"HE GOT HIM! HE GOT HIM! Oh my! Mysterio wins the title!"
Michael Cole's words echoed throughout the arena at WrestleMania 22, as Rey Mysterio pinned Randy Orton to win his first World title on that night. After grinding and honing his craft for years on end, and impressing audiences with his high-flying skills in the process, Rey Mysterio had finally won the big one at The Grandest Stage Of Them All.
In November of 2005, Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away at the age of 38. Rey Mysterio had become very close to Eddie while traveling with him over the past several years. Rey made it his goal to win the Royal Rumble and go on to win the top title at WrestleMania, and he did exactly that. Mysterio eliminated Randy Orton to win the annual free-for-all, and dedicated it to his fallen friend.
Orton defeated Rey at No Way Out 2006 using nefarious means, to steal Rey's chance to headline The Show of Shows. Eventually, SmackDown GM Teddy Long inserted Rey into the match, making it a Triple Threat outing involving Rey, Orton, and Kurt Angle. The fast-paced battle lasted just under 10 minutes, with Mysterio finally doing the unthinkable and becoming World Champion.
Rey Mysterio is a legend. I don’t think there’s any other way to put it, you know. His longevity is extremely impressive. I mean he’s just defied the odds his entire career. For someone of his stature to have made as many waves in WWE, there’s nobody even close. It’s not even close. He’s unparalleled. He’s genuinely one of a kind. There are a bunch of guys, Seth Rollins sized, that you can look back on that have done my style and done my thing and made a success here in WWE. There is literally one person. Literally one person has done it the way that Rey Mysterio has done it.
Rey Mysterio will go down as one of the all-time greats
It goes without saying that Rey Mysterio is a sure-fire future WWE Hall of Famer. He made his way to WWE in 2002, a year after Vince McMahon purchased WCW. Mysterio defeated Chavo Guerrero in his debut, and never looked back. He was a mainstay in the Cruiserweight division for years on end, before making it to the main event and winning the World title.
This was only the beginning though, as Rey went on to win another World title around four years later, plus a WWE Championship in 2011. Rey's son Dominik has some big shoes to fill, and it would be interesting to see whether he manages to make the same impact that Rey did during his tenure as an active wrestler.
Watch WWE ‘Birth of a Champion’ every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8.00 pm only on SONY TEN 1 (English)Published 24 Sep 2020, 09:14 IST