WWE’s Rey Mysterio has high praise for a AAA Luchador
If there’s one thing Rey Mysterio knows a thing or two about more than, well, pretty much anybody on earth, it’s being a good luchador. Yes he’s small, yes his booking matters more than most in the eyes of some “traditional” fans, but for 33 years and counting, there hasn’t been a performer in WWE, AEW, NJPW, or even in the various Mexican promotions where the very concept of Lucha Libre came into existence, that has been able to hang at the same level for the same amount of time as “The Mystery.”
Dave Meltzer, to his credit, called Mysterio one of the most important wrestling figures over the past 40 years when discussing Vince McMahon’s retirement, as did Kurt Angle back in 2021, and even the WWE got in on the fun and dedicated a whole Madison Square Garden show – including multiple segments on said show – to the son of Rey Mysterio Sr., who technically wasn’t with the company for that entire time but hey, why not just go with it?
If that was Mysterio’s legacy, it would be enough; being the best Luchador is a pretty darn big deal and honors the legacy of the performers who laced up the hood before him. But to his credit, Mysterio isn’t one of those old-school guys who want to fend off the next generation in order to keep their place at the top of the card. No, Mysterio is all about the kids and has been more than willing to team up with performers like Bandido, Rey Fenix, and Rey Horus during his siesta on the indies from 2015-18. Heck, one could even argue that there wouldn’t be a Mysterio in WWE right now if it wasn’t for the kids, as he turned down a much lighter work schedule and an opportunity to wrestle about a dozen dream matches in AEW – Kenny Omega anyone? – for a chance to ensure his son Dominik Mysterio received the best possible training and chance to succeed in professional wrestling.
Considering Dom and Rey became the first ever father-son tag team champions in WWE history, I’d say mission accomplished on that one.
So, when Mysterio gives out praise to another luchador, it’s noteworthy, right? Goodness, no one has seen more #luchathings than Rey, so if someone catches his eye they must be pretty special. Fortunately, during his media availability at Leagues Cup Showcase 2022 (via TJSportsUSA and Fightful) Mysterio did just that, and needless to say, fans should take note.
If you don’t know El Hijo del Vikingo you will soon, WWE fans.
In Lucha Libre – and all of Spanish, really – the term “El Hijo del” holds particular significance. Directly translated as “The Son of,” a wrestler is given the prefix if they are either the biological child of another professional wrestler or the proverbial son of the man who trained them. El Hijo del Vikingo, therefore, is the son of King Vikingo, the Lucha legend who debut back in 1994 and has wrestled all over the Latin American wrestling world.
So why, you may ask, should you remember the name El Hijo del Vikingo? Well, because none other than Rey Mysterio gave the following quote about his in-ring work.
He’s incredible. I love his style of work. I saw him briefly at Triplemania last year. He’s very unique. I thought I did some crazy things, he goes way beyond that. I wish him the best and he’s got a very bright future.”
That, as they say, is some pretty high praise.
A smooth, hard-hitting performer who routinely pulls off video game-caliber work with an effortless charisma, Vikingo takes the typical high-flying maneuvers fans have come to expect from “Lucha matches” and imbues them with dazzling displays of aerial mastery on-par with the likes of Rey Fenix. Bandido, and Mysterio – Rey, not Dominik – himself. While his work has exclusively been relegated to Mexico up to this point in his career according to Cagematch, without so much as a trip to California on his resume, there will come a day when the current Lucha Libre AAA Mega Champion’s current contract comes due, and every major promotion in the world submits an offer for his services.
Why? Well, when you’re the handpicked performer Kenny Omega selected to put over in a match for his Lucha Libre AAA Championship, you must be pretty darn good. When you’re the youngest winner of the Lucha Libre AAA Mega Championship in Lucha Libre AAA history, you have to be pretty darn good. And when Rey “Freakin” Mysterio gives you the big ole’ seal of approval, you must be pretty darn good indeed.
El Hijo del Vikingo in AEW?!
Young Bucks apparently just invited Vikingo to AEW and Matt/Nick both threatened him over the AAA Mega championship, also teasing the return of Kenny Omega. pic.twitter.com/g4YI4rr5PX
— DRAIN is All Out Ω 🧹 (@DrainBamager) May 18, 2022