JOE’s favourite Mexican sportsmen: Rey Mysterio
Before reading about one of Mexico’s finest sportsmen, head on over to the Corona Ireland Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning the brilliant prize of an Ultimate Beach Break for two in Riveira Maya, Mexico.
Okay, so strictly speaking, Rey Mysterio wasn’t born in Mexico, but he’s as Mexican as Tequila flavoured nachos, so that’s why he’s JOE’s favourite Mexican sportsman this week…
A lot of the younger wrestling fans would only recognise the name Rey Mysterio from his recent WWE days, but the high flying masked Mexican made his ring debut back in the ‘80s when he was just 14-years-old.
Rey Mysterio, better known as Oscar Rubio Gutierrez to his friends and family, began his career under the monikers "La Lagartija Verde" (The Little Green Lizard) and "Colibrí", but it didn’t take long for him to adopt the new name Rey Mysterio, which translates to ‘King of Mystery’.
Gutierrez’s uncle was a Mexican wrestler during the ‘80s and ‘90s and it was he who fought under the name Rey Mysterio. After training Gutierrez in the Lucha Libre high flying style, he awarded his nephew with the name Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey Mysterio Jr. would keep the suffix at the end of his name until he joined the WWE in 2002, but he enjoyed a successful career as Jr. before then. From 1992-1995 he fought with the Mexican wrestling promotion Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) where he proved to be a tough contender, regardless of his 5ft 6in (1.68m) stature.
Rey Mysterio Jr. then spent a year fighting for the EWC before spending the next five years in the WCW battling it out with the likes of William Regal, Chris Jericho and his real-life friend Eddie Guerrero.
In 1999, Rey Mysterio was forced to remove his mask, as part of WCW’s then storyline, which was something Mysterio would later go on to regret. Speaking publicly he said: “I was strongly against it! I don't think WCW understood what the mask meant to me, to my fans and to my family.
“It was a very bad move on their behalf. The fans wanted Rey Mysterio with the mask and losing it hurt me a lot. It was also frustrating that it didn't come as the climax to a feud with another masked wrestler, but in a throwaway match.
“I think the fans understand that I was in a position where I had no option. I either had to lose my mask or lose my job.”
Rey Mysterio Jr. returned to Mexico to fight in the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion for a year before finally being signed to the WWE. This was when the Jr. was officially dropped from his name and when WWE head honcho Vince McMahon asked Mysterio to wear his mask again.
Rey Mysterio has since enjoyed a stellar career in the World Wrestling Entertainment industry having won the WWE Championship, the World Heavy Weight Championship (twice), WWE Intercontinental Championship (twice) WWE Tag Team Championship (four times), WWE Cruiserweight Championship (three times) and the Royal Rumble back in 2006.
Rey Mysterio has been in the wrestling game a lot longer than most people think and it's his likeable attitude and aerobatic moves that make him one of the better wrestlers to ever grace our TV screens at 10am on a Sunday morning…
Don’t forget to enter the competition to win an Ultimate Beach Break in Riveira Maya in Mexico with thanks to Corona Ireland over on the Corona Ireland Facebook page.
Mexico – the place to be.