|Say goodbye to those merch sales, mate.|
The release is something Mysterio has wanted for a long time. He's spent much of the last four years sidelined with major, minor and nagging injuries. Two hour reign as WWE champion on July 25 2011 aside Mysterio has mostly been used as a bit part player when he has been available. Not that the promotion can be faulted for this: Mysterio had become so unreliable that they couldn't afford to risk starting a hefty push with him for fear that he'd be struck with another injury, necessitating his disappearance from TV again.
You can also see why it would have been frustrating for Rey Rey too. Being given the company's top title for two hours just to further a storyline about someone kayfabe quitting can't be particularly rewarding. Neither can teaming with botch monkey Sin Cara Uno, feuding endlessly with Alberto Del Rio, or being slung into Royal Rumbles to little fanfare despite being an established headline player. These things and more are what Mysterio was given by the creative department over the last four years.
As frustrating as it must have been I still think Mysterio would have been best served by returning to WWE for one final run culminating in an official retirement match. His work in the 90's and during his first few years with WWE was top notch. Even after the injuries started racking up in the mid-00's Mysterio was still a reliable performer who remained over with fans.
In 2015 Mysterio's body has taken a battering and is held together more through medical science than anything else. He cannot perform at the level he is most fondly remembered for and as he wasn't savvy enough to introduce ground-based, easier-to-perform moves while he could still blend them in with his more flashy repertoire he's now in a position where he's going to disappoint people more than please them by getting back into the ring, simply because he's not able to do the high-flying he once did. His existing work is strong enough to ensure his legacy survives no matter how bad things get for him but there's no sense putting on shoddy performances if it can be avoided. And this case it can most certainly can be avoided: after over a decade as WWE's top Hispanic star Mysterio doesn't need to worry about money.
|Looking rather Rey Mysterio-like, it's Fenix!|
But for whatever reason Mysterio had his heart set on a WWE release and a move to AAA and Lucha Underground. Perhaps I'll be proved wrong and Mysterio will display his old magic touch in these promotions. Whether that's the case or not it will at least be interesting to see him opposite his old pals Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron in a new environment. The prospect of seeing him face off with Fenix and Prince Puma is pretty enticing too. Though the less said about the prospect of another addition to the Mysterio versus Chavo Guerrero series the better.
A Mysterio run in Ring of Honor could be entertaining too, again under the proviso that he doesn't prove to be completely washed up. Considering Alberto El Patron's dual deal with Lucha Underground and ROH this isn't too farfetched a thought either. Matches opposite Jay Briscoe, Adam Cole, Cedric Alexander, AJ Styles, Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong would all have potential to be great, while Mysterio v ACH could be a modern company classic if Mysterio were on form.
His departure from WWE was not the ideal thing for Mysterio, whether he knows it yet or not. But it's done now. While I don't have the highest of hopes for his in-ring career away from the known and safe surroundings of WWE there is potential in it. Hopefully we'll see that potential realised, rather than witnessing Mysterio become an addition to the list of guys who didn't know when to call it quits. Because ultimately I like Rey Mysterio and I don't want to see him Ric Flair himself.