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Flying high with a nice guy

November 23, 2009
By Amy Mendenhall
Wrestler Rey Mysterio is well known for his high-flying wrestling style. But the man behind the mask may be a bit of a mystery — until now. Turns out the famous luchador is quite a nice guy.

In his book, “Rey Mysterio: Behind the Mask,” co-written with Jeremy Roberts,

Mysterio discusses his 20-plus year career, including the highs and lows.

Mysterio got into his wrestling career early — at age 8. His uncle, the original Rey Mysterio (the name translates to Mystery King), a famous luchador in Tijuana, began training him after the young boy liked to hang out and watch him train other wrestlers and begging to be involved.

Young Mysterio soon learned that no one was going to go easy on him because of his family, and began to toughen up. While training for years, Mysterio had his first match at age 14. Anyone who has watched the popular wrestler now knows he is somewhat small in stature, and this was even truer at his young age. 

Promoters were scared he would get hurt, but Mysterio was determined to prove what he could do. Wrestling first under the name, the Green Lizard, the masked wrestler soon changed to the name Colibri (hummingbird) due to his high-flying style. While his first match earned him a grand total of $5, Mysterio was hooked.

Colibri gave way to Rey Mysterio Junior, a big honor that was celebrated in the ring one night. And Mysterio began to befriend other wrestlers who he would continue to wrestle with for years, Psicosis, Eddie Guerrero, and Konnan, who became a surrogate big brother to Mysterio throughout their careers.

Konnan’s influence helped Mysterio book more and more matches, as he worked his way up the ladder from rings in Mexico to a stint in ECW, to a trip to Japan, to WCW, where Mysterio spent much of his career.

WCW featured the lucha libre style, a fast-paced and high-flying style, for the Mexican wrestlers and the cruiserweights. Mysterio built up a following, one that could be questioned whether WCW handled properly or marketed to their fullest. When WWE eventually bought out the company, Mysterio got a big push by the new company and his career has risen to new heights today.

But questioning WCW will not be done by Mysterio. In most wrestlers’ books I have read, some bad mouthing goes on, especially about WCW and how they handled their talent. Fights and grudges with other wrestlers are also sometimes mentioned. But this is not the case in Mysterio’s book — he never has anything negative to say about anyone (even in cases where they might deserve it.) Even in the case where WCW mishandled how they unmasked him, which is a big deal in the Mexican wrestling culture, Mysterio admits they could have handled it better, but never bad-mouths anyone for it.

Mysterio comes across as a genuine nice guy and a spiritual person in this book, and is a nice treat to read about. Reading biographies of any celebrity, a fan may come across something that will make them not like the person as well anymore, or the attitude they put across in the book is so negative that it turns a fan off, and this just does not happen in this book.

I was a fan of Mysterio’s (from back in the WCW days) and continue to be so after reading this. He comes across as a mature person with a good head on his shoulders — who just happens to work at a job where he flings his body through the air to land on other people.



Contact Amy at amendenhall@graffitiwv.com

Fact Box

“Rey Mysterio: Behind the Mask”
• Page count: 357
• Cost: $27
• Published by: Simon and Schuster

 
 

 

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