SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Following the departure of Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron) from Lucha Underground, the upstart show needed another big name with WWE and lucha ties. Enter Rey Mysterio, who was introduced on this week’s Lucha Underground episode.
“Once I had complete release from WWE, then we really started to think of a gameplan,” Mysterio told Scott Fishman for Channel Guide Magazine in a new interview. Mysterio noted that the goal was to introduce him at the end of Season 1 or beginning of Season 2 and make a big deal out of a new phase for the “Rey Mysterio” character.
“I was with WWE for 14 years, and besides that, I’ve always belonged to a certain company,” Mysterio said. The fans were waiting for me to pop up on Lucha Underground. The relationship between the style and how I was raised in the sport, putting those two together was a perfect match.”
Mysterio sees a younger version of himself in the new crop of high-flyer that make up the LU roster. Instead of trying to use lucha to get noticed by a mainstream promotion, Mysterio is coming back down the other side of the hill trying to help out.
“I kind of paved that road for these guys to be there one day,” Mysterio said. “It is years after and it’s happening for them, and I’m a part of it. This Rey Mysterio is more in a mentor state of mind. I bring guidance.”
The next “Rey Mysterio” might be on the LU roster or currently on WWE TV. Mysterio acknowledged the presentation of Kalisto feels similar to his run on WWE TV. However, “there is no need for jealousy, for regrets.” Mysterio said, “If anything, I’m very happy for him to get the chance to succeed and could eventually become World champion.”
Mysterio credited Del Rio for passing the torch to Kalisto after he passed the torch to Del Rio. “At one time it was me there, and Alberto Del Rio was just coming in. Now he is doing it for him. That is how this industry works, especially among Latinos. There are very few, so we got to make sure we can stretch out that lending hand,” Mysterio said.
Now, Mysterio is reversing the pattern going from WWE to Lucha Underground, taking over for Del Rio after he returned to WWE. With a third season of LU TV already announced, Mysterio hopes his involvement will keep momentum going for the promotion that reminds him of where he started. It’s the symmetry of the pro wrestling industry.