Rey Mysterio has finally departed WWE after his contract expired. The deal originally expired last year but the company enforced a rare clause that forces a talent to stay and make up for extended injury time.
This caused considerable tension between the two parties and Rey essentially refused to play ball. WWE wanted him to wrestle or take an ambassador role, but he only made a few appearances in the past few months.
His former WCW partner Konnan and the AAA Mexico promotion have been pushing a #FreeRey campaign, which seems to have finally paid off.
It’s been a rocky few years for both parties as WWE have been trying to reduce Mysterio’s pay because of his injury proneness, but Rey knows he’s the most important Hispanic star on the roster and moves a lot of merchandise, which gives him leverage. Ultimately it seems they both got sick of each other.
He’s now expected to go to AAA, Lucha Underground, and select independents. He also has all sorts of non-wrestling projects in the works.
Triple H On How Wrestling Has Changed
In a recent interview with USA Today Triple H discussed how wrestling has evolved from before and after his prime:
It’s changed with the world. You can see the differences in the performers in the WWE from the ’70s and what those bodies looked like, to the ’80s and the ’90s with the Hogans and that era, to the Attitude Era, my era… and the bodies [becoming] sleeker, faster, more versatile…. As crossfit has become more mainstream, as parkour has become a part of the vernacular, you see these guys that are able to do amazing things that 20 years ago we would’ve not even been able to think about doing.
The newly appointed WWE board member is being inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame in March. He says his biggest accomplishment outside of the ring is NXT:
We didn’t even have a department called ‘talent development’ when I came in. It was a concept that I pitched to Vince, that I said ‘we have talent relations and all this stuff that we do with talent, but we’re not doing anything to develop the future.’ Or very little, I should say. And we started a division called talent development that I just grabbed, and Vince thankfully gave me the freedom and the trust and confidence and ability to be able to create this.
I started a process of creating something from nothing, and I just looked at it from the standpoint of ‘if I was 20 years old, and I was trying to make it in the WWE knowing everything I know now, what would I want?’ What would I need? What would make it the easiest for me to get where I needed to be? And then I set about creating that system and designing it. We opened up a little less than 30,000-foot Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, partnered with Full Sail college to produce a TV show with us, and NXT was born. We started a recruiting process where we, rather than sitting and waiting for talent to call us, we were going and finding them. We were starting to find out that people were really interested, but they had no idea. Like how do you go about being a WWE superstar? So we created a system and a format for them to be able to do that.
Hulk Hogan and Cena At Google
Hulk Hogan and John Cena visited Google, Twitter and Facebook in Silicon Valley, as part of WWE’s 31 to 31 “tech tour” countdown to Wrestlemania:
It looks like John Stewart will be appearing on RAW after Seth Rollins made a run in at the end of last night’s Daily Show:
Ladder Match Added To Wrestlemania
Daniel Bryan has now found himself in a Ladder match for the IC title at Wrestlemania, following SmackDown. It looks like he, Barrett, Ambrose, Ziggler and R-Truth will all be involved, with others likely still to be added.
Adrian Neville Has Never Sat Down With Vince
In a recent interview with the This is Awesome podcast Adrian Neville revealed that he’s never actually had a full conversation with Vince McMahon:
I haven’t sat down and spoke with Vince in any depth. It’s just been hellos and goodbyes. The first time he caught me off guard backstage at Monday Night Raw. He was just walking down one of the corridors backstage. It was a bit surreal. But it was just a quick, ‘hello, sir, I’m Adrian Neville, one of your developmental talents. Pleasure to meet you.’ It lasted about 20 seconds. It wasn’t very notable or noteworthy.
He also discussed alleged tension between NXT talent and those on the main roster:
I don’t think so. I certainly don’t get that when I’m working the main roster shows. I think, if anything, the main roster guys are supportive and they are excited to see us thrive and make the transition from NXT to the main roster. And looking forward to standing across the ring from us and competing against us. I know, if I was on the main roster, and I saw the young guys coming in who were hungry and killing it down in NXT, I’d look forward to facing them. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I don’t think that’s true at all.