Lucha Underground star Rey Mysterio recently appeared on Ring Rust Radio and below are some interview highlights:
Ring Rust Radio: Since joining Lucha Underground, you have been one of the cornerstones of the brand. What made you want to sign with Lucha and how have you been received by fans and fellow wrestlers since your debut?
Rey Mysterio: I think before I even got a chance or signed with Lucha, I was driving up with my good friend Konan for the shows. He was telling me a little bit about it and told me that I had to check it out. He said it was like the old days when Juventud and Psychosis were going at it. So I thought really? I was able to check out the show live before it went on the air and it really caught my attention. This was something that we had spoken about years ago in WCW and WWE about how awesome it would be to get that cruiserweight division a boost and let them perform at their highest level. This is exactly what Lucha Underground does. You don’t see that many big guys walking around Lucha, but the ones you do see are doing that lucha style. Guys like Brian Cage, Matanza, Mil Muertes; they are going out there and wrestling like lightweights. That was the first thing that caught my attention was the style. The style that I grew up with and learned from the beginning of my career when I started in the industry up until now. So what better way for me to finish my career—if it is my destiny here in Lucha Underground—to finish with the style I originally began with and going back to my roots.
Ring Rust Radio: Season 3 of Lucha Underground is off to a fast start. Unlike other times in your career, you are being portrayed as the favorite instead of the underdog. How have you enjoyed this change of pace?
Rey Mysterio: I try not to look at it as me being the favorite. I have been an underdog all my life, and in my mindset you can’t change that. I always go out like that and that is the way I was brought up. I was always the smallest in wrestling school and the smallest in the ring. Even today in Lucha, whether I’m in the ring with Chavo, Matanza, Mil Muertes or Pentagon, I am always the underdog and that is my mentality and that doesn’t change. The fans that know Rey Mysterio will always look at me that way, too. They have always known me as the underdog and they don’t know me as anyone different.
Ring Rust Radio: In your time with Lucha, you’ve squared off against some of the best in the world including Prince Puma, Pentagon Dark and others. Which wrestlers have you enjoyed working with the most, and of those you haven’t faced before, who would you most like to fight?
Rey Mysterio: Some of the wrestlers I haven’t faced I finally have the chance to in Lucha Underground. One of these guys is definitely Prince Puma. The closing match we had in Season 2 is a highlight of my career hands down. He helped me put on a great show for the fans. He is definitely a wrestler with a great future ahead of him. Pentagon is another guy that I was looking forward to getting in the ring with. The one person I still haven’t been able to work with in a singles match is Dragon Azteca. I am his mentor in the upcoming season, but just like I had a great match with Prince Puma, I could do the same with Azteca. I look forward to eventually meeting up with him.
Ring Rust Radio: As a veteran of the business, Lucha Underground is different from any other company you’ve worked for during your career. What are some of the differences between Lucha and other brands on screen and behind the scenes?
Rey Mysterio: I think one of the big differences which is noticeable, it’s the way that Lucha Underground is shot. The cinematic feel it has when we do the behind the scenes or backstage takes, those are definitely on another level and I enjoy watching them. It’s one thing being a part of them when we are filming and shooting them, but then you get a chance to watch it when it airs and you get to see the final product, and it’s an incredible transformation. I really don’t consider this like a true wrestling company. It’s more and more like a television series with lucha libre displayed at its best.
Ring Rust Radio: Now that you’ve been part of the Lucha roster for two seasons, what are your long-term goals with the company and do you ever see yourself capturing the Lucha Underground championship?
Rey Mysterio: Most definitely. I think titles are important to your career. Whether you reign as champion for a long time or just have it for the time being, to be part of a company and be their champion is always good to have on your resume. With me and my longevity with Lucha Underground, I think I can do it. I would hope to end my career here if it came down to it and take other roles with Lucha Underground. I see a lot of the style I was raised on here, and I think I can help out with the young upcoming talent and hope to be around here as long as it lasts.
Ring Rust Radio: WWE recently added a cruiserweight division and brought back the cruiserweight championship. As someone who has a history wrestling in this weight class, what do you think of the cruiserweight division’s return and do you feel it could pigeonhole some performers?
Rey Mysterio: It might. This is something Dean Malenko talked about for years. When I was in WWE, he talked about giving that noticeable touch to that cruiserweight division. WCW had it at its best. A lot of the heavyweights and top talents didn’t want to work with the smaller talent and so we created our own division. We had some of the best matches most of the nights. We had hoped WWE would take notice and do the same, and they did for a couple of years. WWE tried it in 2001, but then they dropped that whole division. After so many years it’s finally starting back up. Let’s hope it rises to where it needs to be. I think a lot of the fans want to see the high flying action and be entertained. I don’t think there is a better division out there than the cruiserweights to do that. It could be a pigeon hole for some, but at the end of the day it’s about whatever makes you happy as a performer.
Ring Rust Radio: Recently, former world champion Alberto El Patron departed from WWE for a second time. As a performer, would you like to see him return to Lucha and does his treatment during his run impact your desire to ever return to WWE?
Rey Mysterio: It doesn’t impact me. I think his relationship with WWE was one thing, and I don’t think anybody services what a certain company should affect anybody else, even though we are both out of the same heritage and Hispanic. As far as him coming back to Lucha Underground, I would like to see that. I didn’t get a chance to be in the ring with him at Lucha Underground. His stay there was very brief and when he was setting up in Lucha Underground I was still on my way out in WWE. By the time I came to Lucha Underground he was already gone and it happened so fast. I had some great battles with him in WWE and I would love to do the same in Lucha Underground if he comes back. We had great chemistry in the ring and it’s hard to find that when you have a heel and a baby face but he played such a good heel against me. It’s very catchy when you see both of us together in the ring because we have that good chemistry and we give it to the fans.