Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Be Reycist

Booyaka, booyaka... boooooo?
Photo Credit:
Rey Mysterio is one of Smackdown's most over faces. He's also one of the best workers in the world, and he probably has been every year he's been active. In the last few years, he's left it all in the ring despite having the knees of a nonagenarian. It seems from everything I hear that he desperately wants to take a break to heal up, but Vince McMahon won't let him because he's too valuable to ratings on the Smackdown brand. You'd think this would get him a little sympathy with some of the tougher members of the Internet crowd. Yeah, you'd think, but it's not the case.

To start, you'd have to go back to where the Mysterio backlash began, or at least where it began to boil over. I mean, yeah, the Filthy Animals stable where he went after he unmasked temporarily in WCW might not have won him many fans, but it really started in earnest after he won the Royal Rumble in 2006. He was seen as exploiting the death of his friend, Eddie Guerrero. While I don't doubt that there was some exploitation, I doubt that Mysterio was the one pitching it. It was WWE Creative. Then again, that nebulous body of behind-the-scenes bookers and failed TV writers gets enough hate, and the fact that Mysterio would dare go along with it made him a target.

I guess I can understand that, but at the same time, it's not like Mysterio thought he was exploiting his friend. He probably saw it as a tribute, as did Guerrero's wife Vickie and his kids. Then again, some may not feel like any of that matters. Exploitation is exploitation. Of course, it's not like Mysterio was hailed as a world-beater after winning the World Championship at WrestleMania that year. He was given the trial run of the dogshit Championship reign for newbie titleholders. That being said, he's always been treated favorably by WWE bookers despite that terrible title reign. He's gotten regular wins over everyone, from other cruiserweight-types like Chris Jericho to superheavyweights like Kane and Mike Knox. We all know what happens when guys win too much, especially guys at the top of the card. Backlash.

But does Rey deserve that backlash? Much like Cena, I'm guessing there's a lot of input from the bookers rather than by Mysterio himself to get booked in the manner that he does. The merchandise sales and crowd reactions dictate that he gets the wins that he gets. It's not like Triple H, post-quad injuries, slogging around like a doddering old man. Mysterio still gets in the ring and gives his all, and he's still great. Sure, he's not throwing ranas around like it was 1995; it's physically impossible for him to do so. But he still bumps awesome. He still has his highspots that he executes well. And he's still one of the best babyface workers in the company.

He's not perfect though. I mean, yeah, I get pissed off when I see the same old contrived 619 set ups each match. And yeah, I would like to see him put more people over. But you'd have to argue that Alberto del Rio wouldn't be as over now if Rey hadn't sold for him and dropped all those matches to him earlier this year. And again, he's doing all this on no knees. The Mysterio haters have given themselves the tag of "Reycist". They're proud to hate on Mysterio, and coming from a guy who hates on his own cadre of peeps in the wrestling biz like it's his job, I can respect that. However, I can't fully endorse this practice of Reycism.

I just can't look past all the context surrounding Rey Mysterio and hate on him with unbridled passion. He's still one of the best wrestlers in the world despite having negative ligament in his knees. He remains a good soldier for WWE in a time where they need all the draws they can get. I can't fault him for the mistakes of the bookers and writers. I can't subscribe to being Reycist. If you do subscribe to that, good for you, but I still think there are too many mitigating circumstances to hate the guy as much as some folks do.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!