Cheers and excitement filled the AmericanAirlines Arena after Rey Mysterio was introduced to the capacity crowd before Hell in a Cell got underway on Sunday, Oct. 27 in Miami.
The popular WWE superstar has been sidelined with a knee injury for most of 2013 and is working toward an official return to the ring. Mysterio, who is featured in the new WWE 2K14 video game, joined the Spanish announce team for the event. He says the opportunity to serve as analyst for the pay-per-view caught him off guard.
“We were first supposed to do a half hour of commentating with the Spanish team,” Mysterio said. “I think it worked out well that I was able to stick around, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the show very much. It was definitely a different side compared to being in the ring. It was awesome…Being that close to the ring, but not wrestling was breathtaking. For a while I would forget I was commentating and be really into the match. The matches were incredible. I thought the pay-per-view was incredible. The fans make the matches and make the show, so the fans were incredible as well.”
Besides his South Florida appearance, Mysterio actually returned to the ring teaming with Sin Cara to defeat Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio during a recent live event in Mexico. The veteran performer felt it went well, asking for the match to test out his knee.
“It was more of a let’s see how my body reacts and my knee reacts to being back in the ring,” Mysterio said. “Overall I felt good but still feel I need a bit more therapy, just from the damage I’ve done through the years to my knee. We are back to therapy and strengthening up that quad and hamstring, just making sure there are no mistakes this next time.”
Mysterio has suffered numerous injuries throughout his long career. His mentality these days is making sure he is not returning to the WWE grind prematurely and when his body tells him he is ready. He hopes to make 2014 his comeback year.
“I think if I don’t do it by the end of the year, then next year,” Mysterio said. “I would hate to push myself instead of taking my time. I want to make a good return, and not being absent shortly after my return. It’s something I’m still debating. I’m going to listen to my body.”
The driven superstar’s passion to compete on the highest level and bring members of the WWE Universe to their feet remains.
“I’m definitely still motivated and feel the urge to be in the ring,” Mysterio said. “I’ve always told myself the day I don’t feel that anymore is the day I need to say, ‘That’s it.’ I still have some years inside me that I want to push forward, I want to go out and entertain. I miss it. I really do. I miss being out there and the interaction with the fans. I miss the applause and the 619 chants. I’m hoping that God still gives me a couple of more years for me to perform.”
The WWE landscape has changed tremendously during the time Mysterio has been away. A crop of emerging talent has made their presence felt. The San Diego native is looking to working with many of them.
“There are so many superstars now I haven’t been in the ring with,” Mysterio said.
“The last part I had was really with [Alberto] Del Rio and CM Punk. So we got Daniel Bryan now, the Shield. There are so many opponents out there that I would like to go at. With [Hell in a Cell] and watching the Shield work in that tag team match for the titles was definitely something I would have loved to be a part of. It’s the same with the Usos. There is so much future in the WWE roster right now. I want to test myself and see if I can still go.”
Fans clamoring for Mysterio’s triumphant return to the ring can play as the superstar in WWE 2K14. It’s one of more than a number of games the colorful and exciting high-flyer has been a part of. Mysterio is amazed at how far technology has developed, going from his inclusion in WCW vs. the World to the latest WWE game.
“The graphics back then compared to now, there is no comparison,” Mysterio said. “Now I see myself in the videogame and have to take a look at it twice. I mean it’s so realistic and so to the tee. With the moves and ring entrances, it doesn’t get any better. It’s advanced so much year-after-year.”
He enjoys providing input and voiceovers whenever asked. Mysterio believes the developers going to the superstars themselves help make it the most accurate representation of WWE possible.
“I’m sure with the moves they have a file of records of all the moves of all the talent,” Mysterio said. “There has never been a move that Rey Mysterio has done in the videogame that he hasn’t done in real life. So they try to perfect it as much as possible. Outfits are the same. I’m an outfit guy. I love to bust out with different colors every time. Sure enough, just when I think I’m ahead, they outsmart me and top that off as well.”
Mysterio has found moves he hasn’t done in a while and forgot about were included in the games. It can sometimes lead to ideas to bring it back into his offensive arsenal. Despite almost two decades of being in wrestling videogames, Mysterio describes himself as a novice player.
“Honestly, I’m not that good, and it does get frustrating when your kid keeps beating you,” Mysterio said. “By now I should learn my lesson and practice on my own so when my son does come home from school I can be like, ‘Hey son, you want to come play some?’ Then whoop him. He would recognize it right away that I had been practicing. My son and I sit down and play every now and then. He does happen to pick Rey Mysterio, and I happen to pick on most occasions Eddie Guerrero.”
For Mysterio, the games are trips down memory lane with grapplers past and present. He enjoys reliving the matches he had with the late Guerrero in this unique way. Countless WWE superstars and divas have described being included on the roster as another milestone in their careers. A sign they’ve made it. Mysterio says it’s something that has humbled him over the years.
“To come this far after 24 years of my career, to see the action figures that have been made and videogames I’ve been a part of,” Mysterio said.
“Also, to realize all of the friends I have with me, but are still remembered through the videogame. Those are things that really make you think about life and what you’ve accomplished and how you can keep moving forward.”
Looking to the future, the entertainer is concentrating on making sure his knee gets better and better.
“It’s a slow process, and I have to be very patient,” Mysterio said. “As soon as I’m back, I’m going to try to make my way to the top again. Getting challenges out there, making matches and beating some of the best superstars out there.”
Mysterio was able to instill some of insight and advice to the superstars of tomorrow at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. Opening its doors this year, the state-of-the-art facility is where the developmental stars of NXT hone their skills.
“It’s incredible,” Mysterio said. “There is no reason why you shouldn’t be successful with the way the training center looks right now. If I would have had this type of facility when I was growing up, I mean we trained in a ring where the ropes were made out of wire. The mat didn’t have padding underneath it, as it was all plywood. When it rained the roof had a hole in it and water would sometimes leak inside, hitting a certain part of the ring.
“Even through the rough times you made it work, so there is no reason why any of the stars or the up-and-coming stars can’t become superstars. I really wish I had this type of facility, but at the same time you look at the roster, and there is a big roster at the camp. I was out there about a month ago. I was really impressed with the way they run things. Hopefully, my son, who is 16 now, would maybe one day be a part of it.”
His son, Dominik, at a young age, got experience in front of the camera as well as WWE crowds during some of Mysterio’s angles. It may just be the beginning.
Mysterio said: “I definitely think if it’s something my son would like to do, I don’t see why I wouldn’t help him and support him in any way.”
• WWE 2K14 is available now. Visit http://wwe.2k.com.
• Follow Rey Mysterio @ReyMysterio.
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