Rey Mysterio Jr on his return to the WWE
Former two-time world champion, Rey Mysterio Jr. is back in the WWE, and cannot wait to square up with some of the biggest names in the business.
Speaking in Dubai to promote his return to the latest edition of the WWE 2k videogame franchise, the famously masked wrestler Rey Mysterio Jr. spoke to Esquire Middle East about the Golden Era of the 'small wrestler', the origin of his mask and who on the current WWE roster he cannot wait to work with...
ESQUIRE: You are arguably the most famous masked wrestler of all time. What is significance of your mask?
REY MYSTERIO JR: Masks are a deep part of Mexican wrestling culture. My mask was originally designed by my uncle, Rey Mysterio Sr. He used to create so many different mask designs as a way of continuing to tell the story of his character. When I carried on his legacy, I chose the mask of his that I liked the most — the one with two falcon heads. I keep the design out of respect, although I do tweak it quite often with colours, materials and things to help tell my own story.
ESQ: The falcon is a very important symbol here in the Arabian Gulf. What does it mean to you?
RMJ: I feel that the falcon is the perfect symbol to represent my style of wrestling. The aerial style.
ESQ: In the prime years of your career you faced a lot much bigger opponents [Batista, Big Show, the Undertaker]. Today the top guys tend to be ‘smaller’. Do you have a preference?
RMJ: No, I don’t have a preference. It’s easier for me to wrestle guys who are my stature [Mysterio is 5’5”], but the “David vs Goliath” story is fun to tell with the bigger guys. It’s true, there is less big guy stuff compared to when I started in WWE in 2001, but I believe back then I helped open people’s eyes to appreciate what little guys could do. We created that aura of respect for smaller guys who could hang with the bigger members of the roster. Today, we are living in the evolution of what we created, now you have the likes of Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan all at the top, and they have taken the level even higher. Some of the stuff they do now is unbelievable. I would never have thought of doing some of that stuff!
ESQ: Who who would you want to face next?
RMJ: I would love to work with AJ Styles. He has been putting in the work for many years and totally deserves the accolades and attention he is getting right now. Same goes for Finn Balor or Kevin Owens. There is a whole generation of guys that the fans have never seen Rey Mysterio fight against. It is super intriguing, but until they do, they can play those dream match-ups in the new WWE 2k19 video game.
ESQ: Speaking of which, the new edition of WWE 2k sees you return for the first time in four years. What’s the best thing about the game?
RMJ: The games are so detailed. I have to admit that I have previously used the game as a way to learn new moves! Seriously. My son has taught me a couple things that I’ve then been able to bring to the ring.
ESQ: Away from wrestling, we know that you’re big into your fashion. What kind of brands do you lean towards?
RMJ: Yeah, both my wife and I like to buy nice things. I’m a big Gucci fanatic. I also love Louis Vuitton, and watches. I have a few Rolexes and Hublots in my collection.
ESQ: Who has more wardrobe space, you or her?
RMJ: She has when it comes to bags and shoes, I do when it comes to wrestling masks!
ESQ: How many mask do you have?
RMJ: A little over 500.
WWE 2K19 is available region-wide now.