Rey Mysterio Talks Dream Match This Sunday, Vince McMahon - Antonio Pena, Lucha Underground Rumors

This Sunday night, live on both traditional and internet PPV at 7:00 p.m. ET, TripleMania, AAA's biggest show of the year, will be available live in English for the first time ever. The main event is a true dream match, as Rey Mysterio Jr. will take on Myzteziz (original Sin Cara/CMLL's first Mistico) for the first time ever. Last week I got to speak to him about a number of topics, from the big match this Sunday to enjoying life as his own boss to the rumors of him signing with Lucha Underground, his departure, among others. Here's part one, focusing more on the AAA and Lucha Underground side of things, with the WWE-focused part two to come tomorrow.

You've been back in AAA for a about six months after being gone 19 years, what do you make of it so far?

"I think it's grown tremendously. Talent...the roster is completely different. The evolution of lucha libre is on another level right now. I think this has all grown in a positive way. Not to mention AAA has signed three of the biggest free agents out there: Alberto El Patron, Myzteziz, and myself. This all supports the plan AAA has, which is 'AAA worldwide,' being able to see TripleMania in North America via pay-per-view? It's incredible. Ever since When Worlds Collide [in 1994], they haven't done [American] pay-per-view, so this is a big step."

You against Myzteziz is probably the biggest dream match in Mexico right now. Does the pressure of something like that make you nervous, or do you feed off of it? Or is it a little of both?

"It's definitely a little bit of both. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous. Of course, I think that comes into play in every match i have, especially the caliber of this on. You want to make sure that you go in that ring and you give the best, that the best Rey Mysterio is out there that night, so there's no doubt in my mind that we'll do it, and of course this is a legacy-defining match, y'know? This is a match that was created by the fans because of all of the rumors that were in the air: 'Who is the best, Myzteziz or Rey Mysterio? Who copied who with the cross on his mask and the contact lenses?' All of that.

And believe it or not, there's that ego there that's gonna come into play, and as we end the night, of course I wanna be victorious. I wanna have my hand raised in the center of that ring. Hopefully, there will be no hard feelings between both of us. But again, that's hard to predict when so much is at stake. I think this is a very important match for Mexico, for our culture, and for all of our fans that have been following both of us throughout our careers."

While you were in WWE and Myzteziz was making a name for himself at Arena Mexico for CMLL, how much were you able to keep track of him?

"Believe it or not, it was really hard, because when I came home from being on the road, wrestling did not exist in my house. It was out of the window. We only spoke about the business when we were on the road. So it was hard for me to keep up and keep track of what was happening in Mexico at the time. I did know that they were comparing this new kid who had a similar style to mine and that he was the future of wrestling, that he was the superstar of Mexico.

Eventually he made his way to WWE and we had a chance to meet each other. We had several matches where we teamed up and had great chemistry together as a tag team. But we never had a chance to wrestle against each other, so this would be a first time match. Again, there are gonna be a lot of egos that are gonna come into play that night. The similar styles are gonna clash, and we're gonna see who's gonna outdo the other."

You said that wrestling doesn't exist in your home these days...it seemed like watching you back in the '90s that, especially when you'd work in Tijuana, that you were big into tape watching, with the type of new moves you'd do. I'm sure you're still a fan, but when did it become that wrestling no longer existed at home, when you started to work the WWE schedule?

"Because of the schedule and the amount of days I'd be spending at home coming from being on the road. I was coming home on a Wednesday, I would arrive at noon, have the rest of the day to rest, the next day, I had pretty much one free day to spend with my kids, and my wife, and then the next day, I'd have to leave. So my time at home was very limited and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about wrestling or the business in general. There were moments where my wife and I, like any other couple, would le dwn in bed and discuss 'How was your week, did you have any issues,' or 'is your body hurting,' but we try to stay away as much as possible, at least myself, because I wanted quality time."

So it seems like you're enjoying getting to be your own boss most of the time, then?

"Yes, without a doubt. And being around at home, which is what I like to do the most. I love being around my kids and my wife and enjoying my family tim. That's always been very important to me, especially now that I get to mak up all of the time that I missed."

Antonio Pena (the founder of AAA, who passed away in 2006) was so instrumental in your career, and then you spent many years around Vince McMahon, too. They get compared to each other a lot as all-around wrestling geniuses, the 'Walt Disney' types of wrestling. How would you compare the two of them?

"Well, their mindset for this business was extraordinary. They can miss, but 99% of the time, they can pick the right character that will go behind the person, and that shows a lot. And if I had to throw out another name in the mix with those two, it would be Paul Heyman."

So far, now that you've been working indies and AAA, who that you haven't worked with before are you aware of and looking forward to having matches with?

"When I came back to AAA, the roster was completely different, the new breed of wrestlers. One guy I want to face in the ring is Pentagon Jr., he's one of the next big stars for AAA. On the independent scene, I'm actually having a match with Alberto El Patron against the Young Bucks. I've met them, I've seen them perform, but I've never been in the ring with them. This is a match that I didn't think was gonna happen, but now that it's here, I'm really looking forward to it."

Earlier you mentioned the style in AAA changing, what exactly do you think of the style these days? Not that AAA was ever quite traditional lucha libre the way CMLL is, but it has changed a little bit more.

"I think it's great. It's evolved with this industry, and you can't g back. You can go back on certain things, like CMLL. They're very generic, and very classic, and in a way, it's the onld school style of lucha libre. I think it's good to display that in AAA along with aerial, high-flying, hybrid type of wrestling, which is now the style that has taken over."

This may sound like a weird question, but does being able to use the Rey Mysterio Jr. name again have any significance to you? Or not really? Whether in terms of honoring your uncle or it being the name you became famous using, or does it not matter since you were Rey Mysterio in WWE for so long?

"Having the name of Rey Mysterio is the real significance behind it. I've always wanted to carry on the legacy of my uncle. Be my own wrestler, but honor his name. With so many years of being in this business, whether it's 'Junior,' or '619,' you name it, I think the fans have identified my persona, who I am. I was known at the beginning as Rey Misterio Jr., but I think the followers, the fans that know Rey Mysterio, they know who I am, whether I have the 'Junior' or not at the end of my name. So I'm still honoring and keeping the tradition alive for the name of Rey Mysterio."

What are your thoughts on Lucha Underground, both when it comes to the show and how much of an interest you might have in going there?

"There really hasn't been an interest from both parties for me showing up there. I enjoy watching the show on TV. I think it's something completely different. This is the style of wrestling that opened up my mindset to want to become a wrestler, lucha libre. First, I think it's huge to have it here in North America, and for the fans to be able to view it. You have English and Spanish commentary. I really think that they're doing a good job. They can always do better, and of course it's gonna take time t make their product look better, but for the they've been out, it's caused a lot of buzz, they have great talent on their roster, and I think if the opportunity came about and the offer was right, I wouldn't mind being part of the Lucha Underground crew."

So as a follow-up, why do you think the rumor mill has you as being much further along in talks with them than you actually were?

"I've been to their shows a couple times. You know, my good friend, Konnan, is part f that crew, so I've driven him up a couple times when he's had his bad hip injury, so I enjoy being around the boys I hadn't seen in a long time, and a lot of them are from AAA. So you're always going to get rumors flying around of me either already signing or getting ready to sign. I do know that when they did see me there, a lot f the fans recognized me right away and they were asking me the questions. 'Are you gonna perform tonight?' or 'Are you gonna be part of the show pretty soon?' So it's good to feel appreciated by the fans.

"The staff at Lucha Underground showed incredible respect towards me, but it hasn't really been a sit down talk to negotiate something. Again, maybe it'll happen if they have a second season and the idea is to have Rey Mysterio on their roster, then if the offer's good and it's on the table, I'd go ahead and move forward with that."

So the usual 'telephone, telegraph, tell-a-wrestler' type of deal? You were seen there, so everyone thought that there was more going on?

[laughs] "Yeah. I probably showed up there twice."

Tomorrow we'll have part two of the interview, where Rey talks about WW deciding to bring his mask back in 2002, his infamous World Heavyweight Championship reign in 2006, his recent departure from the company, the rumors that he was held to an unfair standard with injuries and much more. For details on his upcoming bookings and more, make sure to follow Rey on Twitter @ReyMysterio.

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