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Getting to the top of the pro wrestling industry is a path full of obstacles and roadblocks along the way. The pinnacle of business is not earned.
No one knows that more than Rey Mysterio.
The wrestling superstar’s backstory will be told in an episode of “WWE Biography: Legends” Sunday night on A&E. Fans will have the opportunity to hear about how the high-flying Mysterio traveled from the auditoriums in Mexico to the big WrestleMania stage.
Mysterio, whose real name is Óscar Gutiérrez, explained to Fox News Digital in a recent interview why he felt now was the right time to share his story.
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“I think it’s a very important part of my career right now, especially after being in this business for 32 years, being part of WWE for 20 years. And for the fans who don’t know but Rey Mysterio from WWE so far they get some insight into how my career started, how old I was, the obstacles I had to cross to get to where I am now,” Mysterio said. “I think it’s very insightful and very motivating for kids who might be in the same situation I found myself in when I first broke in.”
Mysterio was about 8 years old when he started training with his uncle, known as Rey Misterio in Mexican professional wrestling, to become a professional wrestler and he would make his debut when he was only 14. And he living in Tijuana, he explained that he would have to. crossing the border to go to school by 7:45 am, then going to his part-time job and then crossing the border again to go back home and ready to train.
But just because he started training at such a young age, that didn’t mean he got any special privileges because he was the nephew of one of the most famous wrestlers Mexico had to offer at the time.
“Being a kid and being able to train with the class, that was my leverage of being Rey Misterio’s nephew,” he said. “But I got the same a-hooping as everyone else did. They did not make it easy for me as I was eight. It was always and I was always the underdog, the smallest child in the class.”
Mysterio said that he wanted to be a wrestler growing up around wrestlers because anyone else would want to be a football player if they grew up in football.
“For me, it was always fighting – Lucha Libre. The passion, it was awake at a very young age and that’s all I ever wanted to do. And when I say ‘the big stage,’ it was not I’m talking about WWE – being on the main stage in Mexico because that’s how I grew up watching. the time but that was an impossible feat for me just because of the size I had difficulty because it was a lot I broke into Luca Libre because of my size and weight. So, I never thought that I would one day have the opportunity to be part of the WWE roster.”
Mysterio is 5-foot-6 and 175 pounds and although he was concerned about making an impact in the United States, his wrestling style was well received.
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Mysterio began working with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 1995 and had some of the most creative and electric matches the promotion had ever seen at the time. He would feud with the likes of Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera.
Mysterio told Fox News Digital that he didn’t really think about how his wrestling style was received at first. He just wanted to make sure the crowd got their money’s worth. He said that he and Psicosis, whose real name is Dionicio Torres, would watch ECW tapes and try to find ways to improve their matches.
He recalled meeting Paul Heyman, the founder of ECW and Brock Lesnar’s current valet.
“Great guy, right away,” said Mysterio of Heyman. “I remember walking up to Paul and asking him, ‘Excuse me, Mr. Heyman, is it okay if we use a table? You know, we wanted to do this with the table’ and , it’s so funny, it’s like ‘great. , you can use a table, you can use the car, you can use a chair, whatever you want to use, go out there and time great to have you.’
“So, sure enough, I took his advice and every night we went out and f— we tried to perform better than the night before. And it was very exciting because we knew all this. as part of the intense conflict. So, because we were diving into something new, we were really enjoying it.”
Mysterio would enter the World Championship Tournament in 1996 and help develop the cruiserweight division. But towards the end of his run with the company, Mysterio would be forced to remove his mask after losing a storyline match to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. In Luca Libre, the least thing against the wrestler is being forced to remove your mask. And while Mysterio was publicly against the story, he would eventually remove the mask and begin performing without it.
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One of his biggest career arcs came in the late 1990s. He was dubbed the giant killer after beating Nash and showing that a performer his size can stand toe-to-toe with performers who are 6-foot-10 or similar.
He called it a “special time” that helped launch what would become a key part of his WWE career – winning main event matches and eventually the World Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio would have incredible feuds with some of the best in the business at the time, including John Bradshaw Layfield, Kane, Booker T and the late Eddie Guerrero.
Mysterio and Guerrero were good friends outside of the ring before Guerrero’s untimely death in 2005. The two put together a heated feud that seemed to bleed over into real life.
Both rivals had a storyline that implied Guerrero was the father of Mysterio’s son Dominik. It got to the point where it became almost too serious when he started to cross into the real world of his child’s atmosphere.
“I remember talking to one of his teachers and I know that Dominik was always getting harassed. They were a little worried about the situation, because of him being in the middle of a situation that was uncomfortable,” said Mysterio. “But after one of his teachers contacted him and said, ‘Is everyone okay at home? Are you sure, Dominic? Is there anything we can do to help?’
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“After Dom told me that, I remember going up to the teacher and saying to her like you know this is all part of the entertainment business. Nothing is happening on real TV. So , everything is fine, don’t worry. I think the only thing we have to worry about is when Dom misses school he can bring his homework and do it when he’s on the road. But other than that, everything was fine.”
Years later, the Mysterios had the opportunity to perform together at WrestleMania and continue in WWE. Both are part of a feud with Judgment Day – a group with Finn Balor, Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest. Edge, who was also part of the stable, would eventually lead Dominik Mysterio.
For Rey, it was “Very special” to have his son by his side.
“I never thought this moment would happen because my son never showed interest until he was 19 years old. We did the storyline with him, Eddie and I back in 2005 and I never realized after that story that he would have some kind of character. interest and start training like he never did,” he said of his son. “He always played football. It was the interest he started to show, again, at the age of 19. His career developed so quickly.
“Moving to Tampa (Florida), training there with Jay Lethal and eventually going up to camp with Lance Storm and just everything that happened so far. The next thing you know, he was playing the beginning of a game at SummerSlam against Seth Rollins.”
The doting father said: “For the last two years he’s been wrestling, I’ve enjoyed it so much – sharing the time with him in the ring. It’s a different kind of enjoyment. Now, it’s like he did I’ve done everything I could possibly do, plus more. I never dreamed I’d have such a long and illustrious career but now, to be able to share some of my most incredible moments with my son, the wrestling next to him is very special.”
The Mysterio episode will air at 8 pm ET.
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He said he hoped the WWE Universe could get to know him on a “level one day” and recognize the amount of work that went into becoming a wrestling giant in his own right.
“You don’t know how many times I’ve been told ‘no’ because I was too small. I’m sure it happens a lot with other kids in different sports, in life in general. But the fact that they could going negative. going positive is the best feeling in the world,” he said. “I really feel like I’ve done that throughout my entire career and look at where it’s taken me.”