Sin Cara was widely expected to enter the WWE and instantly become one of the most exciting babyfaces on the roster.
But things didn’t exactly go as planned.
While his athleticism and agility were certainly impressive, Sin Cara struggled mightily in the initial phase of his WWE career. He quickly developed a reputation as a “botch machine” and was suspended for violating the WWE Talent Wellness Program.
Roughly seven months into his WWE run, he suffered a nasty knee injury at Survivor Series 2011 that sidelined him for more than half a year.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Sin Cara, however, was his inability to adapt to the “WWE style,” which is drastically different from the lucha libre style he worked in Mexico.
Mexican luchadores work the right side of the body and tend to have quicker-paced matches that are more like what we often refer to as “spot-fests.”
The WWE style, however, requires wrestlers to work the left side of the body and slow the place down, two things which Sin Cara seemed to struggle mightily with early on his WWE career.
That really shouldn’t have been all that surprising, though. After all, it’s like asking someone who’s written right-handed all their life to suddenly switch and write with their left hand.
Obviously, that’s a major adjustment, and being that he jumped from one extreme to the other, Sin Cara just didn’t translate to the WWE early on.
When he got injured, however, I mentioned to a friend of mine that I thought that this could be a blessing in disguise because it could give him some time to adjust his style in order to make it work in the WWE.
I think we’re seeing now that that may have actually happened, as Sin Cara is showing some signs of beginning to assimilate in the WWE.
Though Sin Cara’s matches still feature some spots that look too choreographed, it seems as if he’s gradually making those spots look a little more natural and botching them far less often.
It was the major botches that got Sin Cara so much criticism early on in his WWE run, and while he hasn’t been perfect in the ring, he’s been a lot cleaner and smoother in his execution of moves, especially the high-flying ones.
Given that he’s been paired up with Rey Mysterio quite often recently, this probably isn’t a coincidence.
Say what you what you want about Mysterio (I know he has a lot of haters out there), but his place in wrestling history is cemented. He is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and electrifying high-flyers that pro wrestling has ever seen.
Putting him with Sin Cara as both an official tag team and a mentor of sorts is a move that already appears to be paying dividends.
Mysterio may be a luchador himself, but he’s been in the WWE since 2002 and has successfully managed to balance his high-flying style with the WWE style. By all appearances, he’s helping Sin Cara do the same.
Though it's far too early to say one way or the other whether Sin Cara has finally assimilated in the WWE, I don’t think it’s a stretch by any means to say that he’s beginning to do so.
Once prone to botches, Sin Cara has cleaned up his in-ring act considerably and is starting to show that he can maintain his luchador roots while simultaneously adjusting to work with his fellow WWE stars.
It’s absolutely imperative, however, that this continues because the only way that Sin Cara will live up to his hype in the WWE is if he adapts and changes.
With what we’ve seen from him lately, I’m optimistic that he can.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!