Rey Misterio Jr.
|Rey Misterio Jr. (King of Mystery Jr.)|
|Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame Member|
Even though both his parents are Mexican natives, Oscar was born December 12, 1974 in San Diego's old Sharp Hospital. He grew up in between San Diego and Tijuana, learning Spanish and English at the same time, and during his youth he studied at John L. Montgomery Middle School and later John L. Montgomery Senior High School.
As his uncle Rey Misterio was a huge regional star in the Baja California area, he had attended lucha cards as much as possible since he was a little kid. He was very good at gymnastics and a big fan of lucha, so his uncle took him under his wing a few months before Rey Jr. turned 13. Needless to say, everybody was impressed by his ability to fly and do crazy things.
On April 30, 1989, at age 14, he made his professional debut at the Auditorio de Tijuana as the masked Colibrí (hummingbird). Colibri's first feud was against two brothers called Caballero de La Muerte (Death Knight) and El Salvaje. A few years later those two wrestlers would become Fobia and Psicosis, respectively. The youngster's first big match was around early 1991 when he, along with a partner wrestled Caballero and Salvaje in a double hair/mask match. The rudos lost the match so Caballero was unmasked and Salvaje got his head shaved.
He got his first title on January of 1990 when he captured the Light Heavyweight Title of Dan Farren's Hollywood Heavyweight Wrestling. The promotion closed in March with him still as champ but as a funny note, once in 1990, Colibri rejected a booking to wrestle for an independent show in California due to the fact that he had to study for a history exam!
A few months later, already in 1991, he was bigger (though still very small) and a better wrestler so he dropped out of high school and on August 2, 1991 in Auditorio de Tijuana, his uncle Rey Misterio gives the name of Rey Mysterio Jr. putting the mask in the middle ring to have his first lucha match with his new character vs. Shamu & Peligro Mortal.
In May of 1992, Antonio Peña started AAA. He was looking for new, young talent to fill in the undercards so he asked Konnan to get him a few good young wrestlers from the Tijuana area. In June, Peña hired Psicosis, who had already dropped his Salvaje gimmick, and a month later he hired Rey Jr. Rey and Psic, best friends in real life (in fact Psicosis was the best man at Rey Jr.'s wedding), started living together in a Mexico City apartment that Octagon rented them.
Rey Jr. became really popular very quickly and he had a small undercard push from the start. His first big feud was against Mr. Cóndor, the leader of "Los Diabólicos". Condor was the perfect opponent for Rey as he was a veteran wrestler who excelled at getting the best out of green flashy tecnicos, playing their strenghts and hiding their weaknesses. In August of 1992, Rey defeated Condor in his first singles mask vs. mask match ever.
On October 28, in what was considered a huge upset, Rey defeated Fantasma de la Quebrada Jr in Aguascalientes to get the Mexican National Welterweight Title. That was Fantasma's first fight for AAA as he had just jumped ship from EMLL; in fact, he no-showed a EMLL card that same day. Rey lost that title to Heavy Metal on February 26, 1993.
During 1993 he had an awesome rivalry with Los Destructores (Vulcano, Tony Arce and Rocco Valente) who pretty much like Condor, were experienced brawlers that were great bumpers and carriers, however at this point of his career Rey already was a very good and complete worker. This feud also provided excellent six-man tag matches as longtime enemies of the original Destructores (Vulcano and Arce), Misterioso and Volador, joined forces with Rey to form "La Tercia Del Aire" (Team Sky), and after Misterioso turned rudo, Heavy Metal and Latin Lover became Rey's regular partners. Misterio eventually took the hair of the three Destructores as well.
The first awesome TV match Rey Jr. ever had also was in 1993, during Febrary, when he teamed with Winners and Super Calo against Heavy Metal, Picudo and Psicosis. During the same month they had a rematch with was a really good bout though not as good as the first one.
But his best work came when he started to feud extensively with two young and talented guys of his generation - Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera. Psicosis and Rey knew each other perfectly so they never had any problems, and Juventud was a really quick learner and he had awesome chemistry with Rey Jr. so those guys mixed in trios matches with good veterans like Blue Panther, Fuerza Guerrera or Hijo del Santo provided for great weekly TV during more than two years.
Just in 1995, Rey and Psicosis had at least four singles match of the year candidates all over the world. Konnan stablished several contacts with foreign promotions and Rey and Psicosis made their debut at the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling on September 16. Rey and Psicosis took their feud to Japan as well as their non-tournament match stole the show at WAR's (Wrestle And Romance or Wrestling Association R.) Super J Cup 2nd stage.
Juventud Guerrera and Rey also provided incredible action all over the world as they had excellent MOTYC level matches in both Mexico and Philadelphia, and they also had pretty good matches in Japan (WAR). During the early months of 1995 the "seniors" took part in the feud as well, and the Rey Misterio & Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud & Fuerza Guerrera series provided some of the best lucha tag team action ever seen.
Already in 1996, Eric Bischoff and Kevin Sullivan from World Championship Wrestling quickly noticed Rey's potential to become popular in the US, so they signed him and he made his WCW debut on June 16, losing to Dean Malenko at the Great American Bash PPV. Rey became a really popular performer very soon and broke a few myths that had been existing in the US for a long time: masked wrestlers are always boring untalented jobbers, foreign wrestlers can't get over and small wrestlers aren't as good as the heavyweights. His first title in WCW was the WCW Cruiserweight Championship he got on July 8 after defeating Dean Malenko at a Monday Nitro taping held at the Orlando, Florida Disney Studios. This one would be the first out of his five cruiserweight title reigns as since his arrival to WCW he had always been either the champion or one of the top contenders for the cruiserweight strap.
In WCW, Rey resumed his feuds with Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera and had new and exciting matches with Dean Malenko and Ultimo Dragon. During the 1996 era, WCW had so many great junior workers that they were one of the best promotions in the world at that time as even their weekly shows were filled with quality matches.
While in Mexico, Rey still competed for AAA until October of 1996. Konnan's group (Rey, La Parka, Juventud, Psicosis...) had a fallout with Antonio Peña and they all left AAA. The Azteca TV station bought the old PROMELL promotion and with the help of Jorge Rojas, Konnan started a new promotion called Promo Azteca whose first TV taping was on November 22 in Cuautitlán. A week later Rey Misterio Jr. made his Azteca debut teaming with Zorro and the original Mascara Sagrada to defeat Pirata Morgan, Blue Panther and Juventud Guerrera.
One of Rey's most memorable feuds during his WCW stay was the one against Eddy Guerrero and the lWo (Latino World Order). Eddy wanted Rey in the group but he turned them down. Rey was eventually forced to join when when he lost a match to Eddy. When the group disbanded, Rey kept wrestling the shirt which gained him trouble with nWo Wolfpack members Kevin Nash and Scott Hall who didn't want any other groups in WCW other than their own. Konnan, who also was a Wolfpack member, defended Rey Jr., and that got him kicked out of the group. Things got settled on the SuperBrawl XI event held on February 21, 1999 in Oakland, CA, when Nash and Scott Hall defeated Konnan and Rey Misterio Jr. and as a result, Rey Jr. lost his mask.
Four days later Rey was supposed to lost his mask again in Tijuana against Psicosis, but the commission found out about this and threatened the promoter (Benjamín Mora) with a suspension, so the match ended up being a regular match in which Rey Jr. got the pinfall after a screwjob (Rey Sr. ran in and attacked both wrestlers); though in the end both men removed their mask (though Psicosis covered his face with a towel).
Losing the mask meant a new Rey Misterio Jr., as he started wearing FUBU shirts and combat clothing. And even though he kept using amazing moves and dives, he started taking less risks in the ring but made up by developing in other areas, as for instance, he added several new counter moves to his arsenal.
From then on, Rey kept having plenty of mid-card feuds in WCW. He started an alliance with (Billy) Kidman and they won the WCW Tag Team Titles from Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko on March 29, 1999. The feud eventually turned into a three way one and it finally was Perry Saturn and Raven who defeated Rey and Kidman in a title match. Later on the year Rey got the tag titles again, this time teaming with Konnan on October 18. They had the belts just for a week, and they lost them against the men they gained them from, Harlem Heat.
In 2000, Oscar took several months off as he had been having severe knee trouble due to the high risks he has taken in the ring during all these years, but he's still one of the top workers of the world when his knee allows him.
Rey is far from being a simple "spot machine" as his mat skills, selling of injuries in the ring and knowledge of psychology are excellent, so unless injuries and stupid booking get on the way, he'll still keep delivering excellent matches like he has done since the early days of his career.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|1991/??/??||hair/mask||Colibri & ??||El Salvaje & Caballero de la Muerte||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|1992/08/14||mask||Rey Misterio Jr.||Mr. Cóndor||Centro de Convenciones - Acapulco, Guerrero|
|1992/10/18||hair||Rey Misterio Jr.||Rocco Valente||Tampico, Tamaulipas|
|1992/11/06||hair||Rey Misterio Jr.||Tony Arce||Centro de Convenciones - Acapulco, Guerrero|
|1992/??/??||mask||Rey Misterio Jr.||El Junior||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|1993/05/28||mask (1)||Rey Misterio Jr.||El Bandido||Arena Querétaro - Querétaro, Querétaro|
|1994/09/11||hair||Rey Misterio Jr.||Vulcano||Arena Coliseo - Monterrey, Nuevo León|
|1997/12/19||mask||Rey Misterio Jr.||Misterioso||Auditorio de Tijuana - Tijuana, Baja California|
|1999/02/21||mask (2)||Kevin Nash & Scott Hall||Rey Misterio Jr.||Alameda County Coliseum - Oakland, CA, USA|
|2010/05/24||hair||Rey Misterio Jr.||CM Punk||Joe Louis Arena- Detroit, Michigan|
|(1) Triangle match with Angel Mortal; (2) Teaming with Konnan, in a Rey's mask vs. Elizabeth's (Nash and Hall's valet) hair match|