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Why did Rey Mysterio leave WWE?

Rey Mysterio left a big void in WWE when he left - and the company are still trying to fill it.

Feature 27 Nov 2017, 21:38 IST

Mysterio was always an underrated talent
Mysterio was always an underrated talent

When Rey Mysterio was in the prime of his career with World Wrestling Entertainment, there’s an argument to be made that certain members of the WWE Universe didn’t fully appreciate the talent that we had in front of us.

As opposed to admiring the plucky underdog for his hard work and phenomenal abilities, we seemed to take the king of the Lucha style for granted. Still, that didn’t detract the man himself, as he managed to carve out one of the most remarkable careers in WWE history – which becomes all the more impressive when you consider his build.

From the very beginning Rey was written off for being ‘too small’, and it’s fair to say that many people felt as if there was a ceiling for him in the WWE. It’s a debate that would rage on throughout the majority of his 13-year stay with the company, and now that we can look back on it, nobody can deny that size means nothing in this business.

From 2002 to 2015 Rey was nothing if not a professional, as he was constantly subjected to criticism in the face of some of his greatest accomplishments. In hindsight, some would say that was one of the reasons as to why things didn’t quite work out in the final year or so, but Mysterio has never been known for being petty.

Rey's first World Title win was a great moment
Rey's first World Title win was a great moment

Even as the company's World Heavyweight Champion there was a great deal of ridicule thrown his way, mainly because people felt as if the only reason he’d been given the title was due to his association with the recently deceased Eddie Guerrero.

But why focus on things like that when you could opt to praise him, instead? This was a man who put on countless great matches with some of the best stars in the world, and he did it while suffering extensively from a variety of injuries and other circumstances.

Rey knew that his tenure as a full-time performer was slowly coming to an end, and for the most part, that’s one of the main reasons why he decided to walk away. His knee problems were piling up due to the extensive travel combined with the heavy workload, and for a guy who was just entering his 40s, that’s something that needs to be taken seriously.

Away from WWE, he saw Lucha Underground on the horizon, which undoubtedly grabbed his attention. Rey has admitted that the schedule of LU, which is positioned as being more of an actual production, was appealing given that he could give his body more time to heal.

In a lot of ways, Rey’s mentality is similar to that of many independent superstars who are honing their craft outside of the WWE umbrella. After all, it’s no secret that you’re able to make a solid living on the indies these days, and when you compare the schedules of the two lifestyles it really does become a no-brainer for some people.

Mr 619 was a perfect fit for Lucha Underground
Mr 619 was a perfect fit for Lucha Underground

Of course, there are several dream matches that we’d love to see Mysterio have in WWE these days, and maybe we’ll see him come back one day. With that being said, after everything he’s given us over the course of the last two decades, it seems downright selfish to suggest that he should halt a situation that is much more comfortable for him as a person in favour of something that isn’t exactly ideal for his body.

Rey wanted to spend more time with his family and thanks to his decision to walk away he’s managed to do that, so if anyone needs a dose of nostalgia – just go and check out his old stuff on the WWE Network.

Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

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