Guest: Rey Mysterio talks the Evolution of Cruiserweights with X-Pac!
Release Date: May 9th, 2018
Recap by: Sean McGraw
X-Pac is joined by Jonny Loquasto, Bill Hanstock and Jimbo. This week’s guests will be Rey Mysterio.
X-Pac did not like the double nut shot finish in the AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura match but he understands that they were in a bind and they needed to continue the story even though they’ve had three title matches in the last month. The panel doesn’t know what the next stipulation could be at this point. X-Pac jokes that maybe Joey Ryan could somehow fit in this feud.
The panel says that the Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns was a great match (I STRONGLY disagree with that assessment. After more than three hours I did not like watching a 20 minute match consisting of mainly resting holds.) X-Pac says he understands the people’s rejection of Reigns and not wanting to be “force-fed.” He says that Reigns is awesome though. X-Pac says that when you start a match out that hot, it’s really hard to keep it going and the match usually fizzles out.
Pac says that they paced it really well and figured out how to transition out of it and keep the people invested (At this point I’m not sure he and I were watching the same match. Maybe it’s him being a wrestler and me being a fan that’s causing the disconnect, but I absolutely HATED this match. It was really hard to sit through and not fall asleep.) X-Pac does address the fact that people were getting up and leaving. It was brought up that people probably didn’t care because these two guys were going to be on different brands so there wasn’t that much at stake (I think WWE and Reigns should consider themselves lucky if that turns out to be the case).
X-Pac says that he has a huge problem with Bobby Roode being involved in the conga line segment. X-Pac says he’s sorry if he offends anybody but that is NOT the way that he should be used. Roode is not a babyface.
X-Pac says that Seth Rollins and The Miz are at a whole other level. He says that he appreciates an X-Factor being used and he doesn’t get mad when guys “steal” his move because he’s not using it. X-Pac is asked how he feels about being known for two moves in the industry. He says he hopes he’s known for a few more than two. He doesn’t have a problem with people using the moves, but if they are going to change the names then they need to change the move up a little bit and make it their own.
X-Pac gives a good analysis of how selling has changed and points out a spot where Seth Rollins does a Superplex then rolls through into a Falcon Arrow. He says people complain when after the Superplex the opponent blocks the Falcon Arrow and does a counter move of their own. Why aren’t they selling the Superplex? X-Pac says he doesn’t have a problem with it if it they do it right and after the counter they are go right back to selling the big move. He says the people in the building are a pretty good indicator to whether or not what you are doing is working.
Interview with Rey Mysterio:
X-Pac says the first time that he met Rey was at Hogwild in Sturgis. He says from day one Rey and his crew of guys were cool and welcomed him with open arms and X-Pac is grateful for that. Rey says that Pac was one of the people that paved the way for them. They used to watch WWE back in the day and they saw all of the 1-2-3 Kid stuff. X-Pac says thanks to Rey for saying that but Rey took whatever X-Pac did and burst through the glass ceiling. Pac is really impressed by that. Rey says that he and Pac had similar upbringings in the quality of guys that they worked with. Pac had Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall and Rey had guys like Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko.
X-Pac asks if Rey started out with the traditional Lucha style (working from the opposite side). Rey says yes and he slowly adapted over time working with guys that work from the other side. Rey says that he was taught both ways though.
X-Pac wants to know the first time that he and Rey worked together. Rey says he remembers the match but he doesn’t remember the city. He says that he was stoked to be working with Pac. Pac says that he has to apologizing for not basing Rey properly on the Hurricanrana. Rey chuckles and says that Pac wasn’t the first one and he doesn’t take it to heart. Pac laughs and says he might take it to heart if Pac had dropped him on his head.
There are certain aspects to the Lucha style that a lot people just assume they can do just from watching tapes and stuff. Pac says he didn’t realize that he wasn’t doing things right for a long time. Pac asks Rey if getting dropped on his head by certain guys made him gun shy about doing his finish. Rey says no. Rey says he knew that some guys could take it much better than others. For guys that have never done it before he would explain it very basically. Working with much taller guys helped a lot too.
Rey Mysterio says that he looks at guys like Ricochet now and works both styles – basing and highflying – of Lucha as the next evolution of the sport.
X-Pac asks how transitioning from working cruiserweights to working the bigger money heavyweight matches. Rey says he was blessed with the gift of being able to be entertaining in the ring. His mentality started to change picking up feedback from Dean and Eddie, Kevin and Scott, and started adding those instruments to his work. When he got to WWE it was “big man world.” Rey says he created a style where they would stand and wait to be hit and then bump. He created a whole set of new maneuvers that would work.
X-Pac asks Rey about their match that they had on Nitro in Chicago. It was the same night that Dennis Rodman was there. Eric Bischoff was so mad when Nash and Hall bumped for Rey, but X-Pac says it was the right thing to do. Rey says he recalls that night and it was crazy.
X-Pac says that when he dropped the cruiserweight title to Jericho he did a bad job because he wanted to have the match with Mysterio. Pac says it was a bad thing to do to Jericho but Pac really liked working with Rey. Rey says that he enjoyed working with Pac and is a little bummed that they didn’t have any sort of real program together.
Does Rey change his style if he’s wrestling to a crowd that doesn’t have kids in it? Rey says that you have to adapt to the crowd and you have to play to them. Rey says it’s a little weird for him because the majority of his fan-base is kids, but you just adapt your style and don’t do the spots that pander to kids.
X-Pac asks Rey how he was perceived in Mexico as opposed to how he was when he was in WCW and WWE. Rey says that accessibility is a big difference now. Because people in Mexico can now see the product a lot easier it has made a huge difference. X-Pac says that it really turned guys like Rey and Eddie into cultural icons. Rey agrees and says he wants to be humble and not talk about himself too highly but that his mask is a legitimate part of Mexican culture – popping up in all different places of the world. He says that what he’s done for Lucha Libre has done over the years has transcended what anyone could have ever done. X-Pac totally agrees with Rey and says that it’s not bragging if it’s the truth and that Rey has complete humility while making a statement like that.
Rey is asked about going back to a look that’s more familiar to the beginning of his career – tights instead of loose pants etc. Rey says that he has three people to thank. First, his wife for always being on his a** about always looking sharp in the ring and coming up with the moves, his son for pushing him to go to a retro look, and his trainer for getting him into shape and putting him into a routine that made his physique look to be in peak condition. Rey said that he had love handles and was a little self-conscious about it but he trained really hard and looked better than he had in years.
Rey credits the fact that he stopped using his knee braces to get better usage out of his knees. He also started doing some therapy on his knees and biceps to help with any damage. Rey doesn’t think that putting on weight had anything to do with his knee injuries. He says that it was probably more about the difficulties with the grind on the road.
X-Pac says that sometimes getting injured was a relief. Rey agrees and says that the only time he had off was when he was hurt. Otherwise he was always on the road. He gives credit to his wife for taking care of everything for him at home while he was away on the road. He gives her a lot of credit for putting up with him for all the years. X-Pac says that the significant others are the unsung heroes of the wrestling business. Rey agrees and says he’s never thought of it that way before.
Rey is asked what his opinion is on what Cody Rhodes is doing and does Rey want to work with him in ROH/NJPW. Rey does hope to work with him again. Rey will be in Japan on June 9th at Dominion. He isn’t working with Cody but he hopes that they can mix up there at some point. Rey is asked if we’ll be getting the Liger match that didn’t happen in Long Beach. Rey says that he hopes so and was bummed that it didn’t get to happen at Strong Style Evolved. Rey went back and watched the match they had in the 90’s and was a little disappointed by what they had done. Rey was really impressed with the way that Liger still moves given Liger’s age.
X-Pac asks Rey about Will Ospreay. Rey says that guy is insane. They matched up in London and Ospreay brought out the best of old school Rey Mysterio. Rey would love to do another match. He also would love to have matches against Ricochet again and also with AJ Styles. X-Pac calls it a dream match.
X-Pac asks Rey to explain the difference between cruiserweight and main event style matches because a lot of guys do Lucha stuff in the main event style matches, but they are different matches. Rey says that he’s noticed that they may have held back the cruiserweight division and not let them go all out like they used to. He says that a lot of guys in that division can do and have done a lot more and he doesn’t know the reason why they aren’t. As for the main event style he thinks that it’s just a natural evolution to the “big man” style. X-Pac believes the pacing is the key difference.
Rey Mysterio credits his ability to listen to the crowd and adapt in the match to Eddie Guerrero. He says Eddie sometimes didn’t like working out spots beforehand and would call stuff in the ring. Rey says one of the keys is having patience out in the ring. The fans will come if they care about you.
Does Rey think if there is anything that WWE could learn from Lucha Underground? Rey says it’s hard to answer because he’s been on both sides. He loves LU’s presentation and the way they are presenting Lucha is innovative. He credits LU for being different. Rey says that WWE in the best at changing their product and making it better at every phase. He says that he doesn’t see why WWE can’t go into a new phase. It’s hard to cater to everyone but WWE could do it with how much content that they have.
Who does Rey Mysterio think the best High Flyer in the world right now? He says he doesn’t know how to answer that question so he’ll answer it by country. He says from Mexico its Rey Fenix, from the United States its Ricochet, and from the UK its Will Ospreay. He’d like to see them in a three-way.
0:00 – 31:14 Intros and News Discussion
31:15 – 32:08 Ad Break
32:09 – 1:42:23 Interview with Rey Mysterio
1:42:24 – 1:44:17 Show Wrap up
Rating 8 /10
This was a good episode. X-Pac and Rey give some good analysis and insight into the Lucha Libre style of wrestling. Rey also gives great insight into how he was able to not only survive but really change the game in the WWE setting. I am really looking forward to seeing more of what Rey does on the indy scene. I agree with a lot of what X-Pac says about the wrestling business, but I honestly don’t know how he could have looked at that Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe match as anything other than a disaster. Like I said earlier maybe he – as a wrestler – is seeing something different than I am, but man that match was way too long and really boring to watch. Bottom line though is if you get Rey Mysterio talking about the craft of wrestling you are going to get a lot of great insight from one of its legends. Add X-Pac to the mix and get them talking about some shared experiences and you’ll have a good time.
Sean is a media professional from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sean’s earliest memory of wrestling is seeing Kane on WWF television in 1998. Sean watched primarily WWF in the Attitude Era and dropped off just before the initial brand split. Seeing recap promos of the Undertaker building up to WrestleMania 20, he became hooked and has been an avid fan ever since. Sean’s wrestling preferences currently lean more towards NJPW/ROH/NXT but he remains a fan of it all. In his spare time Sean enjoys cooking, baking, and going to the gym. You can follow Sean via Twitter @stmcgraw and Instagram @stmcgraw09.