Rey Mysterio winning the 2006 Royal Rumble match and then capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22 remains one of the greatest underdog stories in pro wrestling history.
However, if Vince McMahon had his way, Mysterio would have never got his moment, according to Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Radio.
While remembering the life and legacy of Pat Patterson, Meltzer revealed that McMahon was adamantly against Mysterio getting the World Title after the death of Eddie Guerrero. McMahon reportedly wanted to do an angle to take away Mysterio’s WrestleMania match and instead have a singles bout between champion Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. That was until Patterson stepped in.
Meltzer noted that while “all the writers wanted Rey to win the title,” McMahon didn’t even want the Master of the 619 in the championship match. Patterson was “the tiebreaker” who convinced McMahon that Mysterio should walk out of Mania as the champion, added Meltzer.
It eventually became a triple-threat match between Mysterio, Angle, and Orton. Mysterio pinned Orton to win his first World Title in pro wrestling.
Meltzer added that even after Mysterio won, “Vince wanted him to lose the title quickly and prove that he was never a worthy champion.” Mysterio lost the title to King Booker at the The Great American Bash event a few months later.
During the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Meltzer also revealed that “Patterson was the key person in talking McMahon into going with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as top guys, as opposed to plateauing them at the IC title level.”