feud ended with Mysterio victorious against Batista in a Steel Cage match. This earned Mysterio a title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship (held by The Undertaker) but he failed to beat the phenom. Mysterio then feuded with CM Punk and his “Straight Edge Society”, won the World Heavyweight Championship after defeating the champion Jack Swagger, losing the title to The Undertaker’s storyline brother Kane, and clashed with a debuting fellow Mexican wrestler Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes, the son of WWE legend Dusty Rhodes.
The Downfall of Rey Mysterio – The flight descends
Mysterio was drafted again to the Raw brand in 2011 where he won the WWE Championship title for the first time, only to lose it the same night to the former titleholder John Cena. Another injury on August of the same year kept Mysterio out of the ring, and his hiatus stretched 60 days more due to a second Talent Wellness Policy violation. After almost one year Mysterio returned to Raw and suffered consecutive failed attempts on winning the Intercontinental title, and the Tag Team title with fellow luchador Sin Cara.
Fortune seemed to not favor Mysterio as he suffered yet another knee injury early 2013. He returned on October 2013 as part of the Spanish commentary during Hell in a Cell. Mysterio failed to capture titles or win significant matches, and Mysterio took another time off after his defeat against Bad News Barrett the following night after WrestleMania XXX.
It was during this break when he decided that he wanted to leave WWE for good. Various interviews revealed that Mysterio felt that his career had no direction, his busy schedule made him miss important family events, his frequent injuries took a toll on both his body and work, and WWE even renewed his contract without his permission. He even stopped cashing paychecks as a sign of displeasure on the surprise renewal.
Mysterio no longer returned in any WWE programming, instead he sent a video message at the TripleMania XXII pay-per-view of AAA, and took the time to visit Lucha Underground, a lucha libre television series in Mexico. WWE eventually announced the expiry of Mysterio’s contract in February 2015 and moved his WWE.com profile to the Alumni section.
What is Rey Mysterio Doing Now in 2018?
On March 2015, Mysterio was again signed to AAA and he again used his old ring name Rey Mysterio Jr. and debuted in the Rey de Reyes on March 18, 2015 where he teamed up with Myzteziz, who was also his former WWE partner Sin Cara, versus El Hijo del Perro Aguayo and Pentagon Jr. Three days later, Mysterio Jr. teamed up with Extreme Tiger and fought the team of Aguayo and Manik at a CRASH lucha libre event. Aguayo fell unconscious after a dropkick from Mysterio Jr. (to set up his 619), was rushed to the hospital by paramedics, and was pronounced dead at around 1:00 AM. Mysterio Jr. and Konnan served as pallbearers during the funeral, both visibly shaken up.
Two months later, Mysterio Jr. formed the “Dream Team” for the tournament Lucha Libre World Cup. The team consisted of Mysterio Jr., Myzteziz, and El Patron Alberto (formerly WWE’s Alberto Del Rio). The trio emerged victorious in the tournament.
On TripleMania XXIII last August 9, Mysterio Jr. defeated Myzteziz in what was dubbed as the “dream match” between the two most famous luchadores. The event ended with Myzteziz spitting on Mysterio Jr. and challenging him to a Luchas de Apuestas, or a match where both luchadores put an important item on the line, usually their mask or hair.