Why Matt Hardy Says Rey Mysterio Is 'The Greatest Luchador To Ever Do It'

While the word "trailblazer" gets thrown around loosely to describe some wrestling legends, Rey Mysterio truly did break the proverbial glass ceiling when he became the first luchador to win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22. At one point in the 2000s, Mysterio's popularity paralleled that of even John Cena's, leading Vince McMahon — known to prefer bigger wrestlers in main event spots — to pull the trigger on Mysterio winning the top-level prize. On "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," Hardy took a minute to appreciate Mysterio's greatness, but the AEW star's praise for his former WWE colleague extended beyond their time shared in the ring. 

"In my opinion, Rey Mysterio is the greatest luchador to ever do it," Hardy said. "He broke so many barriers — so special. On top of being one of the most talented guys I've ever been blessed to step in the ring with, and wrestled so many times, both as opponents and his partners — he's incredibly talented, but he's also a phenomenal human being. One of the best guys I've ever met, and it's been an honor to say that I got to work with him so much."

Hardy recalled a specific match he had against Mysterio on the June 3, 2003, episode of "WWE SmackDown" where he defended his WWE Cruiserweight Championship. While Mysterio came away as the new champion that night, he took several losses to Hardy in the lead-up to the bout, notably at WrestleMania 19. Hardy noted the televised match was the "culmination of that whole angle" they had together, a storyline he cherishes to this day. "Rey Mysterio — without a doubt — a GOAT when it comes to luchadors," he concluded.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.