Since first appearing for the world's leading sports entertainment company Sin Cara has been a flop of colossal proportions. When signing him it’s safe to assume Triple H was envisaging him becoming a marketable player in the mould of Rey Mysterio. All the pieces appeared to be in place. Ethnic background? Check. Fancy move set to elicit pops from excitable youngsters? Check. A mask that not only made him stand out from his peers but could also be mass produced and slapped onto merch stands? Check.
It's worth noting that Sin Cara was even looked on favourably by the notoriously fickle hardcore fans. You know, those of us who value wrestling ability over big muscles or a knack for encouraging strong T-shirt sales. He had a glowing reputation from his time in CMLL, including a well-known penchant for delivering a slicker, crisper and quicker 619 than Rey Mysterio could have managed even in his prime. He’d been one of Mexico’s biggest stars. That he was moving to WWE was a big deal.
Cara's not amounted to anything in WWE for a number of reasons. He's prone to botching and his inability to communicate with foes who don't speak Spanish creates a stilted, jarring pace for his matches. Those are the big two.
Less commonly cited reasons are his inability to cut promos English speakers (who are the overwhelming majority at most WWE events) can understand and his rather drab wardrobe. The former makes it tough to form an emotional attachment to him, because he can't cut archetypal babyface promos. If he was better versed in the American style and knew how to sell fatigue and pain with his body that problem could be overcome. But that's not the case.
His face being completely covered doesn't help him there. Not being able to see his pained expression makes his kayfabe suffering less real. There's a bigger problem with his mask though: it only seems to come in a handful of colours. Something so superficial shouldn't matter, but it does. Part of the reason Mysterio proved such a hit with WWE fans back in 2002 was that he was unlike anyone that the company had presented before. A big part of the package were his colourful outfits, none of which seemed to get more than a single televised outing.
Pray all you want mate, you're not cracking the main event any time soon
Cara has all the moves and the background but lacks the colourful appeal and the knowhow to engage fans. The injuries and sub-par matches have stopped him getting momentum going but his various shortcomings are the bigger issue.
None of this is to say I want him injured. Or botching and falling down the card for that matter. I'd love the guy to succeed in WWE. They need as many successful, marketable wrestlers as they can lay their mitts on and Cara could fit the bill.
I don't think he ever will though. Not only does he have all of the above working against him but he also now has the stigma of being the guy who's been on the roster for two years and accomplished nothing of note. I wouldn't blame him if he headed back to Mexico when his contract expires. I wouldn't miss him either.