Óscar Gutiérrez, aka Rey Mysterio, is undoubtedly one of the most loved wrestlers to have ever graced the ring. He mesmerizes opponents with his athletic feats and his wrestling capabilities and sends those who witness his stunning moves, that iconic Lucha Libre high-flying styling that he’s made his own, into raptures. Fans love him and want to see him doing his thing as often as they can, and his fellow wrestlers adore him too. He has a ton of fans all over the world, and there aren’t too many people who have a bad thing to say about him. He’s a nice guy out of the ring too, does his wrestling duties and his promotional work with a smile on his face, and always has time for his fans. He’s just an all-round great guy, one of the best in wrestling.
He’s a terrific wrestler, but the masked luchador also has an air of mystery about him, and there are many aspects of his life he’s made a conscious effort to keep as secret as possible. Part of the intrigue is because he wears that famous mask, not only when he’s in the ring, but when he’s going about his life out of it too. “Rey Misterio” is Spanish for “King Mystery,” so his personality, that mask, and the way he goes about things fits his name perfectly.
Inevitably being the superstar that he is, there’s only going to be so much that he can keep secret. Fans want to know more about this enigmatic fellow, this diminutive secretive bloke who’s become a global phenomenon over the years. So here it is, let’s take the mask off for a bit and unveil some interesting facts about the man they call King Mystery, 15 things you didn’t know about Rey Mysterio.
15. He’s A Kraniophiliac
Don’t worry, although this sounds like a bit of a weird word, it doesn’t mean your favorite wrestler is a sick perverted freak or anything like that. It simply means that Rey Mysterio loves skulls – he’s absolutely fascinated by them. Granted, it’s a bit of a weird thing to be fascinated by, skulls, skeletons and the whole death thing, it’s a bit morbid, but I suppose there could be worse things that he could be into! He’s even incorporated his love for skulls into his ring attire. Once, while with WWE, he came into the ring donning that white skull mask – that was certainly a sight to behold, although it was probably too morbid for WWE’s liking, and it was soon ditched.
His reason for loving skulls isn’t actually as morbid as you might think. It’s to remind him of mortality, of eternal rewards, how to live his life and treat every moment as a blessing. It’s also to do with his culture; All Hallows and All Souls Day is celebrated in Mexico – a day on which the dead are celebrated, so it’s obviously a tradition close to Rey Mysterio’s heart.
14. The 619 Isn’t Original
People love Rey Mysterio for all sorts of different reasons, and one of those reasons is because of his finishing move, that iconic 619. Mysterio was one of the first wrestlers to bring that high-flying style of wrestling to the mainstream, make it popular, and nothing demonstrates that Lucha Libre style more than that famous 619. It really is a remarkable move, – you’d be hard-pressed to find any wrestler who can perform any move better than Mysterio doing the 619 – and he does so with such grace and elegance, even nowadays after he’s become jacked. His athletic capabilities are truly remarkable, and that 619 is an example of that. It’s a move synonymous with Rey Mysterio, but what a lot of people probably don’t know, is that it’s actually a take on the “Tiger Feint” which was carried out by Satoru Sayama. Satoru was actually the first wrestler to perform anything like the 619 we all know and love today, and it’s where Mysterio got his inspiration from.
13. He’s Stoutly Religious
A lot of wrestlers find it incredibly tough to deal with everything the industry throws at them. Sure, it’s terrific, you get to achieve fame and fortune, bask in the limelight, and be adored by the masses, but it’s incredibly gruelling and can leave you debilitated at the same time. It’s life on the road, living out of a suitcase, travelling all over the place, and sometimes not coming home for weeks at a time. It’s gotten even those who we consider to be the hardest of wrestlers down, and many have turned to alcohol and drugs as a means of coping.
Rey Mysterio also had to endure this gruelling schedule while he was with WWE, which is one of the reasons he left the promotion. But he was able to manage and gain strength, firstly because of a strong support system and stable family life – I’ll get onto that in a bit – but also because of his faith in God. Mysterio’s a stoutly religious man. He’s a practicing Roman Catholic, often prays before big events, and has various religious symbols tattooed on his body, so that his God and religion is always going to be a part of him.
12. Wanted To Move To WWE In 2000
You wrestling aficionados will know that Rey Mysterio joined WWE in 2002 – he burst onto the scene and pretty soon became a household name with the world’s biggest wrestling promotion. But Mysterio was already making waves in the wrestling industry before then, with WCW. But he wasn’t happy with the way things were unravelling at the promotion, and neither were a lot of other wrestlers at the time. In fact, most of the roster were unhappy with the situation, and they had reason to be too, because WCW was a promotion in tatters at the time. The goings on at the company can only be described as utter chaos, so it’s little wonder that Rey Mysterio and a number of other star names wanted to jump ship and deflect to WWE. In 2000, he actually started putting things in place to make the move, contract negotiations and all that official stuff, but the move never happened, mainly because most of the roster were on the same page, and were trying to move away too. He stuck it out for another couple of years before joining the promotion where he belonged.
11. He Was A Stunt Double
Most wrestlers get into the movie business. Wrestling is, for all intents and purposes, acting, and so many feel that the transition from the ring to the big screen is going to be a piece of cake, and actually do quite well, but there are others who have tried their hands at acting and have fallen way short of the mark. There have been some dire performances from wrestlers in movies over the years, but we can’t really add Mysterio to this list. He’s not one of the big names in wrestling who’s starred in lots of movies; he may be big in wrestling, but it’s not really surprising, because let’s face it, he’s short, not the best looking bloke, and is only really recognized when his face is covered behind that mask. But Mysterio may disagree – he has been in a movie, albeit for a few seconds, as a stunt double. He appeared as a stunt double in the slasher movie Freddy vs. Jason. One of the main characters in that movie took a jump off some metal pipes – well, people thought it was the main character, but it was actually Mysterio. The film was an epic flop, not that Mysterio would give a damn, he can still say he a part of that movie, although his role was so brief, he probably wasn’t even credited for the appearance!
10. Family Life
As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s mightily tough to maintain a stable family due to everything being a professional wrestler entails. If you’re lucky enough to find a supporting partner, that someone has got to be used to being without you for long periods of time and has got to be really understanding. If kids are involved, it makes things even harder, even more complicated. That’s why wrestlers have a reputation for hooking up with multiple women, even if married, and being unfaithful. Consequently, many marriages in the wrestling industry have ended; a wrestling career and family life, it’s hard to maintain both. But Mysterio bucks the trend and is one of only a handful of pros out there who’s been with the same woman pretty much throughout his entire career. He got hitched to Angie in 1996, and pretty soon she was in the family way. A year later their son, Dominic, was born, and in 2001, their daughter Aalyah came along too. Needless to say, he loves his kids dearly. They’ve made a few appearances in the ring with Mysterio over the years, but aside from that, they’re a pretty private family, preferring to stay out of the limelight and do their own thing.
9. Musical Endeavours
Mysterio’s got a book, has been in a movie, and he can add being a rapper to his ever-expanding résumé too.
People love everything about Rey Mysterio: that 619, his athletic feats in the ring, but also his ring entrances. He’s had some kick-ass ring entrances over the years; it’s when the excitement starts to build, and the music has a big part to play in that. He has used different types of music over the years, but by far and away the best track he’s used has been his own, the one he helped create. That “Booyaka 619” song became a massive hit among his fans, and he’s used and has gone on to perform it many times over the years, much to everyone’s delight.
He’s also rapped in the song “Crossing Borders,” which was released on the album “WWE Originals” and that too did pretty well on the charts. His songs are energetic, upbeat, are influenced by his culture, and just represent Rey Mysterio perfectly.
8. Rumored Affair With Jennifer Aniston
I’ve mentioned how Rey Mysterio is one of only a handful of wrestlers who’s had a stable relationship throughout his entire career. There’s never really been any scandals or any juicy bits of gossip about Mysterio getting up to mischief – well, not until the rumors about him having an affair with Jennifer Aniston surfaced anyway. These rumors really did rock the wrestling world for a while, but I must emphasize that they were just that, rumors. There wasn’t any truth to them at all, and both Jennifer, who was a prominent star on Friends at the time, and Mysterio were quick to refute these claims. The National Enquirer published the story on the alleged love affair, but Mysterio – who you’d have expected to be fuming – actually found it pretty humorous: “I have no idea what that was about or what it came from. Maybe somebody wanted to get my name out there and started the rumor. Anyway, I thought it was funny. I even showed it to my wife – best coming from me, no?” He got a bit of grief from it from his fellow wrestlers, but he’s a jovial guy and just took it for what it was, some banter and gentle ribbing. In fact, he found the whole thing so comical, he actually got a copy of that article and has it in his house!
7. The Meaning Behind Those Tatts
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Mysterio’s a bit of a tattoo lover. He’s absolutely covered with them, and most of them mean something that has some sort of significance in his life. Others are just body art that he thinks looks good.
There are so many tattoos, it’s difficult to know where to start. Let’s begin with those that show off his Mexican heritage. He’s mightily proud of his Mexican roots, and has the name of his country proudly tattooed across his stomach. Then there’s the religious tatts – the rosary beads he has around his neck, and the cross too. Then of course, there’re tattoos of his family members, those who have a special importance in his life. He’s got a number of symbols and the names of his kids inked on his arms. For his wife, he’s got “Love Till Death” on his calf, presumably meaning love till death do us part.
6. Has Been Suspended Twice By WWE
Rey Mysterio may be loved by the masses and an all-round great guy, but his record in the wrestling industry is far from squeaky clean. You couldn’t lump him in with the bad boys of wrestling, but having said that, he has gotten into plenty of hot water with the heads of promotions in the past. He’s had issues before coming to WWE, about refusing to be unmasked, but during his stint with WWE, things got a lot more serious. In fact, things got so serious, that he was actually suspended for being in violation of the promotion’s Wellness Policy, not once, but twice.
The first occasion began with a sting operation carried out by Sports Illustrated in 2007. Mysterio’s name was implicated in an anabolic steroid ring, and consequently he was suspended for a month in 2009. His second suspension came in 2012, this time because he failed a drug test and tested positive for amphetamines. He was suspended for a couple of months on this occasion. These suspensions are pretty much the only mark on what’s otherwise been a glittering career spent on the straight and narrow.
5. Was Best Friends With Eddie Guerrero
Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero had their fair share of run ins in the past, and it’s all made for a brilliant spectacle because they’re each fine wrestlers, but out of the ring they were the best of friends.
Both hail from Mexico and are incredibly proud of their culture. In fact, when they were both with WWE, they had big plans to go and take over the wrestling scene together in Mexico. They were putting things in place and had discussed putting on events, going over there and selling out arenas, increasing the popularity of wrestling in Mexico, which is already pretty big as it is.
Lots of people were crushed when Eddie Guerrero died in 2005 due to heart failure, and none more so than his best buddy, Rey Mysterio. He was seriously cut up by the tragic loss, and turned to God and religion to help him through those difficult times.
4. Is A Bodybuilding Nut
Those who have seen Rey Mysterio over the years, from his younger days with WCW to now where he’s wrestling with Lucha Underground, would’ve seen the transformation. It really is remarkable; Mysterio’s turned from a skinny little individual to a mass monster, and now has a physique that can rival the best bodies in the business. All that bulk hasn’t affected his athletic capabilities in the ring; he hasn’t become slow and cumbersome, far from it. He’s as fit as ever and looks it.
Mysterio loves living that whole bodybuilding lifestyle. He trains hard, trains heavy, eats every two to three hours, and does everything he can possibly do to enable his body to pack on size.
We came to know about his bodybuilding journey when he posted a pic of himself on social media in August 2016. The pic was of him looking jacked and absolutely massive, and the reason? He captioned the images saying he wanted to motivate his son, because he knows his son’s going to turn into a “complete beast.” And he just loves living the lifestyle and being jacked of course.
3. His Son’s About To Follow In His Footsteps
November of last year is when we first came to know of Mysterio’s son Dominic’s intention to wrestle. Mysterio, during an interview, said that Dominic was obsessed with getting in decent shape, and was working hard to get to the level of fitness required to be in the ring. Mysterio, of course, helped him out and guided him along the way, and was there in attendance at his first training session in January. January 25th was his first day of wrestling training, which took place with Finest City Wrestling, Battle U, in San Diego, and included a session of forward roles and other basic tumbling moves.
Dominic’s actually gained exposure in the industry before. He was once the subject of a storyline in which Mysterio and Eddie battled for custody of him, and he made quite a few appearances during that period. It’s amazing to think that the little Dominic we all saw then may once again appear in the ring with his dad – it’ll truly be an amazing story, but Dominic’s got some way to go before he’s even at half the level of his dad.
2. He Absolutely Hates Being Unmasked
For a luchador, Rey Mysterio absolutely hates being unmasked. His mask is kind of an extension of himself, it’s part of his identity, so for someone to try and take that piece of himself away is a really big deal.
A lot of other mask-wearers over the years have done so in the ring, but that’s it, when the lights and cameras are turned off, they give the world glimpses of their actual faces. But Rey’s not like that. He takes the whole mystery thing – because that’s the whole point of wearing a mask – very seriously, and so even when he’s not on wrestling duty, the mask stays on – either that or he covers his face by doing that customary hand in front of the face pose. Of course, now and again there’ve been occasions where he’s been unmasked, but he absolutely hates it. He doesn’t like people seeing him without that mask he’s become so famous for.
1. Is Part Of An Extended Family Of Wrestlers
Because Rey Mysterio, Jr., to give him his full wrestling name, is such a global phenomenon, you may not know that he’s not the only wrestler in his family. The fact that he’s got a Jr. after his name would probably give you a clue – you’d expect that there was a Sr. and there certainly was, his uncle, from whom he learnt the majority of what he knows today.
Rey Mysterio Sr. took young Oscar under his wing, and trained him and got him involved in the industry in the first place. When they started out, they actually began wrestling together, but Oscar progressed quickly through the ranks and moved on to other promotions. But he never forgets all that his uncle’s done for him, a person who he considers to be a second dad.
Rey Mysterio Sr.’s son, Oscar’s cousin, El Hijo de Rey Misterio – a bit of a mouthful! – is also a wrestler, wrestling out of Mexico, although as of yet, he hasn’t achieved anywhere near the success as the two prominent names in his family have enjoyed.