Mysterio reflects on WWE's success in Mexico
On Thursday in Mexico City, WWE shattered the Palacio de los Deportes attendance record, packing the arena with 19,726 fans. It's a symbol of the enthusiasm for WWE in Mexico. WWE.com contacted Rey Mysterio via cell phone in Mexico City amid travel between tour stops to get his perspective on this sports-entertainment phenomenon.
WWE.com: What was it like for you to return to Mexico and perform in front of so many adorning fans?
Rey Mysterio: It was like a homecoming. After 13 years of not being there, I come back with the biggest company ever. The fans are so respectful toward me. They just show so much admiration, so much respect, so much honor to the name Rey Mysterio. I didn't realize it was that big until I got there and until I was able to feel it. As I walked out to the ring, I heard the ovation of the fans screaming "Mysterio" and "619." It was just a incredible moment for me in my career.
WWE.com: Why do you think WWE was received so strongly -- with such huge numbers turning out to see shows on this tour?
Mysterio: Well, first of all it's a new market. They've been watching SmackDown for more than a year, now. It's nice, and you have to remember that wrestling is very big in Mexico City. And of course, you have three of the top Mexican wrestlers who once wrestled in Mexico there: Psicosis, Super Crazy and myself. The fans have followed those three throughout our careers, and what have they done? They've made it to the big leagues. They've made it to WWE. So of course, WWE shows up to Mexico, and for the fans, it's like, "Wow! These are our people who made it." So, of course they're going to watch not only us, but the whole card.
When I used to wrestle in Mexico, I used to watch Undertaker on pay-per-view. In all the time I was there, I never got to see him live until I got to WWE. After so many years, this is his first appearance ever in Mexico City. So, it's just the fact that WWE is here and also has Superstars who were once a part of Lucha Libre.
WWE.com: We have a photo gallery from the Mexico City event, and you are wearing an elaborate headdress. Could you explain the significance of that?
Mysterio: That's because the Aztec warriors used to wear that before the year 1521. I consider myself a warrior every time I step in the ring. Also, my heritage; my parents are Mexican. There's an Aztec calendar on the back of my mask. What better way to make an appearance back in Mexico and honor my heritage than with the Aztec warrior attire that they used to wear back in the day, when they had rituals and were the most-feared men back in Year 1521.
WWE.com: There was also an Eddie Guerrero tribute at the event. Could you tell us about that?
Mysterio: The fans were missing out on something, and that was Eddie's presence. He wasn't there in flesh and blood, but he was there. We did the 10-bell count at the beginning of the show, and when the Mexicools came out, the fans chanted, "Eddie!" And when I came out and wrestled, they started chanting, "Eddie!" So, it was a big night for WWE and for SmackDown and for the fans. The fans sure didn't forget about Eddie, either. This whole tour is dedicated to him because he would have been really proud of being here wrestling in Mexico, where he once started his career, too.