Rey Mysterio on Raising the Bar With Andrade in WWE 'Raw' Ladder Match
There is a new fire within Rey Mysterio ever since returning to WWE. A big reason for that are the opponents and matches he's able to test his abilities against, and among those top tests is Andrade.
The two tore the house down in a series of exciting encounters and their latest comes on Raw, where the rivals will compete in a rare ladder match on the show with the United States title on the line. Hours before the marquee battle ensues, the 45-year-old masked legend provided insight on his mindset.
First ladder match since 2007 on Monday Night Raw. It’s a feud with Andrade that has been building for months. With the bar set so high in past matches, what can fans expect from this one?
Rey Mysterio: I’m looking forward to facing Andrade. Every time I step in the ring with him it’s very competitive. This is on a completely different level, having a ladder between the both of us. You can expect some very exciting moves tonight, innovative moves. Most importantly, I’m excited to take back my title in a stipulation match like this one. The fans are accustomed to seeing Andrade and myself go at it. Just hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a good one.
One of the most amazing things about you right now is you’re having some of your best matches after so many decades spent in the ring. Has your mindset or approach changed entering these types of scenarios knowing the level of risk?
The fact it is the first ladder match of this year and it’s between Andrade and myself — I haven’t had one in 13 years — all of those emotions build up and make want to compete at a higher level. I don’t take into consideration my age, I push that aside. I always say age is just a number. My in-ring ability always depends on how my body feels, [and] my body has been feeling incredible, I feel rejuvenated. I feel like I can go out there and put on good matches for the fans to keep enjoying with the amount of time I have left.
WWE Network has the new Untold, focusing on Eddie Guerrero's impact and why the 2006 Royal Rumble win meant so much to you. You definitely see a little of him in your matches with Andrade as an opponent. What is it like to see the impact you and Eddie on performers like an Andrade?
I’m truly blessed to have paved that way along with Eddie. Eddie was the pioneer for us, he was the one who set the bar and brought a lucha libre style into WWE. Right behind Eddie was myself and other wrestlers. As far as me stepping in the ring with Andrade, I’ve said it from day one: There is, to me at least, a huge resemblance with him to when I used to wrestle Eddie. I think it shows lucha libre, that traditional style of wrestling, the fact that there is a connection between Andrade and myself. It’s very similar to the connection to what I had with Eddie when I worked against him for many years. To me, that subconsciously gets my gear up even fast or motivates me even more just because I feel like the spotlight is on. I feel truly blessed to be in this position now and to keep Eddie’s name alive.
There seems to be a rejuvenation with you. You have not only Andrade but Lucha House Party, Cain Velasquez and Humberto, the list goes on and on. How has it been to be in that locker room as a veteran? Is there one piece of advice you give them as they are part of this new era?
I think the one piece of advice that I can offer to them is something they already know. That is to go out, put out a great show and represent your traditional style lucha. For us it’s lucha libre, we never forget our roots. That’s something Lucha House Party has. Cain, although he is very new to this world of wrestling. He understands and values the lucha libre style and already is adapting his own style with the lucha libre. Overall, we definitely want to see lucha libre grow more with the amount of days, months, years I have left. You also have Angel Garza, who is up-and-coming. There is going to be bigger and better opportunities just like there were for my WWE years. There is something good to expect within WWE for the fans to be more involved in lucha libre.
It seems your son Dominik is priming to have a bright future. What's it been like to involve him in storylines? That extra layer has really helped add realism to your promos, which have been some of the best of your career. You’ve been very open to him getting into the business and providing him the tools to succeed.
I’m truly blessed as a father, a parent, to be able to share these special moments with my son. Like any other father, the support will always be there, whether he wanted to be a doctor or dentist or whatever the case might be. This goes for both my children, my daughter and my son ... It has been awesome to have these moments at big events like Survivor Series against top athletes like Brock Lesnar. I think when it comes down to the promos and what we have to express, it comes natural, it is a true feeling. I’m sure he feels the same way as he shares the ring with his father.
Over the weekend, Cardi B tweeted your name on social media. That has to be a thrill knowing you have fans across the entertainment industry.
Hip-hop/rap is my music of choice for as long as I can remember. To hear the feedback from these hip-hop artists has been incredible. To know that they are fans — Bad Bunny doing music videos with Ric Flair.. One of the biggest DJs in Puerto Rico is DJ Luian who's a big wrestling fan, we became really close friends. For him to tell me that when he isn’t in the music world, he turns to wrestling, that’s his escape and motivation to create beats for hip hop artists. That inspires me even more to keep putting in the work. I’m never going to stop putting in the work until the day I retire.
Heading into the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season, these moments surely mean more to you on this part of your career. What are your goals in this important time? Do you have an ideal match or situation heading into the biggest show of the year and beyond?
I think the goal right now — after tonight’s outcome in the Andrade ladder match — I think something along the ways that if he wants to keep feuding and going a step further, I’m willing to put my mask on the line versus his hair for a WrestleMania moment. Whatever the case might be, whoever ends up winning, I think it would be a huge stepping stone for either of us. As far as moments, I really would love to relive a Royal Rumble moment, being that I hold the record right now for having the longest time in a Rumble match. These moments stick in my mind and heart. You always want to become better than you were yesterday.
WWE Raw, Mondays, 9/8c, USA Network