Celebrated for his groundbreaking contributions to professional wrestling, Rey Mysterio shattered stereotypes and expectations when he emerged as the first luchador to secure the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22.
Such an achievement was a testament to Mysterio's remarkable skill and charisma, which managed to reach a level of popularity rivaling that of wrestling superstar John Cena during the 2000s. This was an impressive feat, given WWE CEO Vince McMahon's well-known predilection for featuring larger wrestlers in the spotlight.
In the midst of this, Mysterio earned recognition and high praise from his peers, including the seasoned wrestler Matt Hardy. During an episode of "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star expressed his deep admiration for Mysterio, which went beyond their shared experiences in the ring.
Hardy Lauds Mysterio's Exceptionalism
According to Hardy, "Rey Mysterio is the greatest luchador to ever do it. His feats are unparalleled; he has broken countless barriers and his talent is truly exceptional." Mysterio wasn't merely an opponent or a tag team partner to Hardy, but an inspiring figure whose exceptional talent was exceeded only by his character.
"Apart from his immense talent, Rey is also an incredible human being. He's one of the best people I've had the privilege to meet, and working alongside him has truly been an honor," Hardy added. Hardy reflected on a memorable bout between him and Mysterio that took place on the June 3, 2003 episode of "WWE SmackDown".
During that match, Hardy defended his WWE Cruiserweight Championship, but Mysterio emerged victorious. The SmackDown encounter was a culmination of a series of confrontations between the two, notably at WrestleMania 19, where Hardy had managed to best Mysterio.
To Hardy, their rivalry represented a cherished chapter in his wrestling career. Finally, Hardy couldn't help but emphasize Mysterio's legendary status within the wrestling community. "Rey Mysterio, beyond any doubt, is a GOAT when it comes to luchadors," Hardy concluded, underscoring his profound respect for Mysterio's unparalleled contributions to the wrestling world.