Rey Mysterio is the first inductee announced for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class.
The announcement was made during Friday Night SmackDown in Pittsburgh with the ceremony scheduled for 3/31 following the live edition of SmackDown in Los Angeles.
After becoming one of the top performers in the industry throughout the ‘90s, Mysterio was not immediately picked up by WWE after WCW went out of business in March 2001.
After many performers vouched for Mysterio, he eventually made his way into the company in the summer of 2002 after a series of vignettes over multiple weeks. WWE also made a significant course correction putting Mysterio behind his famous mask after an ill-fated choice to unmask the performer three years prior in WCW.
Mysterio added greatly to the match quality on SmackDown as a member of the “SmackDown Six” with tag partner Edge, Los Guerreros, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle.
In June 2003, he won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and seemed destined for an underneath role that could work with heavyweights when called on.
After the death of his close friend Eddy Guerrero, he was booked to win the Royal Rumble two months later. After the Rumble, he feuded with Randy Orton with a storyline that hit new lows for poor taste by invoking Guerrero’s death.
Despite Vince McMahon’s aversion to the idea, he signed off on Mysterio winning the World Championship at WrestleMania 22 in a fast-paced match with Kurt Angle and Randy Orton that was cut for time.
Mysterio was poorly booked as champion and lost the title to Booker T. a few months later.
Injuries prevented him from wrestling at the 2007 and 2008 WrestleMania events but would have matches against JBL, CM Punk, and Cody Rhodes in subsequent years.
He left the company in 2015 and wrestled for AAA and Lucha Underground but returned to WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble in 2018.
He did not sign with WWE and continued to work elsewhere including New Japan Pro Wrestling and the September 2018 ‘All In’ event before signing with WWE and has been exclusive to the company ever since.
In 2020, his son Dominik began wrestling for WWE, and the two are currently involved in a program.