One of the most famous lucha libre wrestlers in the World to date, Rey Mysterio Jr. (Real name Oscar Gutierrez) is the nephew of Rey Misterio Sr. who helped train the young wrestler. Starting his career in Mexican promotion AAA, Mysterio went to ECW in 1992, where his high-flying style attracted the attention of Eric Bischoff - who was scouting for lucha wrestlers in order to give WCW a more unique feel to it. Along with other luchadores and cruiserweights, Mysterio caught the attention of the crowd with the fast paced and risk taking matches, becoming one of the high points of WCW all the way up to its demise.After WCW collapsed, Mysterio competed for various independent circuits - including wrestling against future world champions Eddie Guerrero and CM Punk in IWA Mid-South - before signing with WWE in 2002, where he has since become one of its biggest stars and a main eventer on the company's Smack Down brand, up until he was drafted to Raw in 2011.As usual, That Other Wiki has a detailed article on his life and career.
"Who's that tropin' out the sky? R-E-Y Misterio, here we go":
Author Appeal: He's friends with the members of POD, who also hail from the San Diego area. They perform the entrance theme he's been using since 2006.
Arch-Enemy: He's had many enemies over the years, but his arch enemy would probably be either Psicosis or Eddie Guerrero. In the last year or two, it's been Alberto Del Rio.
Big Brother Mentor: Has become one to Sin Cara, with whom he has formed a tag team. The announcers explicitly refer to their team-up as a mentor-protege relationship.
Breakup Break Out: Rey Mysterio was once a member of the stables known as the No Limit Soldiers and then the Filthy Animals in his WCW days. Since then, Rey Rey has achieved the most success as a singles competitor in the U.S.
Canon Discontinuity: WWE does not acknowledge that Rey Mysterio lost his mask in WCW. Ever. This is more obvious on DVDs, but made patently clear when, during a PPV match featuring Mysterio, the announcers said that ever since he started wrestling, he'd never taken the mask off.
Which is odd because WWE has released at least one photo of him backstage with his mask off as part of a tour article. Maybe their rule is simply not to unmask him on TV.
Possibly due to this, on CM Punk's documentary DVD, while they discuss his match with Eddie Guerrero in IWA Mid-South, they leave out that the two of them had a three way match with Mysterio.
Note that most fans don't really object to this. Many feel he should have never been unmasked in the first place, and rightfully so; Bischoff didn't think masked wrestlers were marketable and made Mysterio take off his mask. Then he barely used him at all. The commission doesn't make a big deal out of this, mainly because they like Rey's uncle, hate Bischoff, and the case is special for a number of reasons (the disrespectful manner of the unmasking being one of them), so they made an exception.
Cool Mask: The design of his masks changed a lot over the years before finally become somewhat standardized in WWE. He still got new Mask designs but he wears them over his standard ones.
Creepy Cool Crosses: Justified, as the man is Roman Catholic, but the amount of crucifixes on his outfit is mildly unsettling. (And that's not even getting into his tattoos.)
David Versus Goliath: Rey's always the former when put up against guys even half above his height. And despite his can-do attitude against big men, he'll often lose to these kind of guys, whether or not the match was won cleanly.
Determinator: Perhaps the fact he still wrestles at all is a sign but the basis of his (first) feud with Kane was having this put to the test.
Royal Rumble 2006 showed how much he was willing to go, as his record of 62 minutes is still the longest time in the Royal Rumble to date.
Doting Parent: Would affectionately call his daughter "Princess" when she was on TV.
Early-Bird Cameo: His WWE ring attire (sans mask) makes an appearance in IWA Mid South in January 2002, five months before his debut in WWE.
Even the Guys Want Him: If you can name one semi-regular tag partner he's ever had that didn't snuggle, kiss, and hug him at every available chance, I'd love to hear it.
All of which crosses over into outright Bishōnen especially in the most recent Smackdown intro video. There, he looks barely a teenager, the lighting really emphasizes his long eyelashes and eyes, and to top it off, the lighting combined with his mask also gives him bishie sparkles.
Face: Rey has spent almost his entire career as a face. Even his stint in the heel stable the Filthy Animals, he came across more as a tweener going along with the heel thing because it's what his friends were doing. Since joining the WWE, Rey has never been anything but a pure face, a shockingly rare feat in the land of Heel-Face Revolving Door that is pro wrestling. He's effectively the Ricky Steamboat of his generation.
It's really hard to boo him. The first time he's been booed was 2014's Royal Rumble, when it was revealed that he was the final entry and not Daniel Bryan, as the crowd wanted. To say the crowd was furious would be the Understatement of the Year.
They did the same a few years before, with Ultimo Dragon, Psicosis, Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera, as well as midget wrestlers like Mascarita Sagrada and Tzuki. Ultimo was popular but did not have the stage personality to be involved in storylines, and Juventud got fired for bad behavior. Psicosis and Super Crazy continued on for a while before giving up. The midget division ended quickly due to there being no real plot behind it. WWE's short lived Cruiserweight division was largely patterned for Mysterio, but ended due to the company's toning down of high flying moves after several wrestlers (for instance Brock Lesnar) had injuries performing them.
Friend to All Children: Probably the most popular wrestler (behind John Cena of course) among young children. In fact, just take a gander at his entrance, where he stops to shake hands with or kiss every single child in the front rows before entering the ring.
Bonus points for children in the front seats who wears a Rey Mysterio mask. Rey will come to them and do a luchador-esque forehead bump to them and will give a lucky child the mask over his mask.
His popularity is easily greater than John Cena's because he is also loved by smarks who liked him in WCW and ECW and fans of lucha libre. However, WWE has always made sure that the most promoted wrestler is a heavyweight face, and Cena fits that bill.
Genre Savvy: When up against Eddie Guerrero in a mask vs title match in '97, Mysterio anticipated Guerrero making illegal attempts at removing the mask during the match, and wore a full body costume with a mask that attached to the rest of it.
Gratuitous Spanish: Oh, brother. Lately, it seems as if Mysterio has turned into the wrestling equivalent of Dora the Explorer. It gets worse whenever he appears in California or the Southwest. ("Kane is a little delusional!"/"Es un vato loco!") Somewhat justified, as a key part of Smack Down's ratings during its broadcast TV run was its excellent numbers in Latino households, thanks chiefly to Rey and the late Eddie Guerrero.
I Have the High Ground: As per usual for the lucha libre style. Much moreso in his younger years, back when his knees were still in one piece.
Institutional Apparel: Rey occasionally competed in a set of orange prison scrubs during his unmasked period in WCW (chiefly when he was a part of the Filthy Animals).
Invincible Hero: In the past few years, he has become nearly unstoppable. Losses, clean or otherwise, have become a major rarity for Rey (which doesn't stop the commentators from calling him an "underdog").
It hasn't been as bad in 2009 and 2010, with Rey being beaten by the likes of Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, CM Punk, John Morrison, Kane, and Alberto Del Rio, as well as losing one fall to Jack Swagger via submission in a two out of three falls match.
He has gotten most of those losses back from Del Rio, Chris Jericho, and CM Punk. In fact, after they (CM Punk and Chris Jericho) beat him once, Mysterio went on and started pinning them clean.
Kid-Appeal Character: He will likely always appeal to kids for his height alone but he also gives out masks to them and frequently wears bright colors like yellow.
Legacy Character: To his uncle, despite the Jr, or the fact his uncle is much larger and more grounded when he wrestles.
Location Theme Naming: The West Coast Pop is obviously named from the West Coast of the US, while the 619 is the area code of San Diego, CA (which is part of the West Coast), Rey's hometown.
It's interesting to note that the last couple of years of Rey's WCW career were spent unmasked (as pointed out above, WWE never acknowledges this). In fact, this is in part why he's simply called "Rey Mysterio" in WWE: Rey Jr. and the original Rey Mysterio found a way around the strict rules in Mexico regarding luchadores losing their masks (if they lose it, they can't put it back on) - while Rey Misterio Jr. had been unmasked, Rey Misterio (the original) had not. The original Misterio gave Rey Jr. permission to use "Rey Mysterio" (minus the "Jr."), and Rey's mask was back on - this time, for good.
They also changed the "I" to a "Y" for good measure, but that may have been a WWE move as they've done the same with other wrestlers, like Rhyno.
The spelling of Rey's surname may be a remnant of his stint in WCW, as they were known for mispronouncing and misspelling the luchadores' names. Most notably, they promoted Ultimo Dragon (actually translates to "Last Dragon") as "The Ultimate Dragon" for about 2 years.
The Spanish for Mystery is actually Misterio but it was changed by WWE to Mysterio so people would realise it means "mystery" as opposed to meaning "mister". This caused another problem - that people thought 'Rey' was his first name and didn't know it is the Spanish for king. Though, to be fair, 'Rey' is a given name in some Spanish-speaking countries.
Meaningful Name: His name is Spanish for "The King of Mystery"; his early WCW ring attire was dotted with question marks.
One of the most infamous of such attires was a Phantom-inspired purple bodysuit that had question marks all over it; this attire was most notably worn during his famous match with Eddie Guerrero at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997.
The Mentor: Ever since forming a tag team with Sin Cara, he's been referred to as a mentor to him.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In one of the most famous clips of the N Wo running roughshod over the WCW roster, Kevin Nash (7'2") picked up Mysterio (5'3") over his head and threw him head-first into a production truck like a lawn dart. The thud and the accompanying bellyflop to the pavement were sick to look at.
The Big Show would top this at the 2003 Backlash PPV. After shrugging off THREE 619 maneuvers in a row and defeating him handily, Rey was taken out on a stretcher board. Big Show, however, came back down, picked up Rey still strapped to the board and swung the board like a baseball bat against the ring post (which would be sick in itself, but the immobile Rey also splatted face-first to the mat).
Lets face it. If you are a heel, want to do a Face-Heel Turn, or just want to gain credibility as a heel, beat the ever loving hell out of Rey Mysterio. It seems to be in the heel manual these days.
Older than They Look: The mask and Rey's small stature work well to hide the fact that he's much older than his appearance lets on. He's actually 38.
Still doesnt change the fact that Chris Jericho thought he was a 13 year old boy the first time he saw him, according to Jericho's own biography.
Rey's now-13 year old son is about four inches taller than his dad!
And, in a few photos that show WWE wrestlers in their free time, Rey STILL looks pretty much the same.
Omniglot: Maybe not in real life, but he seems to be able to easily converse with everyone else on the roster, up to and including a mute leprechaun and a giant who can barely even speak his own language.
Papa Wolf: Harming his kids is a good way to get him angry as seen with his feuds with Eddie Guerrero (when Eddie trued to use his son, Dominic, as a shield) and CM Punk (for causing his daughter, Aalyah, to cry on her birthday)
Shout-Out: His falls count anywhere match against Cody Rhodes had several shout outs to ECW including a long brawl throughout the arena, "HOLY SHIT!" chants, a failed attempt at a Psycho Guillotine (longtime rival Psicosis's finisher), and finally beating Cody by using Asian mist like Tajiri.
Unlimited Wardrobe: While a lot of WWE's major stars tend to wear same ring gear for at least a few months at a time, Rey Mysterio seems to have a different set of mask and matching pants every other week.
Weaksauce Weakness: Mysterio beating on you? Everything you throw at him failing? Rip off his mask and he'll immediately try to cover his face, leaving himself wide open to be pummeled. Alberto Del Rio uses this tactic liberally.
What Could Have Been: A rare case of a bad What Could Have Been being averted - Vince McMahon was not at all interested in Mysterio, didn't think WWE fans would be interested in small flippy wrestlers, and it took his entire creative team arguing against him to convince him to bring Mysterio in at a reduced rate.
A former WWE writer said in a shoot interview that Vince never planned on letting Rey keep the World Heavyweight Championship as long as he did. John Bradshaw Layfield was supposed to win the title, but injuries kept JBL from having a run with it.
Also, the Sin Cara character was meant to capitalize off Rey's popularity and serve as an eventual Spiritual Successor. The plan for Rey and Sin Cara was to team them together (and put the Tag Titles on them, depending on who you ask) or a time, which would have eventually culminated in a Teacher Versus Student match at WrestleMania, where WWE would have attempted to set a Guinness World Record for most people wearing masks at a televised event - potentially HSQ-breaking match notwithstanding. But between Sin Cara's botching and both wrestlers' injuries, WWE ended up being forced to give up on the experiment entirely.
Wrestling Family: WWE refuses to acknowledge this, but Rey Misterio (Rey Misterio Jr.) is in a pretty well known family south of the border. He is a second generation superstar, and might be considered the best in this line. There is also El hijo de Rey Misterio who wrestles in Mexico. So every time Mysterio starts a feud with a Guerrero which one or both accuse Rey of wanting to be a Guerrero, a Wallbanger ensues.
Wrestling Psychology: Mysterio is probably the best at selling without overselling and the best at being a babyface in the industry.
Though considering that he's had surgery five times on his knees, how much of it is selling?