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Great American Mystery
From WWE Magazine...
Rey Mysterio remembers the 1996 Bash, the historic night when he battled Dean Malenko on the eve of his American WCW debut By Andrew Vontz
WWE Magazine: How nervous were you at the '96 Bash, where you debuted? Sweating bullets?
Rey Mysterio: I was really nervous. I was probably about 20 years old, and I walked into the locker room and saw many of the idols I grew up with. Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Macho Man Randy Savage and Scott Hall were there, and here I am walking into this building in Baltimore, not knowing that my first match was on a pay-per-view. I had no idea! I just heard mumblings of, "Who is this kid?"
What was it like facing the great Dean Malenko?
It was the very first time Dean and I had wrestled. I'd been studying him for a long time, watching tapes of his style. He's a shooter, and that means he knows what he can do, and he can break you. I think the match couldn't have been better. I wouldn't change anything. Dean is the kindest guy I've ever met and he's one of the wrestlers who took me to the next level in WCW.
Did the match silence all that backstage mumbling?
After the match, when I went into the locker room, all the boys stood up and clapped. I got chills. It was crazy because Randy Savage came up to me to say, "Hey, good job kid!" It was my first big step into the world of American wrestling.
Nowadays, a Superstar will make his debut on Raw or SmackDown. Why do you think WCW introduced you on a PPV?
I think they had a lot of confidence in what I brought to the table, so they just threw me into that pay-per-view. Today, that seriously would have freaked me out. But freaking out and being nervous is part of being a wrestler.
Dean was the winner of the match. Were you concerned that the defeat would hurt you long-term?
No. It's OK to lose. It's really not a bad thing. All you can do is learn from your mistakes. I could lose from now until the end of my career and it's not going to matter. You learn from your mistakes. Losing only makes you want to get better.
As it turns out, you also lost your only World Heavyweight Championship at the Bash in 2006. Does that sour the event for you?
When you lose a World Championship, it gets you down. It depresses you, but what matters is that you became Champion and held that title, whether it was one day or one year. I made history when I became World Champion. It's one of the highlights of my career, being Hispanic and the smallest guy in the company.