Last week, Rey Mysterio punched his ticket towards an opportunity at possibly becoming the official Men's MITB winner, after beating Murphy during their MITB qualifying match on RAW. Mysterio was so impressed with Murphy's athleticism during their match, that he made a note of it during his interview on The Bump today.
"Murphy has gained my respect," Mysterio excitedly stated. "I have a lot of respect for the upcoming talent. Man, they're coming in hot, and they're ready to display what they have in store. It reminds me of a young Rey Mysterio. You know, when I was coming in back in the mid-'90s, there was no one that was going to hold me back; I was coming in full force. That's how I see the competitiveness coming in WWE. And again, Murphy is one of those guys."
Though Mysterio has influenced so many men and women in pro wrestling, Mysterio says that if it weren't for certain past Superstars from America and Mexico, he wouldn't be the high-flying wrestler that he is today.
"Oh man, I had many wrestlers who influenced me," Mysterio noted. "From the American side I had: Ricky Steamboat, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Bret Hart, without a doubt, Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask; they were a big influence in my life. I would watch a lot of their matches [DynamiteKid and Tiger Mask] prior to going to Japan, and to ECW back in the day.
"In Mexico, I grew up watching the Negro Casas, El Hijo del Santo and Blue Panther, just legends of Lucha Libre."
Back in 1999, during the SuperBrawl IX in WCW, Mysterio and Konnan lost to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hair vs. mask match. Mysterio, for the first time in his career, had to remove his mask. Because of how significant luchador's masks are to their identity, Mysterio had to seek permission from the official Lucha Libre Commission to wear his mask again. Shockingly enough, Mysterio stated that if it came down to it, he would put his mask up on the line, again.
"If the opportunity came about, I would jump in a heartbeat [on putting his mask on the line again]," Mysterio announced. "I think that's what makes Lucha Libre exciting and in this case to bring Lucha Libre to the WWE, and show the WWE Universe the excitement behind the mask vs. hair match, or the mask vs. title match. You know you put your heart out there in those matches. I would actually love to jump in the ring one of these days before I retire and put my mask on the line against something that is well worth it."
You can view Rey Mysterio's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE's The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.