Even after 30 years, Rey Mysterio still stands tall in the valley of the giants

Rey Mysterio, though seemingly always in the underdog role, has carved out a legendary legacy
Rey Mysterio, though seemingly always in the underdog role, has carved out a legendary legacy
Ryan K Boman

Rey Mysterio just never knows when to quit.

He recently challenged WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the first Hell in a Cell match to ever air on Smackdown.

Friday night turned out to be yet another chapter in Mysterio's book about attempting to beat the odds. Reigns easily had the size and strength advantage, standing seven inches taller and weighing nearly 100 pounds more than the legendary luchador.

While the Tribal Chief eventually emerged as the victor, Mysterio showcased his signature style of survival. He threw everything in his arsenal at the Universal Champion with his trademark, rapid-fire manner. Mysterio took a brutal beating from Reigns but continued to fight back at all costs.

It's the kind of gutsy performance that we almost take for granted when it comes to the masked, Mexican superstar, just because we've seen it for so long now.

In the storyline, Mysterio's challenge to Reigns was to defend the honor of his son. But in reality, it's the same kind of battle that his character has been fighting his entire career.

Why is Rey Mysterio such a relatable character?

Rey Mysterio is a lot like Rocky Balboa, or the character of Little Mac in the video game, Mike Tyson's Punchout. Always outsized and outmatched, he somehow finds a way to persevere and fight the good fight.

That's been Mysterio's calling card. The one that says, "You can knock me down, but you will never keep me down."

In his illustrious career, Mysterio has captured every major title in WWE, is a surefire Hall of Famer, and will go down as the man who revolutionized Lucha Libre in the United States. He is idolized by fans all over the world. Yet he continues to wage more wars and look for more mountains to climb.

Just as much as his eye-popping aerial moves and his genuinely likable personality, it's this level of tenacity that separates him from all others. Sure, there are many wrestlers the same size or even smaller than Mysterio. However, none seem to have the same emotional connection that the man from the 6-1-9 has with the fans.

Mysterio always appears to be giving 110% when he's performing, and that's clearly apparent to the WWE Universe. Win or lose, they applaud his efforts as the overmatched underdog. Mainly because we can relate to him. It's a position we've all found ourselves in at one time or another.

Rey Mysterio's appeal to younger fans is invaluable to WWE right now

At 5'6" and 170 pounds, Rey Mysterio isn't cut from the same cookie-cutter mold as former WWE behemoths. He's closer to the size of your average high school sophomore. Add in his soft-spoken speech patterns and unbounded enthusiasm, and he has qualities that make him forever young.

In Mexico, many performers start wrestling at an extremely young age. Mysterio was just 14 years old when he made his debut way back in 1989 and continued to progress until he made his way to America in the mid-'90s. He found initial success in ECW and WCW before becoming a top star in WWE. But in many ways, he's still that same, wide-eyed kid.

Even in his on-air interactions with his son Dominik, Mysterio comes off as the cool, 'hip,' and caring dad. His kindness and loyalty are traits of his real personality that have been combined with his onscreen character.

For a company that has lost a large percentage of its youth market, Mysterio is an integral part of the WWE roster. He's one of the few veterans who still possess those superhero and action figure-like in-ring qualities. He can defy gravity, do it with style, and fights for what's right until the end. That's what endears him to younger fans

Mysterio's persona is not a complex one, by any means. He's a hero to adults, a pied piper to children, and the ultimate underdog for us all. It's that simple, yet always effective.

Rey Mysterio has proven over and over again that he is one of the greatest babyfaces of all time and a true legend. And it turns out that even in defeat, his latest SmackDown match was no exception.

We asked Saraya's parents if we should step into a wrestling ring again here

Edited by Kartik Arry


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