Rey Mysterio is all-time great and the most recognizable enmascarado in the United States. He is arguably the greatest cruiserweight in pro wrestling history.
Training under his uncle, Rey Misterio Sr., from a young age Mysterio quickly became known for his high-flying style.
He has wrestled in the AAA, CMLL, ECW, Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and all over the indies, but is most known for his time in WCW where he helped make the cruiserweight matches one of the must-watch segments of the “Monday Night Wars” and in WWE where he’s a grand slam champion.
In his interview with Not About Wrestling, Mysterio talked about growing up in a wrestling family, his legacy, and wanting to be the first wrestler to actually retire for good.
Rey Mysterio On Training At 8 And Training His Son
At 5’6, Mysterio is one of the smaller guys in the business, often working matches against far larger opponents.
The size difference between him and his opponents is nothing new.
Mysterio started training with His uncle Rey Misterio Sr. at age 8!
Rey states that he had to learn how to be tough not only because of his smaller stature but also because of his age:
“I was the only kid in the wrestling class that was eight years old, you know I was training with 16, 18, obviously 20-year-olds, but I was the only kid in there and I was raised that way. I was always the smallest in training and, still to this day, in the ring when I wrestled.
My uncle taught the class at the time, so I was thinking that because that was my uncle, Rey Misterio, that I would get a free pass every now and then but, I believe my uncle was harder on me than he was on any of his students and at the time I didn’t understand it. Now at the age of 46 now I do understand it.
I still tap into the old school mentality roots, you know where I don’t praise [Mysterio’s son, Dominik] for doing something good, you know, I always tell him you can do much better and I think that’s the key sometimes to perfecting certain things in life, in this case with the sport, is eventually with time I’m going to make him better, but yeah I’m pretty rough on Dominik.”
On Dominik Wearing a Mask
Rey and his uncle both have worked their careers under a mask. Especially in WWE where up until recently there have been very few masked wrestlers, it is a defining piece of Mysterio’s identity.
While it’s not like the old days, where it was impossible to find an image of an unmasked El Santo, there’s still a level of allure that the “Mystery King” has maintained his anonymity in the ring (for the most part).
With Mysterio’s son, Dominik, things get a little more complicated.
At age 6, Rey pulled his son out of the crowd to celebrate with him when he won the Cruiserweight Championship, and then two years later Dominik was famously central to an angle between Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero over who his true father was.
Since then, Dominik has appeared numerous times in non-wrestling roles, before becoming a wrestler. And while Dominik’s face has been seen already, Mysterio doesn’t think that precludes him from putting on a mask and continuing the Mysterio family legacy:
“Yes, as a matter of fact [we did talk about Dominik wearing a mask], the only issue there was that he was getting so much promotion or publicity without the mask prior to him starting to wrestle.
When I did the storyline with Samoa Joe with Brock and we just felt like well maybe it might be a little too late to mask now. Now he does talk about it.
We would love to incorporate the mask somehow some way so the legacy continues, even if they know his face already.
I think you can start a new trend where you know Dominik is the person outside of the ring and you know Dominik Mysterio is a person inside the ring with the mask.”
On Dominik Retiring Him
When Mysterio returned to WWE, speculation was that it was in order to work with his son Dominik and hopefully have a retirement match against his son and go out on his back.
However, Mysterio has other ideas:
“I haven’t thought about him retiring me. I’ve thought about winning gold together.
And a lot of people have said ‘I can see him retiring you and you fighting your son’ but yeah that’s what everyone would expect to happen, but why not leave the ending of this story happy–on a high note and retiring with my hands raised up high–Mayweather style.
When asked about when he thinks he’ll retire, Mysterio isn’t sure but one thing is for certain: when he’s done, he wants to be really done, something you never hear in pro wrestling:
I’m hoping I can be the first one to say okay that’s it and that’s it. You know I’ve said in a lot of my interviews [when asked] ‘Rey, when do you see yourself retiring?’ Two to three years, three to five years.
In the last interview I did I remember saying that by the age of 45 I wanted to stop.
I did a stem cell treatment which added I don’t know maybe three to five years on top of what I had. I’ve been feeling really great and very motivated to be able to step in the room with my son, teach him, learn from him as well, hear his questions, answer [them].
It’s a different phase in my life and in the sport that I’m enjoying very, very much. This, I don’t want to end.”
For more check out Chris’ full interview with Rey Mysterio.