Rey Mysterio Comes Full Circle: Life, Death and Rebirth in Wrestling
You were in the ring when Perro Aguayo Jr. was killed. How hard has it been to move past that?
It was horrible. There’s no moving past it. You can’t leave it behind you. You just have to live with it. You hear stories on the road of terrible things happening in the ring. You never imagine that it would happen to you. It was just like a nightmare. You always imagine the worst. A shoulder injury, a neck injury – you never imagine death. There was nothing we could do. God said it was his time, and it was his time. I was just praying and praying, because it didn’t look good. But you can’t do anything when God says it’s time for you to go.
The first time you wrestled after his death, how difficult was it to get back in the ring?
It was really hard. It was like taking baby steps again. Once you feel the support of the fans though, it helps. I’m religious, I like to pray before I go to the ring. I pray that everyone involved in the event goes in and out of the ring safely. I specifically asked for Perro to be looking out, and enjoy this moment with us, however long it was going to take us. As we’ve gone on, it’s gotten easier, but that first night was hard.
You’ve wrestled with such a high-energy, high-impact style throughout your career, and you’ve had your share of injures. People wonder just how much you have left. What do you say to them?
It’s really hard for me to answer that. A year ago or so, I probably would have said that I didn’t have more than three years left. After being at home for some time, and being able to train and rehab and strengthen my quads, I really feel rejuvenated. I feel great physically. I think that sometimes, you just have to give your body time to heal. Sometimes wrestlers are stubborn about doing that; we’re on the road constantly. I think this rest has extended my career another couple years. At the pace I’m going right now, I’m not on the road four days a week, [and] that definitely helps heal all my injuries even more. I will leave my career up to God, but I definitely think I can go longer than I would’ve expected a couple years ago.
Regarding your future, Lucha Underground has become one of the most buzzed-about promotions in wrestling. It has an affiliation with AAA, and if season two happens, could we see you there?
That’s something that I’m looking at right now. If the opportunity is right, if the negotiations go well and there’s an interest in both parties, then I’d definitely like to do that. I enjoy their show very much right now. That’s as close as it’s going to get, at least right now, to lucha libre in the U.S. I’m going back to my roots, this is what I thrive off of. It’s never too late, so if the opportunity comes about, and the offer is good, then I don’t see why not.
AAA is billing you versus Myzteziz as a ‘Dream Match.’ It seemed like WWE had wanted to do it at WrestleMania for a while, but it never could come together. Does this feel like a long time coming for both of you?
Eventually this match was going to happen. I know this match occurred because of the fans. The fans wanted to see this a long time ago. Eventually, when Myzteziz became part of WWE, they thought they might be able to see it there. Unfortunately injuries and other things didn’t let that happen. Now, AAA finally brought it to the table, thanks to the fans. The fans constantly went back-and-forth about who would win, and who was the best. This is a present from AAA to the fans. On my behalf, I know I’m going to go out there and put on one hell of a show so the fans can be entertained.
I’m very excited, to be honest. There were a lot of comparisons between him and I. At the end of the day, I’m looking forward to stepping in the ring with him. It’s a legacy-defining match. For all these years people would say, “Rey is better,” or, “Myzteziz is better,” and argue about who did what first. So it all comes down to this. It’s about style and aerial maneuvers. Two styles clashing against each other, to see who is going to be best.
If I told you 21 years ago, when you stepped into the ring for When Worlds Collide, that you’d have the career you’ve had, would you believe me?
There’s no way. If you told me that I’d become the World Heavyweight Champion in WWE, that’s crazy. Back then, this industry was a big man’s sport. It didn’t matter if you had the skillset, if you were entertaining, or brought an amazing style to the ring. I would’ve thought there was no way. Now that I’m looking back at it, and it actually happened, and I’m still living it, it’s still hard to believe. Nobody could have predicted it, but it happened, and now the doors are open for this industry to evolve even more. This ain’t a big man’s sport anymore. Anybody who has the charisma and the talent to want to become a star can do it.
Triplemania XXIII airs Sunday, August 9 at 7 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.
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