When World Wrestling Entertainment signed Sin Cara (formerly known as Mistico) in early 2011, it was a move that earned them a lot of fanfare. He was a performer on WWE's radar for many years and when he signed, they held a big conference in Mexico because it was a huge move.
He was a big signing—especially for Paul Levesque (Triple H), who was in the early stages of transitioning from a full-time wrestler to an executive in the Talent Relations division of WWE.
Sin Cara's first year in WWE was rough. There were many instances where he appeared lost in the ring, or at least unable to adapt to the wrestling style we've grown accustomed to in WWE. To this day, some fans even refer to him as "Botch" Cara due to the mistakes he's made in the ring where he's missed a move, also known as a "botch" in wrestling.
In July 2011, he was a part of the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match where Sheamus (who was still a heel) took him out with a vicious powerbomb on a ladder. The reason? We found out the next day that Sin Cara was suspended for 30 days due to his first violation of WWE's wellness program.
When the suspension was about to come up, it was revealed that the Sin Cara character was being played by the WWE developmental character known as Hunico. That lasted for about a month. Fans knew it was a different person when he was showing heel tendencies.
At a SmackDown taping in September 2011 that I attended, the original Sin Cara confronted the imposter for the first time. Eventually, it ended with Sin Cara unmasking Hunico after a SmackDown TV match in Mexico in October.
The run of bad luck in 2011 continued at Survivor Series when Sin Cara suffered a major knee injury with a ruptured patella tendon. He would miss the next six months of action, including participation in what would have been his first WrestleMania.
If you asked the man himself, I would venture to guess that Sin Cara would say 2011 was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he got to debut in front of a new audience as part of World Wrestling Entertainment with a lot of fanfare and excitement. On the other hand, he struggled to adapt to the WWE style quickly, he was suspended for drug usage and he suffered a major injury that forced him to miss six months.
To some fans, Cara is a disappointment because what he did in his six years before his WWE run is irrelevant. A lot of WWE fans have no idea that as Mistico, he was one of the biggest box office draws in the wrestling business, or that his work in the ring was excellent. If the WWE fans didn't see it, then it didn't happen, right? I can understand that thinking.
What I never understood is why some fans wanted him fired just because he had a rough first year in WWE. Guess what? It happens. It takes time to adjust. By sticking by him, WWE management has shown a lot of confidence in him—and I'm glad they did.
Do I like everything about Sin Cara? No. But I like most of it.
What I don't like is the mood lighting that covers the ring when he's in a singles match. To me, it doesn't enhance his matches. It hinders them. It likely makes things difficult for his opponent while also making it harder for the fans to see the action. Why do it? It hurts more than it helps.
Over the past month, Sin Cara was finally given a storyline that could turn the corner for him. He's become the target of future main-event (in my opinion) heel Cody Rhodes, who claims that Cara wears his mask because he's ugly. Is it a great storyline? Not really. But it's a storyline, and sometimes that's good enough.
Joining Sin Cara in his battles against Rhodes is the WrestleMania 27 opponent of Rhodes, Rey Mysterio. Since Sin Cara debuted, there hasn't been a lot of interaction between he and Mysterio due to injuries, suspensions and likely because management wanted to keep them apart. Now, though, that has changed. WWE made the right move in involving them together.
Later this year, Sin Cara turns 30 while Mysterio will be 38. In all likelihood, Mysterio only has a few years left in the business while Cara can hopefully become a huge star in WWE over the next decade.
The difference between them is that Mysterio can deliver a solid promo if given the chance while Cara hasn't been given that chance. His English isn't as good as Mysterio's, so that is a hindrance. He may not end up being as big of a star as Mysterio—who to me—was the centerpiece of WCW's cruiserweight division in the mid '90s, but he can certainly make an impact if WWE management is truly behind him.
Over a week ago, in my "20 WWE Ideas" column, I suggested that at WrestleMania 29 there should be a Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara match. Hopefully that's the long-term goal for this alliance. It's not necessarily the "passing the torch" moment that people, including myself, are guilty of talking about between other wrestlers. It's more a case of letting two incredible athletes show off (sorry Dolph Ziggler) on the grandest stage of them all.
Between now and WrestleMania, it would be wise if WWE built up the match by putting them together as a tag team on a regular basis. Perhaps they could even have a short run with the tag team titles to end this year or start next year. "The Masked Marvels" could catch on as a team name too.
I'm not suggesting one of them to turn heel. Mysterio had a heel run in WCW that was uninspired, and during his 10-year career in WWE, he has been a babyface the whole time. That's what he should continue to be.
The same can be said about Sin Cara as well. The match could come about in a babyface vs. babyface way where they simply want to find out who the better man is.
Could they have a Mask vs. Mask match? I think that's unlikely. It would be a huge match except that Mysterio wrestled for years in WCW without a mask on, and if you really want to know what Sin Cara looks, like you can find that via an Internet search too. Perhaps down the road that's something they could do, although there's no reason for it considering there's a lot of merchandise money to be made on selling masks.
Long term storylines are the key to success in wrestling. Hopefully this new Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio alliance is part of a story that gives us this dream match.
We have an idea of what Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio could be, but to this point, they've yet to have a match against each other. Until then, we can only hope that the first encounter can live up to the potential.
John Canton is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He knows what both guys look like underneath their masks, but thinks it's smart that they keep the masks on. You can read more of his work at his website TJRWrestling.com along with his talented staff of writers. You can follow John on Twitter @johnreport too.