Dominik Mysterio is a staple on WWE television today, but he first was involved in a storyline when his father Rey Mysterio feuded with Eddie Guerrero. That was back in 2005 when Dominik was just 8 years old, and his love for the business has only grown in that time.
"That really made me love and appreciate the industry and everyone in the back, and I personally enjoyed traveling from city to city with my dad. Those long car rides with him, and going to the airport in the mornings, and being able to fight for the window with him so I could be able to sleep," recalled Dominik. "But I personally enjoyed all that. So, I think in the long run, it definitely did nudge me a little bit more towards being able to start wrestling."
While Dominik's first wrestling appearance was in WWE in 2005, his first wrestling memory goes back to watching his dad in WCW.
"First wrestling memory that I have is my dad getting hit in the head with the guitar by Jeff Jarrett. I was not there; I was watching it on TV and I had remembered because everything as far as wrestling was a blur. But that's the first thing that I remember," said Dominik. "And I remember it was Jeff Jarrett because I remember the yellow glasses, and I remember him just wailing my dad. I remember freaking out, asking my mom if he was okay, and she was like, 'We'll know in a little bit. Relax. It's okay.' But yeah, that's my first memory – my dad getting hit in the head with the guitar by Jeff Jarrett."
From WWE to CMLL to New Japan, Rey Mysterio has wrestled all over the world. Dominik was asked what the first wrestling event he attended was.
"There's a lot of local events I went to in Tijuana at the auditorium, [Auditorio] Fausto Gutierrez, so, that one. I went to those back in the day when I was a kid, but the first one that I remember was probably in Anaheim when my dad first came to WWE. He was feuding with Matt Hardy at the time," recalled Dominik.
"So, I remember I had all the Rocawear with the side visor. But yeah, I think that was my first SmackDown WWE event – my first wrestling event."
As stated earlier, Dominik's first wrestling storyline involved Eddie Guerrero. He remembers being around Guerrero as a kid and recording a vignette with him at a park.
"I remember doing vignettes with him, the one here at the park. Apparently, I don't remember which park it was, but it was a park around here. But I remember that very vividly. Other kids were playing at the park and after every take, Eddie would offer me candy. Whether it was Twizzlers or Red Vines, but he would always have candy for me ready. 'You ready to go?' 'Yeah Uncle, let's do it', and give me some candy, and we're off," said Dominik who then was asked about his best memories of Guerrero.
"There's so many. There are times where after House Shows, he would come over to the house. My mom would basically force him to come over and spend the night because she didn't want him to spend any money staying at a hotel or anything. She wanted him to be in the comfort of our home because he was like best friends with my dad.
"So, I remember waking up in the mornings and having breakfast burritos with him. I remember one time, after a Hall of Fame, he -- I don't know if you guys remember the PSPs back in the day. I had one of the first ones that came out, and he bought me FIFA '04 or something for it. And I remember I was super excited, and I still have it in my PSP and it's there. So, that memory of Eddie will always be with me."
The storyline involving Guerrero, Dominik, and Rey concluded at SummerSlam in 2005 when Mysterio was victorious. It was a ladder match for custody of Dominik, who interfered on his father's behalf. Dominik talked about that match and his spot to interfere in the match.
"I remember Eddie being upset at the end because of timing issues. We were in the back, he was throwing crap and hitting stuff. My dad was like, 'It's okay, it happens', and I was like, 'But is he good? Is he okay? Did I do anything wrong?' Because I remember I had to shake the ladder and I was told not to shake it too hard, because I didn't want to knock him off," recalled Dominik. "So, I remember I kind of just moved myself and didn't move the ladder. I thought maybe I moved it too hard or something, and then, I also remember the social worker that was sitting next to me. She kind of gave me the cue on when to jump over the barricade - to go and shake it. That was pretty cool. Little things like that I remember are always going to be special with me."
Just as Rey performs the Frog Splash as a tribute to Guerrero, Dominik also does the same to honor "Uncle Eddie." He was asked when the first time he performed the move was, and how it was decided that it would be his go-to move.
"When I hit the Frog Splash on Brock [at Survivor Series]. We were in the back talking about what we could do if something presented itself, and my dad was like, 'Hit him with the Frog Splash.' I was like, 'I've never done a Frog Splash before.' Well, I just started looking at videos of how Eddie used to do it, and it kind of just came together. So, from there on, we were just like, 'Yeah, I'll hit the Froggy.' So now, it's just the 'Eddie Frog Splash'," said Dominik.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Chris Van Vliet Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.